Sunday, November 23, 2008

Amusement Park in Bogor, West Java

Bogor is a city in West Java with a population of approximately 800,000 people in the CBD area and 2,000,000 in suburban area, bringing a total of 3 million population. It was the capital of Indonesia during the British occupation under Stamford Raffles and was used as the capital by the Dutch during the dry season, then known as Buitenzorg (meaning "beyond worry").

Bogor boasts a presidential palace, a deer park and a botanical garden in the town centre. It is home to the Institut Pertanian Bogor (or Bogor Institute of Agriculture) and CIFOR, the Center for International Forestry Research.

Bogor is on a main road from Jakarta to Bandung, over the Puncak pass. To the south of the city are large tea plantations. During colonial times the Bogor area developed as a centre for plantations. Apart from the tea (Mount Mas), there were coffee plantations at nearby Sukabumi and later vast rubber plantations that stretched from Bogor as far as Citereup and Bukit Sentul.

The suburban area of Bogor is part of the Bogor Regency, while the urban is the Bogor City. Currently Bogor bears the nickname "the Rain City" (Kota Hujan), suggesting that it is very wet and nearly always rains even during the dry season.

  • Botanical Garden (Kebun Raya Bogor)
    , Bogor's pride and joy, the extensive Botanical Gardens were founded in 1811 as a private garden of the Governor-General's summer residence by Sir Stamford Raffles, who also went on to found Singapore. However, it was Casper Reinwardt who adopted the gardens for more scientific use, with Johannes Elias Teysmann continuing in his footsteps. Today, the gardens stretch out over 87 hectares, parts carefully manicured like the palace gardens they are, parts seeming like wild jungle at first glance (if not for the tags detailing where every tree and plant comes from), with lakes, two rivers and hilly trails. If you're lucky, you may be able to spot a blooming giant arum (Amorphophallus titanum), the world's tallest inflorescence (flower cluster) which can reach an astounding 2.5 meters — but, alas, smells like rotting meat. Open from 8 AM to 5 PM daily, although (despite the size!) they can get crowded on Sundays. Entry is Rp 5,500 for people, Rp 10,000 for cars, which can also drive around on main roads and are a bit of a nuisance.

  • Presidential Palace (Istana Bogor), in the northwest corners of the Botanical Gardens. Originally the summer residence of the Governor-General of Java, now one of the Indonesian president's summer escapes and noted for the 250 tame deer grazing in its grounds. The palace grounds can be visited from within the Gardens, but tours in the palace require 5 days advance notification — however, the Bogor TIC may be able to squeeze you in at short notice if there's a tour going on.

  • Orchid Garden (Rumah Anggrek), in the northeast corner of the Botanical Gardens. Large greenhouse housing orchids of all shapes and sizes, with two separate halls so there's always something blooming. Entry Rp 2000, separately charged.


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