Bogor: an Indonesian city off the tourist trail

A few weeks ago I visited old friends who are currently living in Bogor, Indonesia. Bogo-where you ask? At least, that was when I first thought¬†when I was invited. With a population of around one million (which would make it Switzerland’s biggest city… by quite a stretch), Bogor is located around 60km from Jakarta. Due to its elevated location (a whopping 300m above sea level) the climate is noticeably cooler than in Jakarta.

Now, you might think 60km from Jakarta isn’t that far. And if you are fortunate enough to travel in a helicopter, it is indeed fairly close. Unfortunately 99.99% of the population (including me) aren’t. And traffic is bad. Like really, really bad. Jakarta to Bogor is basically one big traffic jam (it might losen up a bit between 2 and 3am). Two hours plus for the ride are normal most days.

Apparently Bogor offers little to no sights (Bogor-ing?). My friends took me to the only place worthwhile visiting: the Botanic Gardens.

Bogor Botanic Gardens

Bogor Botanic Gardens

Bogor Botanic Gardens

Bogor Botanic Gardens

The Mexican corner

The Mexican corner

There are a couple of colonial buildings from the Dutch era:

Bogor Botanic Gardens

Bogor Botanic Gardens

As well as the Presidential Palace:

Presidential Palace Bogor

Presidential Palace Bogor

The lack of sights made for a very relaxing weekend! No stress to tick off statues, buildings or even restaurants! On Sunday we visited a residential area where the slightly more affluent folks live:

Not too shabby

Not too shabby

In case gothic castles are your thing...

In case gothic castles are your thing…

Or little bit more modern...

Or little bit more modern…

One thing probably all villas have in common, is that the construction tools used are not exactly state-of-the-art:

Local construction methods

Local construction methods

The highlight must have been a cafe inside a palace that combined local art with Moai statues from the Easter Island in the driveway:

This villa looked liked it just ordered "one of everything please" from the local scultpture artist

This villa looked liked it just ordered “one of everything please” from the local scultpture artist

All in all a very relaxing weekend but Bogor is not on the Javanese tourist trail for good reason!

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