Town without worries
Bogor is surprisingly ‘green’; the air is cooler and always rain (it rain 300 days a year).
The Dutch first discovered Bogor and developed it as a retreat from the heat of Batavia. They called it ‘Buitenzorg’, which means ‘town without worries’. They even built their own Sans Souci there as a vice regal lodge for the Dutch governor general way back in 1745. The beautiful country palace was restored in 1832 with grand old trees and lawns where deer roam freely (they were a gift to Soekarno from Indian Prime Minister Nehru). You can feed carrots through the fence. It is still the presidential weekender.
Bogor is also famous for its magnificent Botanical Gardens, which cover some 87ha and boasts plants, trees and flowers from all over the world including the famous Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower. There are 400 varieties of palm and orchid house.
Near the palace, you may also spot the town’s oldest banyan tree and also the Zoological museum and you can drive to Taman Safari Park with its beautiful white tigers.
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What to Buy
Bogor is ‘Handbag Central’. The place to head to is Jalan Tajur. But if you want handicrafts, try the Alfa Collection on Internusa or the Batugading Collection on Jalan Sancang.
Where to Stay
The Novotel Coralia hotel is the most popular in Bogor. It is actually set on several hectares of gardens and golf yard. It is a great weekend retreat and in a green garden setting that is a holiday in itself.
Where to Eat
You can have sate kambing in the Arab quarter. Great is Capriccio at the Novotel. You will see numerous Indonesian restaurants and all the major international franchise as well.
You can try Laguna at the Bogor Raya Golf Club near the Novotel. Spectrum is a good bar/club, or Mahonet.