One of the next big trips I’ll be taking in 2017 is to Indonesia! I’ve been waiting and waiting to visit this country, and now that I’m finally living in a close area of the world, I’m going to go.
Indonesia is such a varied country, so it’s tricky to choose where to go – I want to see all of it! Scuba diving in Nusa Lembongan and Labuan Bajo, enjoying chill beach life in the Gili islands, embracing my yogi side in Ubud… Indonesia has so much to offer for all kinds of travelers.
|By ArgoRaung – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link|
One place I’ve recently discovered is Bogor, which was voted the most attractive tourist city in Indonesia in 2010 and sits with a fantastic view of Mt. Salak. Bogor is famous for their huge botanical garden, which will be 200 years old when I visit in 2017. Home to over 6,000 species of tropical plants and numerous bird species, the botanical garden also boasts a beautiful lily pond and a cemetery dating back to the 1700s. In the northeast corner of the botanical gardens is an orchid garden where something is always blooming. Another must-visit site in Bogor is the presidential palace, which is surrounded by a large park with deer and has a famous art collection.
I don’t visit anywhere unless I’m excited for the local food, and this area of Indonesia is no exception. Bogor’s local delicacies include pickles and grilled mung bean sprouts – the local dish of tauge goreng features fried bean sprouts along with tofu, rice cakes, noodles and a spicy sauce. No restaurant needed – this is a popular street food. I can’t wait to try it!
A cool, rainy city (as a Vancouver girl, this is my kind of weather!), Bogor offers the perfect place to cool off and relax after partying, scuba diving, or island hopping through other parts of Indonesia. For hotel booking in Bogor, sites like Traveloka have the best deals and you can pick a cozy spot for storm watching and relaxing. I like the looks of Hotel Aston Bogor – their ‘condotel’ style rooms are modern and sleek with everything you need. If the skies clear up (which they usually do in the morning and evening), there’s a pool snaking around the grounds between palm trees for taking a dip.
|By Yogwi21, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link|
If you’re the type of traveler that can’t sit still, you can still have adventures in this area. There is whitewater rafting and freshwater fishing – good activities even if it’s raining. If you’d rather stay dry, PGB Bangau Putih is a local martial arts school with a special style called White Crane which was developed by the current owner.
Getting to Bogor is easy, it’s only about a 1.5 hour drive from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport (CGK) but there are several cheap (about $4!) bus options that can get you there comfortably in A/C. The local trains that go directly there can be a bit of a nightmare and often overcrowded. A taxi will only set you back only $25, but rush hour can add hours to the trip. The Wikitravel page for Bogor has lots of detailed info on getting to and around the city.
|By Hiroshi sanjuro – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link|