If you are living in a busy city as me, you will feel grateful to able to see green scenery. Even it might be only few times a month. Yes, I learn to appreciated nature since I raised in such a crowded town as Jakarta. So for me, going to another town that not so far from Jakarta is a way of being happy. Especially because from that town – which actually the town where I was born, has a huge Botanical Garden called Kebun Raya Bogor. A perfect place to spend a weekend and refresh my soul by dwelling in the green trees and breathe the perfect oxygen from the trees.
To reaching Kebun Raya Bogor from Jakarta is very easy. Just take the Commuter Line train from any big station in Jakarta (for instance, Tanah Abang, Kalibata, Pasar Minggu, Manggarai, etc) and you can just sitting nicely until the last stop, Bogor. For the nearest train station near my place, Kalibata, it takes around 1 hour to arrive to Bogor. The price for the train is so cheap, around IDR 3.500,-/one way. But you have to deposit IDR 5.000,- for the card. Once you finished with the trip, don’t forget to return the card to the train’s counter to get your deposit money back. From the train station, you can take small public car to arrive to the garden (not so far, around 15 minutes if not traffic – but the car must full with the passenger before depart, and it takes so much time to wait). Pay the public car for IDR 5.000,-
I started to in love with the train since it’s cheap, clean and very cold – even no sellers anymore as how usual train might have in Indonesia. But I heard some friends told me that in peak hours, it can be so crowded. Since I always go there around weekend, the train seems empty to me. So my journey with the commuter line so far was pleasant.
Kebun Raya Bogor located on 80 hectares land and adjoin with the Presidential Palace in Bogor. The garden opens everyday from 8 am – (mostly) 4 pm. But usually you can go out when it’s dark from the gate near the cafe. Inside of the gardens, there are los of things you can visit such as Zoology Museum, Dutch Cemetery, Cactus Garden, Herbal Garden, Orchid Garden, the rare Raflesia Arnoldi and lots of another interesting places. Entry fee for going inside of the Botanical Garden is IDR 14.000 and for the foreigners is IDR 25.000,-. Put your proper sandals or shoes if you wanna walk around the garden since it is so huge!
There are so many gates to enter the Gardens. But the main one is one that impressive a lot with such a mix style of Dutch with Hinduism interior. There is Ganesha standing on the gate. From there, you can find another old inscription as well.
I’d been here already for few times but I never get bored. It’s like a beautiful and simple retreat for myself everything I feel so bored with skyscrapers in Jakarta. Being in this green gardens help me to find my own soul again. Some old trees have odd look like alien and some are pretty cute.
Every time I found old trees that such huge and beautiful, I stand in awe with the strong power perform by the tree. Some roots even larger and taller than me! It is man forest made that established around 1474 by Sri Baduga Maharaja. The purpose of creating the gardens is to protect seed of rare woods. Later on, around 1744, Dutch people established a garden and Maison at the gardens.
Weird shape of the old trees…
Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, a British played an important role of the gardens, since he was a Lieutenant of Governor of Java that time, he re-landscaped the gardens. His wife, Olivia Raffles died in Bogor (previously Buitenzorg) in 1814. You can see a memorial of her stands in the ground of the garden near to main gate.
My favorite place in the gardens of course a cafe inside of the gardens. Previously called Cafe Dedaunan, now it’s Grand Garden. It is occupied an old building was previously an office. Have a spectacular view of the garden and you can enjoying their food and beverages while seeing the Salak mountain from far. If you are lucky, the sunset also looks so beautiful. The taste of the food to be honest not so special, but the view is special. You actually pay for the view 😉 Once they had my fave coffee selection from Bengawan Solo, now they don’t have it anymore – make me sad.
Since it is a garden looks like forest, remind yourself to use mosquitoes lotion if walk here. Asian people don’t really need it because we get used to it, but I found so many my foreigner friends feel annoyed with the mosquitoes. And another tips, if it’s raining, don’t hide yourself under the big tree. Remember it’s an old garden – you never know whether the tree was strong enough or will fall down because of the wind. Be safe is necessary, right? I found this place is really good for family, picnic or just to let your children knowing more about nature. I hope people come here in purpose of getting to know plantations more – rather than just picnic and leave the rubbish in the gardens. Every Sunday, there is also a community who doing outdoor yoga here.
Don’t you want to bring your bucket of food and do a picnic here? 🙂
But anyhow, Kebun Raya Bogor is such an attractive choice if you want to spend weekend or day off outside Jakarta. You will gain more peace here.