16 December 2016

The Retreat City

Bogor is a quick weekend getaway destination for Jakartans. The city is famous for its cool and breezy weather, and offers a tremendous selection of both relaxing and thrilling activities.
Located south of Jakarta, Bogor, which can be reached in as little as one hour from Jakarta has a cooler climate and fresher air compared to the capital. The city has frequent rain showers, even during the dry season, which is how it earned its nickname “the Rain City”.
Bogor has a rich history of Dutch and British colonialism. The city was the location of the officials’ summer residence during these eras. The mansion named Buitenzorg (Dutch: without a care) is now known as Bogor Palace or Presidential Palace. In addition to using Buitenzorg, the British Colonial Official Sir Stamford Raffles also built a garden, which was the forerunner to the Botanical Garden, in the backyard of the Palace.  
Today, Bogor continues to be a retreat for people wishing to escape the stifling and crowded capital. Situated near two mountains, Salak volcano to the south, and Mount Gede to the southeast of the city, Bogor not only offers a place to rest but also provides many tourist attractions. 

The most famed attractions are the Botanical Garden and Bogor Palace. However, Puncak is also a popular destination in Bogor. Located on the ridge to the north of Mount Gede and Pangrango, Puncak, which is actually spread across the regencies of Bogor, Cianjur, and Sukabumi, has many tourist attractions. Cibodas Botanical Garden, Taman Safari Indonesia, a wildlife park, and tea plantations are all located in Puncak. Spread throughout Bogor are numerous beautiful waterfalls including Curug Nangka, Curug Cigamea, Curug Ngumpet, Curug Seribu, and Curug Cilember.
Just 5km from the centre of Bogor is a village called Kampung Budaya Sindang Barang. The oldest village in Bogor, it shows off Sundanese culture, which has been revitalized and preserved by its inhabitants. Visitors can also see the archeological site relics from the Padjajaran Empire.
For golfers, Bogor is acknowledged as a golf paradise. There are 10 golf courses around the city, six of which are situated along the toll road for easy accessibility. Many of these championship courses were designed by famous golfers and designers such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Greg Norman, and Thomson Wolveridge & Perret. 


Kebun Raya (Botanical Garden) is the heart of Bogor. Located in the center of city, Kebun Raya, which covers 87 hectares boasts more than 15,000 species of trees and plants. Officially founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1811, the garden is the main attraction for tourists visiting Bogor. In addition to the many rare trees and plants, there is also an Orchid House and the Istana Bogor (Presidential Palace), where you can spot find exotic birds and deer.

Along with enjoying the green mountainous landscape and fresh air of Puncak, there are many things to do here. Visitors can take a scenic walk in a tea plantation or go horseback riding area around tea gardens. Take a guided tour around a tea factory and stay overnight at a lodge. For a more extreme sport in Bogor, try Paragliding at Bukit Paralayang, Puncak.


On the way to Puncak, take a small detour and visit Taman Safari Indonesia, an outdoor safari park which visitors can drive themselves through. Taman Safari can be reached within 20 minutes from the intersection of Cisarua. Spanning over 170 hectares it is home to around 2,500 animals. Most animals are from Indonesia, including Orangutans, Bengal tigers, zebra, giraffes, elephants, sun bears, hippos, cheetahs, and komodos. Taman Safari also has many conserved faunas.


Bogor is known for its rafting thanks to the many rivers in the area that are great for this sport. The Cisadane River is one of the best rafting tracks in West Java. The river is especially popular because of its winding and contoured shape that provides an unforgettable experience. A newer place for rafting is Kalibaru River. Because it has a short track, Kalibaru River is more suitable for those who are beginners. For the more experienced or thrill-seeking rafter, the Citarik River is the place to head to because it has a longer track and more difficult terrain. Citarik is located in Sukabumi, it can be reached within 1.5 hours from Bogor. 

This particular dish is usually only found in Bogor and a handful of places in Jakarta. Toge goreng is bean sprouts that are boiled and mixed with yellow noodles, chunks of tofu, and slices of kupat (lontong rice cake). It is seasoned with a sauce based on tauco and spicy oncom (one of the traditional staple foods of West Java).


Soto Kuning is a yellow coconut milk soup that contains sliced beef or innards of beef. The soto content depends on customers' tastes. Usually the seller just cuts beef or innards of beef into pieces, gives it a final seasoning, and puts it into the yellow coconut milk soup. 


Laksa Bogor is a spicy noodle soup with yellow coconut milk that consists of bihun, ketupat, smashed oncom, tauge, and kemangi (lemon basil leaves). It is flavored by a mixture of shallots, garlic, kemiri, kunyit, ketumbar, sereh & salt. The noodle is cooked in coconut milk and drained. Then, it is all served with sambal cuka (ground chilli in vinegar).

Doclang is a traditional dish of Bogor that consists of sliced lontong (rice cake), potatoes, tofu, crackers and boiled eggs. It is smothered with creamy peanut sauce, and soy sauce or chili sauce for those who like it spicy.


Soto Mie Bogor’s main ingredient is kikil cattle, accompanied by pieces kroket and vermicelli noodles. The gravy-like broth is slightly red colored with a spicy and sour taste. It’s bold but refreshing. This is a street food that is available widely around in almost all streets of Bogor.
The price varies between 8000 IDR - 15,000 IDR for a bowl. Every weekend the tourists who visit Bogor make sure they don’t forget to enjoy a bowl of the typical Soto Mie Bogor.


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