Bogor Botanical Gardens is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bogor, Indonesia. It spread about 87 hectares containing over 15,000 species of plants and trees all over the archipelago. It also has around 50 species of birds and bats.
The Bogor Botanical Gardens is said to have been initiated by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the Governor General of the East Indies during the British reign in between 1811-1816 but were officially established by the Dutch in 1817. Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt, a botanist, who was then the appointed Director of Agricultural business, transform the gardens into a botanical garden. In the present, the Bogor Botanical Gardens functions as a center for plant research and conservation.
I visited Bogor Botanical Gardens with a local friend Hana. It was just a spontaneous trip, nothing planned. We just wanted to escape from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta and to catch up as we’ve never seen each other for a while. The night before, we decided to visit the Bogor Botanical Gardens – both of us are first timers- and we were not disappointed. If not for the lack of time, we would have loved to stay a little longer.
You don’t have to be a botanist or a plant lover to enjoy the place. There are tons of things to see and do in the place that one day is never enough.
Here is a list of my top 5 things to see and do when you visit Bogor Botanical Gardens
- The Bogor Presidential Palace
Originally built almost 300 years ago, the impressive out of town Presidential palace is no doubt my most favorite because it is undeniably beautiful. The palace is beautifully landscaped and is surrounded by lush scenery.
Sit on the benches or on the grass and just admire the beauty of the palace yard. The fountains, the pond full of pink lotus flowers, and the lush scenery can take all your worries away, even just for a while. There are also a few statues in the area, including the Hand of God statue in the palace’s backyard which is accordingly a gift by Sweden to Indonesia almost 50 years ago.
Note: You will only be allowed to enter and see the palace with a special permission from the office of Indonesian Secretariat.
- Astrid Park
Astrid was created to welcome the wife of King Leopold III of Belgium, Queen Astrid, in her visit to Indonesia in 1929.
This beautiful park inside Bogor Botanical Gardens is another thing you can’t miss. The surrounding lush trees, colorful flowers, and lots of green space make it a favorite place for tourists to behold and enjoy. You will definitely enjoy the tranquil scene and peaceful atmosphere here.
Another thing to enjoy at Astrid Park is the beautiful fountain in the middle and the breath-taking giant lotus pond which is even more beautiful when the lotuses are in full bloom.
- The Enormous trees and Giant Roots
The garden boasts of a wide arrange of plant and tree species everywhere in this garden. The beautiful selections of these massive, enormous, gnarled, old trees (some a century old) are a few of the reasons why this is a must-see. The sad news though is that in October 2015, the oldest tree, The Lychee tree which is estimated to be 194 years old fell down after a heavy rain in the area.
Walking under the canopy of the enormous trees and their foliage is always a great feeling but standing in the middle these huge roots is another story. I felt like I am in an enchanted forest – like these roots are doorways to another kingdom, you know, they suddenly open and WHOOSH!!!! I am already in another world!!! Just like in the movies. Hahaha. But no, I am in the real world – the world of gigantic, gnarled trees.
- The Orchid House
Who doesn’t love orchids?
Inaugurated in 2002, the Orchid House which is around 800 square meters, is one of the many beautiful places you can check out when you visit Bogor Botanical Gardens. This is an in situ conservation in an ex situ conservation area.
The place boasts of an impressive collection of around 500 different species of orchids native to Indonesia. From white to yellow to pink to purple – different colored orchids can be found here. They also have collections of colorful hybrids of orchids in another wing of the Orchid House.
- The Broken Heart Bridge
So what’s special about this bridge?
The color? The sound of the rushing river or the view surrounding it? Nah, nothing is really special about this bridge, except maybe for the myth behind it.
Legend has it that whenever a couple crosses the bridge together, their relationship will be over. But hey, that’s just a myth. Just cross the bridge when you get there or if you happen to believe in myths, just don’t cross together. Let your partner wait for you on the other side of the bridge an hour later. Hahaha.
The river has a lot of garbage though. I hope that the admin will do something about it.
There are a lot of other beautiful places to visit in Bogor Botanical Gardens. However, we don’t have enough time to wander around and check out all of them. I would definitely go back.
The gardens are open daily to visitors. The entrance fee is 14 000 IDR for local tourists and 25 000 IDR for foreigners.
Getting around the gardens is easy with paved walkways, signs, and beautifully landscaped lawns.
How I Got There:
From Jakarta, my friend and I decided to use train to Bogor, although we initially thought of going there by car which was a good decision since it was a weekend and we wouldn’t want to be stuck in the traffic and the Bogor Botanical Gardens is just short walk away from the Bogor train station so it wasn’t too difficult for us to get to the place.
Take note that Bogor is only a few hours from Jakarta so it is packed in the weekends (and on public holidays) with visitors from Jakarta and nearby provinces and even tourists from all over the world.
From Jakarta, you can also reach Bogor by car, bus, taxi or you can rent Grab Car or Uber which is way cheaper than a taxi. There are also numerous buses going to Bogor departing from different parts of Jakarta, even from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. So yes, from the airport, you can directly travel to Bogor.