Bogor Botanical Garden

Have you ever wondered if those trees used in Tarzan movies are for real or just a fairy tale? Have you ever wondered if a 3.5m-tall flower really exist or just a legend? Find all the answers to your curiosity at the Bogor Botanical Garden.

With 15,000 species of trees ageing from tens to hundreds years old and 3,000 varieties of orchids sprawling across 800,000 square meters of land, Bogor Botanical Garden is a paradise for nature lovers. This garden serves as Indonesia's largest eco-research centres and showcase of Indonesia's rich wildlife and bio-diversity. Over the centuries, new species of trees have either been born, breed or preserved from extinction. Collections of trees and plants originating from different parts of the country have been brought in and has become an inextricable part of the garden's ecological system. The dense vegetation and trees now forms a home to thousands of birds and bats.

Situated right at the heart of Bogor city, the garden is just 5 minutes away from the toll gate exit - the main entrance to the city. Accessibility to the garden varies greatly, depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend. During the weekdays, private vehicles are allowed to drive in. If you desire a more intimate touch with nature, you can park the vehicles near the gate and set yourself on a nature trail. But remember to equip yourself with some basic trekking gears - at least - like trekking shoes, mosquito repellant and water bottle. During the weekends, vehicles are not allowed inside the compound. That is when finding the right parking location itself can be an adventure. You can park your vehicles at the nearby church, market or Botani Square (shopping mall). The entrance is about 5 to 10 minutes walk.

The entrance fee to the garden costs IDR9,500 (< US$1) per person. Four-wheel vehicle cost an additional of IDR15,000 (~US$1.50). There are a few items that should be in your itinerary list. First is the Bogor Palace, a centuries-old colonial architectural heritage that served as residential complex to notable historians such as Sir Stamford Raffles and Soekarno - Indonesia's founding father. Roaming around freely around the palace's garden are deer that were first brought in by the Dutch for hunting and leisure purpose. Next on the list should be the Rafflesia collection section. If you are lucky, you might have the chance to witness one of the world's most renowned floral species. Titan Arum - Amorphophallus Titanum or popularly known as the Corpse Flower - is the world's largest flower petal. At its peak, the floral diameter can be as large as 3 meters. The unique feature of this species is the strong fragrant smell - that resembles mammal corpse - that is sure to test your smelling sense.

Next on the list is the hanging bridge that cuts across the Ciliwung river. Along the way, watch out for those gigantic tree branches - like those seen in the Tarzan movies - as they hung low within reach. When you stand in the middle of the bridge, you can look in awe one of Mother Nature's finest creation. The beautiful rock formation and the gushing river current reminds us of the vitality of life. Just a stone throw away from the bridge is the Orchid House. The well-kept garden with its diverse collection of orchid species - colors and types - is a magnificent treat to the eyes. For the lovebirds, it might just rekindle the romantic spark that might have been missing in your relationship.

From the Orchid Garden, you can head down to the Astrid Avenue - a twin road beautifully decorated with dazzling collection of flowers. The road was name in honour of Princess Astrid - The Princess of Belgia - as it was built as a way of grand welcoming the Princess during one of her trip to Indonesia. Look out for the colours of the flowers and you will find its similarity to the Belgian's Flag. As you come to the end of the Astrid Avenue, a short climb will lead you to cafe dedaunan - one of Bogor's best kept secret. Sitting on top of a hill overlooking the vast greenery of the garden and the water lily pond, every dining experience at cafe dedaunan promises to be a romantic affair.

On Sunday and public holidays, Bogor Botanical Garden has become a favourite spot for family or group outing. Let your child roam around freely as you sit down enjoying the companions of your loved ones - friends, families and relatives.

A trip to Bogor Botanical Garden promises so much - educational, family affair, rejuvenating and enchanting.

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