Monday, February 02, 2015

Bogor, A Pleasant Escape

After getting our China visa we went directly back to our hotel, packed our bags and took a noonish commuter train one hour south to Bogor and installed ourselves in a hotel with a pool, a volcano view, and an attached swanky air-conditioned mall.

It was time to get the heck out of Jakarta. The foul air from too many vehicles and too many indoor smokers had us both coughing and blowing our noses like crazy. I thought I had pretty tough lungs and sinuses but I was defeated.

Bogor is 800 feet above sea level and feels a tad cooler than Jakarta. It is also home to Bogor Botanical Gardens, high on the standard list of area attractions. However, in our opinion, the gardens are skippable. It is a nice stroll through the more the 1 square kilometers of green space, but the gardens are not much above ordinary; mostly native trees. The much touted Orchid House, "with over 3000 varieties of native orchids", was a big disappointment with only a handful of varieties, and in fact, most of the orchids on display appeared to us to be the usual white and pink Phalaenopsis found in US supermarkets.

Bogor, a pleasant change from Jarkarta, but skippable if your only reason for coming is the Botanical Gardens.

Gongdangia Station (Stasiun Gondangdia) - waiting for our train to Bogor.
Jakarta, Indonesia

Views from our hotel in Bogor of Mount Salak volcano.
Bogor, Java, Indonesia

Bogor, Java, Indonesia

The hotel pool.
Bogor, Indonesia

The entrance to the gardens.
Bogor, Indonesia

Gigantic trees with buttress roots at the Botanical Gardens.
Bogor, Indonesia

Bogor, Indonesia

The over touted Orchid House and its disappointing stable of Phalaenopsis orchids.
Bogor, Indonesia

Sun-Ling always enjoys a lily pond.
Bogor, Indonesia

The Mexican Garden was neat. Lots of gravel and no shade trees to keep things as dry as possible.
Bogor, Indonesia

Surprised to see Bintang Radlers in the local supermarket; thirst quenching and just the ticket to wash down some takeaway street food.
Bogor, Indonesia

And if you get this far, here's some amateurish bonus video of us at the pool during a very loud call-to-prayer at the very nearby mosque. Link here for the email readers.


Susan in Florida said...

The gardens are so lovely. I think it will want to make Earl get a green house so he can grow orchids like Nero Wolfe.

Do you consider yourselves ambassadors for America? We're kind people?

I thought I saw smoke coming out of the volcano. It made me wonder which was worse for the lungs. volcano smoke or car engine smoke? BUT I looked again and I think it was just a cloud above the volcano rather than smoke.

I really love reading your blog and looking at the photos. I hope you'll keep it up. I'm reading a book that I do hope is on your reading list so we can discuss it. Much love to you both. Looking forward to seeing you when you're back in the US.

Kathy said...

Great photo of Sun-Ling and the tree roots!

Sorry to hear that Jakarta hasn't improved...

Crash Eddy said...

I posted this to G+ as you had video up there before posting it here:

Wow, S-L, breathing on alternate sides, a real pro!

john said...

Susan, Indonesians like Americans. Obama lived in Indonesia, right? We try not act like "ulgy Americans" and we try not to leave a trail of plastic water bottles behind us. ;-) What book are you reading?

Kathy, The pollution is surely bad in Jakarta bad can't say if the air is better or worse than before. ;-(

Ed, Considering she learned as an adult, SL is an awesome swimmer. We're both working on our breast stroke on this trip.

Sun-Ling said...

@Ed, I had no idea John had put up a such compromising video. I have been too busy planning to keep close tabs on him :(

Susan in Florida said...

John--I am reading

Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism
by Maajid Nawaz,

Liz said...

Love the picture of pool. Can't watch video from current location.