Those who finally do make it often wish they had come earlier, to spend more in the orchid houses or in the library by the entrance to the gardens, pouring over the beautifully illustrated botanical tomes.
Another little known feature of Bogor is that it has one of the few remaining gamelan foundaries left on Java, and probably the only one nin West Java. Located at Jl.Pancasan 17 and the gongsmith’s name is Pak Sukarna. From the centre of Bogor, go left down Jl. Empang and bear right at the next intersection. Cross over the bridge and after several hundred metres you will see carpenters working by the left side of the street making the frames. The foundry is across the street.
Most Jakarta taxis will take you to Bogor and back for US$25, waiting while you spend a couple of hours in the Botanical Gardens. For a more leisurely visit, rent a car or colt mini bus for the entire day.
Buses leave for Bogor very frequently form Jakarta’s Cililitan Terminal (in the south of the city). Express buses marked (1 hour) and cheapest US$60, dropping you at the Ciawi terminal just above the town to the south. From here, mini buses circulate into Bogor, going right by the Kebun Rayan entrance. Fare is Rp 100.
The Jabodetabek (Jakarta – Bogor – Depok – Tangerang – Bekasi) commuter train is a slower but cheaper way to get there. Board the train at gambir, Pegangsaan or Manggarai Station in Jakarta (See Train Station).
The only pace worth staying is the old colonial Hotel Salak (54 rooms) just opposite the Presidential Summer Palace, Jl. H. Juanda 8, Bogor, Tel: 0251 – 22091), a bit seedy but they have several air conditioned rooms in the back for US$35.
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