To avoid the smog, noise and crowdedness of Jakarta, Bogor is a good alternative. Even though the city is crowded, noisy and smoggy, it can be a nice place to visit. The surroundings are green and quiet. You also have a pretty good change of getting wet in Bogor. The city has the nickname 'City of Rain'. In average, daily, the city is poured by 454 mm of water. Rain also comes more than 320 days in a year.
Arriving at Jakarta International Airport (Soekarno - Hatta), we took the Damri bus to Bogor. This is an easy 3 hour drive and they will drop you off near the Botanical Garden. From there we took the green local bus with the number 8 (3.500 Rupiah p.p.), to our guesthouse in the area Bantarjati.
We stayed at Cendana Mulia Hostel Bogor, a really clean guesthouse. One of the cleanest we’ve stayed at so far. They both have dorms and private rooms. We payed 250.000 Rupiah for a private room with shared shower. Quite expensive but the best we could find.
** You can find them on booking.com
In our opinion there are only 3 things that can be done in Bogor. You can go to the Dhamma Java Vipassana Centre, where you can spent 10 of your days being quiet and meditating. Or you can visit the Botanical Garden. And the other option is to go on a tour.
We visited the Tourist Information Centre near the train station, and asked for information. You can either do a 1, 2 or 3 day tour where you visit the rice paddies, tea plantations, waterfalls and villages.
Being silent for 1 hour is already difficult for Marije, so 10 days is a bit to much so we didn’t do that. We wanted to visit the Botanical Garden but Bogor’s nickname came in to play just when we wanted to enter, so we decided to go back to our guesthouse. We also decided not to go on a tour, because it was to expensive for us. So in the end, our visit to Bogor pretty useless.. But we did avoid Jakarta!