I realised that informations on Bogor tourism is pretty thin. I hope my JBR (my first attempt, please pardon me if it is lack of info or put you to sleep) could provide some insights on Bogor.
I visited on first week of April. Weather was wet but it did not dampen our moods at all. We reached new international terminal (Airasia flight) at Bandara Soekarno Hatta at roughly 9.30am Indonesia time. It was fuss free, we were fetche by airport bus to main immigration building. We went to toilet and queued for immigration. In less than 30minutes we were out in the terminal arrival hall which was pretty empty, dont expect it to be full of food stalls/restaurant/shops but it was clean, new and decent. There is a money changer on left hand side of escalator. As we were waiting for a friend, we went to Bakmi GM restaurant (right hand side of escalator) and ordered two bakmi (dry noodle with shredded chicken and fried dumpling and soup) plus two jasmine tea (teh sosro). It costed SGD 9.50 total. It instantly cured my longing for yummy Indonesian food, noodle was springy, chicken was soft and flavored, and the chili was spicy enough for my seasoned tongue. And it was fantastic match with fragrance teh sosro, not overly sweet and not too bland.
When our friend arrived around 11am, we made our way to the parking lot. Our friend, T, had kindly helped us arrange for driver. It costed around 50sgd per day (non including driver meal which is roughly 10sgd per day for two meals and 15sgd per day for petrol plus tips). It was a nice comfortable AC van. Driver doesn't like to talk, very quiet but obliging. We drove from airport to Bogor. Traffic wasn't too bad knowing how Jakarta is. We reached Bogor in two hours. Our hotel in Bogor town was Hotel Santika, next to Botani Square Mall. The room costed 80sgd per night, with good view of Gunung Salak at 9th floor. Bed was comfortable, toilet pretty decent, clean but simple, quite good selection of tv channels and safe deposit box was available too.
After a lay down, we were hungry so we headed to the mall, 2mins walk and looked for restaurant. The mall itself is small, not exciting but it has all the essentials - food court, restaurants, starbucks, supermarket, hair salon which provide manicure pedicure and massage, cinema and some bakery and clothing shops. We walked to food court but it was full so we headed to find restaurant. There was chinese, japanese and western cuisines. Surprisingly lack of Indonesian restaurant. After short discussion, we decided to eat in Rice Bowl. It served mixed cuisines - chinese, indo, thai and western. We ordered chicken rice (for T), corn soup, spicy fried rice, cashew nut with chicken. The best was spicy fried rice - spicy, full of flavors and the rice was at right texture not too soft nor hard. For desserts, we ordered coco
Crunch choc pancakes with vanilla ice creams. It was a must for chocolate lover! For drinks, nothing to write about, tasteless sweet drinks. Meal costed 30sgd (it was pricey due to the drinks!). We spent lots of time catching up in restaurant, talking and joking.
Around 4pm, we finally removed ourselves from our chairs and called for driver to pick us up. Few mins stuck in the exit of mall, it was really crowded and full of cars, apparently it was the biggest mall so well, everyone was here!
Once we were outside, we drove past Istana Bogor (Bogor Palace), it was beautiful white complex surrounded by greeneries and at some parts we could see deers around and they were so picturesque. Next to palace, there was a small church, old and with lots of atmosphere. Many locals were around and we went to have a look inside (after asking permission), the building was not modern, windows and structures were antiques which is the charm. In the main hall, there were many pretty chandeliers and the light was warm yellow, a group of youngsters were practicing choirs. We sat for awhile, absorbing the calm peaceful feeling, beautiful hall and beautiful voices.
Then we drove for a bit and the driver stopped us at another church which he said he thought might be the oldest church in town but he couldnt be sure. It was called Katedral Bogor (bogor cathedral). An evening mass was starting, it was really crowded and this church was really crowded, two storeys and it was huge. We joined the mass at second storey, we climbed the winding staircase to second storey and boy, it was beautiful in the main hall. Windows were tainted glasses, charming wooden structures, beautiful chandeliers, we sat quietly at the corner listening to the mass.
After a very spiritual visit, we went to Gumati Cafe. It was two storeys. Next to the main door, was an accessories shop, expensive but full of beautiful items. We took some pictures and walked downstairs (yes, best seats were downstairs). The decor was Indonesian, full of beautiful and charming knick knacks. We asked to sit by the railing (outdoor) at the wooden "house" where we sat on the wooden floor (shoes off) next to the fountain. The viewed was spectacular with Mount Salak and bogor town lights. Food was great too. Good ambience, good food, good decor and good service, i would rate it as must visit even for a cup of tea! We ordered a lot, really a lot - fried stuffed tofu, a set of rice plus chicken (sorry forgot the name), sayur asam (sour soup?), spicy bamboo fish soup, bebek ngesot (duck), crackers (belinjo). It was extra filling and the food was fantastic!! It costed roughly 30sgd. If you dont fancy sitting on the floor, there r indoor sitting and outdoor sitting with proper chair and table.
We were quite knackered so we headed back to the hotel. It was my travel companion, A, birthday so we wanted to surprise her. I asked T to get a birthday cake while me and A went back to hotel for bath.
T bought a chocolate cake from Bread Talk bakery, it tasted just fine but we had fun birthday party in the hotel room.
It was a fantastic day and it was only day 1! We havent really start looking deep into Bogor and its surrounding yet!
To be continued...