To reach Kebun Raya Bogor from Jakarta, hop on a train and go south, out of the city and into Bogor (you won’t even realize you’ve changed city, the buildings just go on and on). Be aware of pickpockets as you descend into the station, and refrain from buying the deliciously looking fried tofu: it’s in fact just bacteria and oil.
Leave the station by following the crowd (they make you detour around the station like a merry-go-round), then turn left and walk up the half kilometer to the highway. Here take a right and you will find the entrance of the botanical gardens. As usual, bules pay more, keep your chill. Or at least be patient, your chill will come once you lie down below the enormous trees!
The largest botanical garden in Asia is also home to the largest flower in the world, Amorphophallus titanum, but don’t count on seeing it, as it flowers rarely and unpredictably! Still, you won’t be disappointed by the gardens if it is size that impresses you!
Finding a quiet spot to relax is not too easy during weekends, when school kids and tourists are drawn to the gardens to breathe some fresh air. On this first escape from Jakarta of mine, I made the mistake of dressing up a tourist, which I had to pay for by posing for the curious children who called me bule in between their giggles.