If you don’t like rain, then Bogor isn’t for you. But if you enjoy the cool crisp air that comes after rain, with the smell of fresh, clean grass and a clear sky, then Bogor is the place to be. Mornings are often bright and sunny and by mid-afternoon the heat is washed away by a downpour that usually lasts an hour or two at most.
But the best part about Bogor is the close-knit community made up of expats involved in environmental or non-profit organizations, and their families. If you have young children below high school age, there is a small yet vibrant international school that not only provides internationally recognized education programs, but also serves as the heart and social center of the expat community. If you are single or accompanied by a partner, Bogor offers a true taste of Indonesian living, away from the hustle and bustle of its busier and more cosmopolitan cousin, Jakarta.
Life in Bogor is a little slower and simpler than Jakarta. But make no mistake, as Indonesia continues to move forward economically, so has Bogor. There are thriving industries in and around the area, such as manufacturing, farming and tourism. New supermarkets keep popping up so there is less and less need to make the 1-hour drive into Jakarta to bulk up on hard-to-find food supplies and organic food is fairly easy to come by. Bogor is also considered a major scientific and educational center and is home to one of the country’s most prestigious agricultural universities, Institut Pertanian Bogor.
With a slightly cooler climate than Jakarta and more accessible countryside, Bogor offers good outdoor living, especially if you enjoy biking, hiking or even horseback riding. The famous Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya) offers a plethora of plant life and wonderful picnic venues and the mountain destination of Puncak, frequented by many Jakarta folk, is 45 minutes away on a good traffic day. In addition, many CIFOR staff and their families living in Bogor get to enjoy CIFOR’s recreational facilities on the weekends.
Just think of Bogor as an onion – with many layers to peel and many different ways to enjoy it.