Affordable picnic at Bogor Botanical Gardens

(Photo: Caecilia Linggarjati)

IO – Seems like outdoor vacations are the safest kind of entertainment during a pandemic. An interesting outdoor place does not need to be far from Jakarta. Bogor Botanical Gardens is a good example. In this city center garden, sunlight is overflowing and the air is cool, thanks to the lush trees ringing the place. 

Entrance to Bogor Botanical Gardens is costs IDR 15,000. It is recommended that ticket payments be made without cash for reasons of hygiene. A number of officers will gladly facilitate noncash payments. 

Towards noon in Bogor, the sun shines brightly. However, the trees in the garden can ward off chills. We immediately chose to sit on the grass, which was slightly protected by the trees. Here, food baskets are opened. Around us were two other families who were also having a picnic on the lawn. 

Indonesian-style picnics are better if you bring your own mats. Food is also brought using blirik stacking basins like those of our parents and grandparents. Plus, warm coffee and tea stored in a red thermos. 

Unfortunately, the nostalgic picnic of the Indonesian people cannot be brought back. As a busy city resident, food is brought in using plastic containers. The menu is already international, such as Korean rice cake, toppoki, and fried chicken, not jengkol stew. Some bring dumplings damped in mentai sauce and a box of pasta grilled with mentai sauce. 

Sitting on this lawn reminds me of a picnic at the Singapore Botanical Garden a few years ago. The real coolness of the tropical forest is the same in both. 

The botanical garden provides an open vehicle for interested tourists. Bike rental is also available. For those who want to achieve the target number of daily steps on their smartphone, taking a leisurely walk around the garden can help meet the target. 

Strolling around, we came across old trees with enormous diameters. A photo session with an interesting background should not be missed. 

Another interesting place visited in Bogor Botanical Gardens is the Grand Garden Café. It is the place where President Joko Widodo met President Obama. However, that day we had eaten and were only interested in drinking coffee. 

Luckily we are with our native Bogor friends who know where to drink good and inexpensive coffee. The coffee place is called Raffles Coffee and is also an open space. A large umbrella covered the tables and chairs below. 

Menus can be downloaded via the QR Code. Nonetheless, the baristas kindly and patiently explained their signature drinks. Thanks to the barista’s recommendation, we ordered Klepon Latte, Lady Raffles, Raffles Rumicoff, and Cappuccino. 

Lady Raffles is a drink made of fermented milk, lychees, and strawberries. It tastes sour, sweet, and fresh. Perfect to overcome thirst on a hot afternoon. 

After the drink ran out, the rain suddenly fell heavily. The aroma of the soil was wet and fulfilled the sense of smell. The air was so cool. 

Luckily, the rain only lasted a short time, so we could continue on our walk out of the Botanical Gardens to the inn, which is located not too far away. Weekend holidays followed by a staycation in the hotel. (Caecilia Linggarjati)