posted on 27 January 2016
Bogor is one of the most important and beautiful cities in Indonesia. It is the center of the Bogor Regency, located just 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Jakarta, and is the 14th largest city in the nation. As an economic, cultural, and scientific hub, it is a popular choice for foreigners to visit - both as tourists and to live long term. What makes Bogor so attractive and what do you have to watch out for when looking for Rumah housing in Bogor?
A Short History of Bogor
The history of Bogor begins in the fifth century CE, with the settling of the area under the auspices of the Tarumanagara. The eventual transformation of the state into the Sunda Kingdom led to the establishment of a capital city between Ciliwung and Cisadane, Pakuan Pajajaran - Between Parallel Rivers - around 7th century CE. This city laid the foundation for the eventual emergence of Bogor as a modern city. The most crucial element of its history was the destruction of the city by the Sultanate of Banten, which led to its abandonment in 1579. The ruined city was eventually transferred to the Dutch East India Company in the latter half of the 17th century, which led to its rebirth as a colonial city - the seat of the Dutch East Indies' Governor-General, in fact.
The city rapidly grew over the next two centuries, thanks to its relatively mild climate and excellent position, becoming the summer residence of the Governor-General in mid-18th century. Many of its most famous landmark can be traced to this period, most notably the Bogor Palace (residence of the Governor-General) and the botanical garden, which was one of the world's largest throughout the 19th century. Even the eruption of Salak did not slow the city's development, which became a pivotal element of independent Indonesia's statehood in the 20th century, following the Second World War and the dismantling of the Dutch colonial empire.
What's So Great About Bogor?
Bogor is a city with a long history and a proud legacy, borne out of the juxtaposition of colonial past with the Indonesian future. It has a mild climate, manifesting as lower average temperatures than elsewhere in the country, though offset by daily fluctuations and plenty of rain - so much in fact that Bogor is sometimes referred to as the Rain City, due to the sheer amount of water pouring down from the heavens. For a city of its size, it has good transportation infrastructure, in the form of 22 transportation lines with 3,500 buses and another 10 lines with 4,600 buses connecting it with the metropolitan area around Bogor, giving plenty of opportunities to visit the major sights and points of interests around the city.
It also bears mentioning that Bogor is generally affordable - if you plan for a longer stay, that is. Short-term visits will usually mean staying in hotels, which offer a very high quality of living, with a corresponding price tag. However, if you're looking at a long term stay in Bogor, you can be sure of affordable rental. A one bedroom apartment in the city centre will set you back $200 in rent, while a three bedroom option will cost you double that, $400. Rent is usually halved when you pick locations outside the city center, but you have to put up with more expensive transportation. Covering the cost of utilities is a different matter and will typically set you back $50 across the board for a 900 square foot apartment, plus $20 for unlimited cable Internet.
Prices are also affordable when it comes to entertainment. For example, a monthly fitness club membership card will cost just about $20, while a ticket to the cinema is just a little over $3.50. Groceries and restaurants are similarly fairly inexpensive on average, though of course, if you decide to venture into the expensive parts of town, you have to expect to pay for the pleasure appropriately - though it may still wind up being surprisingly inexpensive.
Bogor is a beautiful city - and a place where you can experience both sides of Indonesian history, from what's effectively ancient history, through its development and decline, to the resurgence under colonial management and eventual thriving under an independent Indonesian banner.
Foreigners planning to move to Indonesia should, however, keep in mind that the real estate market is still closed to non-Indonesians. If you plan to move here in a more permanent capacity, you will need to prepare to sign a right-of-use contract in lieu of an actual ownership deed. But apart from this small inconvenience, Indonesia welcomes you to find a new life here - or merely visit and witness fifteen centuries of history in one of the most scenic regions in all of Indonesia.
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