Bogor has a tropical rainforest climate (Af) according to the Köppen climate classification and is more humid and rainy than many other areas of West Java: average relative humidity is 70%, average annual precipitation is about 1700 mm but more than 3500 mm in some areas. Most rain falls between December and February. Because of this weather, Bogor’s nickname is the “Rainy City” (Indonesian: kota hujan). The temperatures are lower than in coastal Java: the average maximum is 25.9 °C (cf. 32.2 °C in Jakarta). Daily fluctuations (9–10 °C) are rather high for Indonesia. The absolute maximum temperature was recorded at 38 °C and the minimum at 3 °C. (Source: Wikipedia)
Like many peri-urban areas, Bogor is undergoing rapid transformation. The area surrounding the sanggar is smallholding agricultural land that is being converted bit by bit to housing estates. We are nestled between two military bases, one for a helicopter group and another for commandos.
The surrounding communities are a mix of “Sunda Asli” or original Sunda people and newcomers from other parts of Indonesia. The Sunda Asli maintain a land-tenure claim over the helicopter base, which is on land appropriated from the community first by the Dutch then the Japanese military and, lastly, the Indonesian military, for which they have yet to receive compensation.
The farming system in the area is largely irrigated, intensive, short-rotation cropping of vegetables, particularly, fast-growing leafy greens, with frequent application of fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides. The irrigation canals are heavily polluted with plastic and other household rubbish and raw sewage from homes lining the canals. Simple agroforesty systems accompany the seasonal cropping in the form of boundary plantings of fruit and other tree species and occasional orchards of early-fruiting species such as guava.
On rare days without cloud, there are views of the surrounding mountain range, particularly, the imposing twin volcanic peaks of mounts Halimun and Salak, which form the heart of the Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park. The last recorded eruption of Mt Salak was in January 1938. Volcanic activity can be seen in the form of sulphurous craters. Six teenagers died from sulphur-gas poisoning beside a crater in 2007.
On a lighter note, there are hotels, restaurants, cafes, food stalls, malls, cinemas, hospitals, national parks etc relatively nearby the sanggar. The south coast is a 3-4 hour drive.
Jakarta is about 50 km to the north, accessible by commuter train, toll roads, local roads, buses, motorcycles, bicycles and by foot. Sanggar O is 6-8 km (about 30 minutes by car or motorcycle) from the two closest commuter train stations. There are taxi services of the radio and online sorts, featuring both cars and motorcycles, but the most dominant form of public transport in Bogor are angkutan kota aka anggkot (public transport), which take the form of minibuses that throng the narrow and few roads in their hundreds, earning the city its alternative nickname of Kota Anggkot.
Things of possible interest in and around Bogor
Waterfalls (search TripAdvisor for “Bogor waterfalls”, there are many)
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