Bogor Botanical Garden, The Oldest Botanical Garden in South East Asia
One day, my eyes caught an announcement at one of photography community websites. It announced a photo contest held by one of the biggest telecommunication company in Indonesia. The purpose of the contest was to find the best photos that would be used for the background of cellular card produced by the company. The contest itself was held at Bogor Botanical Garden, which is also known as the biggest botanical garden in Indonesia and the oldest botanical garden in South East Asia. To participate in the contest, every participant was expected to pay IDR 100,000 which was equivalent with 10 USD. The money would be used for 1 free t shirt for every participant, transportation from Jakarta – Bogor – Jakarta, entry fee to Bogor Botanical Garden and lunch on board.
I arrived at meeting point at 8 am, and many people were there. A girl named Indri and a guy named Dimas joined me in the queue line. They became my hunting mates during the photo contest. Indri used Canon camera, same as me, even we used the same series. But Dimas, he chose to use Nikon and spectacular big lens. I didn’t even know what the type of the of lens is. It seems Indri and Dimas had known each other. It was not only me that was amazed by Dimas’ equipment. Indri also couldn’t avoid her surprise when she saw the lens. “Oh my God. You got the new lens, again” she shouted.
“Don’t tell my wife,” Dimas answered quickly.
We left Jakarta one hour later. Since it was still early, and it was weekend too, we could reach Bogor within one and half hour. But, during those times, we were forced to hear the company jingle, with the same tones for 90 minutes. When we arrived in Bogor, I couldn’t get that jingle out of my head. I thought that I became crazy.
Once we arrived, the contest commission explained us the rules that we should follow during competition. After short explanation, we were allowed to explore the garden and do the shots.
Bogor Botanical Garden was built by government of Dutch East Indies, during Dutch colonization in Indonesia in 1817. It covers 87 hectares and contains more than 13 thousands different and of trees and tropical plants throughout the area. Today, the garden is managed and operated by Indonesian Institute of Science.
There are many things that visitors could see in the garden. Nonetheless, due to the time limit, I couldn’t visit every single part of the garden. I even miss rafflesia flower which is also occupying the garden. But this was because it was not blossom while we were there. Otherwise, that would be impossible for me to miss the chance to see the biggest flower in the world. However, my photos below could represent the look of the garden itself.
I, Indri and Dimas started from Dedaunan Caffe, then we started to walk far into garden through a street called Canary. I successfully shots some variety of bamboos and giant tress that I couldn’t remember its name one by one. I found one tree known as the tallest tree in South East Asia.
Walking further, we arrived at the water garden where we could find some variety of lotus. From here, visitors could see Bogor Palace, one of Indonesian presidential palace. Right in front of the palace, a tall hand statue stands steadily and a lady mermaid statue sitting on the rock as waiting for somebody to pick her up. Today, this palace is used for venues of some formal states convention, such as APEC’s leader meeting in 1994. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the palace closer. In order to enter the palace, it requires official permission form Government of Indonesia.
Afterwards, we moved to a square called Mexican Park where we could see the variety of plant that can live under hot condition, such as cactus for examples. We also didn’t want to miss the Orchid house where we could find many variety of orchid plants.
As I said, this garden was too huge to explore in only one day. At 2 pm, we were called to be gathered at Dedaunan Caffe where we must submitted our photos and got our lunch. During lunch time, the commission made some lucky draw quiz to entertain participants. My photos did not win, but I was lucky to get a digital frame photo from the lucky draw.