Indonesia’s Iconic Bogor Botanical Gardens Reopens to Public

Indonesia, Bogor, national park, post-covid, culture

Photo: By Sakurai Midori - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7361074

After being closed for three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bogor Botanical Gardens in Bogor, West Java, have reopened. Bogor has been one of the main clusters of infection in Indonesia but new strict health measures should contain possible new infections. 

According to Hendrian, head of the gardens’ Plant Conservation Research Center (PKT), the tourist destination is applying health protocols, which include online ticket purchases and cashless transactions within the facility.

“This is to ensure that COVID-19 prevention protocols are implemented accordingly,” he told to news magazine kompas.com last Friday.

Other measures such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distances will also be implemented, with consistent reminders throughout visits. Bogor was considered a hotspot for COVID infections. They are 256 people currently testing positive to the virus. Deaths from COVID-19 reached 20. Total infections in West Java, where Bogor is located, reached 6,084 this week including 206 deaths.

Bogor Botanical Gardens will also limit the numbers to avoid overcrowding and members of the gardens will get priority. Group visits are allowed but members are limited. Tickets to the gardens are available on the national gardens’ website.

Other public spaces in Bogor such as malls, restaurants and places of worship have also been reopened with health protocols in place.

The Bogor Botanical Gardens are a favorite for holidaying families, who mostly come to enjoy the lush greenery in the heart of Bogor and for picnics. Guided tours are also popular. Bogor Botanical Gardens are the oldest of their kind in Southeast Asia and were set up by Sir Stamford Raffles, the legendary British founder of Singapore, who was the Lieutenant-Governor of the area following the seizure of Java Island by British troops in 1811. The existing garden was then remodeled into English-style gardens with rare flowers and trees planted.

The gardens are now known for their vast plant collection and historic buildings -including the Presidential Palace-, landscape and landmarks. It boasts 400 species of palm trees, 5,000 trees and an orchid house containing 3,000 varieties of the flower. The garden is considered a national icon of Indonesia.

(Partial source: The Jakarta Post)