Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Orchid House

The Orchid House at the Bogor Botanical Gardens deserved it's own posting. It's a part of the park that contains over 3,000 different Orchid plants. We had a fun time with our camera in this place. There were so many different beautiful plants, we thought you would enjoy seeing the beautiful pictures we took while wandering around this area.

Overall, I also want to breakdown the cost of our day trip to Bogor to show you how cheap travel is here.

2 train tickets return: 44,000RPH (4.40USD) This is the a/c car, 1 hour ride with limited stops
2 park tickets: 20,000RPH (2 USD)
Taxi to and from train 20,000RPH (2 USD)
Lunch in the Park 50,000RPH (5 USD) We were so full it was hard to walk. That's a lot of food.
So our trip cost us around 13 USD for a wonderful day trip out of the city. We were really excited about this.

I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we do.

Bogor day trippers

There are plenty of inexpensive day trips to take from Jakarta for a breath of fresh air and some decent scenery. We decided to visit the botanical gardens in Bogor. Bogor is about an hour train ride south of Jakarta. The botanical gardens have a beautiful display of over 15,000 species of plant life in over 80 hectares of land. They had plants from all over the world, including the U.S., Mexico and South America. They had a complete Mexican Garden with plants indigenous to that area. We easily spent 4 hours walking around this area thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

Side Note: People from Indonesia and maybe from other areas of Asia like to stop us and ask to have their picture taken with us. No matter where we are, in a mall, at a movie, walking on the street, walking in the gardens, it always happens. We decided that it would be a good idea for us to start getting our pics taken with some of the people who ask us for our picture, so if you see pictures up there of really dark haired-tan Indonesian looking people that's why. It's all in good fun and we never turn anyone down who want their picture taken with a bule(slang term for white person, pronounced, boo-lay).

Lucy, Robert, The big tree and Barack Obama (Barry Soetoro)

Jesse and I met up with our friends Lucy and Robert, whom were introduced to us by our other friends Wendy and Peter, for coffee last Sunday. Lucy is an America Diplomat's daughter and has lived majority of her life overseas. Robert is a New Yorker who moved here to be closer to Lucy his girlfriend. They have both lived in Jakarta for over 2 years and are fluent in Bahasa. After we had coffee with them they took us to their neighborhood and showed us what they have been up to. Last Thursday there were major cyclones in their neighborhood and a lot of the old trees were knocked over. Robert being a wood lover decided to barter with the men cutting the wood to get some pieces of his own. These massive trees were getting cut down at a snails pace and after days of giving the workers cigarettes and coffee Robert was successful in getting three of four huge chunks of this beautiful wood. He wants to treat some pieces and use them as coffee tables or something. I'll keep you posted when I find out more.

They also introduced us to the couple that has the van in the pictures. They drive their van around selling goods made out of recylced things. She is holding a bag made out of phone vouchers in one pic but they have lots more stuff packed into their awesome van. It won't be the last time we see our fellow van lovers.

After leaving Lucy and Robert's they pointed us in the direction of the school where Obama attended during his early childhood. If you enlarge the picture of Jesse and zoom in to the left of him you will see a bronze statue with huge ears. This is a statue of Obama himself. It's a pretty funny looking stature. Outside of the school is a plaque stating the years Obama attended the school.

We really enjoy hanging out with our new friends and i'm sure you will hear a lot more about them during our time here in Jakarta.


Jesse and I did another HHH run. This time it was in the city of Jakarta. They did it here because half of the town left so there was significantly less smog. After we did the run we got these really cool shirts, I thought you would like to see what they look like. Sorry about the small pics they are from someone else's camera. We had to drink because we have the same name. Everyone thinks it's kind of ridiculous, but that's the fun of it.

Beautiful Jakarta Night

The end of Muslim holy month Ramadhan has brought really great things with it that make Jakarta a more beautiful and tolerable city. One great thing is that most people evacuate the city and visit their home villages so there is WAY less traffic. You know what less traffic means don't you?? Since 2.5 million less people are here driving their cars, it means less smog, beautiful views of the hills and volcanoes in the morning and amazing sunsets. Here are a few pics Jesse snapped off of our balcony. We didn't even know the volcano was visible from our apartment. It truly was the most beautiful evening we have had in Jakarta since arriving two months ago. One more great thing about the end of the holy month is undisturbed sleep. We haven't been woken up by a mosque chiming at 4a.m. for almost a week now. It's been really amazing. We love sound sleep!!

Monas plus pictures!

Jesse and I went for a walk to Monas a couple of Sundays ago and forgot to take the camera with us. Last week I decided to go back and capture some of the statue images that everyone needs to see. One thing they do have a lot of here in Jakarta are statues. They are everywhere, in the weirdest places and some in plain sight, but these are just ones that are in Monas. I think some of them are pretty interesting, like the picture of the men. They all have really, really, unusually large calves.

Fun Monas Facts:
It is in fact a NATIONAL monument symbolizing Indonesia's independence. The tower is 422 ft. high and was finished being built in 1975. Monas has 33 trees, each one symbolizing the 33 provinces in Indonesia. Side Note: I feel like there are way more than 33 trees and if there is in fact a grove with only 33 trees I have yet to find it. I sure hope you have enjoyed your tour around Monas.