We are writing from Bogor, West Java. It is a one-hour train ride from Jakarta, and (due to its relatively cooler weather) is a favorite weekend retreat for wealthy Jakartans. We left this morning and arrived around noon, found a hotel ($16, includes cable, free breakfast, minibar, etc.) and have been walking since.

The main attraction in Bogor, besides Sukarno’s Istana Negara (State Palace), is the Kebun Raya (kuh-BOON RAI-yah; Botanical Gardens). It is a fancy old park, allegedly inspired by the legendary Sir Stamford Raffles, and houses thousands of beautiful plants. We have seen more varieties of palms, more gigantic tree trunks, and more humongous leaves than we thought possible. We have pictures to post this coming Monday.