1. Travel
Michael Aquino

Kota Bunga: Fantasy Suburbia in the Hills South of Jakarta, Indonesia.

By June 1, 2011

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Image Mike Aquino, licensed to About.com

To get to Club Bali Kota Bunga, where I stayed for about two nights after leaving Anyer, we had to drive about two hours south of Jakarta, down to the very end of the Jagorawi tollway, up through Bogor, Cipanas, past tea plantations into... a very interesting village.

Kota Bunga ("City of Flowers") is a residential estate draped on the hills of Puncak Pass in Cipanas. The estate is set on the western foothills of Gunung Gede, a dormant volcano. Someone had the vision to see in these hills a fantasy playground for wealthy vacationing Indonesians... and just went ahead and did it.

The streets of Kota Bunga are interesting to behold. The architects have seen fit to bring different architectural styles together, but arranging each style by street. So one street has a "Chinese" style, another street has a rather Southern antebellum style, another has a Khmer style, another... OK, look at the picture above and tell me what architectural style that is? Because I can't tell.


Image Mike Aquino, licensed to About.com

When I saw the homes on this street, I couldn't help but remember that old Bugs Bunny cartoon where he outwits Yosemite Sam, who's comin' a-courtin' for the local rich widow. "Ze Marquess of Queensberry rules!" SLAP


Image Mike Aquino, licensed to About.com

This is the row where the "Chinese" style houses are. Most of the homes were empty at the time we drove through; this was a weekday, after all, and the homes here are usually occupied on the weekends or during vacation season. Aditya tells me that the main foreign market here comes from Saudi Arabia, with Arab tourists coming to Indonesia - Puncak in particular - to escape the desert heat.


Image Mike Aquino, licensed to About.com

And this is the street of... log cabins. Yes, log cabins. A long way off from the American West, but apparently, some homeowners like the idea of getting away to their log cabin vacation homes.

In the midst of all this fantastic design work, Club Bali Kota Bunga feels right at home, a castle in the middle of fantasy suburbia. For more on this hillside resort, read our review of Club Bali Kota Bunga.

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