It is almost a year since I began my life here in New Zealand. I am based in Christchurch for most of my time prior to my postgraduate study, so I think it is a good idea to compare Christchurch with my hometown in Bogor.
According to Statistics New Zealand, Christchurch has 367,800 total population with population density about 260 per square kilometers (until 30 June 2015). Meanwhile, Bogor has 1,022,000 total population with population density about 8,600 per square kilometers (that is in 2014, Bogor statistics has slow updates unfortunately). That is the reason why Christchurch is the best place for people who hate crowd. However, if you’re going to a place like Westfield Riccarton (especially on the weekend and holiday), well you can see the crowd is kinda a bit similar with Botani Square!
Westfield Riccarton vs. Botani Square (Source: Google image search)
2. Public Parks
Christchurch is well-known with their well-managed public parks. Perfect place for picnic and barbecue. Bogor also has public parks but the number is quite limited, but it is perfect place for delicious street food or vendor. However, one thing I do not like, the smoking law is not enforced very well in Bogor. People still can smoke easily in public parks.
Spencer Park (Source: Private documentation) vs. Taman Kencana (Source: Genetika21)
3. Public Transportation
Christchurch public transportation is fun and easy to understand. Numerous bus goes in and out covering the whole city. However, waiting in the bus stop sometimes can be overwhelming especially during winter time. The central bus station at the city center is quite nice though, like an airport for sure. Bogor has angkot (mini-van), ojek (motorcycle taxi), which sometimes a bit annoying because they could charge you whatever they want and you have to be proactive to bargain. Therefore, trust me you do not want to go to the angkot terminal.
Christchurch’s Bus Interchange (Source: Brendan Evans) vs. Terminal Bogor (Source: Pikiran Rakyat Online)
Christchurch has a fairly good traffic with occasional traffic jam caused by road construction/traffic light/rush hour. Locals seems cannot stand with little traffic jam, but in my opinion it is not that bad! It is still easy to get around quickly. The roundabout is a bit confusing for new people but it actually quite clear. Bogor has a fairly dense traffic which sometimes make you think that you will not reach your destination, EVER. So if you are going for a movie date in Bogor, make sure you have a good plan to fight all the way through the traffic from angkot and motorcycles (sounds overwhelmed, but this is not a lie).
Christchurch’s traffic (Source: Stuff) vs. Bogor’s traffic (Source: Antara News)
There are still other differences such as nature or landscape as Christchurch is flat (coastal) versus high elevation with the iconic Salak Volcano in Bogor. Both seems contradict no matter what, it is like black and white. However, it does not mean Bogor is ugly or not livable – Christchurch has its ugly sides as well (a bit boring to be honest). The point is, you would like to live in a perfect city but such kind of city is hard to find. Therefore you need to adapt with their drawbacks.