Stress “less” travel with the Java Train System

I never really understood the convenience of Peta Jalur Kereta Api Java until 1) I tried it and 2) I realized how big Java actually is. I didn’t need to constantly ask where the bus station/buses are or wonder if they’re tricking me or stopping at wrong destinations. As long as you’re awake when it arrives at your stop, you’re good. Here are the 3 memorable rides I took

javarail
extensive network

JAKARTA-BANDUNG…

was fast. Less than 3hrs if I remember correctly. The only problem is getting to the Jakarta Train Station as it is out of the way.

kereta-api-indonesia-stasiun-jakartakotaThere were crewmembers serving lunch inside. Crewmembers IN UNIFORMS. This surprised me as I had very low expectations. In my head it was dirty and icky. But it wasn’t that bad. I moved around constantly taking pictures of the train and the scenery, still in awe that it was not as bad as I expected. Until I saw a rat running around. I got my pack off the floor pronto (as if that would help).

kereta-api-indonesia-train-cars

Travel Dates: 2015.10.01

Duration: Approx. 3hrs

Ticket Type: Executive

Cost: IDR100,00

kereta-api-indonesia-view

BANDUNG-YOGYAKARTA

Meanwhile the ride from Bandung to Yogyakarta, that was more interesting. I left my
hostel around 6.30pm (1km walk). As is my custom, I wanted to sleep to wee away the hours. But the train was more crowded than Jakarta-Bandung, and the old man across from me kept staring. So no sleep until I reached Yogyakarta station at around 3.30am. Good thing my bed was ready when I reached my hostel. Otherwise I would really have been in a pissy mood.

Travel Details

Bandung to Yogyokarta

Travel Dates: 2015.10.03-04

Duration: Approx. 8hrs

Ticket Type: Executive

Cost: IDR230,000

RANTEPAO-MAKASSAR-SURABAYA-BANYUWANGI-BALI

kereta-api-indonesia-ticket

Rantepao and Makassar are not stations as these two places are in Sulawesi, not Java. But this is the route I took.

I left Rantepao by bus at 9pm. I was very stressed at this point as for some reason I can’t buy a plane ticket online ( I suspect these attempts led to my credit card details getting stolen). So for the first time ever I was going to an airport to purchase a plane ticket that leaves the same day. Hopefully in an hour or two.

I reached the airport at around 6am, and thank god I was able to secure a plane leaving at 9ish. At the counter they told me I can’t check in an aerosol sunscreen (I still could not understand why it was not allowed since I was checking it in with my big pack).

I got to Surabaya an hour later and had to wait 12hrs for the overnight ride. Though the train track is only until Banyuwangi, at the station you pay everything to get to Denpasar (Bali). So the “train” ticket includes the bus, the boat that carries the bus, until it stops at the bus station in Bali. I was asleep the whole time. It barely registered to me that the people in the bus got off when it parked in the boat.

The bus stops at the office of the bus/train company. To get to your next destination, ask the employees if you can use the internet and call a gojek or an uber to your next destination. In my experience, they won’t hesitate to give it to you. In the absence of Bahasa Indonesia, they will be the ones to talk to the driver if/when they call.

Travel Details

Rantepao-Makassar-Surabaya-Banyuwangi-Bali

Travel Dates: 2015.10.18-19

Duration: Approx. 24hrs

Ticket Type: Executive

Cost: IDR240,000

 

 

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