Train ride in Indonesia


There is much more to Indonesia than Bali.

Most people head for Bali to soak up the sun and frolic in the ocean,but I believe a trip through the interior up to Jakarta is well worth it.

It is a distance of 1154 kilometres, and you will see some beautiful countryside.

I started my trip in Bali, stopped overnight in a hotel. Next morning I caught a taxi to the bus station in Denpasar and caught a bus to Gilimanuk, cost of bus was around AUD $4 and took around 4 hours travelling over some very hilly country.

I overnighted in Gilimanuk cost AUD $23. The hotel was quite pleasant and very clean.

From Gillimanuk to Banyuwangi was the next leg of the journey and required a ferry ride. The ferries left often, about every half hour , 24 hours a day. They take around 50 minutes to reach Banyuwangi. There is a cafe selling coffee and noodles as well as other snacks so one does not go hungry.

The ferry moors at Ketapang which is right next to Banyuwangi. The volcano Ijen can be seen as the ferry arrives. Tours of the active volcano can be arranged and it is well worth doing a tour. A stay at the Ketapang Indah Hotel is a must if exploring this region is on your list.

The train Banyuwangi Train Station is only about 150 metres from the ferry terminal so an easy walk.

There are two trains daily from Banyuwangi to Surabaya. One leaves in the morning and arrives mid afternoon, the other leaves at night. I took the morning train as I wanted to see as much as possible on the journey through Java.

Passports must be shown before a train ticket is issued. The passport has to be shown at the other end of the journey as well.

There are two class sections on the train. 1st class, at a cost of AUD $10.50 or 2nd class at a cost of AUD $7.50.

The train was wonderful, excellent seats, very clean with helpful staff. Each seat has an electrical plug for charging phones etc.

The only downfall was the squat toilet, only because my old knees are a bit stiff for squatting. But I managed and all was well.

Food and drinks are brought around frequently, it is fresh and tasty. Arriving in Surabaya mid afternoon gave plenty of time to find a hotel in which to stay for a few nights.

Next leg was to catch the train from Surabaya to Jakarta. This trip was a lot longer than the previous leg and the 1st class was around AUD $40. Well worth paying for 1st class as the trip takes around 10 hours so comfy seats are a must.

The seats have a fold out table so eating any food is a comfortable experience.Also has electrical outlets for charging phones etc. Wifi is available in almost every area of Indonesia.

The trip itself, I enjoyed. Passing through fields and little villages, along the seaside for a while and finally arriving in Jakarta.

Travelling this way requires a little patience and flexibility but is so much nicer than just hopping on a plane and seeing very little. Faster by plane, yes, but on holidays , who is in a hurry?

All in all a very pleasant trip and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

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