Sightseeing in Indonesia: Jakarta to Yogyakarta by Train - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sightseeing in Indonesia: Jakarta to Yogyakarta by Train

People lining up to buy train tickets in Gambir Station, Jakarta
Arriving in Jakarta by plane from Singapore in the morning we went straight to Gambir train station to buy tickets with the night train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta that same evening. There was a long line of people waiting to buy train tickets, and when we finally reached the counter it was no tickets left on the evening train. Still, we were a bit lucky after all; there were still seats left on the train leaving at 5 pm, and we weren’t all that eager to spend a lot of time in Jakarta anyway so we decided to go for it. 

Entrance to Gambir Station
We couldn’t really find anything interesting to do in the vicinity of the station, and since we only had a couple of hours we ended up staying inside. There are a lot of small restaurants and cafes, and most of them also provide free wi-fi, so we tested out some local food and spent some time checking our mails while at it. We were lucky, and discovered a small room in the station where we could get one hour foot massage for 60.000 RM. It seemed like a place popular among the locals; most of the time we were there all the seats were taken.
Foot massage in Gambit Station
Yuma and his hard-earned train ticket, waiting at Gambit Station
We had heard that it was best to avoid the cheapest seats and go for the ones that is on the so-called eksekutif class because of both comfort and safety on the trip. The tickets costed us 330.000 rupiah, and with that price we got quite alright seats. It was finally time for departure, and we found that the train to Yogyakarta was quite alright.
We happily drank two smoothies we were told were free of charge, but that turned out not to be the case.. 
Throughout the journey there were also some train personnel who came with food and drinks. When we were asked about the price of some fruit-smoothies we were told that it was free, so we happily (and probably a bit naive) took one each. Later that evening, however, another lady came and asked us to pay some 20.000 rupiah for the two drinks we had received. In the end we were forced to accept and pay, I mean, it was not a large sum but we did feel that the personnel had fooled us into accepting what we thought was free drinks in order to get more money. Just be aware that the things they offer to you in the train not are for free, and you can decide for yourself if it is something you want to pay for or not.
Jakarta seen from the train window
Me and Yuma on the train 
Some of the poorer areas of Jakarta seen from the train window 
Inside the Jakarta-Yogyakarta train; Eksekutif class
People waiting for the train to pass by
Children playing soccer by the railway
Outside the city the landscape has changed to farming fields 
Arriving in Yogyakarta it was already 1 am, and we did not have any hotel reservation for the night. Luckily the people working at the tourist information were very friendly, and recommended a hotel for us called Metro Guest House, where they had cheap rooms available: we payed around 100.000 rupiah one night for a room with fan.
Trying out an Indonesian becak in Yogyakarta
After having accepted the deal we left the station in search of transport to take us to the hotel. By the entrance there was a guy with a becak, which is like a bike-cycle rickshaw. When we started talking to him he showed us a big smile, as if he had won the lottery or something. We asked him how much he wanted for taking us to our hotel, and he told us the price of the trip would be 40.000 rupiah. Since we had just arrived in Indonesia we were quite uncertain of how much we should pay, so Yuma and me started discussing with each other in Japanese. Another local guy must have heard us, because he mumbled just so we could hear it: takai!! I was quite surprised by this, and wondered if I had heard correctly, since "takai" means "expensive"in Japanese (Yuma is Japanese).. The guy waited a couple of seconds, and repeated what he just had said; takai; and held up two fingers. The first guy wasn't as happy as before when we told him we'd pay him 20.000 rupiah, but he accepted our offers and took us safely to our new hotel.

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Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
- Anette
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. 楽しいそう!Why do they say smoothies are for free and charge you afterwards? I would just give back half of the drink and say it was a misunderstanding. can't state rip-off like that! ¬¬' [Rai]

  2. 楽しかったよ〜!Hmm, well, their English wasn't all too good so I do suspect that they didn't actually mean to rip us off but rather thought that free meant.. Something else..? Oh well.. There was no drink left when the other lady came and demanded money from us anyway x)

  3. By now, you buy ticket train in the convenience store, no need to have a long queue in the Gambir Station. But, it is very nice article :)

    1. Oh really? Nice! I'm glad to hear that they are making things easier for us travelers! ^^


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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