Being born and raised in a quite conservative family, makes me very seldom to take public transport. I dont know about your family, but my parents dont really allow us to take public transport. The image within them is already bad when we talk about public transport. Well, actually i cant really blame them, since they did experience crime on public transport when they were younger. Also the media back then make it worse, those news about women being molested in Transjakarta, being robbed and rapped in some Taxis, and other scary things made my parents paranoid.
There was a time where i was being so pampered by the ever ready drivers. My parents also let me to drive immediately once i turned 17, and to and extend that they dont mind to pick me up anywhere, as long as i dont take public transport. Even though now, we have quite a reliable Taxi online. I know i sounded like Mommy’s kid (anak mami), but what to do? I have to stick with their rules, im their kids at the end of the day.
Well, as a teenager back then, there also was a time where i sneakily took cabs, angkot and transjakarta, just to go out with my friends (when no drivers available), to satisfy the curiosity within us, or to just having fun with friends. Taking public transport was quite an ‘adventure’ for us back then. *Ajang seru2an aja gt naik bajaj rame2 misalnya. Haha* And hey, i found it not bad at all. Of course it is not as convenient as sitting on your own car. But as i grew older, sometimes public transport is much better than driving. No need to find and pay for hours of parking lot, and it can safe a lot of your energy.
Talking about public transport, This one week of mine has been fun! I got to travel to Bandung and Tasikmalaya for my work. and i am so very proud of myself cause it is the very first time for me to take Indonesian local train on my own. *woohoo* Finally, after a few talks, i can take local train on my own.
I have meetings in Bandung on last Friday. Since my client is from Jakarta as well, we decided to go together for their wedding meeting. Right after the meeting, my other client already bought me an executive ticket from Bandung-Tasikmalaya that leaves on 6.55pm from Bandung Station. And so, my adventure begin. *kayak apa aja. Norak yaa gw. hahaha*
I arrived 45 minutes before the schedule. To my surprise, Bandung local station is pretty nice, a very decent one i must say. They have a clear signage where to buy our ticket, where to board, and they even have a barcode scanner if you bought your ticket online whereby you can scan it directly from your gadget.
About 20 minutes before the schedule, i can hear that they are calling all passengers to go on board. So i went for check-in by showing my ID and the ticket, and the guard telling me to which peron to go. Very straight forward.
After i sat on a comfortably adjustable seat, the train begin to move slowly and leaves the station exactly at the designated time. And im quite surprised as well that they reached Tasik right on time as well. Just like the Japanese Shinkansen! My Train (Lodaya Malam) that goes to Tasik will have their end destination at Solo Balapan. I was so tired back then, but i tried not to sleep, because im afraid i might miss my stop. It’s not funny to go all the way to Solo, where i need to work on the next day. Haha.
During the trip, all the passengers seems nice (sorry that my thoughts can go bad sometimes), and some of them are very helpful to! I am just so grateful for everyone of them on the train. and For those of you who are quite worried about the toilet, you can relax a bit cause the toilets are at least clean even though you need to squad, they provide you bidet, tissues, liquid soap to wash our hands, and bathroom parfume that automatically sprays itself every now and then. The other plus point is, they are distributing blanket for the night ride, and they are selling food and drinks to for the hungry souls. Just like sitting on an aeroplane, and better still, their timing is more reliable than aeroplane.
Below is some pictures that i took in Bandung Station and Ladoya Malam train.
And below is Argo Parahyangan 27, the all executive train from Bandung to Jakarta. As for me, this train is more comfortable than Lodaya. They have power plugs in every seat, bigger and more comfortable chair and tables latched on every chair.
I need to say that they have a great cleaning service. Every 45-60 minutes, there will always be someone who pick up our trash, and greet us with a smile. Doesnt matter be it day or night. Good job, PT KAI!
And above picture is Gambir Station in Jakarta! This one is even better than Bandung Station. It is like a mini airport for me. They even have Starbucks, KFC and desserts shop for you to buy and bring it on the train.
For those of you who would want to secure a seat. They said it is better to buy it online or a few days before. It will be much more expensive, about Rp.200.000 (SGD 20) per seat. And it will be much cheaper if you just go to the stations a few hours before the schedule, the price can be as cheap as Rp 60.000 – 80.000 (SGD 6-8). But again, you may not get you ticket since it gets very crowded at times.
The price stated above is for executive trains, as for the economic trains, it can go as low as Rp 20.000 (SGD 2). If you want a more comfortable journey, i will recommend you to take the executive class. I heard it from my dad and a few new friends in Tasik that the economic class is quite small and very squeezy, since you have to share the small bench that is not adjustable with another 2 persons besides you, and another 3 persons in front of you. And if you are tall enough, you have to adjust your legs with those people in front of you.
The train from Tasik to Bandung takes about 3 hours, and another 3 hours from Bandung to Jakarta. Pretty tiring, but not as bad as taking flight i must say. Maybe because you get to see greeneries outside your window, and bigger space to sleep and to walk around if you’re tired.
I need to change in Bandung first, since there’s no direct train from Tasik to Jakarta. Well, if you dont mind to take economic class, they do have direct trains from Tasik-Jakarta and vice versa. But if you want to take executive class along the way. You have to transit first at Bandung.
So far, it has been a pleasant experience to travel with PT KAI. I also saw many foreigners taking our local train from Bandung to Jakarta. I have to say that everything exceed my expectations. and i will definitely consider to take another train trip to Bandung. At least i wont get stuck in rush hour jam,i can go to toilet if i need to, i can save petrol money on food, get some proper sleep, and support Indonesian public transport!