Idbackpacker.com (Indonesia Backpacker) – Ever thought that sometimes the journey can be more attractive than a travel destination itself? I had been experienced it several times, and sometimes enjoying the journey are much better when the destination is not as axpected. And now, i want to share a story about my overland trip from Denpasar to Jakarta, during chinese new year long weekend few years ago.
It is more than 1000 km far, a long trip, that also broke my personal record for a nonstop trip without stopping at all. That was a road trip from Denpasar, Bali to Jakarta. During my journey, I only transit a few minutes to a few hours in the city which I passed.
I spent more than 30 Hours, passing through several major cities in Java such as Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Jakarta as my final destination. I also use many types of transportation from motorcycles, Buses, Ferries, Railways. Even an Airbus A330 – 200 which I use when returning to Denpasar. The good thing is, that Airbus A330 – 200 make me excited, because it was my first time experience with such big airplane.
Just like a newbie adveturer, I started this journey after work. Escorted by my friend, I went directly to Denpasar main terminal, Ubung in West Denpasar. This time, I started my long road trip with a bus ride to the first city, Surabaya. Well, go show might be more challenging, but in the end I should facing brutal “calo” in ubung. Some of them forced me to buy the bus ticket far more expensive than when I buy in official ticket counter. Well, my advice is just ignore them, go straight to official ticket counter to avoid getting scammed by them. Once you’ve got the ticket, they surely go away from you :)
I was surprised, Although this time is closed to long weekend holiday, there is no traffic jam on my way to Gilimanuk. It was quite smoothly bus ride for me, in less than 3 hours I already Gilimanuk. Bali’s western port, which are going to connect me to Java Island. To bad, in Gilimanuk the queue is quite long, and my bus was waiting around 30 minutes to get in to the ship. I hate waiting, and my stomach was hungry. Thank’s god i found some instant noodles to eat, and saved my stomach from hunger.
Along the way to Surabaya I spent with sleeping along the way. Because I travel at night, it is better to save energy for tomorrow. Occasionally I was awakened by the music played by the bus driver. I think it whas the famous music which always played by driver in Pantura. “dangdut pantura, sagita”, and well, I’m not care too much as this is not my favourite music. Better sleep, and awake when I arrived in Surabaya tomorrow.
Good Morning Surabaya!
“Surabaya, heroic city” Yeah I’m here now!
The sun, not full arise yet, but it already shown it’s warm above Surabaya sky. I woken up, Im going to arrived at Purbaya or also wellknown as Bungurasih, Surabaya’s main bus terminal. Yet, my journey isn’t stop here, Jakarta is still long way to go.
It was one year, last time I visit Purbaya. It seems a lot of thing changes in terminal Purbaya. For example, the migration of the economy class bus stop. Purabaya was being renovated, and I hardly recognize it. A year ago I only seen the picture of its maket, but now it made some changes.
After Surabaya, Yogyakarta is my next destination before eventually continue to Bandung, and later Jakarta. I’m going to spent around eight hours using economic class bus towards Yogyakarta. Though actually I might arrive faster in Yogyakarta using executive class bus, I still prefer using the economy one. It is cheaper, and I can get a lot of travel experience using economic class bus. Moreover, if I use executive one I probably sleeping all the way to Yogyakarta. Hehee.
Economic class bus in Indonesia is always crowded, like street musicians who always come and go to the bus. Some of them sing and play good music, but most of them are simply annoying. *sigh*. Unlike executive class, I’m not afraid of hunger here. Lot of merchant free entering the bus an sell many snack. Yay! economic bus is snack and street food heaven in Indonesia. But, off course if you not worry with its hygiene. Just try a little bit adventure with street food won’t hurt you so much :D
After 8 hours travels from Surabaya, I finally arrived in Yogyakarta, the true of java, the city where you can felt true javanese people hospitality. Terminal Giwangan is inter-city bus terminal of Yogyakarta province, which is also the main terminal of this city. This terminal is located on the outskirts of the city. To get to the city center I should use Trans-Jogjakarta, which is my favorite transportation when in Yogyakarta. It is very cheap, I only need to pay Rp. 3000, and then I free roaming around the city. Although sometimes it is not so efficient when the traffic is jammed.
6 Hour Stranded, In Gudeg City
It seems that “traffic jam” already spreaded to many city in Indonesia, or perhaps this was the effects of the long weekend? I don’t know, because I remember that Yogyakarta wasn’t this crowded before. Also riding Trans-Yogyakarta not as comfortable as few year ago. Some of them seem not too well maintained, although this transportation could be this city’s new icon.
Sadly, the traffic jam make me fail to get “Logawa Malam” Executive class train, and I got business class “Mutiara Selatan” instead. This train are going to send me to Bandung from Tugu train station, Yogyakarta departed tonight.
Now I had Six hours in Yogyakarta before departing to Bandung with Mutiara Selatan. This quite short transit, and makes me remove some destination list that I want to visit in yogyakarta such as Prambanan Temple. The temple itself is not too far away and can be reached by Transjogja. But seeing the traffic, I doubt that I will catch my train to Bandung on time. Therefore, wandering around Malioboro street, is top choice. It is close to the station, and I had to do some shopping for my sister in Jakarta.
Apparently I came in Yogjakarta at the right time, even if I only do short transit only. Also there is some night market held at Yogyakarta main square. I was so happy, it is been long time since I seen night market. I see many unique thing there, such as small version of roller coaster, Ghost House, carousels and many others. Not to miss many local food that usually only appeared on special event like this. Too bad that my belly capacity is so limited. I only try some of it foods.
Not to forget I visit my favorite destination when in Yogyakarta, Malioboro Street. My camera shutter never stopped. I always loved to capture unique moments I’ve found on the street. Until raining stop me from taking picture. I was stopped for a while, I don’t want breaking my camera. Ordering a glass of warm ginger milk in “warung lesehan” around Jalan Malioboro would be my best choice to spend time before continuing the journey. I can avoid getting wet, while relax and watching hustle – bustle of Maliboro Street this night.
Around 9 PM Indonesian time, I moved again. The rain had stopped, I must walk to Tugu Train Station to catch my train to Bandung. The train station is’nt too far, only around 10 minutes from my position. After this, I am going to spend eight hours journey Bandung. Switching one more train before arriving at Jakarta. It will be long journey, but I always loving Journey like this. After all, our life is a journey right? Thirty hours road trip should mean nothing :)