From Yogyakarta we went to Bandung which was an 8hr night train. This time we paid the much more expensive 350,000 IDR pp executive tickets as we couldn’t face the economy over night. This was definately the right choice as the seats reclined and had lots of leg room, however they kept bright clinical lights on all night so make sure to take an eye mask!
Bandung is meant to be really good for cheap shopping however we didn’t really find this the case and only bought Danielle one t-shirt!
Bandung was a bustling city from sunrise to set. It had some type of stall lining every street, they are most famous for their tshirts. It was challenging for us to shop as their super cheap stalls were mainly local clothing and the huge malls were incredibly expensive, think Westfield type of shops and tags.
We did take advantage of the western culture of Bandung. We had a Dunkin Doughnuts breakfast, KFC lunch and Pizza Hut dinner. Very naughty but after a month of fried rice for every course a change was needed.
From here we went on to Jakarta by train in economy again as it was only 3 hours. This time it was great. The seats were in twos and were individual rather than a bench. There was a charging station and tray for every seat. Sounds like a normal train right! We don’t even have chargers in the UK sometimes.
From the train we tried to get an Uber but they cancelled twice as the traffic around the station was awful. We ended up getting in a bemo type taxi (a scooter with two seats and a little cover). It was a fun ride as we could skip loads of traffic but he got lost about three times and in the end kicked us out as he couldn’t cross the main road. We walked the rest of the way.
We had 24 hours here so not much time to do anything and I (Danielle) had to get yet another PhD application in. We did however find an amazing restaurant. The food was Indonesian but in a funky style and they did these amazing milkshakes.
Our hotel was nice for the price but people were allowed to smoke inside and in the eating area which means it smelt disgusting as well as giving you sore lungs.
Then next day we managed to get a grab taxi to the airport. The traffic was so manic it took about 30 minutes just to get onto the main road. Just as we were starting to get a good flow we were being bibbed at and harassed by a taxi behind us, he even drove between the two lanes to get by the side of us. We had no clue as to what was going on. In the next breath we were pulled in by the police.
It appeared that the grab car was driving in the taxi lane, he ended up with a ticket and a fine. In all this time Lara and I were panicking about getting to the airport on time as it had already taken so long to get to that point. The taxi man gave us the international money sign and said toll road. After agreeing as we needed to get there he stopped at a toll card vendor and said 50,000IDR. We realised he didn’t have his own card so instead of just us paying the tolls he wanted us to buy his card and weeks worth of tolls for him! Needless to say we were pretty ready to be leaving Indonesia…we had had some great experiences here but also a lot of stresses, we would just say be careful if you are a female travelling alone. It is still a very masculine dominated environment.
Toll roads are usually about 10,000IDR per car per road and are a good idea if you want to get anywhere quickly. If you have loads of time you can go the long slow route.