Last weekend was a favorite one. I used a train to visit Bandung for the first time. I heard about how gorgeous the view along the way by train, but I always went to Bandung with car. It’s only around 3 hours drive from Jakarta to reach Bandung if it’s not traffic or the road broken. Yes for your info, the highway road from Jakarta to Bandung sometimes broken so bad in the middle of journey, either the local government has the road work or just bad road, but it can trapped us like hours in the highway. So an option to go to Bandung on the weekend to escape from Jakarta sometimes can not be a best option to take. In weekend, it’s like everyone from Jakarta go to Bandung and fill their cities with our vehicle and creating some traffic everywhere.
But anyway, since it was my first experience to take the train to Bandung, I was so excited and really enjoy the weekend I had in Bandung.
Beautiful Panoramic View from the Train..
I ordered the ticket a day before, actually, it’s better to order days before so you can reduce the assistant cost about IDR 7.500 by ordering by call. You can go to this website : https://tiket.kereta-api.co.id/ for ordering the local train ticket around Java and (what make me surprise) also some parts like Medan, Palembang, Padang, Denpasar/Bali from Jakarta. But I never tried to go to that places by train, probably nice view than flight, but for sure, it will take long long time than airplane…
We went to Gambir Train Station around 6.30 am. The train crew told us to be there 1 hour before departing to print the ticket and you can say… check in. Our train will be depart at 8.16 am. With an unexpected traffic in Jakarta, we decided to give 1 hour for the journey and one hour for the check in. The fact about check in, it was so easy. Very easy. You only need to be on the line for a while, go self check in with the computer in front of you, put your booking code and your id number (don’t forget to bring your id card/passport, without it, you can’t depart!) then voila, you get your print ticket and we still have lots of hours to wait before the train departed. Starbucks (ups, is it ok to write a brand?) – just be our best idea for a breakfast and proper place to wait until the time is up.
My first impression about the train, oh wow, this one even better than a flight! So luxury and comfort to sit. The leather seats and the huge gap between your leg make you able to put your feet comfortably. Paying IDR 110.000 for the First Class, one way, was worth it! Then again, the view just like what everybody said, it was so pretty!! I really love the journey and what made it more interesting how the Train Crew announced to us (oh yes, sorry, it’s only in Bahasa) about some historical places we passed, such as the old bridges from Dutch era and the almost-1-kilo-tunnel that built for almost a year only (imagine the technology they had at that moment!). I was so impressed by the view and the trip. Even it took a bit longer than expected, like maybe 30 minutes delay, but it didn’t matter for me. The Argo Parahyangan is the only train that serve the route from Jakarta-Bandung return. Just a kindly tip, once you arrived in the Bandung Station, better to walk a bit outside the station to get the fair taxi, since the ones inside are mostly give you the higher price than normal price. We got Blue Bird taxi, that’s also quite famous with their excellency in service in Jakarta.
The rest of the day was awesome as well, met up with an old friend in Bandung, stay in beautiful and clean guest house called Hummingbird – this one highly recommended even it’s quiet expensive compared to usual guest house, but the neatness got an A from me! Also we visited the beautiful Angklung performance in Mang Udjo, in Padasuka area. The ticket entry a bit expensive, for local is IDR 70.000,- while for foreigner is IDR 110.000,- but again so worth it with 1,5 hours performance. They do it creatively so you won’t get bored. My fave part is when the owner went out and make all of us try to play the Angklung by ourselves, even participating in making some sound and music with their code. It was so fun! By the way, Angklung is our traditional musical instrument that declared by Unesco since November as an Indonesian heritage. What amazed me how this simple bamboo, able to be as a strong weapons to played some music even the classic one. They also played Beatles and song from Queen and ABBA with Angklung, but my fave one still when they played the traditional music, it just brought me back to my childhood when I need to learn and remember the traditional songs from my elementary school exams 😛
The next day was another interesting adventure for us. We decided to do the trekking in Taman Hutan Raya (THR) Dago and ended up in Maribaya (near Lembang). The entry ticket for local is IDR 11.000, and for foreigner IDR 76.000. It was a short trekking but nice one – around 3 hours with my small steps. We like it a lot, especially because it made us meet with nature again. It’s so refreshing to be surrounding by lots of huge trees, you can feel the fresh air and away from noise and traffic, and it just make you feel so relax.
Beautiful view and trees surrounding THR…
Only the stupid thing that (again) happened because the laziness of human, how many people who offered us to take the motorbike to reach the falls. That’s quite stupid for us. Usually you go to the forest or national park for trekking, enjoying walking surrounding by the nature, take a deep breathe of the fresh air and enjoying the view, NOT taking the easy way by driving the motorbike and let the pollution ruin the day and the fresh air 😦 The idea is so stupid and the most silly thing, how they insisted us to get the ride and how people agreed to get the ride. If NO ONE takes the stupid-motorbike- they will think twice to stay there and offer their ride.
There are two caves that interesting to see if you are in THR. The Japanese cave and the Dutch cave, the name given based on who made the cave. The Japanese cave quite spooky for me. The stones so cold and dark. You can rent a flashlight if you forget to bring yours, just like us. We paid one light for IDR 5.000,- and the other cave, the Dutch cave, more developed and modern than Japanese. My boyfriend said, the cave probably used for water power. He’s engineer and tried to explain to me some part of the water power system, but my social brain (not the science one) a bit difficult to accept it and I only nodded my neck, he realized it and stop the explanation hehee. Anyway, glad that finally we reached the Maribaya exit gate. The Ciomas fall that we looked forward to see, not that special as we thought. The water is muddy and dirty – either because of the rain or the rubbish or both. We saw some rubbish everywhere and the view not so spectacular. But it was a nice break to sit a bit while enjoying the water movement. Just like a relax mesmeric before we continued the journey.
But the thing that annoyed us (for sure, me a lot) when we went out from the gate and try to find out how to go back to Bandung city. Guess what, the local public car driver offered us (and insist) to rent the whole car for 2 of us, who want? And pay some huge amount. I hate it (especially in my own country) how the “price of skin” determined cost for traveling. Because he saw me with “bule” (foreigner – red), so he asked for a non-sense amount. True it’s so limited way to reach Bandung city but don’t just trust the price they give easily. Our train back to Jakarta it’s in 2.35 pm, and time already 12 pm. I was panic before and the discussion with that greedy man, made my feel head dizzy and emotional up to the top. Then after questioning lots of local, we found out how to go back to our hotel. First we take the yellow public car to Lembang, with only IDR 5.000/person from there, take another public car to Ledeng Terminal (IDR 5.000,-/person) then when we already in big street, we stopped the taxi and go hurry to train station. Please bear in mind that public car needs to fill their seats until it’s full (or almost full) before departing, and will stop in everywhere as much as the driver wants it. So I was truly panic and pray inside my heart that we won’t miss the train.
And YESSSS, we made it!
We arrived in the train station again about 20 minutes before departing. Lalalalaaalaa.. then again, we enjoy the beautiful panoramic along the way from Bandung to Jakarta. What a lovely weekend we had!
View from the train… Pretty Pretty Pretty!!!