Road Trip from Jakarta to Lombok

A road trip again, this time 1100 km, and crossing two seas. That’s one way, times 2 if you count the way back home. Exciting plan, and we prepared well for the journey. My car is a city car, not one that is suitable for a long-distance travel. Well, at that moment we planned we thought it would a good try and a great adventure. I lived in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta and to go to Lombok we had to travel to the east.

A road trip from Jakarta to Lombok is not exactly an autobahn experience like what my father used to take me around Germany. It depends on your luck. It can be a smooth ride, or maybe a bumpy one. Me and my husband started to drive early in the morning, we went through the toll road Jakarta-Pejagan. It was a 249-km toll road, and most of the road was straight. It would make you sleepy because the long and straight road looked so boring. That’s why at the first time the toll road was open a lot of accident occurred along the way. The more dangerous thing beside drunk driving is sleepy driving. I recommended for drivers to have enough rest if they wanted to make the journey. As a co-driver, I fell asleep numerous of time. Thank God, the driver which is my husband could stay fully awake. We arrived at the end of the toll road before noon. The toll road ends near Brebes, and we planned to have lunch somewhere in Pekalongan which is around 57 km, 1,5-hour drive if the traffic is good. Our choice was Garang Asem at one restaurant at the side of the road. Garang Asem is a traditional food from Pekalongan, it is made from tetelan beef and smothered with sauce that tastes sour but delicious and fresh. Tetelan beef is the part of beef that sticks on the bone. Try it when you visit Pekalongan, it is quite spicy though for people who do not like spicy food.

We continued our journey and stopped at Pati. We planned to visit a friend but we arrived very late because of an accident somewhere before Demak. It delayed our journey for 2 hours. We arrived at the hotel, The Safin Hotel Pati, at 9 p.m. Tired from the journey we decided to eat at the restaurant and took a rest because the next day we had to start early so we could arrived in Bali before midnight. We had been to Bali by road some years before, so we knew that we had to reach Bali that day in order to get an early start to Lombok the next day.

The 2nd day started in Pati, it took at half day to reach Surabaya. It was lunch time already but we could not stop in Surabaya. We decided to stop at Pasuruan, we knew this town at the time we went to Bromo. One of the traditional food in Pasuruan is Rawon. It is served with chili peppers, sliced onions, and bean sprouts. It is tasty and people who enjoy spicy food you can try this. After that we continued our journey through the northern coast of Java (Pantura). One place that I would always remember every time I made a journey to Bali by road was Paiton. It is located 35km from the city Probolinggo, it is a large thermal power station that can generate 4,000 megawats. It is one of the main electricity source for Java. We arrived in Ketapang (harbour in Banyuwangi) at Maghrib time, we stopped for a rest before we continued our journey to Gilimanuk (harbour in Bali). It was a one-hour journey from Ketapang to Gilimanuk. After we arrived in Gilimanuk we headed to Denpasar. It is another 2-3 hours’ journey Denpasar, and it is getting late. Along the road from Gilimanuk to Denpasar there are a lot of trees. I like them, it feels like driving inside a tunnel of trees. So peaceful and dark of course because it is already late. The hotel was in Tohpati, we chose it because of the location. We arrived at midnight at The Favehotel Tohpati, was at the side of the road heading to Padang Bai Harbour. We took a rest for the night. I was so excited because the next day we were going to cross the sea to Lombok Island.

3rd Day, Lombok here we come. We set out for the journey after having breakfast. The journey from the hotel to Padang Bai Harbor only took around 1 hour. The harbor was not as big as Ketapang or Gilimanuk, not mention Merak Harbor. It is a small harbor at the ferries are not that big. The sea was clear green color, overall it is a beautiful harbor. We waited for a ferry to come and dock because we missed the first one. Most of the vehicles that crosses the sea are trucks and busses. My car is a city car, it looks so small compared to the others.

After a 3 hours ferry ride we arrive at Lembar Harbor, Lombok. This is a very simple harbor, small and not really city car friendly. As you know city car does not have a high ground clearence, and to get out of the ferry there was no support except the ferry door and ropes. It was quite high from the ground and my huband had to be realy precisely put the tyres on the road so the bottom of the car would not touch the ferry’s door.

Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is seperated from Bali by the Lombok Strait, the capital city is Mataram. Eventhough it is 4,514km2 there are less than 4 million people live there. There are a lot of smaller island around Lombok that are called Gili. Gili in Sasak language means small island. Eventhough it is a neigboring island of Bali, the island’s indegenous people are predominantly Muslim.  It was the first time I stepped my foot in Lombok. Hello Lombok, the island of a thousand mosques. Lets begin the journey in Lombok after 2,5 days road trip.




Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi Commuter Line

The smell of holiday is here said some of my friends. Well, everybody has their holiday plans. I have my days correcting essays… hahaha. I think I will start with short distance, non-tiring journey after 6 months surgery. I still need to see places and I get bored with malls.

Let’s start with the history of Commuter Line in Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi). PT. KAI is the administrator of the railway company in Indonesia. All of that transformed into something different in the year 2011, PT KAI began a revolution that altered the train network system. We had trains that traveled from point to point before that year, but none were integrated. Ignasius Jonan, the president director of PT. KAI from 2009 to 2014, committed to making train as the number one transport in Indonesia. Some lines were reduced and no more express services, all lines were integrated so we could go from Bekasi to Serpong without leaving the train station. Two types of train, air-conditioned and non air-conditioned, were the only ones that continued to be used. In 2012, the platforms in a station was sterilised from street vendor. This caused a little trouble at first, people who usually sell food and drinks in platforms protested during the sterilisation. Train stations became clean and more organised. In July, 2013 the economy class trains were discontinued. Commuter Line is the only service throughout the train network in Jabodetabek. Public transportation has to be more accessible for all level of people.


Commuter Line Route

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My journey began in one weekend nearing the end of 2016. It was on a weekend so the train was not as full as it is in working days. I started my journey from Rawabuntu station. I first knew about Rawabuntu around 4 years ago, the station was not easy to access. There was only one way from the bridge main road, and it involved a very steep stairs which very slippery during rainy season. The other way you have to walk farther until you get under the bridge. Now it is much better. The Rawabuntu station is not a transit station, it is small, however it has a parking lot and 2 mini markets. There are two ways yo can enter the station from the main road. One from the main road of the bridge, and another is the one under the bridge. Both ways are accesible, no more steep stairs from the bridge to the station.

The first thing I do was leaving my car in the space provided by the commuter line. It is usually full of cars, which are left by office workers on their way to work, during weekdays, but in weekends the number of cars are reduced significantly.  I used the Mandiri e-money as an electronic ticket so I did not have to buy one in the counter. I tapped my card and entered the railway station. There were only two platforms, one to Jakarta and the other to Maja. I took the one to Tanah Abang, which is a transit station to Bogor. The train ride was around 40 minutes from, and it was a weekend so the train was not full, some seats were still empty. That situation changed in Sudimara and Jurangmangu, a lot of people aboard the train and seats became full.


It is a weekend so there were a lot of children, they were all excited and anxious to get to the destination. “When do we go out mom” I heard the girl next to me kept asking her mom. “Two more stops.” said the mother. “I want to watch the TV.” She said while pointing at a TV screen in the train.


I arrived in Tanah Abang, and I had to take the train to Bogor (the Yellow Line). The station was quite organized, but it was under construction and some areas of the platform was closed. I had no trouble getting in out. The only thing I found difficult during my transit was the stairs. Some platforms had stairs in between, and the stairs to go up to the station was rather steep. Normal people without mobility problems may not have difficulty, but I did at that time.  It is more convenient in smaller stations because stairs were only an issue when you get in or out of the station but not on platforms. After changing the train into the yellow line CL, the journey to Bogor began. The journey took 1,5 hours. The train made lot of stops, and in big station the stops were longer. We had to wait from the line was empty before it could stop.

Bogor station! At last I arrived at my destination. The area outside the station was barricade with fences. One way to keep out pedestrian crossing at a not designated crossing. The only way to cross is by walking a little far from the station following the barricade pavement, or closer by crossing the bridge. Not a choice for me, I am not a fan of stairs in my current condition. Maybe next time when I am better. I took the long road heading to Bogor Palace. I stopped at Taman Topi, get some lunch before I continued my journey.


Well I have to get back before evening, because my cat was groomed in th epet store I would leave it stranded there overnight. He is a very sensitive cat and do not like stranger. I used the same way back. Walking along the barricade pavement until the station entry.  I had one confusing thing at the way home. I tapped my card and did not notice that the entry was on the right of the tap machine not left. I was wondering why I could not get in. My husband was trying to tell me that I have to go to right and I did not get it. Stupid me!


Altogether my train ride was Rp. 9,000,00 from Rawabuntu to Bogor, so it was Rp. 18.000,00 round trip. The parking was Rp. 13.000,00 for around 6 hours. All paid with Mandiri e-money. One portion soto mie, durian ice cream, and asinan to take home. It was a nice round trip from Rawabuntu to Bogor. Next time, Jakarta Kota or Bekasi.