"In July 2000 I bought a R/T..." Jakarta Transportation Tip by SueRivet
Jakarta Transportation: 142 reviews and 159 photos
In July 2000 I bought a R/T ticket from Singapore (SIN) to Jakarta at I K Chin Travel in Johor Bharu, Malaysia, for the equivalent of US $123.58. I had originally planned to fly out of SIN, but several people that I met in Taman Negara Park said that the ticket would be cheaper if purchased in Malaysia. So, I took the train not all the way to Singapore, but got off at Johor Bahru. Key point, though: it was pretty tedious to then find cheap transportation to Singapore from there, traveling solo as I was at the time. It was, as usual, bloody hot, and I traipsed up and down, back and forth, trying to find an inexpensive share taxi. Although I had left a small bag of stuff in BKK, I cursed the poundage remaining in my pack as I traversed the main streets of JB.
Also, when I tried to book the next flight, the best they could do for me was something quite later, maybe around 7PM or so, but the agent recommended that I try to show up at the airport early, in case I could snag a seat that had been cancelled. Indeed I did -- in fact, the flight was no where near full, and I probably could have taken an even earlier flight. With this knowledge, when I decided to return to SIN from Jakarta after my transportation plans could not be arranged, I just showed up at the airport with my open return ticket, and was placed on a flight leaving in an hour or so. Yeeeeeeees!
In the summer months, land transportation seems to be quite full due to all of the students being on holiday, so be prepared to be shut out of choices, and book as early as you possibly can.
By the way, you can hire a bus from Jakarta to Sumatra, that will take you by ferry over the watery bit. There are some scheduled private buses that leave from outside Gambir train station.
One caveat about making transportation arrangements is that you should not expect the same level of English speaking agents as you will find in the mainland SEA countries. Although there are many westerners in Java, I had a devil of a time getting help. If, like me, you haven't been able to learn any Indonesian prior to visiting, try to keep your wits about you, as it's easy to get flustered in the heat when you encounter linguistic obstacles.
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