Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT) – Changi Airport Shuttle Bus Service

Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and Changi Airport are situated pretty close to each other, and I’ve actually wondered for quite a while if it’s possible for some sort of integration between the two facilities so that the airport could also serve the nearby Indonesian islands just like how the SkyPier at Hong Kong International Airport works.

However, since 1 June 2017, there is a shuttle service between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and Changi Airport which makes such a transfer one step closer to becoming more convenient.

The Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal – Changi Airport shuttle bus service primarily serves the Majestic Fast Ferry services between Tanah Merah and Batam Centre, with the departure times of the buses from Changi Airport departing around 1 hour before the ferry’s departure time. However, there’s no restriction on the passengers that can board the bus and you can use this service if you are travelling with other ferries or just want to try it out for fun like me.

Check the Majestic Fast Ferry schedule here.

View the Singapore – Batam (Indonesia) Ferries information page here.

Route Map

If you are a Majestic Fast Ferry passenger with a ticket on the Tanah Merah – Batam Centre route with a same-day departure, congratulations, your bus ride is free! Just approach the Ground Transport Desk at the Terminal 2 Arrival Hall to get your voucher.

You can book your Tanah Merah – Batam Centre ferry tickets online at Easybook.

*Terms and conditions here.

If you’re not a ferry passenger, just pay the $2 fare with cash or EZ-Link when you board the bus.

The Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal – Changi Airport shuttle bus service departs from Terminal 2 Coach Bay, Lot 8. It does not pick-up passengers at Terminal 1 or Terminal 3. Follow the signs which says “Coach”, or you can just head to where the McDonald’s is and exit where the glass doors are to the coach bay.

The schedule for the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal – Changi Airport shuttle bus service mounted on the pillar where the bus departs from.

You can also view the bus schedule here.

The interior of the shuttle bus.

Payment of the $2 fare can be done by EZ-Link or by cash. Just tap your card against the reader or drop your cash into the cash box on board the bus. No tickets are issued after payment.

The “Welcome to Singapore” sign as the bus leaves the airport, but if you’re heading onwards to Batam, then it will be a very short welcome.

Exiting the ECP to Tanah Merah Coast Road.

The new realigned Tanah Merah Coast Road.

Looking down the airport runway.

Turning into Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.

Arrived at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. The ride, with no jams, took just under 15 minutes.

The bus stop is just a few steps from the main entrance of the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.

Various ferry companies are at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, just like at HarbourFront, but only Majestic Fast Ferry has trips to Batam Centre from here.

Once you’ve got your tickets, departure is pretty straightforward from here on.

If you are heading for Changi Airport instead, the bus stop for the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal – Changi Airport shuttle bus service is pretty visible once you step out of the building.

For departures from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, unlike the journey from Changi Airport, the bus drops you off at all 3 terminals’ departure kerbside in order of Terminal 3, Terminal 1 and finally Terminal 2. Inform the driver on which terminal your flight is departing at or wish to alight at.

Tickets are at $2 per trip. Fares can be paid with cash or EZ-Link. Children below 1.2m in height travel for free on the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal – Changi Airport shuttle bus service.


Tuas West Extension: Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent, Tuas West Road and Tuas Link

After a six-month delay partially due to the fine-tuning of the new CBTC system also used on the North South Line, the four-station Tuas West Extension was opened to the public for revenue service on 18 June 2017.

While Joo Koon initially served the Tuas area since the initial extension from Boon Lay, the East West Line has now a larger catchment area with the new Tuas West Extension.

EW28 Pioneer

Pioneer is the station where the dual-fitted signalling trains change over from the legacy fixed block system to the new CBTC system.

There will be a slight delay of departure of about 3 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your luck, in both directions as the system switches over.

While direction signs at platforms point towards Tuas Link, train services alternate their terminals between Joo Koon and Tuas Link.

Even though Tuas Link is the new end of the line, the terminal number somehow sticks with Joo Koon while Tuas Link has the terminal number blank.

EW29 Joo Koon

With the new cripple siding on the western end of the station, alternate services terminate their services at Joo Koon and head to the cripple siding to turnaround. The purpose is to probably cater to the lesser number of passengers on the Tuas West Extension during off peak hours while maintaining the service frequency on the whole line, and also give the passengers at Joo Koon, Pioneer and Boon Lay a chance to board an empty train should the trains get filled to the brim from Tuas Link.

EW30 Gul Circle

Entering Gul Circle.

There is a set of scissors crossovers on the westbound-end of the station in preparation for the future Tuas South Extension.

Platform C on the lower platform level is for eastbound services.

Platform A would most likely be the terminating platform for the Tuas South Extension.

Looking at the eastbound end of the platform with the line to Joo Koon on the left and the line towards the future Tuas South Extension turnback sidings on the right.

A westbound train approaching Gul Circle.

Platform D on the upper platform level is for westbound services.

Platform B would most likely be the originating platform for the Tuas South Extension.

For some reason, Gul Circle seemed to be a popular Instagram modelling spot on the opening day.

A set of buffer stops are in place at the scissors crossovers for safety, since the tracks and points are already in place, eliminating the need to close the line to install them once the need arises.

The tracks on the future Tuas South Extension are yet to be electrified, hence even without the buffer stops, they also cannot be used for stabling trains at the moment.

Heading towards Tuas Crescent with the new Tuas Viaduct curving in under the tracks too.

Looking back at the stacked Gul Circle.

Heading towards Tuas Crescent.

EW31 Tuas Crescent

Tuas Crescent is home to the longest escalators on the Tuas West Extension and the second-longest in Singapore MRT stations with a vertical rise of 17.5m. This is due to the Tuas Viaduct, the first integrated road-rail viaduct in Singapore. Unfortunately, I didn’t go down to take a ride on it.

EW32 Tuas West Road

Tuas West Road is home to the second-longest set of escalators on the Tuas West Extension, with a vertical rise of 15.9m.

Some signalling error on the line though, with the screens showing Tuas West Road as the terminus.

This is followed by Do Not Board texts when the train doors open for boarding.

Heading towards Tuas Link.

The Tuas Second Link bridge as seen from the train.

EW33 Tuas Link

Tuas Link is the new terminus of the East West Line, and geographically closest to the Tuas Second Link. However, its namesake is probably due to the names of the roads around it, similar to Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent and Tuas West Road, rather than after the Tuas Second Link, as the Tuas Checkpoint is not a walk-in checkpoint and the station does not claim to have any access to it – it’s also still some distance away.

The scirssors crossover at the eastbound end of the station.

The Tuas West Road error seems to be spreading here too.

Tuas Link is the first elevated station to have the concourse level above the platforms.

The turnouts to the new integrated Tuas Depot.

The facade of the bus section of the Tuas Depot with the train section further behind.

The turnouts and escape route are also located within the station structure. Not sure if that’s the safest thing to do.

Tuas Link MRT Station with the Tuas Checkpoint.

At the station concourse, there’s also some sort of an unintentional viewing gallery towards Malaysia.

If you are intending to walk into Tuas Checkpoint, do note that Tuas Checkpoint has no walk-in facilities and you must board a vehicle to enter Tuas Checkpoint. The nearest places to board a cross-border bus service would be either Boon Lay or Jurong East.

Click here for bus service information via the Tuas Second Link.

Down at the bus stop of Tuas Link MRT Station, there is also enhanced connectivity in the Tuas South region with the connecting bus services.

The full STARiS display finally lit up from Pasir Ris to Tuas Link.

Singapore to Bali by Land and Sea: A 7-day mini-adventure for under $500!

Singapore to Bali by Land and Sea 03

After having read all my posts on my trip from Singapore to Bali by Land and Sea, you might think that I’ve spent a lot on this trip considering that I’ve travelled in First Class on the ship from Batam to Jakarta, in Eksekutif Class on all long-distance trains and slept in hotels instead of hostels while not on the move.

However, tickets alone, including my additional unplanned train joyrides, car rental with driver in Bali and airfare back to Singapore, costed me just S$498.68.

Let me show you how.

NOTE: This amount does not include my expenditure on food and souvenirs, which was minimal anyway.

Day 1: Batam Fast from Singapore (HarbourFront Centre) to Batam (Batam Centre)

Singapore to Bali Day 1 BatamFast HarbourFront to Batam Centre 08

Price in Singapore Dollars: S$25

Day 1: Trans Batam Corridor 05 from Batam Centre to Batu Ampar Port

Singapore to Bali Day 1 Trans Batam Batam Centre to Batu Ampar 02

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 4,000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$0.42

Day 1-2: The PELNI KM Kelud from Batam to Jakarta

Singapore to Bali Day 1 PELNI KM Kelud Batu Ampar Tanjung Priok 43

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 994,000
“Additional fee” in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 100,000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$104.11 + S$10.50

Day 2: Transjakarta Corridor 12 from Tanjung Priok to Jakarta Kota

Singapore to Bali Day 2 Tanjung Priok to City 10

Price in Indonesian Rupiah (TransJakarta): Rp. 3,500
Price in Indonesian Rupiah (KRL): Rp. 3,000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$0.37 + S$0.32

Overnight in Jakarta: S$26.53

Day 3: Covering the Tanjung Priok – Gambir Stretch by KRL

Singapore to Bali Day 3 Jakarta KRL 43

Price in Indonesian Rupiah (KRL): Rp. 3,000
Price in Indonesian Rupiah (KRL): Rp. 3,000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$0.32 + S$0.32

Day 3: Getting to Gambir Railway Station with KRL and Transjakarta

Singapore to Bali Day 3 Access to Gambir 15

Price in Indonesian Rupiah (KRL): Rp. 3,000
Price in Indonesian Rupiah (TransJakarta): Rp. 3,500
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$0.32 + S$0.37

Day 3-4: KA Gajayana from Jakarta Gambir to Malang

Singapore to Bali Day 3 Gajayana Jakarta Gambir to Malang 17

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 535.000 + Rp. 14.500 Tiket.com booking fee – Rp. 100.000 discount code = Rp. 449.500
Price in Singapore Dollars (POSB’s rate): S$48.77

Day 4: KA Bima from Malang to Surabaya Gubeng

Singapore to Bali Day 4 Bima Malang to Surabaya Gubeng 21

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 60,000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$6.30

Day 4: KA Komuter SuPor from Surabaya Gubeng to Surabaya Kota

Singapore to Bali Day 4 Komuter SuSi Surabaya Gubeng to Surabaya Kota 06

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 5,000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$0.53

Day 4: KA KRD Kertosono from Surabaya Kota to Surabaya Gubeng

Singapore to Bali Day 4 KRD Kertosono Surabaya Kota to Surabaya Gubeng 01

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 10,000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$1.05

Day 5: KA Rapih Dhoho from Surabaya Gubeng to Kertosono

Singapore to Bali Day 5 Rapih Dhoho Surabaya Gubeng to Kertosono 07

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 12,000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$1.26

Day 5: KA Rapih Dhoho from Kertosono to Surabaya Gubeng

Singapore to Bali Day 5 Rapih Dhoho Kertosono to Surabaya Gubeng 06

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 12,000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$1.26

Day 5-6: KA Mutiara Timur Malam from Surabaya Gubeng to Denpasar

Singapore to Bali Day 5 Mutiara Timur Malam Surabaya Gubeng to Banyuwangi Baru 16
Singapore to Bali Day 6 Ferry Ketapang to Gilimanuk 08
Singapore to Bali Day 6 DAMRI Bus Gilimanuk to Denpasar 01

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 290.000 + Rp. 14.500 Tiket.com booking fee – Rp. 40.000 discount code = Rp. 264.500
Price in Singapore Dollars (POSB’s rate): S$28.71

Day 7: Car Rental with Driver in Bali for Sightseeing

Singapore to Bali Day 7 Denpasar 54

Price in Indonesian Rupiah: Rp. 300.000
Price in Singapore Dollars: S$31.50

Day 7: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Bali to Singapore

Singapore to Bali Day 7 KLM Denpasar Singapore 26

Price in Singapore Dollars: S$132.89

Food-wise, you can get really satisfying local meals for around Rp. 30,000 (S$3.15), and that’s already on the high side based on local prices. So this experience didn’t really break the bank as well, and I recommend you do it to. After all, how else can you say that you travelled by ship, in the most authentic sense of the word, from Singapore to Jakarta and Bali?

On top of that, the upper classes of the PELNI ships have all been removed except for the KM Kelud, KM Tidar & KM Tatamailau, so if you want to try out the First Class, you’d better plan your trip now for it is not known if PELNI will finally convert these 3 ships’ upper classes to Economy just like they’ve done to all their other 23 ships.

Given the time and opportunity, I would willingly do this all over again in a blink of an eye.

Revisit my journey from Singapore to Bali by Land and Sea here!

Day 7: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Bali to Singapore

After I got dropped off by my driver, I headed to get a trolley. In almost no time, one of the airport porter’s came to me smiling with one. Thinking that it was great service, I thanked him and almost took it when he said “$2 to bring inside”.

So I told him no thanks, grabbed myself another one from the two rows of like fifty trolleys each near the entrance and went on my way.

Heading into the terminal building.

There we go – my KLM flight KL836 from Denpasar to Amsterdam Schiphol! Going for an extended holiday from here.


Inside the terminal area. Just like most Indonesian international airports, this is the only “outside” place in the terminal as security is done before the check-in area.

Looking down at the arrivals level.

I was wondering why the terminal felt so spacious and airy, but at the same time hot.

Here’s a hint: Look at the thing above the flight information screens.

Yup, the entire outside area is non-air-conditioned.

Inside the air-conditioned check-in area after security.

Since I’ve already checked-in online, I headed straight for the baggage drop-off counter which had only 3 people ahead of me.

My boarding pass for the flight. This is my first personal flight ever since I left for London (with a working trip in between as an exception, but that was a return so it cancels itself out), so the journey from London has been fulfilled unbroken on land.

I know, I know, I flew to London with Garuda Indonesia but am now flying from Indonesia on a European airline. Well, I go with whatever is the cheapest.

My baggage tag attached to an information slip instead of just behind the boarding pass.

Gate 3 is where my flight will be departing from.

Time to head to the departure gates.

Hmm. A u-turn within the duty free shop.

Alright, Dufry is done, any time now.

Oh, a right turn?

Nope, another u-turn.

Where’s the gate already?

Oh finally, the exit of the maze to the departure gates. Did they hire IKEA to design this terminal or what?

From here, it’s a third a final u-turn to the gates.

Luckily, my Gate 3 is just up ahead.

Thankfully it’s not Gate 9B, I’m pretty bummed about the IKEA maze already.

My plane from Amsterdam and Singapore has arrived – and it’s the unique PH-BVA in KLM’s Orange Pride Livery.

My plane at Gate 3.

Boarding was kind of a mess since the gate was so open and there’s no clear entrance to where the queue poles are.

This guy had to hold up the boarding zone numbers and check the boarding passes one by one.

Once that’s done, another check is done here before the descend to the aerobridge.

Oops, escalators are only on the left side.

Walking down to the plane.

Goodbye Bali.

Boarding the plane ahead.

This plane is a Boeing 777-300 in a 3-4-3 configuration in Economy Class. That’s right – 10 abreast on a long-haul Europe-Asia flight. I’m glad I’m just in this for 2.5 hours or so.

In the front of the Economy cabin, there are a few rows of Economy Comfort, which is little more than extra legroom, similar to what Scoot does in their 787. Come to think of it, did KLM take heed from Scoot to design the cabin in such a way?

The headrest of Economy Comfort, with its namesake printed on it.

The legoom of Economy Comfort.

Back in the real Economy Class where I belong.

Seated rather comfortably in my seat. I wouldn’t want to be in here to Amsterdam though.

A shot of the cabin from behind before it gets filled to the brim.

The legroom of the normal Economy Class. Maybe that space in Economy Comfort is worth it if you’re going to Amsterdam.

Flying back to Singapore, looking back at my journey for the past week.

Yup, I took 7 days to get from Singapore to Denpasar airport and now on a 2.5 hour flight back.

The meal served on the Denpasar – Singapore sector. Only one choice was available: chicken with rice. It tastes quite alright, though I was kind of looking forward to some Dutch food or snacks.

The cleared out cabin at Singapore where all passengers have to disembark and board again for security and cleaning purposes.

Back on home soil.

Making my way to Amsterdam.

Goodbye everyone.

And back to the only place in the world where you can get from the plane to the taxi in 10 minutes including immigration and baggage reclaim even if you’re at the last gate of the pier – Changi Airport. Unfortunately, I didn’t achieve that record because I made that certain detour to DFS.

Not a very inspiring end to this trip at the airport, but I’m glad I’ve achieved London to Bali overland.

Now, it’s back to sane travels.

Day 7: Sightseeing at Bukit Doa & Kuta Beach

Bukit Doa

On the way back to the highway to get closer to the airport, my driver made a stop at Bukit Doa, which he says is a popular place with group tours because almost every place of worship is available there, making life easy for the tour operators.

We stopped here also because he said that there was a nice view of Denpasar from the Hindu temple here, but I guess nature has overtaken the view.

A big tour group of 6 buses departing Bukit Doa.

Bukit Doa is probably called as such because almost each religion can be found right beside each other.

The 5 places of worship, from left to right, are as follows:

  • Masjid Agung Ibnu Batutah
  • Catholic Church Of Mary The Mother Of All Nations
  • Vihara Buddha Guna Buddhist Temple
  • Protestant Christian Church in Bali – Bukit Doa
  • Pura Jagatnatha Hindu Temple

Only here can you find such “rivaled” religions as portrayed in the media beside each other like it’s just another day. And it probably speeds up the tour time for the tour operators too since everyone can just go to whichever place of worship they need.

Heading back onto the toll way to get to Kuta.

The toll is Rp 11,000 for cars but it saves you possibly 1 hour of traffic jams.

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana, an incomplete tourist attraction in Bali but still opened nonetheless. I didn’t visit it though, since the Trans Sarbagita Corridor 1 never came yesterday.

Exiting the highway to the airport and Kuta, but my driver recommended a shop which sells touristy souvenirs at wholesale prices and a dinner place first.

They were so cheap, I contemplated opening up by own Bali souvenir shop.

Heading to the super touristy part of Bali.

Please note that a car has priority on roads.

Kuta Beach

Catching the sunset at Kuta.

There seems to be way more people than in Kota Denpasar.

While I was getting the shot of the sunset at Kuta, this local lady who has probably seen the sunset everyday for a long time was more concerned with filling up her 5 litre container with sea water instead, which perhaps might last her for the next 24 hours or so. Tourists to Bali probably aren’t even concerned about the supply of running water, but apparently not for the locals who need to make do with sea water.

The sunset also marks the end of my adventure from Singapore to Bali by Land and Sea, as it’s time to make my way to the airport.

Super touristy, but now I feel like spending a little bit more time in Kuta than the few minutes I had.

Heading towards the airport.

Turning right into I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

With this, I bade my driver farewell and it’s time to head back home.

Next post: Day 7: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Bali to Singapore

Day 7: Sightseeing at Melasti Beach – The Southernmost Point of Bali

I don’t usually desperately want to go to beaches, but when I do, it probably means something important to me.

Pantai Melasti or Melasti Beach is a lesser known beach in Bali, since it doesn’t have any great sunrise or sunset views as it faces south, but it has one main feature which makes it of key importance for my trip to Bali – a spit from the beach, making it the southernmost point of Bali island.

From Kota Denpasar, the fastest way to get to the southern areas such as Nusa Dua, Uluwate and Melasti Beach is by the Bali Mandara Toll Road.

My driver pointed out to me a little Hindu shrine in the Benoa bay which fishermen go to pray to before they set sail and again when they come back to give thanks for a good catch.

The many fishing vessels at Benoa.

Coasting along the well-built highway above the water. In fact, this was probably the fastest I’ve travelled on roads in Indonesia.

But after the highway, it was back to reality.

Reality is great though.

Reality is full of surprises.

Reality gave way to this amazing view.

This feels like somewhere in Australia or New Zealand. Well, it’s technically kind of near there anyway.

Melasti Beach

I don’t usually feel this, but it felt great to be here. But I probably don’t want to waste time just standing around because 1. my driver is waiting and 2. I have a flight to catch.

Some snacks and drinks are available here too, though I didn’t buy any. The stallholders were not even anything close to pushy though, even when I walked past really near to their stall.

Finally, the southernmost point of Bali is in sight.

The Paduraksa of Melasti Beach.

The end is in sight.

There’s a nice man-made area before this point with free toilets, so use it if you see it – it’s probably the only one around this area.

Walking to the end of the spit.

A local fisherman at the eastern edge of this rock form.

I wasn’t him so this is as south as I made it. Anything further and it’s Australia from here.

There are no regular overland routes from Indonesia to Australia. The closest thing you can get is probably an occasional cruise to Fremantle or Darwin departing from Marina Bay Cruise Centre or Benoa Port.

I would have went further if not for the risk of cracking open my camera and my skull.

The final rock I stepped on before I headed back.

From York, Sheffield, London, and et cetera all the way down here.

This is it – London to Singapore to Bali overland is completed.

Here’s another shot with the shadow of my head on it so you can see which rock I was referring to.

Looking back north to everywhere I’ve been overland without flying.

A last look at the spot I stood. Didn’t really want to leave by this time though.

Hope you get a good catch bro.

You too.

Not the most fun job to be a fisherman around here.

Returning to the car.

Another wedding photoshoot here.

Goodbye Melasti Beach. Will definitely be back here again if I visit Bali.

From here, it’s a short drive up to Melasti Cliff.

The stairs up to the cliff.

I was pretty disappointed by the view from this cliff though, I thought it might have been something similar to the one in Cassis but oh well. Better learn to keep my expectations realistic.

Next post: Day 7: Sightseeing at Bukit Doa & Kuta Beach

Day 7: Sightseeing at Bajra Sandhi Monument & Sanur

Because my Uber driver the day before was a friendly chap, I decided to ask him if he would be willing to drive me around for a few hours before I departed from Bali, to which he agreed at a price of Rp 300,000, which was lower than UberTrip.

However, for the safety of the both of us, I will not be revealing his identity.

Bajra Sandhi Monument

The Bajra Sandhi Monument is a huge landmark in Denpasar, displaying various historical dioramas of the people’s past struggle for Independence. Honestly though, I didn’t know what this was initially and just requested to come here because it looked important on Google Maps.

The monument was surrounded by a park with nicely trimmed trees and grass fields.

Finally found the main entrance, with a couple having their wedding photoshoot.

It costs Rp 50,000 to enter the monument, which I didn’t pay for since I was satisfied just seeing it from outside.

Below the monument, there’s a new IAM BALI, or Interactive Art Museum Bali which is similar to many trick eye museums around the world now.

Walking back to the car.

Heading on to Sanur for a local lunch as recommended by my driver.

Sanur Beach

There’s an entrance fee of Rp 5,000 for entry and parking in this area, payable to the guys standing before the entrance to the beach area.

Since the recommended place was crowded at that time, we opted for something else a couple of minutes away, but I managed to get down for about a minute to get these shots of Sanur Beach while he turns the car around in the car park jam.

After lunch, we headed to the spot which I wanted to go to the most in Bali – Melasti Beach.

Next post: Day 7: Sightseeing at Melasti Beach – The Southernmost Point of Bali

Day 6: Sightseeing at Kota Denpasar

My hotel was right smack in Denpasar city, so it was very easy to get around by foot to the attractions close by. However, this was actually an afterthought as I originally reserved the first day in Denpasar to explore the Trans Sarbagita busway routes, all 2 of them, and to hopefully publish a proper service information page similar to what I’ve done for the Trans Batam. After about 10 minutes of waiting at the closest halt to my hotel, I decided to sightsee first.

St. Joseph Catholic Church

I first walked to this part of Jl. Surapati so that I can see both sides of the road with opposing busway halts. I saw 2 people waiting there, and after spending a few minutes taking photos of this church, I saw the same 2 people still waiting at the halt.

Not your usual sight and such architecture with mixed cultures can only be seen in Bali.

Denpasar Library and Archives

I’m not 100% sure what this place is as I used Google Translate for the sign outside the building, but it looks great. Not many people passing through the gates though.

Trans Sarbagita Surapati 1 Halt

Walking back to this halt which is for Trans Sarbagita busway services towards SMAN 7 (Jl. Kamboja). Still no bus in sight, I continued my walking tour.

Puputan Badung Square

Just about a minute away from the busway halt is the Puputan Badung Monument, commemorating the 1906 Puputan Bandung massacre.

There’s also a sign with a cheer to keep Denpasar clean.

At the centre of the road, perpendicular to the monument,. lies the original KM.0 for the road system across Bali island originating from Denpasar.

Aside from the monument, there isn’t much else to see in the park unless you plan to jog around it or head on to the Bali Museum.

Catur Muka Statue

The Catur Muka Statue is the centrepiece of the main roundabout in Kota Denpasar. It’s a Hindu statue depicting the Lord Brahma and facing exactly north, south, east and west of this roundabout. It’s worth to note that around 95% of the local Balinese population are Hindus.

There are also nice touristy road signs like this around Denpasar City.

Indonesian Commando Headquarters

Perpendicular from the Puputan Badung Square and Catur Muka Statue lies the Indonesian Commando Headquarters, probably for good reasons.

Kantor Walikota Denpasar

The Denpasar Mayor’s office.

Bank Mandiri Denpasar

Even the bank has a nice Balinese feel to it.

Walking along towards Kumbasari Market.

It wasn’t an easy road to cross, and the crossing system here doesn’t work like Vietnam, so you have to wait till you can find a gap in the traffic.

Kumbasari Market

Kumbasari Market is one of the oldest traditional markets in Denpasar selling really local items. That being said, this place is not for you if you feel squeamish about flies around fresh food and chickens being freshly killed and drained. But I know the fresh produce sold here are really fresh as there is no rotting smell.

The market is said to contain touristy souvenir shops on the second level but I didn’t manage to find anything small and most of the shops in the small corridors are closed by the time I got there in the afternoon, so while most online information say that this market is open 24 hours, it’s probably only true to a certain extent.

Badung Market

Badung Market was the largest traditional market in Denpasar but it has burnt down in 2016. Since then, the stallholders has either set up stall along the roads outside Kumbasari Market or has since given up.

The only inhabitants on the grazed-down site seems to be just these two dogs.

So beware of online articles still telling you to head to Badung Market – it’s sadly gone.

When I walked back to the original Surapati Halt and the Alfamart where I saw the two people waiting for the Trans Sarbagita bus, they were still there. Considering how long they have waited, I would assume that the bus would be arriving soon, but I didn’t want to risk not getting the bus back since I do not know the operating hours, so I gave the Trans Sarbagita exploration a miss

And I guess I have to advise you that the Trans Sarbagita bus service in inefficient and you should stick to Uber, Grab or getting your own driver in Bali, but do watch out for your safety and your driver’s safety when using Uber and Grab and only book your trip out of the banned areas (aka non-touristy areas). Failure to do this may result in injury or death, as mentioned to me by an Uber driver.

Next post: Day 7: Sightseeing at Bajra Sandhi Monument & Sanur

Day 6: Perum DAMRI Denpasar

After checking-in to my hotel and a simple upsized Mi Goreng lunch in an unnamed warung because I haven’t had breakfast, I headed back to the Perum DAMRI Denpasar to try to get my final train ticket back, since I forgot to ask the driver for it when I got off the bus earlier that day.

The staff inside this office were wondering why I’d like to keep that piece of orange paper so much so I explained to them about my trip. Well, they couldn’t give me my ticket back so that their paperwork is in correct order, but they allowed me a final photo of my KA Mutiara Timur Malam ticket before they sent their document for processing.

Oh well, better than nothing.

After that, I asked if there was any information I could take a photo of of the Trans Sarbagita or any other bus services from the Perum DAMRI, but they didn’t have any, though there were some service information they told me verbally.

When I requested to take pictures in the depot though, their response was along the lines of “Do whatever you want – you came this far.” Loving Bali hospitality already.

Below are some information I sourced from the Perum DAMRI.

Trans Sarbagita Buses

The Trans Sarbagita is an open-system bus rapid transit (BRT) in Denpasar, operating on two main routes serving the main trunk roads in the city. It is, however, not very popular among the locals and as such, information about this bus service and service frequencies are very limited.

Tangible information such as maps from the Perum DAMRI itself is also not available, though the staff were very willing to verbally guide me along to the nearest bus halt about 20 minutes by foot away (no thanks).

I had wanted to do up a Trans Sarbagita service information page like what I did for the Trans Batam, but the bus never came. More in my next post.

DAMRI Intercity Buses

The only intercity service served by DAMRI from here is the Denpasar – Banyuwangi – Jember route, using buses converted out of the Trans Sarbagita buses – an opposite of the usual practice of BRT buses converted from regular buses. Probably a significant mark of the low ridership the Trans Sarbagita faces. Unfortunately, freedom in the depot doesn’t mean I get the keys to the bus so no interior shots of these converted buses.

An old route from Denpasar to Surabaya is now rationalized to the Mutiara Timur Malam bus-ferry-train service using DAMRI PT KAI buses.


While considered a train service, there is clearly no railway on Bali island and the DAMRI PT KAI buses acts as a relay for passengers on the KA Mutiara Timur Malam to get to Banyuwangi Baru railway station in East Java where the actual train runs. This is the most feasible overland way to get to Surabaya. You still buy a train ticket from Denpasar to Surabaya though, not a bus ticket.

Do note that this service is only available for the KA Mutiara Timur Malam night pair of trains between Surabaya Gubeng and Banyuwangi Baru. There is no through ticket sold on the day pair of trains, neither does this service exist.

Once I was satisfied with my self-tour around the depot despite not getting my ticket back, I bade farewell to the friendly staff as they ushered in another off-service Trans Sarbagita bus, and went on to sight-see in Denpasar like a tourist.

Next post: Day 6: Sightseeing at Kota Denpasar

Day 6: KA Mutiara Timur Malam DAMRI Bus from Gilimanuk to Denpasar

NOTE: This journey is part of the KA Mutiara Timur Malam overnight train service from Surabaya Gubeng to Denpasar. The ferry and bus transfer from Banyuwangi Baru is included in the ticket fare, treated as a through train service, though you could piece the journey together yourself if you really wanted to.

After meeting the staff once we got off the ferry, we were led to the bus by them.

The Isuzu Elf minibus to get us to Denpasar, with the sign stating “Angkutan PT Kereta Api” for train passengers.

The views on the right side of the bus are better, but they were already taken since the bus picked up some passengers who were interested in the service and got there earlier than us train passengers, so, oh well.

Before the bus departed, the driver collected all our tickets. When I requested to keep it for myself, he said to ask him for it at the end of the journey. Reluctantly, I handed over my ticket.

Passing by the Gilimanuk Bus Terminal. This bus does not stop here.

The views from my seat.

The road between Gilimanuk and Denpasar are all single laned, so there was some scary overtaking involved, but I remained alive.

The views along the way.

The bus stopped outside Terminal Ubung, where I initially thought it was the end of service but everyone except one passenger remained on board, so I did that too, solely to find out where the bus would end at.

The taxi drivers tried to convince us that “bus finish here” but it didn’t really work.

Passing by parts of Denpasar city, where some passengers made request stops at. It was nerer to my hotel, but I wanted to find out the full routing of the bus.

The jams along the way.

The bus service ended at the DAMRI bus depot, named the Perum DAMRI Denpasar. We arrived just slightly before 10.30am, a full 1 hour earlier than the stated time of 11.30am on the train ticket.

The Perum DAMRI Denpasar is located at Jl. P. Diponegoro No. 149, Dauh Puri Klod, Denpasar Bar., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80114, Indonesia, so it’s a good alternative which is actually slightly closer to the civilization in Kota Denpasar and if you are heading onwards to Ubud, Kuta or Nusa Dua, don’t want to get delivered to the taxi driver’s monopoly in Terminal Ubung.

Do also note that if you are travelling in reverse from Denpasar to Surabaya Gubeng, the departure time stated on the ticket is from the Perum DAMRI Denpasar and NOT Terminal Ubung.

A bigger bus is also on standby should there be more passengers.

From here, I walked a short distance away to get an Uber to my hotel.

NOTE: This journey is part of the KA Mutiara Timur Malam overnight train service from Surabaya Gubeng to Denpasar. The ferry and bus transfer from Banyuwangi Baru is included in the ticket fare, treated as a through train service, though you could piece the journey together yourself if you really wanted to.

Next post: Day 6: Perum DAMRI Denpasar