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.


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

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

While Gambir is a railway station, the KRL Jabodetabek does not make a stop there. It is, however, still very accessible from any KRL station or Transjakarta halt.

If you are going by KRL, you have two main choices, to go to Jakarta Kota or Juanda. I opted to go via Juanda as the next train was arriving at Mangga Besar station as compared to another few minutes wait for the Jakarta Kota-bound one.


The updated route map on the Tokyo Metro 6000 Series.

Inside my short hop to Juanda.


My train departing Juanda.

If you’ve never been here before, just follow the signs pointing you to the Transjakarta halt.

Exit on the right side of the station if you’ve somehow managed to miss that huge sign on the pillar.

Follow the short shelter to the bridge ahead.


Ascend this bridge to access the Transjakarta Juanda halt.

The halt is in the centre of the road.

Exit the bridge using the middle set of stairs.

A Transjakarta bus departing the Juanda halt.

Juanda busway halt is just here. Get your contactless smart card ready or purchase one at the counter. Cash payment is not accepted on the Transjakarta busway system.

Take TransJakarta BRT Service 2C from Juanda direct to Gambir 2. Alternatively, take TransJakarta BRT Service 2, 2A, 3, 5C or T12 from Juanda to Harmoni Central Busway and change to Service 2 or 2A to Gambir 2 bus stop. As you can see, based on probability, you’ll end up at Harmoni most of the time, but it’s okay because the frequency is good thanks to the parallel bus corridors. Just get the first bus that comes along – it makes your journey faster than waiting for the elusive 2C.

Inside the Transjakarta bus to Gambir 2.


Arrived at Gambir 2.

It is worth to note that the journey time from Juanda to Gambir 2 ranges from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions, crowd and waiting time for the bus. Be sure to plan your trip ahead of schedule.

The entrance to Gambir Railway Station is just ahead.

The south entrance to the station. If you are getting the DAMRI Airport Bus instead, do NOT enter the station but follow the sheltered walkway beside the Alfamart within the car park but outside of the station building.

Walking through rows of shops at Gambir Railway Station to access the trains.

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

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

PELNI, which is an abbreviation of PT. Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia, is the national shipping company of Indonesia, operating ferries which connect the main islands of the Indonesian archipelago.

The PELNI office in Batam is a 10-minute leisurely walk from Sekupang Ferry Terminal which is a gateway to and from Singapore. It is located at Jl. Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo No. 4, Sekupang, Batam. PELNI ferries from Batam go to two destinations, namely Tanjung Priok (in Jakarta) and Belawan (for Medan).

The fare table for the two destinations the KM Kelud serves from Batam: Tanjung Priok (in Jakarta) and Belawan (for Medan).

You will be given this form to fill up your details in order for you to buy your tickets. Tickets generally go on sale on the month of departure ie. departures in May are sold in May.

You may also download and print an English-translated version of this form here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1BW2uNJ2IJSaTZuR0pMT3R2WXM/view?usp=sharing

Present your passport if you don’t speak Indonesian or you have a messy handwriting so the staff can help you fill in your details in the system.

Here’s a breakdown of the different classes of travel for the various vessels:

KM Kelud, KM Tidar & KM Tatamailau

PT PELNI Travelling Classes KM Kelud, KM Tidar & KM Tatamailau.png
Click on the image to enlarge.

All ships except KM Kelud, KM Tidar & KM Tatamailau

PT PELNI Travelling Classes All ships except KM Kelud, KM Tidar & KM Tatamailau.png
Click on the image to enlarge.

The KM Kelud departs from Batu Ampar in Batam for Tanjung Priok, Jakarta at 1.00pm on Wednesdays and returns to Batam and Belawan on Fridays at 8.00am.

The full routing of the KM Kelud is Belawan – Tanjung Balai Karimun – Batu Ampar – Tanjung Priok – Batu Ampar – Tanjung Balai Karimun – Belawan, though during peak seasons such as the month of Ramadan, more trips will be added on the Belawan – Batu Ampar – Belawan route, sacrificing the Tanjung Balai Karimun and Tanjung Priok stops as they aren’t as popular. You should check PELNI’s website at www.pelni.co.id for the latest timetable details.


View the details of my journey on the KM Kelud here:

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


On first impression at Batu Ampar, the crowd wasn’t intimidating after all. When I joined the queue, there was a grand total of 4 passengers – that’s number of people and not groups – ahead of me, so I was processed rather fast by the guy scanning my ticket, tearing his portion off and stamping my hand with the “PELNI Seal of Approval”. Boarding only looked messy because there are a few parallel lines, including one for the porters’ entry.

(Of course it isn’t called that, in case you’re actually wondering. It’s more of a big red circle instead.)

My stamped and validated ticket.

The transfer bus to the ferry is operated by a Trans Batam Hino bus. Not sure if the port, PELNI and DAMRI is actually one giant transport company or it’s actually chartered.

The Trans Batam bus dropping us off at the ship.

This ship is bigger than I imagined it to be.

The welcome panel up the gangway on board the KM Kelud.

In case you’re wondering, KM isn’t part of the actual name of the ship. In the English-speaking world, you might be more familiar with the abbreviation MV in front of ships instead, which stands for Motor Vessel. KM stands for Kapal Motor, which is the same thing in Indonesian. The ship’s namesake, Kelud, is a mountain on West Java which you will see in an upcoming post.

And lunch is actually served. I wasn’t expecting this. Turns out that they prepare a small lunch portion for the early birds who board early, since boarding starts at 11am and the ship sets sail at 1pm. How nice of them.


Each Class 1A cabin fits two people, and can be shared between two single travellers of the same sex.

Slipping off from Batu Ampar Port.

The Singapore skyline as seen from the ship.

Shortly after departure, an announcement was made for all passengers to return to their respective places for ticket checking, and all connecting doors between parts of the ship will be locked.

Now for more pictures of the facilities on board the KM Kelud.


The sun deck on Deck 7.


There is an Alfamart on the roof (that’s what it says on the ship plan), above Deck 7, with a seating area outside.




The Alfamart is pretty well-stocked on board the KM Kelud. There’s everything you need and more. Prices are around double or triple of the Alfamarts on land though.

A clinic is available on board for any medical needs.

A photo wall is available outside the clinic in case you fail to spot any real-life dolphins out at sea.

A nice painting of the KM Kelud.

A new Economy Class layout with double deck bunk beds, as opposed to the other pictures I have seen online.


There is also a mini theatre on Deck 2, the lowest deck a passenger can access. Tickets for each movie screening cost Rp10,000, which will be announced and opened about an hour before the movie begins.


Outside the theatre, there are the older Economy Class bed frames which seem to be undergoing on upgrade with power sockets for each bed.


The PELNI Mart outside of the First Class area.

The route map of the KM Kelud.

The dinner spread for the entire number of passengers in First AND Second Class.


My portion for dinner.

After dinner was done, I walked around the ship to watch the sunset.


The next day, I was awoken at around 4.30am for the Subuh prayer blasted on the PA system. While there was a slight buffer thanks to my cabin door, somehow it felt really loud as compared to the ones in the day time.

After the prayer, I couldn’t get back to sleep since I slept for quite a while already, so I just freshened up after tossing and turning for a while and prepared to be called to breakfast.


Breakfast was white rice with bee hoon and omelette. I just took the bee hoon an omelette though everyone else treated the bee hoon as the side dish to the white rice.

I got a Pop Mie Goreng and a Kopi Bali from Alfamart for my post-breakfast pre-lunch meal. The noodles were prepared by the awesome Alfamart guy who wouldn’t let you serve yourself in the self-service convenience store and made the entire meal for me, including draining the water and adding the ingredients in. Not forgetting the additional cardboard sleeve and stirrer for the coffee.

I ate my morning tea outside with the friendly locals whom I met the previous day. Most of them were coming from Belawan (Medan), which might explain the lack of passengers boarding from Batam.

Three of the significant people I met on this cruise ferry were a Swiss guy who came from home overland, similar to my journey, to Jakarta to work for a few months as National Service, a friendly Indonesian who spent 20 years in France (and spoke to the Swiss guy in French, but the Swiss guy was from the German-speaking part of Switzerland), and another Indonesian who spent 30 years in Singapore working for the maritime industry and “watched the port grow from Pasir Panjang to Tuas”.

No modern entertainment, but lots of friendly locals around. If you spent the entire journey from Belawan to Jakarta, you might even be friends with the entire deck of passengers.


I decided to explore the Economy Class section when I realised that the entire Deck 3 and 2 of the ship was empty. So much for overcrowding on the ship. But then again, I did plan my journey so that it doesn’t clash with any peak periods.

Back at Deck 4 where the bulk of Economy Class passengers have beds on. Even on this deck, you can still see some empty bunks especially on the upper tier.

The PELNI Mart on Deck 4. The offerings here are similar to the one on Deck 6 where the First Class cabins are.


Lunch on Day 2.

The live band is back, entertaining what is of the passengers in First and Second Class. They were also at the restaurant for the previous day’s dinner.

This seems rather sad actually. I wonder how this place was like in the ship’s heyday.




There’s a canteen with real prepared food outside the Economy Class on Deck 5.

Here’s some items on the menu. Individual dishes with rice are also available to choose from on the counter.


I got a packet of Nasi Goreng as when I asked the stewards during lunch if dinner will be served, they were still unsure and if there will be, they will knock on my door again. So I got this meal as a standby.

My fourth meal today.

My last meal on the KM Kelud before arriving in Jakarta.

Meal No. 5 today. This is indeed turning into a cruise instead.

The KM Kelud was already outside of the Port of Tanjung Priok at around 5pm, when dinner was served, and stopped short of entering the port. After about another half an hour of non-movement, the captain made an announcement saying that we are “drifting” as they are waiting for the pilot to board the ship to bring us into the port, and that we would get moving in about 20 minutes. Precise choice of words there.

The announcement was made in both Indonesian and English by the way.

Approaching the Port of Tanjung Priok as the sky gets dark.


The welcome to the Port of Tanjung Priok. That isn’t the passenger building or a shopping mall by the way, just blocks of office buildings.

Here’s the actual passenger terminal.

The wharf here seems shorter than the one at Batu Ampar in Batam, hence needing the additional steps for the lower decks of the ship.

Descending down the stairs to disembark from Deck 5 and not the Economy Class gangway I was ushered onto on the first day.

The gangway was rather worn out and steep though. Furthermore, this had curved steps rather than height-adjustable flat steps.

Descending down slowly and carefully.

The exterior of the KM Kelud.

A final look at my floating hotel for the past 30 hours.

The KM Kelud departs from Batu Ampar in Batam for Tanjung Priok, Jakarta at 1.00pm on Wednesdays and returns to Batam and Belawan on Fridays at 8.00am.

The full routing of the KM Kelud is Belawan – Tanjung Balai Karimun – Batu Ampar – Tanjung Priok – Batu Ampar – Tanjung Balai Karimun – Belawan, though during peak seasons such as the month of Ramadan, more trips will be added on the Belawan – Batu Ampar – Belawan route, sacrificing the Tanjung Balai Karimun and Tanjung Priok stops as they aren’t as popular. You should check PELNI’s website at www.pelni.co.id for the latest timetable details.

After walking about 1km from the Port of Tanjung Priok, I got to Tanjung Priok Railway Station at 7.15pm, 5 minutes after the scheduled departure of the last KRL train bound for Jakarta Kota.

The gates to the platform were shut already.

Disappointed, I backtracked to the Transjakarta halt.


Inside my Corridor 12 bus.


After about an hour thanks to the evening Jakarta jams at the road junctions, I arrived at Jakarta Kota to transfer to the KRL.


View the details of my journey on the KM Kelud here:

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

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

After walking about 1km from the Port of Tanjung Priok, I got to Tanjung Priok Railway Station at 7.15pm, 5 minutes after the scheduled departure of the last KRL train bound for Jakarta Kota.

The gates to the platform were shut already.



The empty station.

Disappointed, I backtracked to the Transjakarta halt.

Boarding the first bus I saw at the platform plying on Corridor 10.

The empty ladies-only area.

The crowded mixed gender area.

After enquiring with a staff since the destination sign wasn’t showing Jakarta Kota, I was informed that I was on the wrong bus. Oops.

Crossing over to my correct Corridor 12 bus via the Corridor 10 bus.


Inside my correct Corridor 12 bus.

After about an hour thanks to the evening Jakarta jams at the road junctions, I arrived at Jakarta Kota to transfer to the KRL.




The train which will get me to my hotel for the night. It took me a while to realise that this is a JR 205 ex-Nambu Line set which has been repainted into the KRL corporate livery.

A partially unrepainted car on my train set.

From Mangga Besar, I walked for a few minutes to my hotel where I rested for the night.

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

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

IMPORTANT: Follow the directions in this post only if you have already purchased and collected your PELNI tickets in advance. Tickets are NOT sold at the Batu Ampar Port. Click here for directions to purchase PELNI tickets in Batam.

Just across the road from the Batam Centre Ferry Terminal lies the familiar Trans Batam Central Busway halt (and now you know why I went to familiarize myself with the busway system during my past two trips).

Here’s a price comparison between the taxi counter at Batam Centre Ferry Terminal versus the Trans Batam Corridor 05.

Taxi from Batam Centre to Batu Ampar: Rp80,000
Trans Batam from Batam Centre to Batu Ampar: Rp4,000 (95% discount)

Well, my choice of commute seems obvious now doesn’t it.

When I got to the busway halt, an ojek driver came to chat me up, asking if I was heading to Nagoya (With my backpack? Seriously?) and that I should get his ojek because it’s more comfortable and the bus wouldn’t come. Well, with a stroke of luck, the bus arrived within a minute, so there goes his plan, and off I went to Batu Ampar in air-conditioned comfort.

Got a front seat with more space for my backpack.

The interior of the buses plying on Corridor 05.

On the way to Batu Ampar (and Jodoh) though, the bus made a short detour for petrol. Luckily he didn’t take too long, as I was behind my advised two-hour check-in time already.

The driver and conductor were kind enough to drop me off at the nearest spot right at the junction to the Batu Ampar Port instead of the actual halt a couple of hundred meters away, so that was great.

The entrance to the Batu Ampar Port. This port is shared by PELNI ferries, cargo ships, the Indonesian Coast Guard and the Indonesian Navy, so you’ll see everything maritime-related here. And of course, watch out for the trucks.

The entrance toll gate to the port. Vehicles entering the port will have to pay a toll here – good thing I didn’t get a cab as well since I would have to pay this fee too.

Since I have no idea where the passenger terminal was, aside from the advice given by the PELNI ticketing staff that it was “very near”, I asked the guy outside the counter where the terminal was, and his reply was simple.

“Just walk straight until you see many people with many bags on your left.” (In Indonesian, of course.)

Simple enough, sounds like an advice I would give too.

So I walked straight and braced myself.

Expectation:


Credits to the everyday magic.

Reality:

And saw this. I wasn’t sure whether to feel relieved that there isn’t a crowd or worried that I might have found the wrong place.

Once I saw the fluttering banner to the right of the main entrance featuring the KM Kelud’s schedule, I knew I was at the right place. This doesn’t seem so bad.

Due to the amount of pictures taken during the voyage on the KM Kelud from Batam to Jakarta, the journey will be split into parts. 

Next post: Boarding the PELNI KM Kelud at Batu Ampar Port

Trans Batam Corridor 03: Sekupang – Jodoh

The Trans Batam Corridor 03 is one of the most heavily utlised busway corridors in the Trans Batam network, plying the route between Sekupang and Jodoh via Sei Harapan, Tiban, UIB, Simpang Baloi, Penuin, Nagoya, Simpang McDonald’s, Terminal Jodoh, DC Mall and Pasar Induk.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.

The Trans Batam Corridor 03 operates with a mix of high capacity buses and midi buses.

Boarding the bigger Hino bus from the Sekupang halt.


The interior of the Hino bus.

There is a main sliding door in the middle of the bus similar to the TransJakarta, the pioneer busway in Indonesia.

There is also a wheelchair space on the bus though not all halts on the Trans Batam network are wheelchair accessible. I wonder if the buses were initially made for TransJakarta but were shipped here instead.

The Trans Batam Corridor 03 is the only route serving Nagoya Hill, as such, the demand for this service is quite high.


The usual jams at Nagoya.

The bus will rest at Jodoh for a short while before continuing on to DC Mall where it loops back to Sekupang. While Jodoh is the technical other end of the line, the actual u-turn is made at DC Mall.

For kerb-level halts, the bus will use the front door with steps for boarding and alighting.

Do note that the Trans Batam is an open-system BRT-like system without dedicated lanes and integrated ticketing. If you need to transfer buses, you need a new ticket for the next journey.

Trans Batam services operate frequently at around 15 to 30 minutes intervals depending on the peak period and sectors, which makes it a reliable and affordable transport option other than just getting taxis around, and you can explore Batam at your own time without visiting the typical places with a tour group.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.

Trans Batam Corridor 05: Tanjung Piayu – Batam Centre Central Busway – Jodoh

The Trans Batam Corridor 05 plies the route between Tanjung Piayu, Batam Centre Central Busway and Jodoh via Piayu Laut, Simpang Bagan, Muka Kuning, Panbil, Kepri Mall, Kantor Walikota, Mega Mall, Batam Centre Central Busway, Simpang Sei Panas, Simpang Kuda, Simpang Rujak, Batu Ampar, Terminal Jodoh, DC Mall and Pasar Induk.

This corridor is the only passing through corridor at Batam Centre Central Busway, and thus if you are travelling through Batam Centre Central Busway on this corridor, you need not purchase a new ticket as you will be on the same bus.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.


Though you will not see any Corridor 05 buses waiting at Batam Centre Central Busway, you can buy your ticket from the ticket counter and wait at the waiting room as per normal. The staff will call out for the bus and destination when it has arrived. Do note that both directions of Corridor 05 at Batam Centre Central Busway are served at the same single platform.

The Jodoh-bound Corridor 05 bus arriving.

The interior of the Corridor 05 midibus. The seats are arranged like a normal coach, possibly due to the longer route served with lesser passenger movements in between the main terminals.

The blue ticket purchased on board from the conductor. An adult ticket goes for Rp. 4,000 (S$0.42).

On the way to Batu Ampar, Harbour Bay and Jodoh, where not much passengers are stopping as there isn’t much places to stop at along the route anyway.

The entrance to Batu Ampar port.

Passing by Harbour Bay Mall. You don’t need to get an expensive ferry to Harbour Bay if you just transfer to the Corridor 05 from Batam Centre instead.

The door of this midibus opens outward manually, so the conductor does the job here.

The arrival platform at Jodoh terminal, though my bus drove straight to the parking area since the midibuses are for low-level boarding. This arrival platform is probably for the larger Hino buses with high-level boarding.

Corridor 05 buses parking at Jodoh.

A Corridor 03 bus which just arrived at Jodoh, using the arrival platform.

A Corridor 07 bus waiting for departure from the Jodoh departure platform.

Do note that the Trans Batam is an open-system BRT-like system without dedicated lanes and integrated ticketing. If you need to transfer buses, you need a new ticket for the next journey.

Trans Batam services operate frequently at around 15 to 30 minutes intervals depending on the peak period and sectors, which makes it a reliable and affordable transport option other than just getting taxis around, and you can explore Batam at your own time without visiting the typical places with a tour group.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.