Wonderful journeys: Bandung to Yogyakarta on train

11:21 pm | | Comments 5

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I had always believed that whenever you visit a place, once must experience the local public transport. It gets you connected with the people and also lets you feel the pulse of the place, its culture and growth. But, it is also true that whenever you get to have such experiences, there is no way that you can escape from having the comparisons on the back of your mind. 

Outside Bandung railway station in Indonesia

However contrary you might try to do, you will always be reminded of the experience back home of the same public services. You will even remember it when you are back and using the same services in routine at your home town, trying to recall that how better or worse it was abroad. Although it is not always fair because the traffic, the volume of passengers, frequencies, populations mix—they all make a lot of difference to public services.

Lobby of Bandung railway station

Same happened, when we were in Indonesia. During our two island, four city whirlwind tour, we travelled from Bandung to Yogyakarta on a train. Both cities are in Java island and almost 400 kms apart. It takes almost seven and half hours in the fastest train to travel between two cities. Indeed a fair amount of time to see the landscape and enjoy the service. The journey was also selected as it is indeed one of the most scenic journeys in Indonesia. 

Check-in counter at Bandung railway station. Haven’t heard of anything like that in Indian railway station

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Ticket counter at Bandung railway station
Only ticket holders are allowed inside this gate to have access to the platforms and trains

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Waiting area for the passengers inside the main platform
Public facilities are clean, neat and of international standard

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Different lines on the Bandung railway station

Our first encounter with the train services in Indonesia was at Bandung station and it was very impressive for the start. Had travelled on suburban trains in Japan, Europe, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore etc but it was first experience on a long distance train.

High speed passenger trains
Station area is clean and green

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Comfortable seats and swanky interiors
Gentle and friendly running staff in the train

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In train catering services are upto international standards
Smart and always alert
Controlling the excellent train services

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A station on the way
One thing I found interesting was that there were platforms on both the sides of the track. It means that passengers are free to alight from either side of the train at any station. Something, we haven’t seen in India.
Second, most impressive thing was that wherever the platform was quite low in height from the train, their a stair was placed in front of every gate of the train at the platform to make it comfortable for passengers to get down from the train. Another thing, that I haven’t seen so far in India for passenger trains.
Another view of the stair at the station to help passengers get down at low level stations. We have seen passengers in India struggling a lot in such situations.

What I loved the most was that the whole experience was very tourist friendly. It was clearly meant to create an image among the visiting tourists. It wasn’t chaotic as the railway stations usually are. Clean, organised campus and friendly staff were the hallmark of the service.

Green valleys on the way to Yogyakarta
Glimpse of daily life in the country side
Beautiful Village clusters on the way 
Paddy fields, villages and the volcanic mountain ranges in the background
A fisherman at the river under the rail bridge
A mighty river flowing through the valley
Exciting journey ends at the equally beautiful Yogyakarta railway station

You can also watch a video of Bandung Railway station on my YouTube channel by clicking on the thumbnail below-

Have you ever travelled in train inside Indonesia? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  1. Excellent photos! Thank you for sharing!

    1. swamiupendra says:

      Thanks a lot for your kind words

  2. When I visited Indonesia, I did not use the trains. But after reading this I realise I should definitely hop onto one when I visit next!

    1. swamiupendra says:

      Indeed Divyakshi, train travel is indeed fantastic way to know the places. Thanks

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