From Gambir To Bandung: My First Indonesian Meal And Train Ride Ever

I arrived at Jakarta at 11:30 pm and being the cheapo that I am I slept at the airport instead of booking a hotel for just 6 hours. Fresh from my 2 hour nap, I jumped on the first Damri Bus headed to the Gambir Station which cost 20000 RP.
The sun wasn't up yet and the notorious Jakarta traffic jam hasn't started neither. The bus ride was fast with a only a few stops. I was kinda getting comfortable and about to doze off when the bus arrived at Gambir.

At 5:30 in the morning Gambir was already packed and busy. People are coming and going nonstop at Jakarta's  most important train station. The Gambir train station is Jakarta's gateway to the entire Java island. People can go to Bandung, Semarang, Yogyakarta and Surabaya straight from this station.

There were long lines at the four open ticket booths. I asked for the locals to point me to the line of the Bandung train. There was a train leaving for Bandung in 30 minutes which the ticket guy was having a hard time explaining to me in English. I asked for the next train which thankfully was at 7:15 am. It is enough time for me to grab some breakfast at the station food joints. I bought the Executive class of Argo Parahyangan for 80,000 RP.
After securing a seat in the train. I went to the cafe inside the Station which is literally named Station Cafe. I was starving from staying up all night and at the same time excited for my very first meal in Indonesia.
While looking at the menu I realized how I have never eaten an Indonesian food in my entire life ever. I am seriously clueless on what to order. The menu was in local language and the waiter who couldn't utter one word of English didn't help either. I wanted to be safe so I picked something that looked like a noodle.
The name of the dish is Mie Ayam Baso which is some sort of chicken noodle with beef balls. The soup was okay but the consistency of the noodles is exactly the same as an instant cup noodle. I wasn't expecting much anyway since it was a train station cafe.
I went to the rail platform immediately after breakfast. Looking for the Argo Parahyangan platform turned out to be hella confusing. Trains from both sides are coming and going in both directions. I had to ask atleast five locals and transfer back and forth the two platforms several times before finding the correct one. I climbed up and down the stairs three times carrying my heavy suitcase because I am too cheap to ask the help of the station porters. When I finally found the correct platform I sat on the bench to wait for my train.
Nope! That's not my train. I thought this kind of thing only happens at India. They look calm and steady up there compared to crowded passengers inside. I wonder if they only get to pay half the price for riding on top of the train.
Now that is my train! The executive class was worth every buck. The inside of the train was surprisingly huge and roomy. There weren't a lot of passengers on this class because more people tend to go for the cheaper business class. I requested for a window seat and found out the seat beside me is empty all the way to the two seats on the other side. I had the effin entire row for myself! 

When the train started to move I suddenly realized it was going to be my first time ever to ride a train on a railroad at the ground! For three straight hours without having to stop every 5 minutes at different stations! From that moment on I definitely heart Indonesia. It's a whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no or where to.. Oh wait, that's Aladdin.

I slept the first two hours of the ride and God knows what I missed. I am just glad I woke up in time to see this spectacular and breathtaking landscapes.

 





I arrived at Bandung on time and was welcomed by the familiar aggressive touts. Cab drivers offering tours right off the bat. Yep, skip the hotel and go straight to Tangkuban with my backpack and suitcase. Ahm, no! That is so not a cool idea you guys!

Good thing the airport pick-up I requested from Hotel Cihampelas was already there waiting for me holding up a sign with my name on it. I heart Indonesia even more! but minus points for putting Mrs. instead Miss or Lady or you know "Her Awesomeness".


Check this site: for samples of Bandung Itineraries

 

More on Bandung, Indonesia

Hotel Reviews: Hotel Cihampelas 2 (Bandung)

Bandung 1 Day City Tour (Part 1: Tangkuban Perahu)

Bandung 1 Day City Tour (Part 2: Factory Outlets)

Bandung 1 Day City Tour (Part 3: Tea, Beer and Satay)




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