Saturday, January 13, 2007

How to get around Jakarta and Bandung

Since the opening of the new toll road that connects Jakarta and Bandung, both cities are at a stone's throw away. It has meant a huge increase to Bandung visitor rates, reducing the travel time to just about 2 hours, making Bandung easily accessible for day trippers. The new stretch of asphalt cuts through the beautiful West Java landscape, allowing for scenic views throughout the whole journey.

One of the easiest ways to get to Bandung is to use one of the several shuttle services that leave at various departure points on a hourly basis. The oldest company that provides inter city transport is 4848, and their minivans leave from their basis at Jalan Prapatan about 10 minutes from the train station. They leave several times a day, but usually they will wait until a minimum of 4 passengers. The rate is Rp.70,000.

Address: Jakarta office
Jalan Prapatan No 34

Bandung office
Jalan Suniaraja No.39

Rivaling companies have popped up everywhere, competing with each other through offering pick up and drop off service and direct airport connection. Typically the fare for transportation directly from the Sukarno Hatta airport to Bandung ranges from Rp.110,000 to Rp.135,000. This certainly pays of, because with Jakarta traffic congestions a taxi ride to the city center or the train station will amount to Rp.100,000 alone. The price includes toll road fees, which totals up to about another Rp.100,000 once you get to Bandung .

Also the advantage of most of them is that they have fixed departure times and even if you're the only passenger, they will leave on time. The most reliable companies are:

X-Trans, a company that offers connections from the airport to their Bandung office on Jalan Cihampelas, via Blora where you will have to transfer to another bus.

Vans are luxurious and their company motto has to do with being on time, so they offer a money back guarantee if they arrive late.

Address: Jakarta office
Jalan Blora-Menteng

Bandung office
Jalan Cihampelas No.119c

Buah Batu offers transportation from Sukarno Hatta to a drop off point of your choice in Bandung. They also have nightly service, so call in if you arrive in Jakarta late at night. The rate is slightly higher at Rp.135,000, but the convenience of deliverance at your doorstep is worth it, although if you're with a lot of passengers it might in the end take longer.

Adress: Jakarta office
Jalan KPT. Tendean No.12
Tel. Airport 021-68366822

Bandung office
Gedung Perhutani Kav. J
Jalan Laswi No.1D Bandung

Cipaganti is another reliable service that has several pick up points in Jakarta that follow different routes throughout the city as well as connections to Bandung. Using shuttle vans for inner city transportation is not advisable though, since you'll have to cope with Jakarta's infamous traffic jams.

To get to one of the city drop off points in either Jakarta or Bandung the rate is Rp.110,000 from or to the airport and Rp.70,000 to city points. Their vans are a/c and quite luxurious. Call the city center offices to find out which branch is closest to your location.

Adress: Jakarta airport
Arrival terminal 1a&2e

Bandung office
Jalan Gatot Subroto No.94

Overall the shuttle services all offer reliable and fast connections at an economical rate. The best way is to do a little survey to find out which company is most conveniently located and suits your schedule. Especially when arriving or departing early in the morning or late at night, the shuttle companies are a handy solution because trains don't run at these hours and a stay over at the airport or the train station is even for happy campers' quite a nightmare.

Article by: EMMA
Photos by: Norlia Jaafar

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