Indonesia Train Guide

27977397 - danau toba lake scenery from highland

As a vast country with total area 1,904,569 km² , Indonesia consider as a big country and the biggest in the Southeast Asia. So it definitely gave lot questions to the first timer backpacker who want to visiting this country. Fortunately , you can have many choice of land transport inter city like minivan , private taxi , car rent , public bus , or even motorcycle. But what about the train? Definitely yes Indonesia has it , but can’t be said it instensely enough , mostly it cover only in Java Island , some in Sumatra and Sulawesi Island ,  it even no exist in Bali ( in 2018) , and other islands. So , the question is can we rely this kind of transportation while backpacking in Indonesia?

  1. Yes , definitely you can rely on this kind of transportation while backpacking around Java , connecting many big cities and town , with exact schedule and affordable fare , it’s one kind of transport that you’ll relieved it does exist in Indonesia.
  2. No , if you planning to do backpacking other islands than Java , but we should appreciated that recent President Joko Widodo have planning to add some new route in other island like Sumatra , Kalimantan , Sulawesi and Bali , so let’s hope this things will be realized in near future!

I am myself a fan of this kind transportation , i will share some guides to use train in Java based on my years experience and the latest situation , here we go!


The Latest Economy Class Train Inside


You must be grateful to visiting this beautiful country in 2018 , since the tickteting procedure become more and more efficient and convenient. There’re many ways to buy and check the ticket schedule by yourself.The most convenient way is buy the ticket online by yourself , and you even can choose your own seat position. These are some popular sites that many people use to buy the ticket

  • Tokopedia : This site need you to sign up first , and deposit some money to buy the ticket , since this is actually kind of Indonesia marketplace , you can pay using local bank transfer or credit card , they accept Visa / Mastercard.
  • Bukalapak : This one is same with Tokopedia , Bukalapak is kind of Indonesia marketplace , and yes they accept Visa / Mastercard.
  • : Originally this site cater all you needs for backpacking in Indonesia , from buying plane ticket or even booking your hotel , and they also accept Visa / Mastercard.
  • Traveloka : Same with above , traveloka also cater all you needs while travelling in Indonesia , they also accept your Visa / Mastercard.
  • Official Train Ticketing : This site is the official site of Kereta Api Indonesia , now they also accept Visa / Mastercard

Actually there’re still a lot sites that offer the train tickets , but the five sites above are the mostly Indonesian people use to buy online , but remember all of them are in Indonesian , so if you don’t want all of these hustles then you can buy on any travel agent , or in Indonesia most famous minimart Alfamart or Indomart , or even you can buy the ticket on the station but remember there’re some rules to buy the ticket in train station , in ex : you can’t buy the executive class ( Eksekutif  ) in less than 7 hours before departure time in station , but you can buy the economy class ( Ekonomi ) in a hurry with high risk getting no seat of course , so it’s better to buy your ticket in advance. My opinion is to buy the ticket online , i’ll make a complete guide step by step how to buy the ticket from these Indonesian sites.


After you’ve finished all the buying ticket procedure even it online or offline , you will get a special code that consist mostly 6 numbers or letters , that you can input the code to the ticket print machine that available in any station , but remember you can only print the ticket from your departure station , if your departure station in Gambir Station Jakarta , then you can’t print the ticket from other station even it’s still in Jakarta area , this is the most important thing to remember!


Thanks to the recent rule that keep the train always depart on time in most case , but that means you can’t just show up 5 minutes before the departure time and chasing the train , no you can’t. So , please show up at least 1 – 2 hours before departure time in the station , because bigger station sometimes you need more time to adjust with the situation which is the entry gate or where’s the train platform. If you missed the train there’ll no refund of your money , the maximum time to cancel your train ticket is 30 minutes before departure time and you can get 75% of your train ticket but the refund will be process as long as 30 days!

  • Show up at least 1 hour before the departure time.
  • Print your booking code ( usually 6 letters or numbers ) in ticket print machine.
  • Show your identity and the ticket ( your identity must be same with the one you use to buy the ticket , for foreigner just use your passport ) – this is strict rule , remember!
  • Find your train platform , and wait for the announcement of your train sometimes in Indonesian and English.
  • If the train come , just asking the train officer for the right train and route to avoid hop on wrong train route with same name!
  • Find your seat number , some minutes after the train depart it will be a checking ticket procedure by train conductor.
  • Every station stops it will be an announcement in Indonesian and English so make sure you hop off in the right station.
  • For your convenient when you getting on or off from the train , remember to buy the ticket with the coach number 3 – 5 ( it’s in the middle ) , so you can hop off easily in train platform , some train platform is really short than the train.

Here are some rules while you are on the train :

  • Prohibited to smoke in every part of the train include the restroom / restaurant.
  • Prohibited to sit / sleep in the seat aisle.
  • Prohibited to turn your music or speak loudly that discomfort other passengers

Prohibited To Sit or Sleep In The Train Seat Aisle



Okay , so i hope this Indonesia Train Guide can help you while you backpacking in Indonesia. If you have latest news about Indonesia train rules you can leave the comment below and i will update it , thanks!

Be Lost Be Wanderer!

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