Solo-Pacitan-Tawangmangu 2014 Trip Part 1

Hi Guys! We really had a great time on our last 9-days vacation … visiting never-been-before locations and interesting sites 🙂
I’ve prepared some notes around Day 0 of the trip – hope you can enjoy it and find it useful.

Note : The full original dan actual Itinerary can be found here

The Plan – Day 0 and 1
Itinerary Day 1

On most of our previous trips, we were always be travelling inter-cities and provinces by Car. However, this time we wanted to take a different approach: travelling by Train, and then we would had a driver took the Car to the destination City so that we could use it.

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You might be wondering by we took such laborious efforts, well here is why :

1. To maintain Stamina and Energy-level
I’ve estimated that driving from Jakarta to Solo would take at least 16 hours non-stop and that would go through the South route. Taking the North route is potentially going to take longer time as there could be road maintenance, accidents, and we’ve heard that Comal bridge is still being a bottleneck. Driving for such a long period is not only going to drain our stamina (especially the driver i.e me) but potentially affecting our overall health. We can not afford that.

2. It offers more flexibility and is cheaper than renting a car in the destination City
We’ve had a lot of stuffs to carry from Jakarta and obviously we couldn’t take them all with train. In fact most of our baggage and items were loaded to the Car and we brought 3 bags with us – which was too many (remember we also had 2 kids to take care of 🙂 ). We wouldn’t have this flexibility if we chose renting a car.

To be able to keep the cost low, the key here is of course the cost of the train tickets. We’ve purchased 6 seats of ticket and each of them is Rp 65k, so total Train ticket cost is Rp 390k. The overall driver cost (include gasoline, toll, etc) is Rp 1,200k. Due to the stuffs that we had, if we wanted to rent a car, we would need to choose Kijang Innova which is about Rp 500k per 12 hours. The nature of our vacation would require us to travel very early in the morning, all the way up to evening. Therefore cost of rent would be very expensive.

3. Faster Arrival
Transport by Train is expected to take around 9 to 10 hours. If we are able to arrive sooner, then we could have more flexible arranging vacation time and going to places rather than spending more hours just for the long trip.

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Selfie with the Most Beautiful Girl at Pasar Senen Train Station

This was our first time to take economy Train – so we didn’t really knew what to expect.

Here are some quick and easy tips for you :

1. Book the train tickets as early as possible. My recommendation is to book around 60 – 90 days from Departure date. Yep, order 3 months ahead otherwise you’ll regret it and it’s going to be fully booked. If you’d like to order more than 4 seats – make 2 calls and 2 orders, but on the second one, tell the Customer Service that you would like to have the 5th and 6th seats to be near or beside the previous ones.

2. You do not want to be late. Arrive at least 1,5 hour before train scheduled departure. You’ll need to print your tickets in the printing building.

3. At the entry gate there will be a lot of people, gathered around in a small area. You do not need to take the queue and get packed into the folks, getting sweaty, and probably pushed around. Just be calm, go to the side and let the majority of the Folks to enter the ticket gate. Once there aren’t so many of them, then you can take your queue and make an entry to the train station boarding area. There is no need to rush.

4. When the train arrives, some people will try very hard to make an early entry. This is because they probably have so much bags to carry and they need to find spaces. You do not have to do this. Take your time to board the train. If you find that your bag space around your seats is already filled up, take a polite approach and ask the owner to take it somewhere else. Again, be calm and polite, can not stress this enough. Folks will understand that you have the first right to keep your bag there.

5. Try not to bring too much stuffs with you. Travel as light as you can. However because we have kids, we brought along our IPAD and G-Tab with us which helped a lot to take away the kids attention.

6. You really wouldn’t want to visit the economy Train’s toilet very often. Make sure that you’ve done whatever you need to do at the Station’s toilet 🙂



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