Getting to/from Jember

Jember Travel Blog

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Currently, I live in Jakarta, and go to Jember once or twice a year. During Eid Mubarak Holiday, for sure, and other special circumstance on family, e.g. my nephew’s tedak siten (a Javanese tradition which is held when an infant is about to walk/crawl, at age 7-8 months).

From Jakarta to Jember, possible routes:

-Flight Jakarta-Surabaya, then bus Surabaya-Jember

-Flight Jakarta-Surabaya, then train Surabaya-Jember

-Train Jakarta-Jember, change train on Surabaya

-Bus Jakarta-Jember, my very last option, because it take longer than other options also the departure time (1300) is not convenient for me.

 For my last visit to Jember (29 Jan 2011), I use flight-bus combination, and back to Jakarta (31 Jan 2011) with train-flight combination.

I flied Batavia Y6-651 0915-1035 from Soekarno Hatta International Airport (SHIA) Terminal 1C. I arrived much too early, that morning unusually no traffic jam on my way to SHIA, it took me only 40 minutes to get to SHIA, often it took me 90 to 120 minutes to get to SHIA from South Jakarta.

I better get something for breakfast, unfortunate there was only one lounge (El John) on Terminal 1C which not yet cooperate with any credit card issuer, so, I could not use the benefit of free lounge. I step down to 1st floor (Arrival floor),  wander around from 1 food booth to another, not until I realized I passed the same food booth, ah, I must be in Terminal 1B already. Almost each food booth open on each terminal. Then I decided to get back on Terminal 1C, chose something for breakfast, but still have some time left before boarding time. Then I went to the book store, bought interior design magazine, I’m not interior designer just like it.

The plane landed smoothly on Juanda Airport, Surabaya at the very time I finished reading the magazine. On the airport arrival gate, there was 2 airport bus to Purabaya Terminal, I jump to the first one, the one nearly full passengers, I wait for 20 minutes before the bus start departing. It took 40 minutes to Purabaya Terminal, and it cost me IDR 15.000. If I took taxi, it will cost me IDR 35.000 to 50.000.

You will read big sign overhead ‘Terminal Purabaya’, but most local known this bus terminal as Bungurasih or simply Bungur. To get yourself on bus on this terminal could be tricky, because of many pimps, I always bothered with them, what I did, I walk briskly, ignoring their offer, keep their hands away from the body and luggage. If I look for bus to other city, I turn left, for bus to other part of Surabaya, go straight.

I look for PATAS bus to Jember. PATAS is acronym of cePAt terbaTAS, literally in English ‘fast limited’, this bus only stop on several terminal, other bus (economy and economy AC) will stop at each terminal, so using PATAS means you will reach your destination faster. I paid IDR 46.000 for PATAS bus to Jember, using economy or economy AC will be cheaper. When you decide to go with economy or economy AC, even when they said they go to Jember or Banyuwangi, most probably you might need to change bus in Probolinggo. PATAS bus to Jember will stop on Probolinggo terminal only, on other terminal they might be made short stop only if they have stop passenger.

This time it took 5 hours to Jember, 4 hours also possible. From Bungur to Sidoarjo traffic smooth, traffic a bit jammed on Porong, give me quite time to watch Porong Mud Disaster Zone on the left side of the road. It was a suburb area of 50.000 inhabitants that became a disaster zone when 4 years ago hot volcanic mud began spewing from the site of a gas exploration well. The mud submerged homes, factories and schools.

After 3 hours drive, the bus finally enter Probolinggo terminal, made 10 minutes stop. A mass number of food vendors entered the bus, offered their goods, some offer by yelled, others by put their goods on your hands or lap, even though you feel uncomfortable, just lets they do that, it doesn’t means you buy their goods, that’s their way for you to check their goods, they will back to collect their goods. This time, I bought ‘kripik sukun’ (english: breadfruit chips) for IDR 5.000. Sukun always tempting me, maybe because not everyday in Jakarta I could eat sukun, but in some inhabited islands of thousand islands Jakarta you might find ‘kripik sukun’. I like fried ripe sukun, and love burn whole ripe fruit (still with its skin) in fire, love its sweet taste.

After another hour, I see irrigation channel on the right side, means the bus already reach Jatiroto and within another hour I will be home J. Behind the irrigation channel are rice fields and sugarcane fields. While watching farmers work with their buffalos; I also see villagers take a bath, defecate, and do laundry on the irrigation channel; children swim on black rubber tube, laugh happily, jump to the water. When I was a little, occasionally I went to the village of our family domestic helper, during my stay, I and my little brother will swim on black rubber tube, and Yumah—the name of our domestic helper—will feed us rice and sunny side egg, we swam without worry of the dirty water, now, I will think twice to swim on the brown muddy water of irrigation channel.

I stayed in Jember for only a night, only for my nephew’s tedak siten, and will be back to Jakarta with midnight train to Surabaya, continue with morning flight to Jakarta.

Actually I prefer PATAS bus to travel to or from Surabaya, but PATAS bus operate only from (approx.) 4 AM to 9 PM from Tawang Alun (Jember Bus Terminal). To get to Surabaya at convenient time, I chose to travel by Mutiara Timur train depart from Jember 0030 AM, arrive in Surabaya around 0500 AM. Mutiara Timur train have 2 type of carriage: executive (aircon) and bisnis (fan). Fare for executive IDR 75.000-80.000 and bisnis IDR 50.000-60.000, fare depend on weekday or weekend. I prefer executive because I need to sleep well, because no vendors are allowed to enter this type of carriage, also only seat ticket sold on this type of carriage, different with bisnis carriage which often full with passenger sit on aisle.

Surabaya have several train stations, the biggest is Gubeng Station. I got off at Wonokromo Station, the nearest station to Juanda Airport, around 30 minutes by taxi. The train stop only for short minutes at Wonokromo Station, so have your belonging packed, or even better, ready at exit. There will be plenty of taxi driver offers their taxi, I prefer to get away from the crowded, walk 50-100 metres to the left, and stop taxi there.

I arrived at Juanda Airport at 0530 AM, plenty time for check in. Batavia check in staff inform me that the flight will be delayed 2 to 3 hours, oow, but fortunate I arrive early, I ask them to put me on previous flight, they said, now I’m waiting list number one, so, I spent my morning check on my waiting list status, 30 minutes before departure, finally I got my boarding pass, and arrive at Jakarta on schedule.


phieraditya says:
unfortunately, no photos from this travel :(
Posted on: Apr 03, 2011
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photo by: yuness