Backpacking bali, malang n djogja Part 1: Bali


In the end of year 2010, I had holiday for one month. It was semester break. We got holiday from Dec 23th 2010 until Jan 24th 2011. I got this idea many days before it. Since I started studying in ITB until my 3rd year, I never got much time to travel. I was too busy with my homework and my organization stuffs. Even just for sleeping, I didn’t get much time.

After completing my 7th semester, I am kinda free. My credit was almost complete, my final project was half step finished. So I have plenty time to travel. Why I choose traveling? because I love traveling so much. When I was a child, I traveled around that my mom didn’t know, haha.

So, I planned to go to Bali. Why Bali, whereas there are bunch of another beautiful places. So many people talk about Bali Bali and Bali. It seemed to be a pride if you have gone to Bali. But for me, I just wanna search a pleasure and fulfill my curiosity. Then I asked my comrades, they are Kamal, Khairul and Dhito. They are my classmate in the same major, Informatic Engineering ITB.

For an engineering students like us, being free from assignment is a great happiness. Imagine, everyday we do Tugas Besar, Tugas Kecil, and organization stuffs, so fuckin busy. Now, we had a chance to go Bali for pleasure and adventure. Then we decided to go to Bali by backpacker way. I like challenging adventure, backpacking is the one, because we travel with small budget, and limited time. So we must choose the cheapest way to Bali.


We didn’t make a strict planning. The duration of our journey depend on how much our money left. We set the destination, they are Bali, Malang, and Djogjakarta. First, we wanted to to go Bali, then going to Malang, then going to Jogja. Dhito bought a book containing travel guide in Bali. The book contain much information about Bali, the destination, attraction, transportation, etc. By using that book, we make the approximation of itinerary.

So many places to visit in Bali, but based on our money, we calculated the possible duration, it was 3D/2N. Then we  would go to Malang, spending 2D/1N there. Finally we would go to the last city, Jogja, for 2D/2N. The total duration is about 10 days, including time for being on the way. Btw, my money for all of these is only 1 million rupiah.


I forget the date we departed, thing I remember is we departed on the last week of December in evening. We went to stasiun kereta api Bandung at 6pm, hoping we’ll get the train on 7.30pm. The train started from Padalarang, then pass stasiun bandung, moving toward Jogjakarta. The name of the train is Kahuripan, an super economy class train. Very bad inside, I’ll tell you later on.

We arrived at stasiun Bandung at 6.30pm, it means we had to wait for one hour until the train comes on 7.30. We bought the ticket, price about 24.000 rupiah, this ticket is valid for any kahuripan train on any schedule, but just for one trip. Then the train came, I felt so glad, but suddenly that happiness is gone. I saw so many people on that train and so many people wanna get on that train, its impossible for us to get on that train. Ok, then we were hoping the next train, be scheduled on 8.30pm. I wished the next train will not be so crowded.

At 8.30, the next kahuripan train came, and OMG! not much different with the previous train. The choice is now or never. I didn’t want to postpone our departure until tomorrow. It had to be now, or not at all. I was ready for that condition, then we get on that crowded train. When I got on that train, there is no more space to sit. All space is full of people. I couldn’t sit, so I stood near by the toilet. Oh “it will be a so long trip”. I stood from 8.30pm until 6.00am on the next day, its about 9 and half hour. Could you imagine that?? I was so sleepy but I couldn’t sleep, because I was standing. Then I found a way, I put my backpack on floor, then I sat on my backpack. But, I still couldn’t sleep, every time I almost got sleep, bunch cadger came selling coffee and food. They shout slowly but frequently, its so disturbing. On the other hand, I was hungry, but I couldn’t eat with that condition.

At 6.00am, we almost arrived in Jogjakarta, so some people got off the train, they had reached the their destination. Oh thanks God, the train was more roomy, and someone that would get off the train offered me his seat. Oh, finally I took a seat. I felt like wanna sleep whole day. Just a moment I slept, we arrive at stasiun Jogja at 7.00am. We had to take another train, destination to Banyuwangi, Jawa Timur. The ticket fare was about 32.000 rupiah.

We had one hour gap by taking another train. Jogja-Banyuwangi train would depart at 8.00am. In one hour, we had breakfast. The foods here were so cheap. I bought nasi gudeg was only for 5000 rupiah. Its including rice, gudeg (is blended cooked jackfruit), a piece of chicken. Everything is cheap is you went by economy class train. You also will find so many people sell food on board while the train running.

Second day,

Finally we departed at 8.00am with full stomach and more fresh mind. It was enjoyable being at that train, because we got a seat, we didn’t stand whole night like before. I could enjoy eating, buying from the “pedagang keliling”, who walk like  a shuttle. When we were at Probolinggo, thick dust in the air. Everything went grey, covered by the dust of Mount Bromo. At that time, Mount Bromo was erupting, Probolinggo is located near by that mountain, so that city was covered by the dust produced by the eruption. What happen to us? Yea, as we went by economy class train, full of window open, no A/C, the dust got into the cabin. My hair became grey, covered by dust. My skin darker and dull. Then, someone come into the train, selling a mask, I bought it.

Leafs were covered by volcano dust

Using mask for safety

Shortening the story, finally we arrived at Banyuwangi Rail Station at 11.30pm on the second day. It was almost midnight, the station would be closed at 12.00pm. Utilized that short time, we went to toilet for washing face, hair and stuffs. We did it considering we had to stay at that station until early morning to cross selat Bali by ferry. I brought sleeping bag, then we took place on the station terrace, lay on the floor.  I used my sleeping bag. We made a turn for sleeping, because one person must be awake while three others were sleeping.

Sleeping at Banyuwangi Train Station

Third day,

At early morning, 4.00am on third day. We walked from the rail station to the harbor, its so close, just about 200m. There are Indomaret and Alfamart open 24 hours, so we can buy food there, just in front of the entrance gate of that harbor. We went to the mosque to charge handphone battery. At 4.30, we bought the ticket then got on the ship. The fare is about 8000 rupiah.

woke up, then go to harbor

There is something unique on us, its Khairul. He always fall asleep whenever he could. I wonder how long had he not slept? haha. But its ok, it can be our source for bullying him. Ok, continues… Then we got on the ship for crossing to Gilimanuk, Bali. The ship was nice, clean, LCD, and music. Dangdut, its the music when we were on board. Music dangdut with the video using LCD TV. Although I don’t like dangdut, but its entertaining enough, better than nothing.

It just spending about one hour to cross from Banyuwangi to Gilimanuk. We arrived at 5.30am on the third day. Gilimanuk is nice harbor, clean enough. The facility is also good. The toilet is nice, so we took a bath there. The water is clean, its totally different with Banyuwangi.

Dhito, Kamal, and Khairul (left to right)

Gilimanuk in the morning light

After taking a bath, someone came to us offering bus ticket to Denpasar. At the first time I didn’t believe this man, assuming so many people cheat the traveler. He acted like insisting, so I bargain the fare on my way. I deal with him,  20.000 rupiah per person. Its cheap, the normal fare is 25.000 rupiah. Then we went to bus station, its near by the harbor, sida by side. The bus is such a small bus, no A/C and economy class seat.

Finally we arrived at Denpasar bus station at 11.00am. I was really glad, after long trip, finally I saw Denpasar. There is no special thing I saw, the city is just such small city with no attraction. Then we walk out the bus station, finding Warung  Nasi Jawa. Just in front of the station, there is one Warung Jawa, selling soto, etc. I was so hungry. Yea, its lunch time.

We wanted to go to Kuta, but we didn’t know where it is and how to get there, so I asked a police. There are two way, first is using angkot, but hop twice. Second is  using taxi, price 100.000. Because we are a bit tired, and considering we share the fare, we took taxi.  While on the way, we asked the taxi driver where the cheap hostel is. He told us everything, friendly driver. He said that jalan popies where the cheap hostel is. Just about 30 minutes, we arrived at Kuta Beach.

I felt lost from the track, after arriving at Pantai Kuta, I didn’t know what to do next. Meanwhile, the temperature was hot, I couldn’t stand. Then we went searching a hostel in Jalan Popies as the taxi driver told. Jalan popies is side by side with jalan Kuta, so near. We find a small road, named gang sorga, sound interesting, then we walked through until I saw a isolated hostel, I was sure its cheap. We walkin, then asking for the price. Hoohohoho, its cheap, just 200.000 rupiah for one room, a room that can be occupied by four person. There are two bed, its enough, considering no one of us has fat body.

this is what the room look like

After traveled by economy class train, my body was exhausted, its so nice to rest in this room for a while. Then, we arranged the plan. We decided that we would be in Bali for this day, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow (3D/2N). Dhito opened his travel guide book, then listed all tourism object in Bali. I helped him to arrange the visiting list that suit our time, and make it efficient. Then we travel based on that planning.

In this afternoon: Kuta Beach and looking for car rent.

The fourth day: Tanah Lot – Ubud – Danau Bratan

The fifth day: Pantai Sanur – Ulu Watu

So, this afternoon we played at Pantai Kuta. Seeing Pantai Kuta is not pleasant, the beach was so dirty, full of garbage. I was wondering how could people so excited playing at this beach. There is no something special on it. But, as people said, if you go to Bali, its mandatory to visit Pantai Kuta, and we had done it. There is another thing that attract the tourist here, its the club. So many night club in Pantai Kuta, and low cost. So many bule Australia here, much of them are disgusting. Their behaviors are different with bule Eropa. Bule Autralia is more rude.

Then we were looking for car rent, for tomorrow planning. If you wanna travel around Bali with friends, its better to rent a car then going by our self. There is no regular public bus between the city, so most of people here using travel agency or doing like what we did. Car rent in Bali is so cheap, Toyota Avanza just about 200.000 rupiah/24 hours. We booked the car for tomorrow departure, planned at 11.00am. Shortening the strory, we spent the rest of this day in Kuta, including seeing sunset.

@pantai kuta

Fourth Day,

In the morning, we woke up around 7.00am. I felt so hungry, so I went out to search some breakfast. I went out with Dhito. I heard someone shouting “nasi kuning, nasi kuning…”. Oh, I was happy to hear that,” there is nasi kuning here”. Then I stopped that man, and asking the price for one item. He said that its 5000 rupiah, hoho its cheap I thought. I saw a strange thing, the package is so small, its suspicious. Then I asked him, “what is it?”. He answered “babi guling”. Oh my God, I am wrong, I heard he said nasi kuning, but it si babi guling. Oh, sorry sorry, misunderstanding.

We continue walking. We saw travel agency office, it sell map of Bali. I thought we need it. So, I bought the map, it was so expensive: 50.000 rupiah. But that price worth it. The Map is so big and complete. We continue walking and finding minimarket, I took bread as the breakfast.

At, we walked to jalan legian, appointment to pick the car rent. We rent toyota avanza, price 225.000 rupiah. As the planning told, first we went to Tanah Lot. The entrance fee is cheap, but I forget how much it is. Tanah Lot has beautiful scenery, I wouldn’t explain how beautiful it is, just the the picture below.

We didn’t have much time in Tanah Lot, because we had another place to visit, as written on planning. Then, we went to Ubud. Ubud is so famous by its art and cultural performance. At Ubud, we went to monkey park, place where so many monkeys.

From Ubud, we continued to Danau Bratan. Danau Bratan is far enough, but its interesting, located on hilly land. We took shortcut, but it seemed like scary road. We thought that we got lost, because the shortcut is desolate with narrow road and traditional houses on the right and on the left side. But, based on the map, we passed the right road. I tried to believed on that map, and be brave. The condition is I am the only one among us that could drive a car. So if something bad happen, I need backup. Thanks God, finally we met the main road, the continued toward Danau Bratan. Btw, Danau Bratan is located in the middle of Bali Island. Arriving at Danau Bratan, its almost 6.00pm. We couldn’t see sun, because it was rain. At least, we had took photos there. Then, we head to Denpasar, arrived at 10.00pm.

@Tanah Lot


Dangerous shortcut Ubud to Danau Bratan

@Danau Bratan

We arrived at Denpasar at 10.00pm. This night, we didn’t sleep at hostel, we slept in the car. So I parked the car on Pantai Kuta. We spent the night for a while, then we got into the car at 2.00 am.

Fifth Day,

At 2.00 am, I tried to sleep, but suddenly there was sand storm. I wanted to move away from that beach, but I am so tired and I dont know where to park safely, so we stayed there. I couldn’t sleep because the sand got into the car. If I turned on the A/C, it would spend the gas, in the other hand, we have to be money saving. I didn’t sleep properly.

At 4.00am, Dhito woke me up, we have another planning to be executed, its going to Pantai Sanur to see sun rise. I was so sleepy, I drove whole day, then just had 2 hour improper sleep. But, because of the spirit, I woke up and turned on the engine, getaway. We almost got lost because it was still dark and we didn’t know where Pantai Sanur is, and no one can be asked. But, finally we found the beach. We didn’t see the sun rise, because it was cloudy. But its nice although we couldn’t see it.

At 7.30 am, we went to Uluwatu, the last place to visit. I drove the car with sleepy eyes, we arrived safely, haha. Uluwatu  is nice place. At that time, there was a traditional ceremony, so we could see the ceremony. It was rain when we were here, but I couldn’t beat our spirit, haha. At 9.30am, we went back to Denpasar. We arrived at 11.00am, then gave the car back.

@Pantai Sanur


Then, we took a rest on Pantai Kuta. Especially me, we were so sleepy. I slept on the beach from 1.00pm until 3.00pm, I slept like a baby. When I woke up, I felt so fresh and ready to continue the journey. We went to bus station in Denpasar by taxi, paid 100.000 rupiah, bus to Gilimanuk. We departed from Denpasar at 7.00pm, arrived at Gilimanuk at 11.00pm.

Sixth Day,

@Ship Gilimanuk to Banyuwangi

We crossed from Gilimanuk to Banyuwangi at 1.00am, arrived around 2.00pm. Then we walked to train station. We had to wait the train, the earliest departure was at 6.00am. So we spent the rest of the night on that station, eating and sleeping for a while. Finally, we finished backpacking in Bali.

… to be continued


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