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The bus trip from Surabaya to Malang MALANG - Sitting in a bus is not something that I do with the greatest love. However every once in a while I will still do something that I don't want to do every single day. After the flight from Yogyakarta to Surabaya in the early morning, I didn't reach my final destination for the day - by far. But fortunately I had already taken that into account when I booked the ticket. At that time I decided to use only public transport to find my way to Malang, which was my final destination for the day.

On Java, especially in the bigger cities, transport is not a problem in general. There are buses everywhere - with or without air conditioning - and other forms of transport like mini buses, rental cars, taxi's and whatever more. Knowing this, the little adventure I was to undergo, was not much of an adventure at all because I knew that within a matter of a few hours, under normal circumstances. After which I was able to drop down my bag, take a nice shower and have a rest. That's why I was willing to do this short trip through the 'concrete jungle' of Eastern Java.

At the airport the standard airport-taxi's are directly near the exit. But you have already succeeded to pass a number of people trying to offer you a hotel room or other forms of transport. A taxi to the city of Malang would about as expensive as the entire plane ticket, so that was no option for me. It was indeed some form of a double standard; buying an 'expensive' plane ticket while I can use a travel (minibus service) from Yogya directly to Malang for just 105.000 Rupiah. Yeah, but I just wasn't in the mood to spend ten hours in a minibus. I am glad to admit that it is nice to have some freedom of choice.

Directly beyond the taxi's is a bus stop for DAMRI (Djawatan Angkoetan Motor Repoeblik Indonesia) buses where you can catch a bus from that state-owned company regularly although without a timetable. From the airport you can go to several different destinations in Eastern Java, as you might expect as service of DAMRI. If you are lucky you will get a relatively new bus outside the several destinations to choose from and a real bus ticket. Since there is no direct connection between the airport and Malang I first had to go to the bus terminal at the edge of Surabaya.

The bus terminal of Surabaya, where buses are grouped by destination and you can easily find the bus you are looking for.  indahnesia.com
The bus terminal of Surabaya, where buses are grouped by destination and you can easily find the bus you are looking for. indahnesia.com

Somewhere along the route, the driver had already stopped the bus once to hand out tickets and collect the 15.000 ticket fee per person. It doesn't matter where you want to get off, the price is always the same; jauh-dekat Rp. 15.000. Following a group of passengers I got off the bus as one of the last ones to look for the buses to Malang. Since I earlier asked the driver whether he would bring his bus into the direction of Malang, he told me again to get off here only to go left directly after the entrance to find the buses to Malang.

Overwhelmed by the huge crowd of moving people all of a sudden - they were all looking for something; buses, friends, relatives, cigarettes, bus tickets and snacks - I was suddenly submerged in a crowd of people in a pleasantly warm environment. It was not very hot today. The sun didn't shine because there was a closed cloud cover overhead, which seemed to have followed me all the way from the airport. My jacked ended up in my bag, without air conditioning it was warm enough, and I did some effort to find the real entrance of the bus terminal in the hunt for the buses to Malang.

It was all made quite easy for me, I noticed. Like it should be on a bus terminal, the buses were grouped by destination and were queued up waiting for passengers. The very second row was also for buses to Malang. From the left and right loud calls to lure me like I had just entered the gates of some money reserve. All kinds of destinations were shouted at me. They all assumed that I didn't yet know what my destination should be. An almost empty bus was the first one in row waiting for passengers; the back door was opened already.

A man in his forties near the back of the bus shouted "Malang! Malang!" with one hand in the air to make sure that I would take that bus. It all seemed quite logical to me to take the first bus in line since tariffs are fixed and the buses are about the same as well. There is only a difference in buses with (executive class) and without air conditioning, popularly named kelas kambing ('cattle transport'). I did not prefer the latter so I just got on the bis patas, the one with air conditioning.

The 'Porong' toll booth is near the place where a hot mud flow has disrupted the landschape and thousands of lives in the last two years.  indahnesia.com
The 'Porong' toll booth is near the place where a hot mud flow has disrupted the landschape and thousands of lives in the last two years. indahnesia.com

I threw my backpack on the back row seat and made some pictures outside the bus before it left for Malang just fifteen minutes later. It had filled up completely in those few minutes. The next two hours I could take some time to nap and that is exactly what happened. Napping in a driving bus is nice actually. Just forgetting about the bad things in life for a while and just take a rest for the things that are coming.

In the mean while, passengers are able to take a look at the current situation of Lapindo, the mud volcano and hot mud flow near Porong that has been active for over two years now. The emergency dams that were built back then are now overgrown with grass and bamboo stairs are built for disaster tourists. The railroad track directly along the main road has been broken up here as well and the toll road here runs into a dead end near an overpass and a dangerous intersection in between the remaining pillars of the former elevated highway.

From there it was almost one straight line to the Arjosari bus terminal in the far north of Malang. The final destination of this bus service was reached and I descended from the bus. From here I used the blue angkot city transport buses. The first one - from the terminal - only departed when there were 14 (!) passengers stuffed inside. After the transfer at the alun-alun in the city center of Malang there was more space, but by then I had almost reached my final destination.

Prices
The bus ticket from Juanda airport to the bus terminal in Surabaya was 15.000 Rupiah. The ticket from the terminal in Surabaya to the Arjosari bus terminal in Malang also was 15.000 Rupiah. From there it took two times 2.500 Rupiah with the local blue angkot to reach my destination. On the way back several days later I used a travel (which was a Toyota Innova) directly to Juanda Airport for 60.000 Rupiah.

Website link
Hot mudflow Sidoarjo, East Java

External links
Go Silver
DAMRI


Tags: travel, malang, bus, surabaya, juanda, arjosari, indonesia


Posted in Travel @ 23 December 2008 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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