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Monday, December 24, 2018

Experiencing PT KA's Priority Train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta

The region of Yogyakarta is the jump-off to popular attractions, Borobudur and Prambanan temples. One of the most convenient though lengthy way to get there is by taking the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. The  8-hour journey maybe long but once you get to the countryside, you can enjoy an enlivening scenery of vast farmlands and mountains. 

Related Post : Visiting the Borobudur Temple Compounds

The PT Kereta Api Wisata's (KA) Priority train are private carriages attached towards the back of the train. It's open to tour groups who reserve the entire cart and is similar to the one taken by the president and his staff  when traveling to other provinces.

From Hotel Aryaduta, where we spent the night,  we headed to Gambir station, one of the major stations in Central Jakarta. Since the hotel's only 1.1 KM away, we got to the station  quite early for the 8:30 AM trip.  While waiting for the train, we stayed at the VIP lounge where there's free flowing coffee and water.
All smiles before boarding the train, my longest train ride to date!
(Photo from Nuri/Rizky)
Though I normally prefer solo trips, this being my first trip to Indonesia, I'm thankful that someone else organized eveything. On this fam trip to Yogyakarta, I joined fellow bloggers, Gretchen, Melo & Aisa, Michelle from Cebu Pacific, Ailene and Zarah from Stratworks, Gama from the Indonesian embassy in Manila, our wonderful  hosts in Indonesia who have really cool Instagram feeds - Nuri, Rizky and madam.
Inside the Priority Train to Yogyakarta 
Going in, we were warmly welcomed by two well-dressed staff. They look so polished in their navy blue uniforms, it felt like I was taking a private plane. 

After stowing our luggage in another room, we quickly  got acquainted to what was going to be our nest for the long travel to Yogyakarta. The elegant main room, which had two long couches on opposite sides and snacks on the side tables looks like a hotel lobby.
Mini theatre
Aside from having a swanky mini theatre, there's a bigger, 52-inch tv in the main area. Here, you can enjoy some movies or sing your heart out with the videoke.  

Our carriage had no individual seats, making it very tricky to take a nap. What kept me preoccupied throughout the course of the trip, was chatting and laughing away with blogger friends and of course - the complimentary food! There were snacks everywhere on the train, along with endless cups of coffee, tea or juice. A delicious, warm lunch was also served, buffet stye. 

I also sneaked in some social media time through our Flytpack which offered good wifi connection during our trip.
refreshing views on our way to Yogyakarta

(Travel Tip if your traveling solo:  Discover Your Indonesia offers a very helpful blog post on traveling from Jakarta to Indonesia by train.)

At the dining area of our carriage
A spacious bathroom, perhaps, quite bigger than your average train bathroom is also in the car, making the experience more comfortable.

After 8 hours, with all these conveniences onboard, we arrived with our sanities intact at Yogyakarta, where we explored several temples, resorts and ruins. I'll be positing about that next. :) 

Travel Tip : 
- Indonesia has type C sockets.  Bring a travel adaptor to charge your gadgets. If you, forgot, you can try asking the hotel reception or make use of the USB slots on the television and just keep it on standby mode. It takes a bit of effort to locate the slot but at least you can charge. Hehe!

- Indonesia's currency is Rupiah (IDR), where 1 USD is 14,555.16 IDR. The conversion can be dizzying, so downloading an app that you can use offline to check conversion rates is helpful. My friend Gretchen  recommended XE Currency and I found it quite useful when we shopped for souvenirs. 

Accommodation in Jakarta : 
Hotel Aryaduta Jakarta is a 4-star hotel, located 1.1 KM from Gambir station, where we took a train to Yogyakarta.  You can book it here, through Agoda.

Note : This trip was made possible by Cebu Pacific through their PR agency, Stratworks and the Ministry Tourism of Indonesia. 


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