How to get from Bali to Java for cheap? I have a tip!
Bali, Java, Indonesia
There are many options how to get from Bali to Java. The easiest way is booking a combo ticket through an agent or travel agency in Kuta (there are many, trust me). There are various ticket combos. Usually, you get to choose between a combo bus + ship + bus or a combo bus + ship + train. Prices also vary depending on the combination selected and your destination. At the Ubung Bus Terminal in Denpasar, you will find a price list (for each route) hanging next to the information booth. So check the fare prior you start bargaining - you will save!
Price examples from Denpasar Ubung terminal - AC Luxury Bus (06/2015):
Denpasar - Jakarta 450,000 IDR
Denpasar - Surabaya 220,000 - 245,000 IDR
Denpasar - Yogyakarta 275,000 IRD (Yogyakarta - Solo train 8,000 IDR)
You can choose from a comfortable package including AC Comfort Bus and Business Class / Executive Class on the train or a local, harsher, yet cheaper and more adventurous alternative - the one we chose!
The cheapest alternative Denpasar Bali - Solo (Surakarta) / Yogyakarta Java
1. Bus Denpasar Ubung - Gilimanuk
3.5 - 4 h, the official fare is 30,000 for a bus and 35,0000 IDR for a microbus. We paid 40,000 IDR.
2. Public ferry Gilimanuk Bali - Ketapang Java
IDR 7.500 per person, 45 min.
3. Bemo Ketapang - Karangasem (Banyuwangi)
15,000 IDR per person, 30 min.
In Karangasem, we stayed overnight at Kampung Osing Inn Homestay near the train station (available on Booking.com).
I can't really recommend this Homestay. For 140,000 IDR the owner offered us a tiny, moldy room with a single bed (occupancy 2 pax). The WiFi did not work, and since we were catching the train early in the morning, we didn't get any breakfast - the owner was still sleeping.
While walking around the village, we found this much cheaper homestay Umyah Pojok Sawah, about 5 minutes walk distance from the train station, with breakfast and free transport to the station included. All this for just 90,000 IDR. The owner seemed sympathetic. However, I'd guess the quality of the accommodation would be similar to that of Kampung Osing Inn.
Indeed, we enjoyed our short stay in Karangasem village. Local people, yet untouched by tourism, greeted us honestly at every step. Go for a stroll around the surrounding area, you will enjoy beautiful scenery with rice fields and, besides, you will come in contact with the quotidian life of local people. In case you decide to have a noodle soup at a street stall or do some shopping in the local supermarket where the price tags are non-existent, you do not have to worry about getting ripped off. We got it all for local prices.
4. Train Karangas - Solo Balapan (Surakarta)
12 h, 103,750 IDR economi class.
We booked online in advance. We used Tiket.com - portal in English and accepting international payment cards. For their services they charge a low fee, so-called convenience fee, in our case 7,500 IDR.
At the train station, you gotta show the reservation on your phone to the staff at the counter and they issue a regular paper ticket for you. With this ticket, you are now allowed to enter the platform.
Total travel cost Denpasar - Jogja 174,250 IDR
(savings about 100,000 IDR)