Java by Rail
- Tour Map
- 17 nights’ accommodation in centrally located 4 to 5-star quality hotels
- All excursions and entrance fees to attractions, as listed in the itinerary
- All transport mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfast daily, 15 lunches and 3 dinners
- Complimentary drinks with welcome and farewell dinners
- Comprehensive sightseeing with expert local guides and your experienced and knowledgeable host
- Tipping and gratuities
- Airport transfers on arrival and departure
- Excursions mentioned as optional in the itinerary
- International flights
- Items of a personal nature (eg. telephone, laundry, mini-bar)
- Tourist Visa
- Travel insurance
- Tour Plan
Day 1 • Monday 19 June:
Selamat datang di Jakarta! Welcome to Jakarta!
After checking in to your hotel there will be time to relax before gathering for the welcome dinner with Bob and your fellow travellers. Our hotel in Central Jakarta has 23 acres of tropical gardens and extensive recreational facilities. Why not arrive a day or two earlier to relax before the tour?
Overnight: Hotel Borobudur, Jakarta (D)
Day 2 • Tuesday 20 June:
This morning we have a city tour of the Durian city of Jakarta. On our tour we will visit the National Museum of Indonesia, featuring a collection of more than 140,000 items from a wide range of subjects. Following this we’ll visit the Batavia Train Station (Jakarta Kota), the Taman Prasasti Museum, and Fatahillah Square, with its paved cobblestones. Walk along the historical Kali Besar Barat, lined with Dutch architecture and explore the Wayang Kulit, or Shadow Puppet Museum. Our lunch is served at the Batavia Café, set in a 200-year-old building on the north-western corner of Fatahillah Square.
After lunch we head to Sunda Kelapa Harbour, a working port for Buginese Phinisi Schooners which have unloaded goods from across the archipelago – the largest fleet of commercial sailing ships in the world today. Thought to be operational since before the 13th century, the port is a fascinating location that preserves the history of Jakarta. Finally, we pause at the national monument, MONAS, and Istiqlal Mosque for a photo stop.
Overnight: Hotel Borobudur, Jakarta (B, L)
Day 3 • Wednesday 21 June:
JAKARTA – TAMAN MINI INDONESIA INDAH – BANDUNG
This morning is yours to enjoy at leisure. Leaving late morning we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, before transferring to Gambir Train Station for our train to Bandung. Upon arrival at Bandung Train Station, we’ll transfer to our hotel and settle in.
Overnight: The Trans Luxury Hotel, Bandung (B, L)
Day 4 • Thursday 22 June:
BANDUNG – TANGKUBAN PERAHU – BANDUNG
After breakfast, we proceed to Tangkuban Perahu, a smouldering 2000-metre-wide volcano. Start with a walk around the main crater, Kawah Ratu and then onto a natural Ciater (hot springs) with time for a dip. Lunch is at a local restaurant.
Later, you will drive back to Bandung, stopping along the way for a visit at the Saung Angklung Udjo workshop, a venue aimed at preserving the rich culture of Java. We’ll see an energizing performance of Angklung (traditional bamboo instruments) and dancing by village students, before getting a chance to try the instruments ourselves!
Overnight: The Trans Luxury Hotel, Bandung (B, L)
Day 5 • Friday 23 June:
BANDUNG – YOGYAKARTA
This morning is an early start as we transfer to Bandung’s railway station and board the morning train to Yogyakarta. This is a 7-hour journey so lunch is served on board the train and your seats are in what’s known as ‘Executif’ class, the highest category available much like first class on Australian trains. Upon arrival in Yogyakarta at around 4pm our local guide will greet us and transfer us to the hotel for check in.
Overnight: Hotel Tentrem, Yogyakarta (B, L)
Day 6 • Saturday 24 June:
This morning after breakfast we set out to explore the city. Visit the Sultan’s Palace (Kraton), built between 1756 and 1790, a fine example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture. As you walk through the various rooms and chambers you will learn more about this aspect of Javanese heritage and culture. Continue via a becak (bike taxi) ride to the adjacent Taman Sari water palace and garden. This addition to the royal complex was built over 200 years ago by the first Sultan with bathing pools for his harem.
Next, we make our way to a small “home-factory” where Java’s iconic Wayang Kulit leather puppets are made and the entire process is explained, followed by a short performance. Afterwards we’ll visit the nearby Batik (home-factory) where we’ll see the local women make these colourful textiles.
Lunch will be served in a local restaurant, followed by a visit to the Sonobudoyo Museum and a stroll along Jl. Malioboro, the main street of Yogyakarta, which is full of shops and local street vendors. After being transferred back to the hotel, the remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Tentrem, Yogyakarta (B, L)
Day 7 • Sunday 25 June:
YOGYAKARTA – PRAMBANAN – BUGISAN VILLAGE – YOGYAKARTA
This morning we’ll explore the most iconic attraction in Yogya, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Prambanan. This ancient Hindu temple compound is one of the biggest in South-East Asia and was built in the 9th century. Our tour guide will explain the history and symbolism of the temples as you walk around.
Next, we visit the nearby village of Bugisan where our friendly local hosts will pick us up by ox cart and take us to their village, passing the intriguing Plaosan temple complex. We are welcomed into a traditional house for refreshing tea and some local snacks before continuing by ox cart. Call in at the house of the Jamu maker and see how the colourful bottles of herbal medicines are concocted. Try a glass of the healing drink to treat your ailments! Watch how the Javanese snack called ‘emping’ is made and try playing the gamelan, a traditional Indonesian instrument, together with the ladies of the village.
Lunch is served in a local restaurant, after which we’ll return to the hotel to freshen up before heading out for the evening to enjoy a special dinner and the spectacular Ramayana Ballet performance in an open-air theatre with Prambanan Temple as the backdrop.
Overnight: Hotel Tentrem, Yogyakarta (B, L, D)
Day 8 • Monday 26 June:
YOGYAKARTA – BOROBUDUR – LOSARI
This morning after a leisurely breakfast, you will be picked up by our tour guide and coach for the drive to Borobudur. Explore this famous Buddhist Temple, a UNESCO world heritage site which features thousands of carved volcanic and river stone blocks. There is ample time to explore and photograph this ancient 8th century temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Lunch is served in a local restaurant before continuing with a visit to Candi Mendut and Candi Pawon, both incredible temples close to Borobudur. After enjoying some time to explore, drive north through Magelang to our “plantation” hotel in Losari.
Overnight: MesaStila, Magelang (B, L)
Day 9 • Tuesday 27 June:
LOSARI – AMBARAWA – LOSARI
This morning, you will visit the Ambarawa Railway Museum. This museum has a collection of steam locomotives dating from the early 20th century, some of them still in working order. Established in 1976, the railway museum utilises the 1873 Dutch built railway station to store some of the last steam locomotives that saw regular service. A few of the locomotives displayed here are the sole survivors of their type. After visiting the museum we’ll take a trip by steam from Ambarawa to Tuntang and return, travelling along beautiful Lake Rawa Pening, a source of power, irrigation, and flood control, and is used for fishing and recreational activities.
Lunch is served in a local restaurant, after which we’ll travel back to our resort and the rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: MesaStila, Magelang (B, L)
Day 10 • Wednesday 28 June:
LOSARI – SOLO
Start today with a guided walking tour of the Mesa Stila coffee plantation. Here, we’ll learn about the organic and delicious Robusta coffee grown on the property. At the coffee shed you’ll witness traditional techniques of roasting and grinding the beans. Then, amid the plantation, you’ll stop to enjoy a tasting session of coffee as well as trying jamu, a traditional Javanese herbal drink. You will also see the organic vegetables and tropical fruits grown on site.
Afterwards, we will travel to Solo city and lunch will be served en-route. There, you will visit the Batik Museum of Danar Hadi, the biggest in Indonesia, containing a 10,000-piece collection from different cultural periods – Javanese, Chinese, Indian and Dutch. After checking into our hotel, the rest of the afternoon will be at leisure.
Overnight: Alila Solo (B, L)
Day 11 • Thursday 29 June:
SOLO – MADIUN
Today we’ll have a Surakarta city tour with a special steam “trem” journey. Trundling through the heart of the city, the Jaladara steam train was built in Germany in 1896 and is a fun morning excursion in carriages with Victorian-style wood fittings. The trip begins at Purwosari train station (3 kms west of the city centre). Lunch is served before departing for Madiun, East Java. On arrival in Madiun we’ll enjoy a free evening.
Overnight: Aston Madiun (B, L)
Day 12 • Friday 30 June:
Today we have a special tour of the PT INKA, where Indonesian Rail have built their locomotives and carriages for the nationwide network, as well as rolling stock for other Asian countries and our own Queensland Rail. The train industry is the main one in Madiun city, and a large tourist attraction. As of the mid-1970s steam locomotives were no longer used in Indonesia so the defunct workshop was converted into a railway rolling stock manufacturing workshop. PT INKA is also pioneering the production of a national car called GEA (short for Gulirkan Energi Alternatif) and a prototype was created in 2008.
The rest of the day is free at your leisure.
Overnight: Aston Madiun (B)
Day 13 • Saturday 01 July:
MADIUN – MALANG
This morning, you will transfer to the train station for our half-day journey to Malang. Enjoy the views of this rich agricultural region as you savour lunch on the train. Upon arrival in Malang, our local driver will transfer us to our hotel, the Tugu Park, which is listed as one of the world’s 100 most beautiful hotels. The public rooms are adorned with priceless works of art and antiques. Tugu Hotels’ founder, Anhar Setjadibrata, once upon a time a medical student-turned-lawyer and now the owner of the biggest collection of fine Indonesian art and cultural antiquities in Indonesia, designed these beautiful boutique museum hotels to house his antiques and to share with the world the romantic stories and legends of ancient kingdoms of Indonesia. You will have the opportunity to join a guided tour of the hotel.
Overnight: Hotel Tugu Malang (B, L)
Day 14 • Sunday 02 July:
MALANG – BROMO
This morning after breakfast we will take a walking orientation tour of Malang which has many grand colonial-era buildings. Prized by the Dutch for its mild highland climate, the city retains much of its colonial architecture. We’ll see historic sites and walk through the local markets (bird and flower) and the small Brawijaya Museum with displays of the military history of East Java from the mid-20th century, before finishing at the city Cathedral. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Afterwards we continue the drive towards Mt Bromo, with a stop at the Singosari Hindu temple dating from the 13th century on the way. Proceed through the scenic road up to Bromo-Tengger National Park. Upon arrival at the hotel, check-in and enjoy time at leisure, ensuring you’re well rested for the very early start of our excursion tomorrow morning.
Overnight: Jiwa Jawa Bromo (B, L)
Day 15 • Monday 03 July:
MT BROMO – JEMBER
Depart our hotel early this morning, travelling by 4WD jeep to a spot with stunning views of the Bromo volcano and surroundings. Watch the sun rise from behind the volcano in Penanjakan as the mist rises from the valleys. Continue by jeep down to the volcano caldera, often still covered by mist in the early morning. The mist, combined with the grey ashen-covered ground create an unusual atmosphere, often compared to the surface of the moon. We walk or ride on horses to the crater and take stairs which lead to the rim of the still-active Bromo Volcano crater. Return by horse and jeep to the hotel for a late breakfast.
After leaving Bromo in the mid-morning, you will continue through spectacular countryside via Probolinggo to Jember. This is a long day of driving but through some incredibly scenic areas. A lunch stop will be made at a local restaurant en-route as well as breaks and photo stops along the way. You will arrive at the hotel in Jember for check-in late in the afternoon.
Overnight: Hotel Aston Jember (B, L)
Day 16 • Tuesday 04 July:
JEMBER – KALIBARU – KETAPANG
This morning, you will travel to Kalibaru. Our highlight today is a lorry tour through plantations of cacao, coffee and spices. The “lorries” are small track inspection rail vehicles which travel along the main lines where we get a different view of the tropical Gumitir Valley and Mount Mrawan. This is an adventurous tour through a mountainous part of East Java with its romantic views, entering two tunnels, respectively 684 and 113 metres long, and passing one of the longest hanging bridges in Java, 200 metres long and 80 metres above a deep valley and ravine. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Kalibaru, after which we’ll continue by coach to Banyuwangi at the eastern tip of Java.
Overnight: Ketapang Indah Hotel (B, L)
Day 17 • Wednesday 05 July:
BANYUWANGI – GILIMANUK – UBUD
After breakfast we drive to Ketapang Harbour and check-in at the ferry terminal before crossing the Bali Strait to the remote western side of the island of Bali. We will then continue by road to Ubud. Along the way we stop at Brahma Vihara Arama, an impressive mini replica of Borobudur located on a mountain, presenting wonderful views of the northern coastline. After lunch in Lovina, we visit Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, the most iconic landmark in Bali and a significant temple complex located on the picturesque shore of Beratan Lake in Bedugul. The Bedugul area is a favourite cool upland retreat region in one of the most scenic parts of Bali.
Tonight’s farewell celebration dinner and overnight stay is at the Komaneka at Bisma Resort, a very unique luxury hotel with views of the Campuhan River, coconut plantations and rice fields – all just a 10-minute walk from Ubud’s main street.
Overnight: Komaneka at Bisma, Ubud (B, L, D)
Day 18: Thursday 06 July:
Enjoy breakfast at the resort and a morning at leisure before transferring to Denpasar Airport for your departure flight. We are happy to arrange for you to extend your stay at Komaneka at Bisma in Ubud or elsewhere in Bali. Call us to discuss the many options.
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