Bandung, the capital city of West Java, Indonesia. A city that will always have my heart. I spent some years lived in Bandung during my university years. The thought of coming back always spark some excitement and this time, I went there using Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI ) Luxury train. One of the latest class type released by KAI.
It was happened around mid of 2022, a friend of mine asked me to join her into a trip to Bandung and I thought why not? It is also as if I get the light of trying the Luxury train as I have been curious about it for sometime so there I was booking the trip from Gambir to Bandung train station. Excited!
Booking the trip
You could go into several websites to purchase the ticket online or if you want to buy it offline you could also go to the train station. Once you get into the site make sure you choose the luxury type. Afterwards you will see some class, I have been informed that those classes are different depending on the seat position to the train facilities. They said there is a price difference perhaps due to the extra convenience a position has to offer e.g. closer to the train restaurant. However, within my experience I had the same price though it has different class. not sure if it is expected or not.
Going on the Day of the trip – Departing station
If you can, come earlier because you will still have to exchange your booking with a boarding pass and there is no separate place for the luxury class to get the boarding pass. A bit different concept with an air flight. You could exchange it in the self service machine. The process was rather quick as you just need to enter your booking code reference and print the boarding pass. By the way if you depart from Gambir station, there was one machine on the right side near to the boarding gate in which most people weren’t aware of ( including me ) that machine didn’t have any queue while the others are pack. It is actually intrigued me of how for Luxury train they didn’t have a separate place to get a boarding pass but who knows it might be me who didn’t know or maybe there has been an update right now.
Once you get your boarding pass, off you go to enter the boarding room. Again, don’t do it like me whereas I wasn’t aware that luxury class has its own dedicated waiting room in Gambir. So i can’t really say anything on this. Let me know if you have tried it and how’s the experience? 😉
The Train and Its Facilities
Alright now the train has come, the luxury carriage is located in the prime location towards the beginning of the train or I would say the most convenient place possible to board a train. Likewise, the clumsy side of me I went to the different end. ( crying ) It will be quite prominent on which carriage you are in since there will be a steward/ess wearing different uniform in front of the door.
Entering the train, it reminds me of an airplane. It is spacious with 2 & 1 seating arrangement. Only limited seat within the carriage that has extra leg room seat arrangement either in the front or at the back row. If you are planning to bring a big luggage try to get this seat as it will be more comfortable for you. ( talking about the experience getting bumped in a train by the neighbouring luggage ) I am not sure why but train carriage in Indonesia don’t have that med – big luggage storage space.:( Anyway, when you get into your seat you could see that you have a reclining seat ( not flat bed type i have tried ) with its adjustable leg and foot rest too. You have a small screen, if you get into the front seat as I did, it won’t have much use as it is located quite far away from you. Other than that within your seat you will have a foldable tray, charger for you and only you and reading lamp. In terms of privacy, it wasn’t as private as I thought it would be. When you are in fully reclined position ( perhaps only me ) you feel a bit more vulnerable and some separator will be much appreciated, won’t it? Overall, the interior has its luxurious feeling with all the colour and the wood ambience.
Other facilities within the train, there was minibar with a stewardess on my trip, in which you could request for some drinks. I didn’t try tough because they have provided you with some food to be eaten along the way and drinks which were enough for me. Oh, and although I found it weird not sure why many people reviewed its toilet. The toilet between man and woman are separated, one each and it’s dedicated only for the luxury carriage that you are in so with only little passenger (26 total per carriage ) there was no problem in toilet queue. The toilet was clean and the design was indeed looks like the airplane toilet.
all in all the journey was quite enjoyable. I didn’t really remember though. do they have in train wifi? I made some IG stories along the way so it seemed that I didn’t have an issue with my connection. At least that, I could say. Basically you have everything set for you so just enjoy the ride.
Arriving – Arrival Station
Nearing the arrival station, I got a refreshing towel handkerchief handed by the stewardess. Afterwards, you could go down. Another perks in the luxury class is the location is at the most convenient to the exit pathways but once you are out nothing much different to the other classes facilities. So nothing really specific in this area. I was actually more awed by the New Bandung Train Station. Some construction upgrade have been finished and some are still underway. No more walking between rail / train to get into your intended gate. the pathways are nice, clean and modern.Looking at the one that has been under operation I think I could put hopes and looking forward to its final result. Here are some pics for you to see.
To sum up the journey and within my verdict, I think the whole experience was great! kudos to the team. For sure, things have its area of improvement but what is it that don’t have those rooms? I would recommend this if you in need of a little more quiet environment and extra leg room. It will be better perhaps for longer journey. However, if you are going like me from Jakarta to Bandung, I think executive class will be sufficient yet it isn’t bad either to try new thing once in a while, right?
Hope you had/ will have a wonderful experience too within the train!
Triana Mustika Rukmi