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Buses & Jeepneys in the Philippines

Philippines Buses & Jeepneys 🚍

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Explore the vibrant tapestry of Philippine transportation using its iconic buses and jeepneys. From bustling city streets to scenic rural routes, these colorful vehicles serve as the lifeline of Filipino commute culture.

Discover the blend of modern convenience and cultural charm as you journey through the Philippines, where each ride promises an adventure of its own.



Your Public Transport Options

During our trip through the Philippines, we had the opportunity of trying out a myriad of transport options. In addition to Habal Habal motorcyle rides and Trikes and Taxis, there were a few tips we picked up using the Philippines Buses & Jeepneys.

Which Colour Bus?

Always take the yellow air-conditioned buses. The price difference between these and the standard red buses is minimal, but they are faster and more roomy.

They also don’t stop as much and don’t get so overcrowded (oh, and they’re air conditioned 😉 ).

Philippines Buses & Jeepneys

Cebu bus terminal: Take the yellow aircon buses

Avoid Large Denomination Notes

Keep a pocketful of small denomination notes and coins to pay the conductor (especially so in Jeepneys).

Checkout your Filipino Currency

All Seats Are Not Created Equal…

Whenever possible, don’t sit at the back of the bus (over the rear wheel arch). With the general state of the roads, you’ll be bumped and shaken about like a rag doll.

Try a Trike or Taxi

Plan for Potty Breaks

Don’t drink too much before taking bus journeys. Some 3 or 4-hour bus trips that we took didn’t stop for potty breaks. If you really have to go, then there is a chance you won’t be the only one and a quick word with the driver should be enough to get him to pull in by the roadside.

You’ll have to forget your dignity at this point, and just take a pee as inconspicuously as you can. If it’s a number 2 you’re needing, it might be better to just let the bus carry on without you. You can then sort yourself out at leisure before hopping on the next bus

Philippines Buses & Jeepneys

One of the red non-airco buses

Stowing Luggage

At the start of some bus trips, you may be asked to stow your rucksack/luggage in the hold. Make sure you already have your valuables in a separate smaller bag that you can keep with you.

This might save you having to unpack your rucksack in the street while testing the patience of the driver and other passengers.

Adventurous? Try Habal-Habal

“Let me off!”

If you’re hidden behind bodies at the back of the bus and want to stop it to get off, the standard way of alerting the driver is to tap on the metal handrails with a coin.

All Hotel Options in Manila

If you enjoyed Philippines Buses & Jeepneys, check out Central Philippines – Cebu & Bohol. You may also like:


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Jakarta Train from Semarang

Jakarta Train from Semarang 🚂

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Our 3-week trip through Indonesia to the secluded tropical island of Karimunjawa concluded with a 460 km train journey from Semarang to Jakarta. There, we’d have just a day and a half in the city before taking our return flight back to Rome.

Before starting our return journey to Jakarta, we knew we would have very little time in Semarang to purchase train tickets.

We therefore decided to book our train tickets online, several months earlier. The train from Semarang can be busy, and with a return flight to Europe the following day we didn’t want to take any chances.



Purchase your Jakarta Train Tickets Online

Using the 12Go.com website, we purchased 2 executive-class one-way tickets for IDR 259,000 each (€17).

There are slightly different prices based on where in the carriage you choose to sit. However the seating diagram is a little confusing, so we chose the cheapest.

Apart from this, the 12Go.com website was easy enough to use, sending us a train voucher PDF file by email. The printed voucher had a booking bar code. We understood we would have to exchange the voucher at the train station in Semarang to receive our actual train tickets.

All Hotel Options in Semarang

Tawang Train Station, Semarang

On the morning of our departure from Semarang, we arrived at Tawang train station an hour in advance. A helpful security guard scanned our voucher on one of the station’s automatic ticket dispensers, and our tickets were printed.

Jakarta Train from Semarang

Jakarta Train from Semarang

The process was all very modern and hi-tech, and so unlike our experiences on the Indian train network.

Our train was already waiting, so we were able to board and find our seats a good 45 minutes before departure. The inside carriages were clean, if a little worn.

Jakarta Train In-Carriage Experience

Unfortunately, our seats were right at the front facing a bulkhead, so there wasn’t room to stretch our legs. Obviously, we should have paid better attention to the seating plan when making our booking online.

Although it’s not clear from the seating diagrams, there’s a reason for all the different prices.

Jakarta Train from Semarang

Jakarta Train from Semarang

Each carriage has a TV screen playing movies, and you can purchase drinks from the stewards. Each seat also has its own electrical point for charging your devices.

Our journey from Semarang to Gambir station in central Jakarta took a little over 6 hours. There were just 3 or 4 stops along the way.

All Hotel 0ptions in Jakarta

If you enjoyed Jakarta Train from Semarang, check out our Central Java Travel Plan. You may also like:


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