4D/3N Backpacking Bromo & Ijen Without A Tour (Part 8) : Banyuwangi – Probolinggo Business Class Train Ride

 Good Bye Kawah Ijen, hello Mt. Bromo!! Our East Java highlights backpacking journey continued on the iron horse, chugging tirelessly on the rickety railway tracks. Due to time constraint, we skipped the free breakfast provided by Kg. Osing Inn, Banyuwangi and made a mad dash to the train station to catch the morning train. 😛


Business Class For The Experience

Since we had the experience of travelling on Economy Class previously, my sister and I decided to go for a change and opted for Business Class instead. To read my East Java Economy Class train ride experience, click here. 🙂

Wasting no time, we bought the tickets for Mutiara Timur Siang/86 @ 09:15 hours train, travelling from Karangasem (KNE) to Probolinggo (PB). The train tickets cost Rp.120,00 per person. The train arrived on time and in an instance, we were excitedly making our way to our next destination – Mt. Bromo!


The Mutiara Timur Siang/86 train arrived on time at Karangasem train station @ Banyuwangi
Good bye Kawah Ijen @ Karangasem station station, Banyuwangi, East Java


Classy, But Costly Train Ride to Probolinggo

So, how was it like to travel on a Business Class train in East Java? Here is my honest review. 😀 The facilities and service provided in this class was slightly better, however as expected, the price of the food and everything else is doubled of those in the Economy Class.

Take for example the fried rice a.k.a nasi goreng we had on both train classes. It was the same fried rice. It tasted the same. It even had the same ingredients in it. The only difference is that one was served in a plastic food container with plastic cutlery for Rp.17,000 @ Economy Class, whereas another was served on a porcelain plate with stainless steel cutlery for Rp.27,000 @ Business Class! Just take a look at the two photos below. In other words, it is same-same, but different, if you get what I mean. 😉

The presentation of the fried rice a.k.a nasi goreng served in Business Class was more appealing, but eating it on the moving train without the support of a table is just ridiculous! The porcelain plate and stainless steel cutlery was heavy. 🙁 Eating from it became a juggling/balancing act. For this reason, foods served in plastic food containers seem to be a better, more convenient option.


The economy class fried rice or nasi goreng served on the Sri Tanjung/174 train
The business class fried rice or nasi goreng served on the Mutiara Timur Siang/86 train

A Sense Of Privacy & Peace Of Mind

The seats in the Business Class were slightly more comfortable and nicely decorated. Both the temperature and the atmosphere in the berth was cooler, and it smells better too, but the most obvious thing is the seats were facing in the same direction, and there were less people on board which gave us more privacy as compared to travelling in the Economy Class. 🙂

There was nothing much to do on board the train except to enjoy the scenic views as we passed by East Java villages, green paddy fields, lush forests and plantations. Throughout the journey, we were approached by friendly train attendants offering food and drinks. There were even pillows and blankets for rent too!

A point to remember when travelling Business Class on the train in East Java or anywhere else for that matter, and that is to keep your ticket with you at all times for there will be officers on duty doing their rounds, making sure that there are no free-loaders on board. To sum it up, we had a smooth and safe journey travelling from Karangasem, Banyuwangi to Probolinggo, East Java.


The business class coach @ Mutiara Timur Siang/86 train
Well-maintained and cosy seats in business class coach @ Mutiara Timur Siang/86
Endless rice fields and coconut trees in East Java as seen from the moving train
Scenic train ride from Banyuwangi to Probolinggo, East Java
Darkness looms over the day as the sun sets in the horizon
We saw endless greenery during our train ride in East Java
Picturesque views like this make the journey through East Java pleasant and memorable 🙂


Up next: The story of how my sister and I braved through and survived the notoriously scam-my Probolinggo on our way to Mt. Bromo – of bemo, angkot and bison (public transportation) in East Java! 😉

4 Comment

  1. Rakesh Pandey says: Reply

    Hi, really appreciate of putting detailed blog which inspired to plan a solo trip without tour company. Regarding train, is the tickets available on the spot ( no prior bookings required) and do they allocate seat number in both economy or business class coach?

    1. Hi Rakesh,

      Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it much. =)

      Yes, the train tickets can be bought on-the-spot, but are subject to availability. This is because during the festivities/peak season, the train might be fully booked. Therefore, it’s wise to book the tickets online if you’re going to travel during the peak season.

      From our experience, our purchased train tickets doesn’t have any allocated seats. It was a first-come-first-serve, free seating basis for both in the economy and business class coach. Hope that helps. Happy and safe travels to you! =)

  2. Evonne says: Reply

    Hi! Came across your blog and find it very helpful. But do you remember how long was the ride from Karagasem to Probolinggo train station? Thanks!

    1. Hi Evonne, thank you for the compliment. The train ride from Karangasem to Probolinggo took about 4 hours. We left Karangasem at 9.15am and arrived in Probolinggo at about 1.15pm. 🙂

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