Indonesia is huge and there’s definitely more than one way to getting around Indonesia. Here I present you the ways that I found to be the most reliable and the fastest (maybe also the cheapest) to get anywhere you want.
This is, by experience, the most reliable and fastest way to getting around Indonesia. The trains are always on time, you will have a bathroom, electric plugs, sometimes a pillow and you can buy coffee or something to eat inside too. You can buy the ticket in any Indomart near you (best to avoid long queues). If you decide to get your ticket at the station, you have to arrive 30-45 minutes earlier and wait in the queue. The third option is to get your ticket online but that somehow never worked out for me. The train app doesn’t accept my personal data; they ask for full name, phone number and passport number. Make sure you type in your real name on your ticket because it will be checked if it matches with your passport’s before you enter the train.
One last and very important thing, it usually gets very cold inside the train (around 16C), so make sure you have something warm to wear.
The bus is a more of a hidden way to getting around Indonesia and to every possible destination that you can think of. Why I wrote hidden is because you won’t find enough information online about busses, if any. Most of them are privately organized by smaller agencies. Find a travel information center and ask if they offer a trip to your destination, more likely they do and if not they will refer you to someone who does. The good thing is that buses are very cheap but for that, you have to give all the luxury the train offers up and better get used to a bumpy ride.
IN THE CITY
In my first week in Indonesia, I tried to get a ride back to my hotel which was only 5km away. I wanted to get there fast so my first thought was to take a cab. I stopped few and asked for the price but the cheapest I could get (after bargaining tho) was 70.000Rp which is too much for the Indonesian prices (I did about 25km for about 20.000Rp in Lembang). I checked Uber and it was surprisingly only 17.500Rp. What I am trying to say is, avoid taxis at any cost, they are a total ripoff and they will try to make you pay ten times more. Use apps like Uber or Gojek (the Indonesian version of Uber). If you are in smaller cities, use the mini bus.