Polychrome Interest

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Indonesia Banget #28: Some Public Transportation in Indonesia

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Click the button to see more post on Indonesia Banget

Welcome back again to Indonesia Banget where I always share things you can find in/from Indonesia 🙂

This month, I want to share transportation in, more specifically in Jakarta. I am not going to share the common ones you can find easily in your country, like train, taxi and bus (although our bus is very different to developed countries)…I will only share the ones you can find only in Indonesia (or maybe in other developing countries).

I will share five kinds of transportation this time and maybe one day I can share more transportation.


I think rickshaw is the right translation for Becak. It’s a tree wheeled vehicle where the driver sit on the back and the passengers on the front. Becak is a short distance taxi with human energy as its fuel 😉 Becak’s driver has to be strong because he has to paddle the becak. If the becak’s driver is already our regular, we don’t need to discuss about the fee…but if we come to a new place or to a farther distance, we have to discuss the fee first.

Becak no longer exist in Jakarta because they caused traffic jam, but we can still see becak outside Jakarta.

Photo belongs to

Photo belongs to JungleAviator


Ojek is a motorcycle acted like a taxi. Basically, it’s riding on the back of an unknown man’s motorcycle 😉 Ojek might sound like a dangerous transportation for woman because we are alone with the Ojek’s rider, but don’t worry most Ojek’s riders are honest men because they are feeding their family with their job (but there were few cases where ojek’s rider gone wrong). Just like Becak, we have to negotiate the fee before using his service. Unlike becak, we can travel farther distance with ojek.

Motorcycles used as Ojek waiting for customers

Motorcycles used as Ojek waiting for customers


Delman is Indonesian version of horse carriage. Based on this site, Delman is named after the name of its discoverer, Charles Theodore Deeleman, a litografer and engineers in the Dutch East Indies. Dutchman himself calls this vehicle with a dos-à-dos (back to back, the literal meaning of the French language), which is a kind of train passengers sitting back to back.

Delman used to be like Becak, we could hire it to go to a certain place…nowadays, Delman is more like tourist attraction. We can still find Delman in Jakarta but it’s used as a fun transportation for kids. The Delman will carry kids around the area near their home. Kids love riding on Delman, mostly because of the horse. We can also find Delman in the zoo and other Jakarta recreation parks.

Becak and Ojek are transportation for individual needs that will take you anywhere you please (like I said before, kinda like Taxi). Delman is more for attraction. Now, I will share two public transportation I use everyday.

Photo belongs to

Photo belongs to Ambar Bayu Setiawan


Angkot is a minibus turned into public transportation. There are two long seats facing each other. One seat can take 6 people while the other for 4 people. There is another seat for two near the door. Two more passengers can seat next to the driver. A full angkot can carry a total of 14 passengers. Angkot has specific route with different fee, the longer you the distance the more you have to pay. The fee range from Rp.2.000 to Rp.5.000 ($0,2 to half a dollar). From the photo, I took the read one almost everyday.


Small Bus

It’s basically the same with all buses around the world, the difference is only on its size. I call it small bus because there are other bigger ones.

One thing you need to know about Indonesian bus (both small and big) is the existence of Kenek. Kenek is a person who collects transportation fee from the passengers. You can see the kenek of the bus in the photo hanging on the door.


Those are public transportation used by common people in Indonesia…rich people choose Taxi or ride their own cars. Sometimes, I see foreigners on one of these transportation, a sight I always enjoy because it shows that they aren’t too snob to ride on such poor looking transportation. Most foreigners take taxi. I am talking about foreigners who have lived long in Indonesia not tourist 😉

See you again next month 🙂

About Novroz

I actively maintained 2 blogs. My personal blog is about things that I love: Turtles, Books, Movies, Music, Larc en Ciel, Muse, Cillian Murphy, The Mighty Boosh and many more. I also help my 3 super cute turtles, Kroten, Papoe and Kurome, to maintain their own blog: http://kamekroten.wordpress.com

37 comments on “Indonesia Banget #28: Some Public Transportation in Indonesia

    January 17, 2013

    are becak’s cheap to travel with? Hope it’s not dangerous driving in them.

    • Novroz
      January 17, 2013

      For short distance…yeah, Becak is quite cheap…but we can’t use becak for long distance.
      It’s not dangerous at all…it was quite fun. Whenever I was outside Jakarta, i tried to ride on becak 🙂

  2. Binky
    January 17, 2013

    That was really interesting! It’s nice to share things like this because most of us would probably never know otherwise. So an Angkot is basically a private small bus that runs a regular route on a regular schedule?

    • Novroz
      January 17, 2013

      Thank you Peter 🙂
      I just hope I won’t run out of things to share in the near future 😉

      I am quite confuse by what you mean by private….is private means belong to individual or private mean belong to a non government company?
      Angkot usually belongs to a small company that owns several angkot. They have regular driver to ride on it, the driver pay rent to the company. But some people can buy angkot and drive it themselves, of course after dealing with permit. All those angkots need to have permit from Departement perhubungan (Government Department that deals with transportation)…without a permit they aren’t allowed to take passengers. We have different plate color, private car has black plate while public transportation has yellow plate…police will know if a private car is used as public transportation.

      Ah…I forgot to share this information on the post>> Angkot and Small Bus have no regular schedule. You just have to wait till they show up. We don’t get off in bus stop either, we just get off wherever we want.

      • Binky
        January 18, 2013

        I meant private, like an individual owning his own Angkot. But I see that they’re more like a fleet owned by a company. They seem to be controlled and regulated much like taxis are here, so it’s interesting that you have both taxis and angkots to meet slightly different needs. Angkots would probably work here, but they’d definitely need doors for winter!

        • Novroz
          January 19, 2013

          They actually have door…but they tied it so that it won’t bother people who are trying to get in. But yeah it almost never shut…Indonesia is very hot.

  3. Fariz
    January 17, 2013

    Becak is everywhere in Surabaya, Miss, haha well not exactly :p And strangely, we don’t really have many Ojek here, same with angkot and buses, compare to Jakarta that has lots of them. I used to ride home with angkot and kopaja sometimes after school…memories 🙂

    • Novroz
      January 17, 2013

      You are in Surabaya now? I didn’t know that!! I thought you are still in Jakarta.
      I think Ojek is booming in Jakarta because there is no becak 😉
      Hahaha high-school memory 😉

      • Fariz
        January 18, 2013

        Hahaa yes Miss, I’ve been living here for 2 years and a half. I was accepted at Unair, so I had to move to this hot hot town :-p

        • Novroz
          January 19, 2013

          Hahah be patience 😉
          I have heard of how hot Surabaya is.
          Good luck with your study 🙂

  4. TBM
    January 17, 2013

    Thanks for all of the descriptions. In the States there is a service involving mopeds that seems pretty clever. If you have been drinking, you can call them. They will put their moped in the trunk of you car and then drive your car home for you so you won’t be arrested for drinking and driving. It sounds like a good idea since no one should ever drive after they have been drinking. I have never used the services since I’m not a huge drinker and now I don’t own a car so I can’t validate it they are any good. I have only seen the flyers advertising it.

    • Novroz
      January 17, 2013

      Thank you for sharing that. I have never heard of such thing before! I don’t think I ever seen it in a movie too. Is it in all the state of just some states?

      • TBM
        January 17, 2013

        I remember seeing it in Colorado and Massachusetts. Those are the only two states that I lived in when I was old enough to drive. I remember seeing a sign once in London, but I haven’t seen it again. The advertisements are usually posted in the bathroom. I imagine a lot of the cities with colleges would have a need for this business. But like I said, I’ve never tried it so don’t know how reliable or safe it is.

        • Novroz
          January 18, 2013

          I think it’s a good service, hopely it’s also effective

  5. Caroline
    January 18, 2013

    Wonderful post, Novia, thanks a lot for sharing it.
    I like the first best as that’s certainly something you’d never see in Europe.
    I think for the passemger it’s quite comfortable, maybe less for the driver. 😉

    • Novroz
      January 18, 2013

      Thanks Caroline 🙂
      Funny thing is, I saw that becak in one of Doctor Who episodes, I was quite surprised when I saw it.

      The drivers are strong, although I often feel sorry for the drivers who are alreafy old.

  6. ruth
    January 18, 2013

    I miss riding Becak! I used to take those going to school as a kid. I don’t think I could ever take ‘Ojek’ though. Btw, how’s the flood affecting you Nov? My brother just sent me pics of the floods all over the city, oh my, what a mess.

    • Novroz
      January 18, 2013

      To be honest…I also prefer becak more…but sometimes I took ojek for short distance (but my hands always hold the back of the motorcycle NEVER in any body part ofthe rider.

      Aaaah..the flood! It hasn’t affected me yet but it’s crazy. The 5yearly flood comes one year late…I am afraid it’s not the worst of it yet.

      • ruth
        January 19, 2013

        Oh yeah, I much prefer Becak and Bajaj over Ojek. I’m kinda afraid of motorcycles, esp in Jakarta, hiiih. Even though I was in the back seat, I almost had a heart attack when my driver or my brother drove us around, those motorbikes are nuts! Glad that my brother’s house in Tebet is not affected by the flood, I think we’re in a relatively higher ground than the rest of the city.

        • Novroz
          January 19, 2013

          Hahaha…yeah motorcycle is pretty scary. I hate crossing the street when there are more bikes than cars…most of them are annoying riders who don’t care about people trying to cross the street. But I don’t mind riding it.

          Glad to hear that Ruth 🙂
          …but when the worst come, even though we live in higher ground we are forced to stay home as everywhere else are flooded. I hope the worst never come (like in 2007)

  7. Last time I tried becak was when I was in Surabaya couple of years ago and it was raining. Paid 10 rb just from the back of the hotel to the lobby (they know how to make money, for sure). I prefer to ride ojek than kopaja/metro mini, I don’t like the seats. Nice topic, Novroz!

    • Novroz
      January 19, 2013

      I like Kopaja more…simply because I can read. Can’t read in motorcycle 😦
      Hahaha yeah…sometimes they are very tricky. It happened to me with a bajaj once.
      Thank you Andina 🙂

  8. Geoff
    January 19, 2013

    This looks a really nifty looking ride my friend
    and transport such as this one is one I would
    like to try out, mind you I wonder what the guy
    at the back would think if I got on board? 😦 lol

    Have a lovely weekend and
    thank you for sharing this one 🙂

    Geoff xxx

    • Novroz
      January 19, 2013

      Huahaha…I assume that you are quite big 😉
      And you should know that Indonesian are quite small.

      Have a nice weekend to you too Andro 🙂

      • A
        January 24, 2013

        Yes over six feet tall 🙂 xxx

        • Novroz
          January 26, 2013

          Over 6 feet tall? I will definitely look like a hobbit next to you 😉

  9. Alice Audrey
    January 20, 2013

    If I were to visit, I would probably pay for the taxi not because I’m a snob, but because if I have to rely on my own ability to read signs in a language I don’t know, I’ll get lost.

    This is great! It’s like basic research material for me.

    It’s a pity to see the becak fade away. I’ve been thinking I need to get something like that for hauling my kids around in. Only i don’t think it will go well with snow.

    • Novroz
      January 21, 2013

      Ah! I should have said foreigners who have lived long in Indonesia. Tourist always take Taxi…it’s easier that way, as you’ve said they will get lost in Jakarta, a city built without plan. Even people who have just come from the village can easily get lost in Jakarta.

      …I hope you will visit Indonesia one day 🙂

      It only fade away in Jakarta because they create more traffic jam…but becak is easy to find outside Jakarta…the one that fade away is the delman. I can imagine the trouble during snowy day 😉

      • Alice Audrey
        January 24, 2013

        I would love to visit, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

        • Novroz
          January 25, 2013

          Just make sure you tell me when you finally visit Jakarta 😉 I’ll show you around

          • Alice Audrey
            January 29, 2013

            You bet! You’d be the main attraction.

          • Novroz
            January 29, 2013

            Yaaaiii \(^_^)/ let’s hope that day will come one day 🙂

  10. Donna
    January 29, 2013

    Di Jakarta masih ada becak kok. Di tempat sy (grogol) lumayan banyak. cuman yah ga boleh lewat jalan raya.

    • Novroz
      January 29, 2013

      Wah masih ada toh! di dekat2 rumah saya dah ga pernah liat lagi loh

  11. pulsa
    March 5, 2013

    love becak, she’s become rare in town X)

    • Novroz
      March 6, 2013

      In Jakarta…other towns still have becak 😉

  12. Pingback: Indonesia Banget #0 | Polychrome Interest

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