Is it safe to travel alone by train in Indonesia?
Replies: 28 - Last Post: Feb 28, 2013 11:01 PM Last Post By: ANOOR
Nov 29, 2012 11:59 PM
15Maybe its just human nature?
Don't Balinese people say ''Be careful in Jakarta..they are all thieves there''?
Or...''They are all headhunters in Kalimantan''
Nov 30, 2012 12:28 AM
Nov 30, 2012 1:05 AM
17For those of you who reads Indonesian, go through the posts in the backpackerindonesia forum pecinta jalan-jalan. Hardly any queries and warnings about safety concerns travelling in Indonesia for Indonesians by Indonesians. They are basically elcheapo travellers using the cheapest forms of transportations and accomodations and quite a few are females.
( And yes, Balinese do travel to Jakarta in droves for shopping, especially for designer products! )
Nov 30, 2012 1:08 AM
18A very interesting discussion. For what it's worth at a base level we are all guilty at times of harbouring suspicions against 'the other' as illogical as that may be. And conversely when in foreign climes trusting our own kind as illogical as that may be too. A case in point being those backpackers who put their trust in Charles Sobraj in the 70s which ended up costing them their lives. In my experience the less sophisticated and educated a person is the more likely they are to fear outsiders. Village people worry about going to a nearby town to withdraw money from an ATM because "there are always people hanging around waiting to rob you."
Island people seem to be particularly susceptible to this "in-group/out-group mentality" A popular belief amongst the British was that "the wogs begin at Calais" - and I'm sure some still hold that view. I remember when living among West Indians in London in the 70s the jokes that big island people (Jamaicans/Trinidadians made at the expense of little island (Grenada/St.Kitts etc)people. In Bali it used to be fairly common for Balinese to blame Javanese for petty crimes. In Sabah all street crime is blamed on illegals from the Philippines. Anyone got a good word to say about gypsies? As for me when I get screwed over it's usually as a result of dealing with a bank, a multinational insurance company, a utilities supplier or an oil company every time I fill my tank! Let's keep a little perspective here! You are unlikely to suffer any disadvantage riding the rails in Java.
Nov 30, 2012 2:25 AM
19ANOOR, one of the really, really, really positive things I've seen in Indonesia in the last few years is the rise of "backpacking" as a "cool" activity amongst young people.
I guess Trinity "the Naked Traveler" was one of the key pioneers of this movement (which is very much tied into blogs and social media), but these days both the actual roads and rails of Indonesia, and the blog and twittersphere are absolutely crawling with Indonesian "traveler communities" and such like. My favourites - and the most accessible for non-Indonesians given that they work in English - are the totally awesome Indohoy girls, who are always worth a plug: Indohoy. But there are masses of others.
This trend is definitely finally breaking down the traditional horror of public transport and fear of the "Near Other" in the younger generations of middle class Indonesians. But I suspect it'll be a little while before older people - of all classes - stop fretting about "orang nakal di jalan" and trains swarming with copet2, and longer still before people in Bengkulu stop telling you the neighbours in Pasemah and Palembang are dangerous, the people of deep Java stop telling you the same thing about the Pasisir people, the people of Flores stop saying similar stuff about Sumbawa, the people of west Alor finish proclaiming east Alor unapproachable, and the people of everywhere stop slandering Madura as a mind-blowingly dangerous place inhabited entirely by violent criminal thugs!
And it might be a while too before people everywhere from Sabang to Merauke stop asking me how's the "keamanan" in Inggris, and then refusing to believe me when I try to tell them it's probably worse than in Indonesia!
Nov 30, 2012 2:30 AM
20OK, if you want to limit this paranoia to the older generation of Indonesians, I’ll agree with you Tim. Heck, my Kumpi has never even been to Denpasar and if tried to bring him there again (as I once did) he’d surely decline the invite again. But we’re talking really old here Tim…I mean like survivors of the Japanese occupation.
Nov 30, 2012 2:42 AM
21MadeIndra - hey, I'm not going to fight about it, and the general discourse on "keamanan" in Bali does seem to be somewhat different to other parts of the country (unless you ask people about Lombok) - and that is probably a positive thing, given how absurd it sometimes is in other parts of the country.
But seriously, all over the country, it is very, very common to hear from all classes and all ages - except from the hip young backpackers - wildly inflated fears about travel on public transport and general safety in this country, and an often disbelieving astonishment when you insist that "keamanan" in Indonesia is for the most part better than in Western Europe...
Why this is is an interesting question, not one I have an easy answer for. There are those who claim that it is at least in part a deliberately encouraged construct of the Orde Baru, designed for control purposes, but I don't personally buy that, not least given that another very common line you hear is that "the keamanan was much better Jaman Suharto..."
Nov 30, 2012 2:49 AM
Nov 30, 2012 3:20 AM
Nov 30, 2012 4:17 AM
24Thanks to all for your answers , which I'll take into account. I'll think about it, and might just fly to Bali directly, as I don't really have time to hop off the train, so if the landscape from Jakarta to Bali is really interesting, I'd take it, if not then I'll save time and spend more days in Bali.
@ MadeIndra, I was not concerned about Indonesia specifically - it's not a question about this country , but about being a woman, as I have already gone through some uncomfortable situations in the past. I always enquire this when I travel to a new place where I don't know how things function. I'd use the word "cautious" or "prudent"as I want to take care of myself.So, in summary, sorry if you misinterpreted and thought I was referring to your country.
Thanks to everyone! :-)
Nov 30, 2012 4:20 AM
25No problem, but rest assured, nobody here is going to try to pinch your behind like in Italy.
Have a great trip!
Feb 22, 2013 10:47 AM
26I really am glad I found this thread. I am leaving for Indonesia in mid-March and my friends and family keep saying things like "Indonesia, cool!! But you have to be really careful" and it was starting to freak me out. I mean, had I missed something in my research?? Reading this thread has made me feel much more comfortable about my trip.
Thank you all.
Feb 22, 2013 1:21 PM
Feb 28, 2013 11:01 PM
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