Exploring Greater Jakarta by commuter train

Gang Gloria: The famous Gang Gloria (Gloria Alley) in Glodok has food vendors selling delicious ethnic Chinese cuisine.

The increasing quality of PT KCJ's commuter train service has attracted not only weekday commuters but also weekend revelers.

During weekends, families with small children pack the trains to tour the city.

Here are five commuter stations in Greater Jakarta that have interesting places nearby, some can be reached by walking from the stations.

The Bogor-Depok-Jakarta Kota route ends in Jakarta Kota station in West Jakarta, which is also known as Beos station. As one of the oldest train stations in the country developed by the Dutch East Indies government, the station has been in operation since 1873.

After enjoying the beautiful design of the station, you can visit a number of nearby museums, which are just within walking distance including Mandiri Museum, Bank Indonesia Museum, Jakarta History Museum and Wayang Museum.

Also within walking distance, though slightly farther, is the famous Gang Gloria (Gloria Alley) in Glodok, which has food vendors selling delicious ethnic Chinese cuisine.

Tanah Abang Station

The main jewel around the Tanah Abang station in Central Jakarta is Tanah Abang textile market, which is dubbed one of the largest markets in Southeast Asia. Visiting this market by train is probably the best option as even vendors in the markets battle the congestion everyday to find a parking spot in the market building.

The market is located just several hundred meters from the train station. You can also visit the nearby Textile Museum on foot. During the lunchtime, visit the food court on the fifth floor of the Blok F building.

An adventure into the delights of Minang cuisine can continue in the Blok G building where you can find Uni Lis satay on the second floor, which has been popular despite the ups and downs of Blok G.

Tangerang Station

Another tourist destination for train commuters is Pasar Lama in Tangerang, Banten. To reach the destination, commuters can take the train from Duri station in West Jakarta to the Tangerang station.

Pasar Lama is located near the station, so visitors can either walk or take becak (pedicab) by paying Rp 10,000 (78 US cents).

Besides fresh fruits and vegetables, the market offers many signature Chinese Indonesian delicacies.

Next to the market is a temple and the Benteng Heritage Museum where you can learn about the lives of early Chinese settlers in Tangerang.

If you wish to enjoy the lively atmosphere of the market, go before noon.

Rawabuntu Station

The gate to suburbia BSD City in South Tangerang is Rawabuntu Station, one of the stations on the Tanah Abang-Serpong-Parung Panjang route.

BSD City does not offer anything unique except for a few things like its parks, called Taman Kota I and Taman Kota II. But the most interesting place worth a visit is Pasar Modern BSD City, or Pasmo.

Pasar Modern is highly popular not only among the residents of BSD City but also those from other areas because it boasts a wide array of fresh produce, food vendors unique to the market, colorful and mouth-watering traditional cakes and jajan pasar (snacks), coffee shops and wholesale goods offered by about 330 kiosks and 100 shops.

The market opens from morning until early afternoon and at night parts of the parking lot are used by vendors to sell evening culinary treats.

Just like many suburbia, car culture is deeply entrenched in BSD City, therefore one must take a taxi (motorcycle or otherwise) from the station to Pasmo.

Bogor Station

The end destination of Jakarta Kota-Jatinegara-Bogor route, Bogor Station, is strategically located that one can walk to Bogor Botanical Garden from the station. The 87-hectare garden is worth not just a visit, but several. Besides Bogor Presidential Palace and its deer, the garden has museums and, of course, old trees.

If one ventures further south outside the garden, one will come across Jl. Suryakancana, the Chinatown of Bogor, which boasts Chinese food. Another culinary neighborhood is Taman Kencana, located northeast of the garden.