Probolinggo Bus Terminal - How To Avoid Being Scammed
There are different types of travelers. Some people prefer to take tours with comfortable buses, which deliver you from door to door, some people take a cab to get to a hotel without any stress, others go for the most uncomfortable way of traveling - public transport. Of course, it’s a personal choice. We definitely belong to the last group.
Why do we travel by public transport, when it’s not reliable, takes more time and quite often is more stressful? Well, sometimes it really makes a difference in money and allows us to save some budget. But the main explanation for me is the experience. From my point of view, public transport is the best way to witness the lifestyle and get a full local experience.
When we travel by public transport in Asia, we always try to be aware of scammers. Probolinggo bus terminal is the perfect example.
You end up at Probolinggo bus terminal mostly in two cases. First, when you go Cemoro Lawang (direction Mount Bromo) and second when you go to Bondowoso (direction volcano Ijen). We experienced both.
Probolinggo bus terminal
First of all, let’s make clear how to get to the Bus Terminal. The exact coordinates of Terminal Bayuangga can be found on Google Maps.
From the train station, the best way to get to the bus terminal is to take a small yellow van, called bemo. Tell the driver “bus terminal”, the fixed price is 5.000 IDR per person. Probably the driver will try to drop you off at the travel agency first. Just say “No, I’m going to the bus terminal” and he will continue the ride.
Direction Bromo - Cemoro Lawang
First of all, there are no public buses going to Cemoro Lawang. You should take another bemo (van) and share the price with other tourists.
Once you arrived at the bus terminal, don’t enter it, but walk a bit along to small kiosks with food and fruits. There you can ask around, someone will point you out the exact pickup location. The full price of a van is 525.000 IDR and it can fit up to 15 people. The price per person will be 35.000 IDR accordingly. This is a fair price, drivers won’t go down with it. Please accept it and wait for other tourists to share the costs. We arrived in low season and had to wait for more than two hours, till enough people came to the bus stop.
Direction Ijen - Bondowoso
There is a local bus to Bondowoso, which departures from the Bayuangga terminal a few times per day. It should be easy to take it unless it’s not. The problem here is scammers. I will share our experience on how to deal with them.
When we arrived at the bus terminal, we asked around about a bus to Bondowoso. A bunch of friendly local men immediately showed us the stop. There is also a sign, so it’s hard to miss it. As the bus runs only a few times per day, we had to wait for it. These friendly local guys were hanging around with us, giving us tips and smiling to us a lot.
When the bus finally arrived, the same friendly people told us to board it and asked us to pay. “What is the price?” - we asked. “90.000 IDR” - was the answer. “Wait, wait, wait, we’ve heard that it should be around 20.000 IDR” - we smiled back. “No, no, no, it’s for a regular bus, and this one is the express bus with AC and TV” - continued to insist one of the friendly people. As we learned later, it was really an express bus, but the price was fake.
Moreover, one man already took a piece of paper and started to write a “ticket” for us. Just with a pen on a white piece of paper. We didn’t stop playing their game, but we said “This man doesn’t look neither like a bus driver nor like a controller to us. We are not going to pay him. We will wait for the driver and then we pay”. At this moment they stopped being friendly and told us to get out of the bus if we don’t want to pay. That’s what we did. If you end up in such a situation, don’t be afraid of getting out of the bus. The bus stays at the terminal for about an hour, you will have your chance to jump back in.
What next? We were standing for around 30 minutes next to the bus and smiling to the scammers. All Indonesian passengers were sitting inside the bus and looking at us, some were taking pictures. However, in the end, the bus driver entered the bus and we jumped it as well. We sat down on free seats and what did I notice! The official Tariff is 35.000 IDR from Probolinggo to Bondowoso! When the bus left the city, a bus controller passed by and we paid the fair ticket price.
Note: as I mentioned, we took an express bus. The price os a regular bus without AC will be 20.000 IDR per person.
- Never pay, before the bus starts to drive
- Look around, if there is any tariff rate written inside of the bus
- Don’t be afraid of scammers. They talk a lot, but they don’t hurt. Keep on smiling and be patient.
- Don’t be afraid of public transport, in the end, it’s a part of the adventure 😄
Safe travel everyone ✈