While travelling around Madura is simple in theory, in practice it can be trying. There are regular buses but oftentimes they are cramped and sweaty; our researcher spent one journey jammed in the stairwell trying to avoid a sea of vomit on the floor.
Don’t be put off though. While it can be daunting it’s also a communal scene – fellow passengers will always strike up a conversation and there are plenty of smiles going round. As with everywhere else, a few Bahasa phrases go a long way.
Take the following as a (very) rough guide for bus travel:
- Damri bus from Surabaya airport to Terminal Purabaya/Bungurasih (Surabaya): 25,000R, 30 minutes
- Terminal Purabaya/Bungurasih (Surabaya) to Bangkalan (Tangkel stop): 40,000R, two-three hours
- Bangkalan to Sumenep (Terminal Arya Wirajaya): 40,000R, up to eight hours. The traffic outside Bangkalan at weekends or on market days can be heavy
- Sumenep to Pamekasan (Terminal Ronggosukowati, pictured above,): 15,000R, one hour
- Pamekasan to Sampang (Terminal Sampang): 15,000R, one hour
- Sampang to Surabaya (Terminal Terminal Purabaya/Bungurasih : 40,000R, four hours
In addition there’s also an overnight bus from Bangkalan Terminal Bangkalan Ceria to Jakarta.
In terms of getting around, the ubiquitous ojek motorcycle taxis are everywhere. So too are becaks, pictured below, the cycle rickshaws offering a calmer alternative compared to their noisier bike cousins. There is no Grab or Gojek app coverage on Madura.
Useful things to know
Population: 3.65 million
Language(s): Madurese, Bahasa Indonesia; Basic English understood and spoken
International dialling code: +62
Money: Indonesian rupiah (IDR), currently around 18,360IDR to UK£1. Banks and ATMs can be found in the main towns.
Madurese language primer
Whilst Bahasa is widely spoken across Madura it would be useful to have a few indigenous words handy. Our researcher lost count of the number of times people stared at him in disbelief when he used even a few rudimentary Madurese phrases.
This is by no means a comprehensive list but if, for some reason, you want to know the Madurese for ‘bald’ look no further:
Thank you – Sakalangkong
No problem – Depadeh (artinya)
Excuse me (seeking help) – Ta’ langkong/takalong (similar to ‘permisi’ in Bahasa)
Please (greeting) – Tore lenggi
I want… – Kaule terro
Ask – Atanya ah
Where is… – Edimah…
Assassination Classroom – Kelas ghebei mate e oreng*
Bald – Bhutak
Tall – Tengghi
*No, us neither