Taking a bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is easy and a cheaper alternative to air travel. Air fare was a bit high so we scratch off that option and took the bus instead.
Before booking, I thoroughly read reviews from previous travelers who took the bus to see which is the best operator to transact with. I’ve read quite a number of bad reviews for Qistna, Seasons Express, Five Stars Express, and Billion Stars Express so we were left with Transtar Express and Causeway Link Express.
I wanted to take Causeway Link Express because all reviews were good, but their evening trip is only at 7:00PM for March 31. We need to take a bus which leaves Singapore past 11:00PM so we took TranStar Express instead. Most reviews for TranStar are also positive, it was a relief that they do have buses departing from SG every hour. We booked the transport online via busonlineticket. The online transaction was easy, fast, and safe. 🙂
Majority of bus companies operate from the lot in front of a large shopping compound known as the Golden Mile Complex – this is also a deciding factor since the complex is only 10-15 minutes walk from Arab St.
Things to note when taking the bus:
- Need to check-in at the operator office 30 minutes prior to departure to confirm seats and to check where the terminal is as there are two different terminals within the complex – one is the Golden Mile Complex itself, the other is in the Golden Mile Tower (one building away from the complex).
- Besides booking online, travelers may also buy tickets at one of the bus counters in the complex as there are a string of bus operator offices in front and inside the shopping compound.
- If you go hungry, there are hawker stalls in L1 of Golden Mile Tower, or you can cross the street towards Golden Mile Food Centre for a more varied choice of local food.
BUS TICKET PRICES
Ticket prices vary widely between bus companies which also corresponds to the level of luxury you are paying for. They come for as low as SGD18 (longer travel time + not so okay reviews for the bus) and as high as SGD69 (with personal LCD entertainment system, wifi, and sockets). We were on a budget but would not compromise comfort over anything else, so we opted to go for what’s on the mid-range and got our tickets from TranStar Express for SGD31 each.
TRAVEL TIME AND IMMIGRATION BOO-BOOS
It’s a two-hour travel from Golden Mile Complex up to the border where our passports were stamped out from Singapore. It took us an hour on the queue, thanks to an Immigration Officer whose workstation crashed and didn’t know what to do than to stare at her computer and not ask for help right away – even if the line was sooooo long already. Juskolord talaga si ate! Ni hindi man lang mag-sorry sa mga tao at i-explain ang nangyayari. We were worried that the bus might leave us if we were the only ones not aboard (there were stories like that with the other bus companies), but yeah, thanks to TranStar for not leaving passengers behind. 🙂 The bus stopped 5 minutes away from Singapore Immigration Office and we were told we are in Malaysian border already and to take our luggages with us. We then queued again for almost half an hour, passports were stamped in, and another 45 minutes to have our luggages checked.
After our almost two hours in the immigration office, it was another four hours from Malaysian border to Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur City Center. We arrived at Berjaya Times Square around 7:00AM the next day. Eight hours on the road, y’all!
KUALA LUMPUR CITY
We didn’t do much on our stay in KL since we were so tired from the bus trip and the last three days we spent in Singapore so we decided we’ll just chill (read: SLEEP whole day) and go Batu Caves and KLCC in the afternoon. We stayed at Sri Puteri Condominium – booked via AirBnB – it was a huge room with three bedrooms (one bedroom was assigned for all five of us), with an overlooking view of the city. It was much like Manila, but not quite.
Located in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples. It is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India dedicated to Lord Murugan and is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.
How we got to Batu Caves:
From Cheras LRT station, we took RapidKL going to Sentul Timur and alighted at Bandaraya (6th stop), then took KTM Komuter going straight to Batu Caves.
KUALA LUMPUR CITY CENTER
From Batu Caves, we took the same line going back to Bandaraya, then took RapidKL going to Masjid Jamek interchange, then KLCC. Their train system was very easy to navigate. 🙂
Before taking pictures with the buildings, we dined at Dome Cafe at Suria KLCC. We were starving that time and didn’t have the energy to go around the mall to see what other restaurants are there. It was a good dining experience, plus we chatted a bit with some Filipino crew of the restaurant (there were actually ten of them!).
PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS
The Malaysia experience wouldn’t be complete without taking a trip to the iconic twin towers, the country’s identifying landmark since its opening in 1999. The towers were designed by Argentine architect Cesar Pelli – choosing a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur.
The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. The spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999.
After dinner and picture taking at the Petronas Twin Towers, we headed back to Sri Puteri Condominium. It was a strategic place to stay at since it’s only a few minutes away from Cheras LRT station.
There’s a 7-Eleven store near Cheras Station so we decided to just buy bread and noodles to save so we can splurge on our lunch meal and possible expensive train ride going to KLIA 2.
The next day, we prepped our things and headed out around 12NN to get lunch and go directly to the airport. We thought KLIA Express was too expensive to take at RM55 each (PHP660) so we decided we might as well just put the extra money to buy souvenirs and took GrabCar instead. It was a good call because we had RM50 per person extra money! Wooohoooo!!!!
We took the train from Cheras to TBS (Bandar Tasik Selatan) and from there, GrabCar ride was about an hour to KLIA 2. It was a very smooth one hour ride and the driver was friendly with us. We stayed at KLIA 2 until our 6:30PM departure, bought some souvenirs, and napped. 🙂
TOTAL EXPENSE FOR FIVE PEOPLE
That’s it for our less than-48-hours stay in Kuala Lumpur. We will be back for sure since we were not able to really explore the city.