This is a long overdue post, which I am finally putting ”in print”, especially for those who asked about our executive bus experience when I tweeted about it months ago.
We have tried traveling from Singapore to Malaysia by air which was a breeze at 30-minute flight. While in Kuala Lumpur, we were reoriented (I had a first glimpse through KG’s post) by the hotel staff that trailing through the executive buses seems more attractive. Hence, from Malaysia back to Singapore, we jumped in it. We took the 18-seater (3 x 6) Five Stars bus and hardly believed the comfort it offered. It is decent, homey, armed with entertainment (like the in-flight) system, and has more leg room than the economy flights. While I insinuate that it was like being in a plane, you will not see the clouds up close but the refreshing views of Malaysia instead.
(I am not sure if I mentioned in any of my Malaysia travelogues that most of its views and corners are very much like the Philippines’.)
It was by chance that we took the 18-seater bus. Incidentally, it was the immediately available (our number did fit in) bus when we went to the terminal nearest to Bukit Bintang. It turned out to be a favorable coincidence because it is more private. However, if we will get the chance, we will definitely re-live this experience and try the double decker next time and book ahead of time.
The entire duration of our trip from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore was less than five hours, including the washroom breaks and immigration formalities. The nicest thing with this travel option is that there are plenty of bus liners and friendly trip schedules which will allow you to manage your time.
Although we had an idea about the length of travel, I beamed when I remembered Mimi’s (of Sleepless in KL) posts on how to know if you’re in Singapore + the peculiar style of Malaysian motorcyclist of wearing his jacket. These amusingly cued me to get ready for the immigration formalities.
The bus stopped by the Immigration Office for a while. All the 18 passengers from our bus lined up (technically there was no queue) at different counters. On the immigration card, instead of indicating your flight number, you will mention the name of bus company instead. Your bus would leave only when the total number of original passengers have already returned to their respective seats. While we were toying with the idea of trying the double decker next time, I think that it is better to be grouped with a more private or carriage with fewer capacity if you want to conclude early from the immigration. Well, unless someone from your group will inadvertently have a problem with his passport and other relevant documents. By the way, your luggage will remain intact in the compartment of the bus and you shall claim it once you reach the bus station in Singapore.
As soon as we were done from the Immigration Office, we were back to our home, errr seats (with feet up and blanket — actually pulled out my malong which I got from Davao ages ago), to enjoy the equally refreshing yet more modern views of Singapore.
(Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Flyer, from afar.)
It was a week before the Youth Olympics then and we chanced on this billboard showcasing the mascots inspired by Merlion, dubbed as Merly and Lyo.
[More information on trip schedules from different bus liners.]
Bus liners: [Aeroline] [First Coach Bus Express] [Five Stars Tours] [Grassland Express] [Konsortium Bus Express] [Luxury Express] [Odyssey Bus] [Plus Liner] [Sri Maju Bus Express] [Transnasional] [Transtar Travel]