From the airport
It’ 04:30 am; 12th october 2012 at the airport, Arrived from Surabaya the previous day, we landed at Kuala Lumpur, LCCT about 11:00pm. After claiming our bags from the conveyor belt, we had something to eat, saved any picture files we had into the hard disk and bid farewell to half of the KL-surabaya crew, Fazzal, Najmi, Azam, Azril and Anep da Vogue Vas. The rest of us Pinky Boy, Shukur, Naza, Sharil and Me, still at the airport. I will be heading south to continue my second part of the journey, to Singapore, while the four of them waiting for their connecting flight home. Here we are again at the terminal, not so bad as there’s companion around, so we can still talk and chat with one another.
Took a bath at the shower room provided at the airport, organised few things in the bag and had a breakfast of nasi lemak that morning. It was early morning but the airport gets so busy at this time due to the early morning flights. People keep coming in the front door, non-stop, that you’d have to wait if you want to cross by. I haven’t decided yet if I should go directly to Singapore or stayed one day in Kuala Lumpur .. either way, I still would have to go to KL and check the what travelling options I have to Singapore. So I boarded the bus to KL Sentral, ticket cost RM9.00 one way and by 8:00 am was at KL Sentral. I asked around for trains to Singapore, and was directed to KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) counter at the 3 floor. There, the service representative, was really helpful. She provided good information, patient in answering my question and I was given a brochure photocopy about the express train schedule to Singapore.
I decided to go tomorrow instead since I’m in no hurry and so just hang around in KL for a while.. I called a friend and crashed in for the night.
got to know the railways
The next day 13th october 2012; 10:20am, I got on to the KTM komuter heading for Seremban first, another old friend was waiting to meet me, so I got the ticket, hop on and was on my way. It was raining heavily and at a point, the train didn’t move for about 20 minutes. The P.A announced that they are waiting for the green light at control center. Arrived Seremban at 12:45 pm and had it not been for the delay, I’d arrive sooner.
Meet my friend and we hang around for a few hours before continuing south, after some meal and chit-chat, catching up past times… we said goodbye. Bought the express ticket to Johor Bahru and plan to overnight there but definitely won’t be entering Singapore today. My express train to Johor Bahru, scheduled to arrive 03:30 pm, was delayed. A pensioner and his wife sitting by my side said “it’s normal, always delayed… ” 😀
After much waiting, it was beginning to get agonizing if not for the pretty girls around, my train finally arrived at 04:11 pm 😦
I boarded the train, head south. The condition of the coach was not very good, worn out seats, floors and squeaking here and there, but for a relatively cheap fee RM28.00, I guess it’s acceptable. There’s an option for the sleeper coach at three times the price (I stand corrected), but the 5-7 hours ride as said by the KTM customer service representative that day, was not that bothering to me since I’ve gotten used to sitting in a van for 10 hours when in Indonesia.
The train made stops at stations in major towns and cities, according to the schedule, we were supposed to be at Labis at 5:00 pm but it was 6:45 pm then. Getting late in the evening, it began to get dark, the train keep moving and finally arrived at JB Sentral 9:10 pm an hour late. A friend in Johor Bahru, picked me up, we had some food since my last meal in Seremban. It’s a short meeting the way I like it and I went back to JB Sentral, to wait for my morning train. There are other options besides trains into Singapore, but it seems the least popular choice of transport.
Nearby, there is the Pasar Karat (Rust market..? ) within walking distance from the station, it’s a roadside night market which opens on weekend only, lucky me… I walked there, through the whole market, and it’s more like a yard sale something like that, selling small things, clothes, gifts, toys all the normal night market things available… nothing’s authentic though, so bargain good and try not to be conned by the seller.
Got few pictures, searched for some stuff that I had in mind but, wasn’t sold there, so went back to the station as it was getting really late. The police on standby there, very friendly, approached me and we talked about the trip and my previous trip. He also shared some valuable information on where to get the tickets, procedures done, and advised me to take care with my personal belongings, since I was travelling alone.
Morning, 14th october 2012; 5:40 am. Time to check in and go through Immigration. The officer check my documents, passed me through and I was on my way. Almost missed the train. There was so few people going my direction, they must have overlooked me, It felt weird… maybe because it’s sunday so nobody’s working.?
Checkout at Woodlands immigration department, scanned my bags and did all the proper document, visas. I looked around, there were not more than 10 passengers entering Singapore that night.
lost for a while.
Exited the Woodlands immigration complex, 6:00 am. It was a cool morning and good weather, still dark, excellent for a walk.. so I decided to try to walk to the nearest MRT station following my map, It would have been a close 20 minute walk, but I got lost for a bit, had to retrace back and asked for directions. The map is kind of complex as I find out and you can get confused easily. A lady helped me with the directions, very helpful and friendly.
Finally arrived at the MRT station, I learned how to read the transit map (the ticket machine screen, went to idle mode three times waiting for my input 😆 ) still unfamiliar and confused, pick my destination and paid amount. .. Went to the platform and boarded the train. I arrived at my destination station, there were not so many people as expected as it was probably still early in the morning 8:20 am, and I read the signboard and head to my hostel located somewhere above the ground.
Went up the streets, can feel the hot air rushing to my face. Searched for the address that I had with me and 10 minutes later I found my hotel, Beary Nice hotel… catchy name huh? The place was 10 minutes walk from the station, around the corner… perfect.