Boarding the KTM train to Kuala Lumpur Singapore Reviews
A nice train ride experience from Singapore to Malaysia Feb 23, 2014
Going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been a monthly, routine activity which I perform to visit my dearest one. From Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, I have few transportation options such as taking the bus and boarding the aeroplane. Taking the bus or aeroplane has its pros and cons. However, there's one other type of transportation which I have never tried in my life when going to Malaysia. It is taking the KTM or known as Keratapi Tanah Melayu.
I have never taken a train to cross the border hence, I was quite enthusiastic as it will be a new experience for me. I could take the train from Woodlands CIQ station but it will be expensive because I will be charged by Singapore dollars. The next train station is only 5 minutes from Singapore, called JB Sentral train station. JB Sentral is right beside the checkpoint of Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Because I was on a budget, I decided to cross the border and board the train there.
There are few timings that passengers could choose. It's morning, afternoon or evening. To me, the evening train ride is the best. By boarding the train, you can choose to choose the usual "sitting" seats (reclining and non-reclining), public sleeper beds (double decker type) or the private sleeping room (also double decker type). Each of them have varying prices. I chose the public sleeper bed at the bottom level and it cost me only 45 Ringgit Malaysia (less than 20 Singapore dollars). For that same bed, it will cost 46 Singapore dollars. You could purchase a 2nd bed for a friend who travels with you if you depart from JB Sentral.
I decided to take the evening train ride (11.35pm schedule) because I would like to have the opportunity to sleep on a bed inside a train while travelling. You should never be late when taking the train because they have schedules which they need to leave and reach the next station. I was 45minutes early and was hungry. There are a couple of convenience stores at the JB Sentral train station so passengers shouldn't be worried if they need to buy food to bring to the train. There's also a Starbucks outlet but it was closed when I was there at 10.30pm.
When it was 11.30pm, everybody queues up at the entrance leading to the train and once my ticket was checked, I followed the path to the train. I was blur when I reached the train platform as the train was long and I wasn't sure which carriage to board. Thankfully, a train official guided me to the correct carriage and pointed out to the carriage number so I could easily see for future rides.
When I looked at my bed, I was happy because it looked clean and comfortable. There was one pillow to rest your head and even a blanket to keep you warm from the cold airconditioner. You could also cover up the bed with a bed curtain for privacy. The bed was quite comfortable and I had no insecure feelings about my belongings. I just kept them by my side at the bed. I had two bags and it wasn't crammed to put at the bed area.
The train left the station around 12am and I decided to sleep. Around 12.30am, the train conductor came to check all passenger's tickets. I asked if he'd check again and he said he'll only check once. That was a relief because back in the UK, I remember the train conductor checks my train ticket twice. I just wanted an uninterrupted sleep. While sleeping on a train will never be as peaceful while you're at home, I wasn't too interrupted as I was just too tired. I could feel the train moving but I still find the sleeping experience, quite comfortable.
Later at about 7am, the train conductor comes over to wake everybody up by saying "Good morning!". I was fresh by then and almost to 7.30am, I had arrived my destination (KL Sentral station). The whole journey took almost 7 hours but because I was sleeping on a bed, I felt the journey was quite fast.
In my opinion, I'd recommend you to choose the train as a means to travel from Singapore to distant Malaysia states especially the night schedules. When you sleep on the train and arrive at the next destination in the morning, you'll just need to wash up and can start have a good breakfast and start your day. You won't really need to check-in to a hotel until afternoon, hence, saving 1 night's hotel stay expenditure. Another positive recommendation from boarding the train is, on public holidays in Singapore (especially long weekends when there's public holiday either on Friday or Monday), you can be happy because you can avoid the road traffic jam. Taking the coach from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur on such period could mean, you'll be stuck in the congestion for additional hours.
The disadvantage by taking the train is, while it is cheap to travel from JB Sentral, passengers from Singapore would need to be patient to travel to Woodlands checkpoint and into the Malaysia checkpoint. Be prepared to queue for a long time when there are lots of people intending to go to Johor Bahru. The duration of train journey compared to taking a plane means, it will be very time consuming and it can be frustrating to the impatient ones. Sleeping on a train bed could also be uncomfortable to some. Imagine yourself sleeping on a shaky bed for 5 to 7 hours.
Still, I'd recommend taking the train as a new experience for those who have never known taking such classic trains.
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