Sri Lanka Adventure [10 – 18 June 2010]
Part I: Pre-Trip [Singapore, 10 Jun 2010]
Part II: The Long Shuttle [Singapore – Kuala Lumpur, 10 Jun 2010]
Part III: AK255 [KUL – CMB, 11 Jun 2010]
Part IV: A Slice of Cultural Triangle [CMB – Dambulla, 11 June 2010]
Part V: Temples [Dambulla – Kandy, 12 Jun 2010]
Part VI: Into the Hills [Kandy – Haputale, 13 Jun 2010]
Part VII: Trekking to World’s End [Horton’s Plains National Park, 14 Jun 2010]
Part VIII: Retracing the steps of Sir Thomas Lipton [Lipton’s Seat & Tea Factory, 15 Jun 2010]
Part IX: Leopard! Leopard! Leopard! [Haputale – Tissa, 16 Jun 2010]
Part X: Will this journey ever end? [Tissa – Negombo, 17 Jun 2010]
Part XI: Goodbye Serendib [CMB – KUL – Singapore, 18 Jun 2010]
Part XII: Epilogue
Members of the traveling contingent were to meet outside the Coffee Bean at Novena Square at 8pm sharp. Despite holding the bus tickets, Lewis was the last guy to arrive at 8.15pm.
By then, our First Coach bus, scheduled to depart at 8.30pm, was already waiting for us.
Route: Singapore – Kuala Lumpur
Mode: First Coach
Dep: Novena Square, Singapore 8:30pm
Arr: Bangsar LRT, Kuala Lumpur 1:30am (Next day)
Time taken: Five hours
Distance traveled: Approx. 370km
We could have chosen other alternatives but decided on this service based on the timing and the drop-off location. Like most coaches to Malaysia, the bus has a 2-1 seating plan. However, it has only nine rows or 27 seats in total compared to the Standard Express buses which can hold 40 passengers. There are even more luxurious services which employ buses with 16 seats equipped with LCD TVs, lounge and mini-fridges!
Crossing both sets of customs were easy enough except that the security at the Singaporean side spotted me taking some photographs at the entrance of the Immigration building and made me delete them. They were polite enough but I reminded myself not to pull the same stunt over at the Malaysian side.
Once into Malaysian territory, the on-board entertainment could be utilized.
Too bad mine kept hanging on me and I gave up after several restarts. Not much an issue for me as I preferred to have some shuteye for the long night ahead.
An hour on the Malaysian expressway was followed by a stop at Machap‘s Rest & Service Area (RSA). There were already someone amongst us who was getting hungry and had to picked up some food there.
After an approximate twenty-five minutes stop, the bus resumed the journey to Kuala Lumpur. I went back to sleep but woke up about an hour outside KL. Since my on-board entertainment wasn’t working, I decided to watch Top Gear‘s Vietnam Special uploaded on my iPod Touch. Those guys never fail to crack me up with their humor and antics.
The bus pulled into Bangsar LRT Station at around 1:30am. By then public transportation had ceased and we had to make the 1km trek to KL Sentral on foot. Touts greeted us at the deserted KL Sentral but we had no use for them. We had purchased the tickets to Skybus‘s shuttle service and our plan was to catch its first departure to Kuala Lumpur International Airport‘s Low Cost Carriers’ Terminal at 3:00am .
With slightly more than an hour to kill, we went for supper at the 24-hour McDonald’s inside the building. The air-con of the buildings was switched off by then and the air was kinda stuffy. I believed that most of the other customers were waiting for the first shuttle service to KLIA as well. One lovely staff got us some seats near the fan but it hardly helped. Some of us managed to discover that Malaysian McD’s served pretty mean fried chickens and were already making plans of getting more on the way back.
We boarded the shuttle bus from the basement of KL Sentral a few minutes before 3:00am. To my surprise, the bus was almost full. Another operator Aerobus also provides service on this route. If we were to buy the shuttle tickets on board the buses, Aerobus would be a ringgit cheaper than Skybus at 8 MYR. However, purchasing the return Skybus shuttle tickets together with the air tickets only cost a total of 13 MYR for each passenger.
Route: KL Sentral to KUL LCCT
Dep: KL Sentral 3:00am
Arr: KUL LCCT 4:15am
Time taken: 1h15m
Distance traveled: Approx. 70km
Cost: 6.50 MYR
To the dismay of our co-passengers, some of us were awake after supper and chatted all the way during the 1h15m bus journey. We reached KUL LCCT just as our flight to CMB, AK255, was open for check-in.