Oh yup, you read the title right. I’ve travelled overland from Singapore to Phuket by bus and trains. It may sound crazy (it is) but I’m thankful for the experiences.
Though, it would only take 1h 50mins by flight. I have a huge Acrophobia but I also love to travel. Of course, I took a plane before to countries like Surabaya and South Korea. This time I wanted to try something different (travelling without me hyperventilating in the plane). I dragged my husband along in the crazy adventure and would quote its ‘An Adventure of a Lifetime’ by Coldplay whenever he got tired from travelling. We even had a chance to visit other places such as KL, Penang, Hat Yai, Krabi and Langkawi along the way.
We pack light with only our Herschel Bag for a 10 days trip. (The washing machine will be your best friend!)
Singapore – JB – Kuala Lumpur – Penang
We decided to travel late at night. We took a bus to Kranji MRT and another bus from there to Larkin. We took a 1am coach bus from Billion Stars. Even though it was the second day of Chinese New Year, there are still seats available for those who didn’t buy a ticket in advance. We booked the ticket via online for S$15/45RM/USD10.98 per pax. We saved S$70 for two pax compare to the coach if we take from Singapore to KL.
The bus departed at 1.10am and reach TBS at 4.55am. The seat was cosy and the back is adjustable to have a nap. (Be considerate & not lean back all the way if there’s someone sitting behind you.) We book our ticket from TBS to Penang. The earliest bus available is at 7.30AM by Firstliner. We decided to get an early breakfast whilst waiting.
The bus arrived a few minutes late, the interior was clean but I was disappointed by the seat. It was smaller than the coach I took from JB – KL. My husband has a broad shoulder and he took 1/4 of my seat. We reached Penang 12.30PM. I think the coach would have reach earlier if they didn’t stop at a petrol kiosk near the KTM for a long time.
We stay a night in a hotel name Grand Swiss Hotel in Georgetown, Penang. It’s a clean and cosy hotel except for the lack of soundproof. It’s a bit difficult for the taxi driver to locate this place as the road leading to the hotel is in between two buildings. It cost S$48/RM146 per night which I consider it to be hmm okay?
Our trip to Penang wasn’t as eventful. We tried to visit Penang Hill but the queue was crazy long that the expected waiting time was 3 hours! Me, not being a fan of queueing decided to go window shopping in Komtar instead. There is a readily available travel agency that provides a van to Hat Yai. Unfortunately, we did not make any advance booking and the ticket price went up to 70RM per pax. We decided to forgo the van and make a plan to go Padang Besar by KTM.