Dear1 and Dear2 took a train to Malaysia once, firstly to experience backpacking, and secondly to experience the trills of taking a train. Dear2 has never board a train before, and we wanted to take a train from the Tanjung Pagar Train Station before it really is being condoned off. (Remembering that there were previous talks of boarding Malaysia-bound trains from the Causeway only…)
The ticket-buying procedure wasn’t exactly smooth. We couldn’t find much online information regarding train schedules nor ticket availability, and since paying by credit cards apparently wasn’t as easy as inputing a card number, so the only way was to go to the station 1 day before our desired departure date to purchase the tickets. We wanted to leave by the Friday train for the weekend getaway, hence imagine our disappointment if all the tickets were sold out during our Thursday visit to the station. Luckily for us, despite being a packed train, we still manage to get upper berths tickets. Better than nothing.
With only a simple backpack on our backs, off we went rumbling to Kuala Lumpur on the night train. The upper berths indeed weren’t as comfortable as lower berths beds. Due to a larger radius, the upper berths tend to experience more (and violent) swaying. I was amazed by my own ability to fall asleep in the ‘sway here sway there’ all the way to KL.
We arrived at KL in the wee hours of the morning. The other passengers had kins to whisk them off into their homes, and the 2 lone travellers were left standing in the mega combo KL Train Station. Apparently this new station hosts the interchange of a few rail companies so that the foreigner who arrives in KL can transfer via the internal rail networks to where he wanna visit in KL. We took a direct train to our first place of interest, the KLCC. It was supposedly a wise decision to visit KLCC so early in the morning, cos apparently there were an allocated number of visitiors that the tower admits each day. Various online sources told us that visitors even have to queue for hours before finally gaining admission, so of course the first thing to do in KL will be to visit KLCC first thing in the morning first!
During the 3D2N trip, we stayed in an inn pretty close to the Bus Terminal, within Chinatown itself. This was to faciltiate ease of getting bus tickets for our return trip. You know what, we really did purchase the return tickets then and there. Kudos to Dear1 for shoving around in the complex Terminal in order to secure our trip home. And of course, staying in Chinatown itself gave us more sense of confidence alone in the foreign land.
Dear2 shan’t elaborate much on the KL trip. Overall, it was definitely enjoyable. We basically planned the trip ourselves, did the research on the mode of transport to and fro, of all the inns within the vicinity where we feel is safer, of the places of interest that we wanna visit, of the shopping centres which we wanna visit as well, and of course of some tips and information which became useful during the trip itself. A few things that we learnt, one was really to stay close to each other when you are in a foreign land, irregardless that it is the capital city. Dear1’s daddy was robbed of some petty cash exactly in the same bus terminal when he was alone.
Another interesting thing will be, when you enter Malaysia via train, you have better keep your train ticket with you until you reach Singapore safely in your home. The Malaysian customs seem to NOT stamp your passport at all when you enter the country via train. So the best and only proof that you did enter the country legally (remember, there wasn’t any proof anywhere, not even on your passport, to show that you did enter via customs) will be your train ticket stub. Recently, our Immigration was notified of such dangers for Singaporeans going to Malaysia via train, but the best advice that they can offer is, “alert the customs officer to stamp your passport if they did not do so.” Somebody please try and let me know if it works. Thanks.