The KTM Train Experience

This is a continuation from my Malacca / Melaka trip. Everyone has been talking about the KTM train. A few days before I left for Malacca, I booked a Superior Night Class (ADNS) train for only a mere RM40.00 or SGD16.00 for a bed in the upper berth. Lower berth cabin is RM46.00. My route is from KL Sentral to home sweet home, Singapore.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad or famously known as KTM has been around since the British colonial era. The stopping point for Singapore is Tanjong Pagar railway station. Do not get confused with Tanjong Pagar MRT station. The Tanjong Pagar railway station will be discontinued after 30th June. Sad but I guess we all have to move on.

The station that will replace Tanjong Pagar will be Woodlands Checkpoint which is just a 7 minute bus ride from my home. I feel that Singapore is moving forward too fast that history has been forgotten somehow. The Tanjong Pagar railway station will be made into a museum. Not that it really matters but Tanjong Pagar station should still be made the main station and the 999 year leased acquired by Malaysia should be scrapped as Tanjong Pagar Railway station is sitting on Singapore’s soil.

I checked out of Ringo’s guest house at 11.30am, left my bags in the living room and continued my walk to explore the beautiful historic city of Malacca. Done with my walk at 2.30pm and I bid goodbye to everyone in the hostel. Instead of  taking the Town bus no.17 from Stadthuys (Red Square), I walked to other side of town to take a bus back to Malacca Sentral. From Ringo, I walked 5 minutes to Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka  city campus where the bus stop is located. All domestic buses that stop here goes to Malacca Sentral. Bus fare is only RM1.00 .

From Malacca Sentral, I boarded the intercity Transnasional bus to Kuala Lumpur. Bus fare from Malacca Sentral to Kuala Lumpur’s Terminal Bersepadu Bandar Tasik Selatan is RM12.50. Bus was pretty comfy as mine was a single seat.

The waiting area at Malacca Sentral

In the bus to KL

The journey was supposed to be 2 hours but the bus driver made an unscheduled stop at a weird looking gas station and probably took a leak or something which was pretty long.When I reached Terminal Bersepadu Bandar Tasik Selatan in Kuala Lumpur, I was really impressed.

It was huge,clean and it looks like an airport.

The bus bay Terminal Bersepadu Bandar Tasik Selatan, Kuala Lumpur

The arrival hall

The arrival hall

Upon reaching, I made my way down to Pusat Bandar Damansara to meet Caroline for dinner. Caroline from Washington D.C was my hostel mate back in Ringo’s in Malacca. She works in a NGO company based in Kuala Lumpur which handles domestic cases related to women in Malaysia. Caroline left the day before and we agreed to meet up when I come to Kuala Lumpur.

Here I am with Caroline and her former schoolmates. After dinner, I made my way down to KL Sentral where I boarded the KTM train. I was really excited about this.

As you read ahead this is going to be slightly embarrassing. Why? Read ahead honey-kins.

Caroline and her friends. The 2 waiters with their few seconds of fame.

The restaurant Kitty

KL Sentral is somewhat very familiar to me. Having passed through KL Sentral quite a number of times to catch the Airport train to KLIA and LCCT, I was pretty sure I knew everything about this place. First counter I approached was the KTM Commuter counter. KTM Commuter is a subsidiary for short haul train rides. I asked the sweet looking lady manning the counter,“Hi, can I check in for my train ride back to Singapore?” She answered,“Oh, we don’t do check in for long haul trips. You have to go to the KTM intercity counter.” I asked her where it is and this was what she replied,” Oh, ermm..I have no idea where it is.” She gave me a smirk. Excuse me? You people work in the same company yet you don’t know where the counter is? But I didn’t tell her that of course.

So I made an attempt to find it myself. KL Sentral isn’t that big but finding the KTM intercity counter proved to be a challenge or rather I was bad with directions.

Next, I approached a KTM staff manning the train platform. Oh guess what, he said the counter is located right in the bookstore. I thought he was joking but he wasn’t. So I went to the bookstore and asked the shopkeeper and he laughed at me but I wasn’t laughing at all. I was getting frustrated. One employee doesn’t know the where the counter is and the other mocked me into saying the ticket counter is in the bookstore.

Whatever the case was, I managed to find the counter. It was just beside the entrance and don’t blame me for being bad with directions. It has no prominent signs!

Entrance of KL Sentral

I am so sorry that my hands were shaky

The soft copy of my train ticket


The KTM Intercity ticket counter

When I booked the KTM train ticket I did not print out the e-ticket as my printer ran out of ink. So I tried my luck if I could just give them my reference ID. Fortunately I was able to that. My ticket was really simple. It was a receipt.

Reminded me of Air Asia. If you have printed out your train ticket back home, just head straight to the platform.

The train ticket

11.00pm and it was time to board the train! I have been waiting for this moment! Woohoo!

Gate B was where I boarded the train

The train car

Not bad for RM40.00 right?

That's me on the upper berth!

You know, trying to climb to the upper berth was slightly a task. It took me 2 attempts to try to get climb up. I am not unfit ok! Other people had problems too. =p

Let me introduce you to Pakcik Albert the ticket attendant! I got permission from him to take a photo.

Pakcik Albert, the Ticket Attendant.

My two lovers.

The cabin aisle

Yet again..the aisle.

While everyone was asleep except for the lady with the legs sticking out, I walked around and guess who I saw,

FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, not.

Train attendants to be exact. They aren’t your typical, surly, moody and rude Low cost or  Western plane flight attendants. They are young, probably my age and they are really kind. Unless you get on their nerves, maybe.

Pekan and Habibah. No that's NOT their real name.

The dry chicken burger for only RM3.50

Toilets are pretty up to par

Bumped into Pekan and Habibah again.

The night light. Ok well good night!

The view from my window

I reached Johor Bahru (JB Sentral) at 6.00am and had my passport checked by the Malaysian immigration. Our stop at JB Sentral was about 1/2 an hour. The train made its way to Singapore immigration at Woodlands. Everyone had to stop and embark.

As for me, I stopped at Woodlands instead of Tanjong Pagar because I live in Woodlands. I was too tired to embark at Tanjong Pagar railways station. If I had stopped at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, it would be something like this.

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Singapore (Credits to malayarailway.com)

The overall experience was good. I watched some movies on my laptop and even managed to catch some sleep. It was 3 hours of sleep. Pretty good for a bumpy ride huh?

Lastly, here are some tips you should follow. We all know that Tanjong Pagar Railway station will not be in service by 30th June. Ticket price for trains departing from Singapore is more than twice the price as compared to Malaysia.

 When you book on www.ktmb.com.my , be sure to select “JB Sentral” instead of “Woodlands ICQ” (Singapore). Price for Singapore to KL Sentral is SGD40.00 for a sleeper cabin while JB Sentral to KL Sentral is RM.39.00 . So you see the difference?
Price Bucket:

Domestic Bus (Malacca city centre to Melaka Sentral): RM1.00

Train (Senandung Sutera) : RM40.00

Bus (Malacca to KL / Transnasional) : RM12.50

A great excuse to take a bus from Malacca to KL to catch the night train back to Singapore JUST  to blog about the experience : PRICELESS

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6 thoughts on “The KTM Train Experience

  1. She gave me a smirk. Excuse me? You people work in the same company yet you don’t know where the counter is? But I didn’t tell her that of course.

    – i love this Shai… lol

    Hope i can also try that train… 🙂

  2. did u manage to visit the KL Old Railway Station while u were in KL? it’s an RM 5-7 taxi fare ride from KL Sentral. i loved it. i took a photo of it.. see: http://bit.ly/kign3f – very peaceful place; i really wish i could’ve been transported back in time to the days when this was the “central” of malaysia rail system!

    anyway, yeah i took the sleeper bunks too, on my train ride from SG-KL. took the afternoon train back from KL-SG (no sleeper bunks haha). 🙂 LOVE TRAINS!

    i really like ur blog! inspires me to write more abt my travels too. hehe.

    • OMG why didn’t I knew of this place?!! The Old train station looks so classic! I so have to visit this place when I am in KL again. Thanks for the tips!

      My next sleeper train ride will be from Hanoi-to Sapa in Vietnam. I can’t wait for that. It will be part of my 32 days Southeast Asia trip. Will be covering all countries in SEA except for Brunei and Timor Leste!

      Anyway, thanks if I have inspired you! I started my blog just last month. I think it will be a waste if I don’t write about my travels. Solo travel is just so so so so awesome.This is just a start although I have gone on impulse trips for quite a number for times.

      • wow! 32 days trip around SEA?! i’m envious! and yes, i agree, i love solo travel too! (but since my fiance is as much of a travel junkie as i am, i hardly ever get to go anywhere alone. hahaha) can’t wait to read abt ur adventures. will u be updating on the go? or update one shot when u get back? 🙂

        • Hehe. Well as for me is different. My friends don’t like the places I go so I have no choice but to go alone. They are scared if they get shot dead or what like in Myanmar. BO LIAO RIGHT?! LOL.

          I will update my location via tweeter and at the same time I try my best to blog while on the go or if not one shot. I’ve followed you on twitter. My username is BoyKembara. See ya!

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