Nice Express Bus from KL to Penang review by backpackies

There are a few way’s of traveling around in Peninsular Malaysia. Besides the scenic but snail crawling Keretapi Tanah Melayu train, you have the direct opposite which is to fly (Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines and Fire fly covers most of the major states). Somewhere in the middle, you have the express busses which have existed back in the early days when the first trunk road was constructed to connect the many cities in Peninsular Malaysia.
There are basically 3 classes of express busses in Malaysia. The VIP class, normal express busses and the cheap ass factory/holiday busses converted to express busses to cater for the growing number of commuters.

In this blog we will be reviewing the NICE Executive bus service which covers most of the major cities in Peninsular Malaysia. The ticket from KL to Penang costs RM 75 one way. Which to us, is a hell of a lot of money. So are we getting what we are paying for? Lets see for ourselves.

Nice buses depart from the Old Railway Station in KL. So if you have bought your tickets from the newly renovated Puduraya Bus Stop, there is a shuttle bus service that will take you to the Old Railway Station.
This was what i took and i am not sure if it was the normal procedure but i was dropped off right at the corner about 2 minutes walk from the Old Railway Station. I have pointed it out in the picture below, where i was dropped off.
Not that im complaining but, i would pity the person who had plenty of bags to carry. Mind you, i had to walk across 2 roads before reaching this station. What about if it was an old lady?

nice express bus

The shuttle bus from pudu raya drops you off there. You have to walk all the way to where i am now

The Nice buses are parked directly outside the Old Railway Station.  It’s on the right hand side of the main road.

nice express bus

nice busses depart from the old rail way station in kl

Here are the operating hours of the office.

nice express buses

operating hours

If you havent bought your bus tickets, and have made it this far to do so, the ticketing counters are up on the second (2nd)  floor. There are signs showing you where it is. You wont miss it.

nice express bus

ticketing counter on the second floor

The toilets are also on the second floor. A wonderful thing i discovered was that there were also showers there! Yup, typical Malaysia. The doors for the shower were locked.
(In Malaysia, there are plenty of facilities that are provided but people are unable to reach/use it).

nice express bus

shower room in the toilet?

And because the bus tickets are so expensive, there is an executive lounge for the passengers to sit and wait in. Of course it is air-conditioned and comes with cable tv and drinks.

nice express bus

lounge with tv

nice express bus

executive lounge

nice express bus

executive lounge

Comfortable chairs to sit and wait for your bus. But the lounge seemed small, because the rest of the chairs were basically bar stools. (Not so comfy anymore).
In case you doze off, you can actually tell the waiter to wake you up when your bus departs. There is also a receptionist who will announce your bus arrival and departure on the PA system.
Once you are in the lounge, you will be served with some light snacks and coffee or tea.

nice express bus

light snacks and coffee or tea at the lounge

nice express bus

empty sugar and creamer containers

The service was pretty bad. The creamers and sugar containers were empty. And worse of all, i found a stone in my kuih! (some indian cake they gave me)

nice express bus

I found a stone in my cake!

Almost chipped my tooth!!

nice express bus

nice executive express busses

One thing good about this bus service is that it leaves on time. Unlike the normal express buses, where they tend to wait for other passengers till the whole bus is full. Sometimes you will have to wait for up to an hour before the bus leaves.

nice express bus

boarding on time on time

The chairs and coach was comfortable and nice. Everything you would expect for your 75 bucks.

nice express bus review

comfortable seats

nice express bus

VIP chairs

nice express bus

pantry

The pantry was for the waitress to serve you hot drinks and heat up your food for you.
One thing that amazed me was that the chairs had plug points. Which was a great feature because i regularly watch a movie or do some work on my laptop. But the catch is that the plug points are situated on alternate chairs. So you had to request for a chair with a plug point.

I was seated on a chair without a plug point, and lucky for me the coach was not full. So i requested to change seats, which i did. So i started to blog about the ride.

nice express bus

chairs that come with plug points are the handiest for business people

This was the collection of snacks that was provided on the bus. The funny thing which i didn’t like was that the food and drinks came all at once. Imagine having 2 drinks and some food together. If it was me, i would prefer the water to come, then the sandwich and during half the ride, the juice and coffee or tea. But i guess the waitress was just being lazy and wanted to get away with it, by giving everything at once.

There is nothing to comment ont he water and juice. But the bread i got was a little stale. It was hard and not that tasty. The last time when i rode on a NICE bus, the sandwich was really good. I hope NICE reads this blog and takes action to improve it.

nice express bus

this is the chairs they give

The reclining chairs we got. Which reclined to almost 40 degrees down. There was also a leg support to raise up your legs. 🙂 Did i mention that they also had an internal bus TV and music system. You will be given the headphones for it. (Which you are required to return at the end of the destination).

Overall, the bus ride was ok. It wasn’t faster or anything, but maybe more comfortable. Although i have rode on the same comfortable buses for Rm 40 before. (Minus the drinks and food).

So if you are interested in this service, here is their website. NICE BUSES

And guys, if you have a facebook account, please do add us on BACKPACKIES IS ON FACEBOOK.
We try to make traveling fun! 😉
Have a safe trip wherever you are!

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Filed under backpacking, Backpacking Kuala Lumpur, being happy while backpacking, Penang

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