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?
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 busses depart from the old rail way station in kl
Here are the operating hours of the office.
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.
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).
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.
lounge with tv
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.
light snacks and coffee or tea at the lounge
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)
I found a stone in my cake!
Almost chipped my tooth!!
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.
boarding on time on time
The chairs and coach was comfortable and nice. Everything you would expect for your 75 bucks.
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.
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.
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
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Have a safe trip wherever you are!