Thursday, September 4, 2008

Transport in Kuala Lumpur + the trip back

monorail sign

Transportation in the Malaysian capital is generally hassle-free. If you're exploring KL alone, the hopon hopoff bus (RM38 adult) may be a good idea. But with a group, you're better off in a cab, as the flagdown is only RM2 and within central KL, you probably won't go over RM7. The great thing about looking like a local is that as long as you don't let out that you're not Malaysian, they'll let you use the meter.

There are three types of trains that operate within the city from 6am to midnight: the Monorail, the LRT and the KTM Komuter. The monorail can be cramped, but it is relatively new. There are two LRT lines, Putra and Star, which are above-ground and underground. These reach the suburbs. The KTM Komuter is the regular rail train, which my friends said is slow and stops often. However, it goes way out of the city. Fares are generally cheap, starting at just over one ringgit for short trips. There are also integrated bus and rail tickets from RapidKL.

From Sentral station to the airport, there are many choices available. The KLIA Ekspres train takes you from Sentral to KLIA in under half an hour, but at RM35, I'd rather take an hour longer and pay RM10 for a seat in an airport coach. To LCCT, it's only RM8 by coach from Sentral. I feel bad we never got to see KLIA, the international airport that is said to be the pride of every Malaysian.

On the way back to Manila, the Cebu Pacific flight was late again by an hour and a half. We left at 3am. The Air Asia flight to Jakarta was also delayed, but the difference is that the passengers were provided with light refreshments. (Cebu Pac, at those ungodly hours, you could do so much better!) I hope the service has normalized since then.

We landed at NAIA Terminal 3, which reminds me of the older parts of Heathrow, with the yellow accent, low ceilings and general lack of character. But who knows, it might look better when more people start using it.

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