21 Dec 2015 Monday
It’s off to Cameron Highlands by bus , all the way from Singapoere to KL. The last time we did it was a short trip to JB for marketing. This time, it comes with luggage and all.
Anyway, off we go ! It’s no joke catching a taxi on a weekday morning, even if it is to IMM nearby. It was a nervous wait, since every taxi was taken. Still, we managed to get to IMM by 7.30 for a leisurely breakfast at Macs.
Departure time was 9.00 am , off BKing. But in typically SG Kiasu style, we got up the waiting bus at the bus bay at 8.45 am. CausewayLink Express ( RM 88 pax online from causewaylink.my.com ) was basic, clean and functional, with no wifi and toilet ( what am I expecting ! ). The extra pleasure was getting the ticket much cheaper than from the IMM booth because it was almost dollar for dollar. I reckon we saved about 20-30% for the ride.
The busload of us left promptly at 9am – but what a slow start from Tuas onwards! We waited a good 45 mins for the rest of the passengers to clear immigration. That. Was. No. Good. Just the first of many waits and I am already rethinking about driving the Volvo into Malaysia, diesel or not!
Malaysia immigration was a breeze which put SG to shame! Now 10.30 am and not anywhere near KL, we made up for lost time. The bus went a little faster and thankfully traffic was clear after the announced crowd in the news last week.
At this junction, I have to say the bus ride was good; the driver was competent and we have an uneventful ride. I hope it is the same for the rest of the trip.
12nn. We stopped by a rest stop for buses at Yong Peng for a quick lunch and toilet break. Though no-fuss, the food was decent and delicious in fact. I hope the rest of the Malaysian food continues to be this nice or better.
We set off at 12.30pm to complete the journey. I went back to my book “Lagoon” by Nnedi Okorafer.
The bus arrived at TBS at 2.55 pm, a tad later that I would have liked. We couldn’t endorse our ticket bound for Cameron Highlands at TBS at the Unitiiti Counter. Then we headed to KL city by LRT.
We took the Rapid KL ( LRT ) from Talak Selatan Station to Plaza Rakyat Station ( RM 3 pax ) , which is just next to our hotel.
It was a direct ride , crowded but bearable. 20 mins later and a bit of walk under the boarded linkway, we got to Ancasa Hotel and Spa at Jln Tan Cheng Lock. The hotel ( RM 155 /room/night from booking.com ) was a good choice, being so convenient.
( Ancasa Hotel has seen better days. There are lots of misses – broken lights, door, toilet with no exhaust, non-existant shower door, inadequate toilet paper, limited TV channels, poor sound proofing. But the location is beat, water pressure decent and comes with a comfy bed that has the a/c blowing into our faces the entire night. )
After getting rid of our belongings, we explored Jln Sultan nearby and chilled at Café Amo. Coffee’s not bad but did not come with the fancy latte art. 2 cuppa + 1 cake for RM 30 was a tad too expensive for the not-so-fancy café ( half undergoing renovation ). I would rate it 3.5/5
Jln Petaling Chinatown was pathetic with rows and rows of stalls selling the same imitation items we declared it super boring! There was no street food, no variety and no excitement. We were bored to tears. It wasn’t the Chinatown I remembered.
We ate at Old Kafe China; babi ponteh, sambal veg, fried tofu off the box, fancy cowpea coconut rice, tea for a princely RM60. Nostalgia aside ( from the décor ) , we felt disappointed with the food. Outside the café, there was absolutely no ambience as well. The only saving grace was a service that came with a smile.
At Jln Sultan, we loaded up Vitamin C, shampoo, water at Guardian Pharmacy ( RM 42 ) and pronounced our loot a good deal ! unsatisfied with the dinner, we bought 2 donuts from dunkin Donut in the almost empty Puduraya station for night snacks.