Pacific Express is one of the newer companies to operate independently to Singapore, but brings its bad habits overseas nonetheless. The only reason I took it was because it was around half the price as all other bus company tickets on Easybook on my day of departure, and I learnt that paying the usual standard price is actually a better idea.
I walked to the end of Golden Mile Complex trying to find the office to “check-in”, but couldn’t find Pacific Express. Only when I actually read the address did I realise…
… I had missed the office because it was CLOSED.
On it was a handwritten sign stating the bus number. I guess this was my wireless instant check-in.
Luckily, the bus was already waiting along the road near the office, so I hopped on and tried to get comfy for the ride up. The key word here is tried.
The interior of the bus, with the new Orient seats. Comfortable enough except that since the bus was slightly shorter than the usual ones but still maintaining 10 rows, the legroom was a little crammed.
Compared to my previous experience with Pacific from Larkin to TBS with free seating and which took a whopping 7 hours even after a 2 hour delay from departure due to the bus making a stop at every single main town along Route 1 to KL – yeah you read that right, we didn’t go on a highway – this seems pretty bearable.
I could even forgive the little goodie the previous passenger left on board and which the driver forgot to clear. I cleared it myself before departure so that I can store my things without having it bread-flavoured by the time I reached KL.
After coming back from the rubbish bin, I felt a drop of water on my wrist, which probably came from the aircon. With it carried a baby cockroach, which I promptly killed by slapping my wrist. This was going to be a long ride. I saw two more baby cockroaches on the window on the seat in front of me, but it was too far for me to kill it without attracting any attention.
I felt something was really amiss when the passengers in the double seats decided to self-declare the single seats as theirs. Not only did the staff didn’t care about it, there were some who were double booked on the same seat as well. Only upon departure and some commotion was coming from the double seats did I realise that the aircon wasn’t working on the right side of the bus. Although mine wasn’t exactly cold air, at least I had air. This problem persisted throughout the journey.
However, the bus surprisingly departed on time at 11.45pm and used the Second Link to cross into Malaysia. I actually expected my bus to form the departure from Larkin to KL, but I guess we were full already. Since it was the start of the school holidays, we took a whopping 3 hours to clear both Tuas and Tanjung Kupang immigration and customs. Luckily Pacific didn’t pull a Pacific to leave some of us behind. The bus departed Tanjung Kupang at 3.30am.
I tried to get some sleep, but the bumpier-than-usual ride combined with the minimal legroom made it quite difficult, but I managed to drift in and out of sleep anyway.
Till we reached Seremban.
No one told me there would be stops, but compared with my previous experience from Larkin with stops such as at Ayer Hitam, Batu Pahat, Muar and who-knows-where-else, this was probably “non-stop”.
The bus arrived at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) at 7.30am, a whopping 7 hour and 45 minute journey from Singapore, but probably due to the huge jam at immigration on both sides. Even though my ticket was to Berjaya Times Square, I just got off here instead since the sun had already rose and there’s readily available transport from TBS.
No jams to enter the alighting bay due to the off-peak timing of arrivals.
Seasons Express is under a consortium known as “Pacific Group”, which can be seen on some buses that ply within Malaysia. When going up, I realised that the Seasons Express bus behind us at Golden Mile was actually using an actual Pacific Express bus, so I guess since the departure and arrival times were the same, it also made a stop at Seremban and has the same level of service as Pacific Express.
Will I take Seasons or Pacific Express ever again?
No way, they are part of my blacklist together with Qistna. The cheap fares aren’t worth it unless you plan to kill cockroaches with your bare hands . And I guess I already slapped myself on the wrist for trying to travel with cheap companies.