Buses, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore

Qistna Express: Truly the Bus Ride from Hell

Qistna Express is the estranged sister company of Starmart, which can possibly stay afloat in the long-run only due to the success of the said parent company. Even with all the negative comments online and bad press, I tried it for myself anyway – and learnt that online reviews are pretty accurate.

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7 thoughts on “Qistna Express: Truly the Bus Ride from Hell”

  1. Hey there. I had a pretty similar encounter with Qistna too.

    I was at genting last month and I book my return trip via Booking.com which was quite a reliable website.

    My trip was supposed to depart at 10. 30am. I did not have the vehicle number nor any contact person for this. And no one call me to inform me of anything. Lucky for me, my girlfriend Google for Qistna and we found a contact number for the Singapore branch.

    So the person gave me a Malaysia number which was the bus driver. He gave me the vehicle number too. I called the driver and he told me he will arrive at 10.30am which was supposed to be the departure time. Pretty accurate, he was there at 10.30am sharp. But, he depart immediately after me and my girlfriend boarded the bus. Very strange, just the 2 of us on the bus from genting highlands. He did not even wait for any other passengers or something. So I assumed the ride from genting only consists of the both of us and he might be fetching others at some other station. So I fell asleep after a while only to be woken up at around 12pm at some petrol station in KL. The driver told me that his boss say it’s not possible to send us to Singapore as there’s only 2 person on board. It was understandable too as it is very uneconomic to send just the 2 of us. So he told us that a replacement bus will bring us to JB and then another one will bring us to Boonlay. Yeah my arrival was at boonlay.

    The driver was kind though, waited with us for the next bus. The next driver was pretty kind too, told me free seating. I was kind of happy since the interior of the bus seems better. But all the other guys were staring at my girlfriend who was the only girl.

    So the journey to JB began. We stop at Yong Peng stop around afternoon. So I had a toilet break and expected to go to JB. But I was kind of curious because I enter Malaysia through Tuas custom and it was not the same stop as we did. So I Google and found myself on the route to woodlands checkpoint. But hell it’s good enough as long as I return to singapore. But next, the driver told me that the bus is going to workshop, some technical faults. So he spoke to all the passengers and we took a replacement bus beside which was double storey. Pretty good too, big chairs hahaha.

    Next, after an hour or two, we ended up in larkin. I called the contact person and he told me to go to Qistna Bus Counter and they will assist me from there. So we found the bus counter and know what? It’s closed, nobody was at the booth. Fuck, what am I supposed to do? I called the fellow and he told me to wait. I waited for 40mins until a person show up and he ask me where I wanted to go. Since we’re super close to woodlands, I told him woodlands checkpoint.

    THE BEST PART IS COMING, STAY WITH ME. He bought us to the bus terminal and walk around searching for a bus. We thought they might have a bus going to boonlay so I was kind of anticipating, home sweet home yeah? But… He bought us to a bus, I forgot what’s the bus number but IT WAS A FUCKING SBS TRANSIT BUS. OUR DAMN LOCAL BUS. But yeah he paid for our bus ride to woodlands, which was like around 2 ringgit if I’m not wrong. SBS BUS LEH I COULD HAVE USE MY OWN EZLINK RIGHT???

    But my girlfriend was pretty worn out and finally she found hope, at least we won’t get lost again since it was our local bus company. Pretty trustworthy yeah? So the bus took us to woodlands checkpoint. We went through the checkpoint and paid for Causeway Link, the yellow bus remember?? It took us to Singapore checkpoint there and hola, we finally arrived in Singapore. How fucking happy am I you know? So we ended up taking the same yellow bus to kranji and we took a cab straight back to jurong.

    So how many bus we took? Let me count, genting to KL to Yong Peng to Larkin to Woodlands to Singapore checkpoint to kranji. 6 buses in total. I arrived in Kranji at 7.15pm. Approximately 9 freaking hours and it didn’t bring us to boonlay. I reached home at 7.40pm. Which brings us to a total of 9 hours and 10mins journey.

    Screw this bus company, lousy service. Will never ever take this again. How I wish I saw your post before I book the bus. Just sharing my thoughts and feelings after taking this bus company.

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  2. Do AVOID using Star Qistna coaches.
    My friend and I took the bus coach from TBS, Kuala Lumpur to Spore on 19th Nov 2017 at 2.30pm & we finally get to leave Beach Road Spore only at 12 midnight.
    Firstly the bus departed without us at the Malaysian custom .
    We were not late. We took about 15-20mins after immigration clearance & a quick visit to the
    ladies & the bus lest us behind with our luggage still in the bus. Obviously the driver did not
    do a head count and had not the patience.
    Next upon informing the agent in Singapore of our plight, we were told that our luggage will be left at the Singapore immigration. That was not correct. We manage to get a ride from another bus to Singapore immigration. We were told that our luggages were checked & has been given back to the driver to bring back to their office in Singapore. We manage to pay for a bus ride to Beach Road where the office is located.
    Upon reaching the office at 11pm, the staff there was rude & instead of helping, questioned us why the rest could get onto the bus accept the 2 of us. We wanted to get back our lugggages & head for home after a tired day. However our baggages were not there. She told us to wait another 40 mins for the guy in-charge to bring our luggages to the Beach Road office. We were really furious ! We were put on the phone with the guy in charge & he said he had to unload his other passengers & can only bring our luggages when he is done. He arrived at 11.55pm with our luggages. And all he said was “sorry” and left. What a night mare !

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  3. The Qistna bus services is damn bad. The bus delayed without acknowleged.. called to the counter and request passenger to wait at the same spot then cut off the line..Wasting ppl time. booked 6.30 bus end up waited for more than one hour. Perhaps is because the early bus is not full..
    It will be good to be inform at the counter when checked in that the bus depart time is changed..

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  4. The coach departed from Genting highlands for Singapore (12 Aug 2018) at approx 10:55am when all the passengers were onboard (there were 11 pax onboard, 4 pax group, 5 pax group and 2 singles, myself included). My seat was a single seat.

    The coach went into the small streets in KL, somewhere near SMK La Salle Sentul where it waited fro 5 minutes before making a weird U-turn and headed back to some roads it passed. Then deeper into the jam packed roads of KL where it stopped in front of Berjaya Times Square. The coach reached Berjaya Times Square at 1:30pm and waited for almost 25 minutes. The driver then mumbled in Tamil that there were supposed to be 10 more passengers that did not turned up (There were 4 Indian passengers who assisted us with the translation as the coach driver did not speak English).

    The coach then headed into North-south Highway “E2”. He stopped at a small rest stop (approx 315KM mark) around 2:10pm and declared “lunch” and stepped out of the coach. I noticed another Qistna Express coach entered the rest stop and parked beside our coach for a while then left. The rest stop only had one stall selling rice, another stall selling some fried noodles and a few drinks stalls, not a decent place for most people unless you want to have the risk of having a bad case of diahorrea.

    When I boarded the coach at 2:20pm, I thought I entered the wrong coach as it was half filled with strangers. Someone was in my seat and my backpack which was left on the seat was now on the floor. A foreigner couple had couple seats but decided to use one of the seats for their bags and took my seat. They apologised and put their bags into the over head compartment. I checked my backpack and all my stuff was there (including some 2,200 Malaysian Ringgit in a clear plastic ziplock bag).

    There was a huge commotion when the rest of the passengers and coach driver returned. Some of the new passengers were in the seats of the original occupants. So there was some shuffling around….worse of all, the coach was now overbooked…..one passenger (originated from Genting) did not have a seat. After some shouting over the phone and at the coach driver, the passenger ended up seating on the stairs of the coach. Now the coach had a mix of Indian passengers, Chinese passengers and 3 foriengers (they sounded like french tourists).

    The coach travelled very slowly….I could have sworn that a few cyclists over took the coach at one part of the highway.

    At apporxmately 5:15pm, the coach exited the highway at the Pagoh toll and the driver stopped at the road side beside a small carpark claimed “toilet break”. We got off the coach and headed for the toilets. When I came out of the toilet another Qistna Express coach had parked behind ours and its passengers were getting off that coach and boarding ours !!!

    We then demanded to know what was going on as our coach was already overbooked and there was no way to take in 20 more passengers. The 2 coach drivers told us to switch coaches. I had a hard time getting my stuff of the coach as a stranger was already in my seat and my backpack was on the floor again….I had to unplug my phone charger from the floor a pack some of my other stuff like drinks while passengers were either doing the same packing or either getting off and on the same coach at the same time.

    We managed to settle into the other coach at 5:30pm and the coach made another weird U-turn to return to the North-South Highway.
    The coach did not stop at the usual “Yong Peng rest stop” but to our horror, the driver drove past legoland and made a stop at Tampoi to drop off a passenger and another at Larkin to drop off 3 passengers before heading back to Tuas checkpoint. Along the way at 6:55pm, he made an unschuduled sudden stop along lebuhraya sultan iskandar near Jalan Rawa to pack dinner for himself.

    We managed to clear Malaysia customs but was stuck in the 2nd link bridge from 7:35pm to approx 8:30pm. Most of us cleared the Singapore customs and waited for the coach which arrived at approx 8:45pm. On board the coach, while waiting for others to clear customs, some of us began to repack our stuff and power up our mobile phones (or change to Singapore Telco). One of the ladies who left her mobile in her backpack could not find her mobile. I then looked into my backpack and also discovered that my ziplock bag containing Myr 2,200 only had Myr 600). These were likely stolen by the passengers at Pagoh when the other passengers boarded our coach. We discussed about reporting to the polce but what good would it do ?

    At 9:10pm, 2 more strangers boarded our coach. The young couple sat beside me and told me they were from TBS (130pm coach) stranded there by another Qistna Express coach and was heading to Jurong Point. The coach suddenly took off amidst to our protest that the 3 foreign tourist were not onboard the coach. The driver replied that he waited for over 1 hour and he was not waiting any longer (he only waited for 30 minutes where he took the time to have his dinner)…..Do note that most of the passengers did not have anything to eat since 10am other than breakfast served in Starbucks at First World Hotel.

    Then at 9:15pm, some of the passengers noticed that the route the driver took was wrong as he past the turn to Jurong Point. The driver just stopped the coach at the Bus stop 21019 (Aft Yuan Ching Road) and said next stop is Serangoon Road. Most of us got off the coach and headed for the food court and Macdonalds at Yuan Cing Road while some others took a cab to Jurong Point.

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  5. Looks like nothing has change for the better. Without reading any comment I took Star Qistna in good faith. However my faith was shattered even before I boarded the coach on the 17th August 2018 from Singapore to KL.

    In good sense I was not too happy (though gave the company a thumb up) when I received sms to state that the coach will be delayed from 7.45 pm to 8 pm.

    I arrived in Golden Mile with plenty of time but no coach till 8.20 Pm when a big group
    Of us were herded along an uneven walkway towards a main highway to await the coach. WTH…it’s so unsafe. Hey. We are in Singapore and this is it???
    The guy who guided us was ‘most apologetic ‘. He most probably been doing this for ages and it is already like second nature to him to blame anything and everything except for the awful management of the company.
    We stand on the pavement wth traffic whisking past us fr a good 20 minutes before the coach serenely came by.

    By the time we move on it was Already a bit past 9 pm.

    Thank goodness I was able to test my achy calves for the next hour TIL we reached the custom.

    The nightmare just got started:

    1. Long time to clear immigration on both sides
    2. The the coach after clearing iborh Immigration on both sides make a drive towards Larkin. The coach stopped along the high way ??? To meddle with the perfectly fine engine.
    3. Then towards a petrol kiosk to put in petrol
    4. Then Long wait again and then some passengers got in
    5. Then stop in Malacca for 2 passengers to get off

    By the time I reach KL. Sungai Besi Petronas it was around 5.30 am the 18th August

    Never again Star Qistna. You are so ridiculous and a bad image both for us the locals and our foreign visitors who are unfortunate enough to ride your coaches👎👎👎

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