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rttlnsnk
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:23 pm

Around the Malayan Peninsula in 35 Hours with Malaysia Airlines and the Jungle Railway

Sat May 06, 2017 1:41 pm

Since I am graduating from college soon, I decided that it is time to do something crazy while I still can. As I am an avid train enthusiast too (and airplanes!), it is time for me to take a ride on East Coast Line of the Malaysian railway system. Compared to the modern and electrified west coast main line, the east coast line is still pretty much stuck in the olden days, without any sign of electrification and double tracking. The reports online also stated that the views are quite phenomenal. I bought a ticket of a sleeper berth on the Eastern Express 26 (Ekspress Rakyat Timuran) from JB Sentral to Tumpat, near Kota Bharu, riding the whole distance traveled by the train. This also brings be from the southernmost tip of the Malayan Peninsula to the northeastern tip. All in all the journey will take a whopping 18 hours to cover just 724 km, which is honestly too long. To get to Johor Bahru, I booked an economy ticket on Malaysia Airlines. Meanwhile, a promotional Business class ticket is booked for the return trip from Kota Bharu (note the confusing spelling of Bahru and Bharu). Sure, it seems that I have only write about Malaysia Airlines but it is the most interesting product available for travel within Malaysia. I would like to give Malindo a chance again but their schedule just did not suit me.

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I took a bus from the local express bus station (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) to KLIA at 1200 for my 1445 flight. To be honest, the bus journey from TBS to KLIA is best avoided since the driver tends to drive at very high speeds.

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The Bus Staion (TBS)

The bus pulled into KLIA bus station around one hour after the departure. Note that the bus drops off passenger at KLIA2 first before proceeding to the older KLIA.

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MH KUL Check in Area

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KLIA Terminal Departure Hall

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The (indoor) Viewing Deck

I proceeded to obtain my boarding pass before entering the secure airside area. I have selected seat 5A during OLCI. It is the best seat in economy in Malaysia's 738 since it is a bulkhead window, and there are only 2 of these seats. The pitch in the other rows are quite sad for such a gorgeous cabin whereas the exit rows have legroom but no recline. Since I do not have lounge access, lunch is consumed at Marrybrown, a local fast food chain. Their Nasi Lemak is not bad, it has to be said.

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Marrybrown Fast Food Restaurant

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Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken (MYR 12.50) with a View

I then proceeded to gate B5 to wait for my flight. 737-8H6 9M-MLQ promtly pulled into the gate a short while later. Boarding is called according to seat position, Window seat passenger are called first but I am not sure is the rule properly enforced. Nevertheless, the boarding process of the relatively lightly loaded 738 is quite fast.

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9M-MLQ Arriving from BKI

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Boarding

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Nose of 9M-MLQ

Malaysia Airlines
MH1051
KUL-JHB
Boeing 737-8H6
9M-MLQ
Economy Class
Seat 5A
4th May 2017
STD: 1445
STA: 1535


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My Seat on the Return Flight

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Boarding in Progress

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Seat 5A

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9M-LNU Going to LGK

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Legroom on Bulkhead Row

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Rather Tight Legroom of Other Rows

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IFE Screen

The takeoff roll is leisurely as the runway at KUL is overkill for a lightly fueled and loaded 738.

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Scenery after Takeoff (KLIA Interchange Toll Plaza)

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Lax Job by Cleaning Crew

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Scenery after Takeoff (KLIA and KLIA 2)

Refreshments are served shortly after takeoff, with a compulsory choice of orange juice and salted peanuts. I distinctly remember having a choice of juice when I last flew MH in short haul economy.

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Peanuts and Orange Juice

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Views During Cruise (Malacca Town)

The IFE system is turned on but several promotional videos about ASEAN and oneworld are played as the flight neared its end. The flight did encounter some interesting weather due to the thick clouds which resulted in "exciting" turbulence during descend.

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Thick Clouds during Descent

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Scenery During Descent

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Arrival at JHB

After a long detour, the flight arrived at Senai Airport (JHB) 20 minutes late. All in all, the flight is a typical MH domestic hop, which is what I expected.

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9M-MLQ at JHB (The Tinting on the Glass is Very Blue)

JHB Airport is rather modern and has a tonne of shops and restaurants. Interestingly, it is not opertated by MAHB (Malaysia Airports) but by a private entity.

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JHB Departure/Arrival Hall

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JHB Terminal Shops

I then took a bus to Johor Bahru, which has proven to be an adventure. The bus terminates at the Johor Bahru express bus terminal at Larkin instead of the city center itself, meaning a bus transfer is necessary. I then the wrong bus that is heading for Malaysia/Singapore CIQ complex instead of the train station. In the end, I reached Johor Baru city almost 90 minutes after I departed the airport. The airport is quite some distance away from the city itself (20+ km) so it is rather inconvenient for people that are relying on public transport. In actual fact, it would be faster for me to take a express bus to Johor Bahru instead of the flight but where is the fun in that?

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JB Sentral Train Station

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Old Johor Bahru Station (Yellow Building in the Background)

After eating an early dinner at a shopping mall nearby, I stocked up on supplies that will hopefully last throughout the train journey. My plan to explore the city is thwarted by the long travel time between the airport and the city itself. The train station (JB Sentral) is conveneiently located beside two modern shopping malls that contains a myriad of shops and eateries, and the CIQ checkpoint to Singapore. Singapore itself is like 1 km away from the JB Sentral station. During peak hours, the CIQ complex and the causeway linking Johor Bahru and Singapore are packed with commuters that stay in Johor and work in Singapore and vice versa. I boarded my sleeper train around 15 minutes before its departure.

KTM Intercity
Train 26: Ekspress Rakyat Timuran (trans: Eastern People Express)
JB Sentral - Tumpat
KTM Class 24 (24104)
ADNS (Aircon Day/Night Second)
Berth 2
Coach T8
4th May 2017
STD: 1900
STA: 1300 +1


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Train 26 hauled by 24104

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Exterior of Sleeper Coaches

The train coach (or carriage?) consist of 40 berths, divided equally between upper and lower berths. The beds are quite wide and is just long enough for me (183 cm tall). However, the low ceilings are very claustrophobic. There is also a lack of storage as I am a bit paranoid of leaving my belongings on the aisle, which is what the locals do. The pillows are too flat and the duvet is more akin to a bed sheet. 2 lavatories are attached at one end of the carriage. The lavatories are cleaned constantly. Since this is an old sleeper train, no entertainment system and even power ports are available. The coaches have seen better days. The lax maintenance is clear since many functions such as the reading light and the automatic doors are non functioning.

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Interior of ADNS

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Berth 2

It is a stark paradox to modern airliners such as the 738 that I have stepped out of just few hours ago. However, it is also extremely nostalgic, harking back to the old days to travelling. To prevent getting stuck in the stone age with nothing to do, bribing along an external battery pack is a must to allow for the use of the mobile phone throughout the journey.

The train set off at 1900 sharp, with the coaches still quite empty. They slowly fill up along the various stations dotted along the route. Passengers are mostly local, with a small smattering of adventurous western travelers mixed in. After leaving JB Sentral, it seems like everything has gone back a few decades. The stations are simple structures unlike the mammoth JB Sentral with its 6 platforms that is criminally underutilised, awaiting the modernization of the railway line.

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Route Map (courtesty of railtravelstation.com, which is an excellent source of information about train travel in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand)

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Leaving JB Sentral

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Stopping at Kempas Baru

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Stopping at Labis Station

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Crossing over with Another Southbound Train at Labis

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Approaching Gemas Station

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The Modern and Electrified Gemas Station

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Jerantut Station

The train however is painfully slow. The tracks in the rural regions of Malaysia are very curvy and bumpy. Due to the constant flood during the rainy season, the several sections are undergoing some serious maintenance works. The train takes 13 hours to navigate 520 km through the dense jungle.

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The Route of the Train

I woke up near Gua Musang just as the sun came out. since the train stop for minutes at the major stations, I bought breakfast at the station cafeteria. The Nasi Lemak is cheap and taste really good. The food sold onboard the unairconditioned cafe car is not that good though.

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View from Berth after Waking Up

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Train Travelling at Speed

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Jungle View

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View towards Gua Musang

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Train Stopping at Gua Musang Station

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Limestone Hills at Gua Musang

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Nasi Lemak bought from Gua Musang Station

The views throughout the jungle railway are great too, living up to its name. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. They however did get repetitive after a while. A word of caution, some of the pictures I took are quite dangerous, requiring the opening of the train doors when it is travelling at speed (which is technically illegal but the conductors will usually take no action). The stretch between Dabong and Kuala Krai is espcially scenic, with the train winding through the deep jungle, crossing several bridges and tunnels.

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Views of Jungle

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More Jungle Scenery

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Even More Jungle Scenery

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Passing One of the Numerous Bridges

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Stopping at Dabong Station

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A Nearby Town in the Middle of the Jungle

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Major Track Maintainance Works near Kemubu

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Jungle Scenery

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Passing Kula Krai

The berth did get uncomfortably hot in the day due to a lack of ventilation. The curtains are great in providing privacy but they are also great in blocking cool air from entering the berth. The glass windows doesn't help in this aspect too. A recommendation that I can make is to book a seat instead of a sleeper berth for the daylight hours of the journey as a seat will be more comfortable for sightseeing and lounging purposes.

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The "Sauna"

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Old Wakaf Bharu Station

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Rice Fields near Tumpat

The diesel hauled Intercity trains are slowly disappearing from Malaysia, being replaced by modern electrical alternatives. They used to be available for travel between Kuala Lumpur, Penang and singapore. The section north of Gemas (where the Jungle Railway branches out from the mainline) is completely electrified. The stretched between Gemas and JB Sentral will be modernized within the next few years too. As a result, the jungle railway will be the only section that will remain modernized in the foreseeable future. In the end, I can only recommend the train ride through the Jungle Railway for railway enthusiast. It is certainly not for everyone.

I took the train to the end of the line at Tumpat instead of the preceding station closer to Kota Bharu to claim that I have travelled through the whole length of the jungle railway. The train arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule. There are several memorabilia scattered around the Tumpat station that might be of interest to the railway buffs (I have no idea on what they are). A local shuttle train going back towards Kota Bharu was leaving in an hour anyway so I decided to spend some time around Tumpat station. However, there isn't much to see in the vicinity of the station.

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Arrival at Tumpat

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The ADNS coach upon Arrival

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Tumpat Station

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Tumpat Station

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Tumpat Station

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Tumpat Station

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Tumpat Station

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Exterior of Tumpat Station

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End of the East Coast Line

KTM Intercity
Train 51/53: Shuttle
Tumpat - Wakaf Bharu
KTM Class 25 (25204)
AEC (Aircon Economy Class)
Free Seating
5th May 2017
STD: 1400
STA: 1425


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The Shuttle Train

The shuttle train, consisting of 4 passenger cars pulled into the station platform 30 minutes ahead of schedule. The refrigerated interior of the train is a welcome respite from the scorching heat outside the train. The shuttle trains are intended for locals commuting between the small towns and villages within the jungle. It used to be the only way for them to travel until a road connecting the small towns are completed in 1981. With an entire coach to myself, the train set off on time.

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The AEC Coach

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Leaving Tumpat

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Train Breaking Down

However, the short 25 minutes hop between Tumpat and Wakaf Bharu soon turned disastrous as the locomotive broke down several km south of Tumpat in the middle of nowhere. Attempts to fix the locomotive by the crew on board are unsuccessful as the train is stranded for almost 2 hours. Since the power for the air conditioning are generated by another car instead of the locomotive, the air conditioning is still functioning. A 4G phone signal is available too, so I just surfed the web while waiting for the train to move. Finally, another locomotive (24104 again) hauled us back to Tumpat. The train will only set off after the original broken locomotive is removed. In the end, the delay is of a total of 3 hours. This meant I will have no time to do sightseeing in and around the city before leaving for the airport to catch my 2015 flight back to KUL.

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Train Reversing Across a Bridge

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Broken Locomotive Being Shunted Away

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Passing Yet Another Rice Field

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Arrival at Wakaf Bharu

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Train 56 Crossing Over with 51/53

My head was feeling a little dizzy as I finally stand on flat land after the constant pitch and sideways movements of the past 20 hours.

Grab (ASEAN's alternative to Uber) is available in Kota Bharu so it is quite convenient for visitors to go around the city. Since I only reached the city at 1750, I only have enough time for a meal before leaving again. I had dinner at Hayaki Cafe, a modern cafe selling traditional Kelantan food (which also have several branches back in Kuala Lumpur, by the way) in a comfortable environment. The Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik is good but I guess better versions can be found around town. Still, I don't have the time to do any exploration so the pricey alternative will suffice.

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Hayaki Cafe

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Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik (MYR 9.90)

I booked a Grab to the airport at 1830. The drive to the airport from the city center takes around 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.

The architecture of KBR is interesting to say the least. The colors will not make it make it look out place in a theme park. The check in counters for MH is deserted and I was promptly give my boarding pass. No MH lounge is available at this rather small airport with only 3 aerobridge. I did enquire before I left KUL for JHB about the possibility of using the lounge at KUL after arrival but the answer was a big no.

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Exterior of KBR (Sultan Ismail Petra Airport)

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Check In Counters

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Interior of KBR Terminal

I did find a decent cafe operated by the local university (Universiti Malaysia Kelantan) that feature comfortable seats. The cappuccino made from an espresso machine is good too.

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UMK Lounge

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UMK Lounge

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Spacious Departure Hall

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9M-MXV Arriving from KUL

Boarding was called around 10 minutes before departure. Priority boarding is enforced but there is no separate line for J/status passengers. A walk around the long line is required before showing the agent my BP and being admitted to board.

Malaysia Airlines
MH1405
KBR-KUL
Boeing 737-8H6
9M-MXV
Business Class
Seat 3F
5th May 2017
STD: 2015
STA: 2115


This flight is again operated by a 738 with the modern sky interior. There are a total of 16 seats laid out in 2-2 arrangement. I have always thought the MH 738 J cabin was overly large for domestic sectors and this time is no exception. Only 5 seats are taken. Many people have written about the seat, which is more than good enough for short flights of around an hour. I always find the MH 738's cabin beautiful and this is no exception. The IFE screen is noticeably larger than in economy. I tend to avoid the first row in the 737 due to its lack of legroom and lack of underseat storage.

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Empty Cabin

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Flight Deck

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Legroom

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Pillow and Blanket

A cold towel and pre departure drink is served while boarding is still underway. I selected the guava juice which is good. Meal orders are taken before departure too. There is a choice of Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik and Tuna Sandwich. Naturally, I chose the Nasi Kerabu because I just had it earlier in the city and it should be an interesting comparison. Teh tarik is chosen to accompany the meal. The choice of meal is new to me since no options are available the last time I took a flight of similar stature (PEN-KUL) during July 2016, which I have also written about in a report comparing Malaysia and Malindo. I was addressed by name by the stewardess throughout the drinks and food ordering process. The stewardess serving J on the flight of a higher seniority but she was excellent. The ISM however is nowhere to be seen throughout the flight, preferring to hide behind the curtain instead.

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Cold Towel

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Guava Juice

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Water

I can smell the meal being heated before the plane has even took-off. Due to the arrangement of the taxiway, the plane is required to backtrack down the runway before making a 180 degree turn to take off. The crew also played the arrival video about Oneworld and ASEAN way too early. It was quite amusing to hear advertisement playing from the PA system during the takeoff roll.

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Cabin During Cruise

The meals were promptly served as the seatbelt sign was switched off. The Nasi Kerabu is served with a pack of MH signature peanuts, a Beryl's chocolate and my choice of Teh Tarik. The cabin lights were turned orange for some reason. The chocolate has been enhanced, so to speak. It used to be a Lindt Lindor instead of a local brand.

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Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik with Teh Tarik

If you have seen what a proper Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik looks like (hint: scroll slightly up), this is kind of disappointing because it is plainly not Nasi Kerabu. It is actually steamed rice with sambal and spicy steamed chicken. Admittedly, the meal is impressive for a 300 mile flight but it is pure false advertising by the catering crew. It is not the fault of the crew as I spotted a piece of paper pinned up in the galley showing the menu of the flight that clearly states "Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik" when I visited the lavatory.

The Tuna Croissant option seems to be extremely unpopular since only one of the 5 passengers chose that option. The tray was cleared as flight started to descend but I am still not finished with the chocolate and peanuts. I also ordered an additional cup of water to wash down the teh tarik. I also distinctly remember a hot towel being provided after meal but that may be my memory playing tricks.

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Second Glass of Water

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Cabin During Cruise

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Cabin Druing Descent

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Landing at KUL

The flight took an extended route down south towards Seremban before turning back north to approach KUL. This meant the flight arrived 10 minutes after the allocated block time. I bid farewell to the crew and walked to the bus station to catch a bus back to TBS. The airport express train also have a stop at TBS but I am not in a rush so I took the slower and much cheaper alternative. At 2300, the bus arrived at TBS, the same place that I started off 35 hours ago.

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Back at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan

The whole journey was tiring (especially the sleeper train) but it was very interesting. Ideally, more time should be spent to explore both cities (Johor Bahru and Kota Bharu) but then it is not always the destination that matters, but the journey too. Malaysia Airlines is solid as always but I think I will avoid such a long train ride in the future.
 
deanhizudy
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: Around the Malayan Peninsula in 35 Hours with Malaysia Airlines and the Jungle Railway

Mon May 08, 2017 11:57 pm

I think you got the wrong photo for the "MH KUL check in area" in the beginning.

Anyway, nice TR. I really wanted to travel in peninsular Malaysia with diesel locomotives. Definitely someday!
 
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AirAfreak
Posts: 996
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

Re: Around the Malayan Peninsula in 35 Hours with Malaysia Airlines and the Jungle Railway

Tue May 09, 2017 5:13 am

Thank you for sharing this interesting report with your train travel! The food looks quite delicious (and now I'm hungry lol) and soon I will have to satisfy my cravings for Nasi Lemak at my local Indonesian Restaurant here in Los Angeles. Lol!

Thank you for sharing your trip report with MH. I was surprised to see the famous satay nowhere in sight, which is something I've always wanted to try!

Thank You For Sharing!
Korean Air | Excellence in Flight.
 
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allrite
Posts: 2610
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:28 pm

Re: Around the Malayan Peninsula in 35 Hours with Malaysia Airlines and the Jungle Railway

Tue May 09, 2017 10:01 am

Thank you so much for this report! As a rail enthusiast I have long wanted to travel the jungle railway but I wasn't aware there was a sleeper service. I agree with you that the daylight trains would probably be better. It does sound like a masochistic exercise though, hours in tropical heat and humidity on the slow train. An adventure! I know I'd not convince the rest of the family.

Back in 1995/1996 I caught the overnight trains from JB to KL, KL to Butterworth and then back to Singapore, all seated. Though scenic going through small villages it wasn't a particularly pleasant trip. The carriages had loud televisions which continuously played boring movies and documentaries frequently interspersed with ads for Kancil cars, Nyum-Nyum snacks and Mamee noodles. I can still hear them over two decades later!

I just wish they'd build the fast train between KL and Singapore. Your turbulence report reminds me of how I hate flying the route and mad Malaysian bus (and car) drivers are just plain scary!
I like artificial banana essence!
 
bennator
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:20 pm

Re: Around the Malayan Peninsula in 35 Hours with Malaysia Airlines and the Jungle Railway

Tue May 09, 2017 1:18 pm

Great report

allrite wrote:
Thank you so much for this report! As a rail enthusiast I have long wanted to travel the jungle railway but I wasn't aware there was a sleeper service. I agree with you that the daylight trains would probably be better. It does sound like a masochistic exercise though, hours in tropical heat and humidity on the slow train. An adventure! I know I'd not convince the rest of the family.

Back in 1995/1996 I caught the overnight trains from JB to KL, KL to Butterworth and then back to Singapore, all seated. Though scenic going through small villages it wasn't a particularly pleasant trip. The carriages had loud televisions which continuously played boring movies and documentaries frequently interspersed with ads for Kancil cars, Nyum-Nyum snacks and Mamee noodles. I can still hear them over two decades later!

I just wish they'd build the fast train between KL and Singapore. Your turbulence report reminds me of how I hate flying the route and mad Malaysian bus (and car) drivers are just plain scary!


Back when there was a day train from Woodlands to Tumpat, I did the day train, split in two with an overnight in Gemas. You actually don't miss much by taking the night train, as the scenery doesn't get good until Kuala Lipis, which you reach at 6:30 or so in the morning by the night train. The rest is just palm oil plantations.

If going by day trains, don't worry about heat and humidity, worry about over airconditiong

The contrast between the ETS services on the west coast, and the remaining non-upgraded services, however are huge. Fortunately, the elctrification should reach JB in 2 years, and the HSR 3 years after that
 
rttlnsnk
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:23 pm

Re: Around the Malayan Peninsula in 35 Hours with Malaysia Airlines and the Jungle Railway

Tue May 09, 2017 9:45 pm

deanhizudy wrote:
I think you got the wrong photo for the "MH KUL check in area" in the beginning.

Anyway, nice TR. I really wanted to travel in peninsular Malaysia with diesel locomotives. Definitely someday!


I saw the error too late. It is unfortunate that posts are unable to be edited after a few hours of it going live.

allrite wrote:
Thank you so much for this report! As a rail enthusiast I have long wanted to travel the jungle railway but I wasn't aware there was a sleeper service. I agree with you that the daylight trains would probably be better. It does sound like a masochistic exercise though, hours in tropical heat and humidity on the slow train. An adventure! I know I'd not convince the rest of the family.

Back in 1995/1996 I caught the overnight trains from JB to KL, KL to Butterworth and then back to Singapore, all seated. Though scenic going through small villages it wasn't a particularly pleasant trip. The carriages had loud televisions which continuously played boring movies and documentaries frequently interspersed with ads for Kancil cars, Nyum-Nyum snacks and Mamee noodles. I can still hear them over two decades later!

I just wish they'd build the fast train between KL and Singapore. Your turbulence report reminds me of how I hate flying the route and mad Malaysian bus (and car) drivers are just plain scary!


The sleeper coach is air conditioned but the privacy curtain does block cool air from entering the berth. The return trip from Tumpat to Kota Bharu featuring the broken locomotive has a refrigerated coach more associated with Malaysian trains. With the current timetable, I actually recommend getting on the train from Gemas (require sleeping on train) or from Gua Musang (no sleeping, skipping past all the uninteresting sections). By the way, I am quite a fan of your reports too!

bennator wrote:
Great report

Back when there was a day train from Woodlands to Tumpat, I did the day train, split in two with an overnight in Gemas. You actually don't miss much by taking the night train, as the scenery doesn't get good until Kuala Lipis, which you reach at 6:30 or so in the morning by the night train. The rest is just palm oil plantations.

If going by day trains, don't worry about heat and humidity, worry about over airconditiong

The contrast between the ETS services on the west coast, and the remaining non-upgraded services, however are huge. Fortunately, the elctrification should reach JB in 2 years, and the HSR 3 years after that


The ETS is literally from a different century than the old Intercity trains. However, the sleeper coaches are missed by most of the railway enthusiast since there are no more sleeper trains from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth and Singapore. The day train "Shuttle" from Tumpat only reaches Kuala Lipis nowadays instead of ending up in Gemas. The only way to travel between Gemas and Kuala Lipis on rail is by the sleeper train. For sightseeing, the northbound sleeper train no. 26 is recommended as it passes through the interesting sections during daylight.
 
Kent350787
Posts: 1291
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

Re: Around the Malayan Peninsula in 35 Hours with Malaysia Airlines and the Jungle Railway

Thu May 11, 2017 9:59 am

Thank you for the report! It is 4 years since I was last in Malaysia, but your shots at KBR in particular take me right back. I do remember the food offerings being somewhat limited.

The train trip looks very scenic, but not one for me!
S340/J31/146-300/F27/F50/Nord 262/Q100/200/E195/733/734/738/744/762/763/77W/788/789/320/321/332/333/345/359
 
nazri
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 3:24 am

Re: Around the Malayan Peninsula in 35 Hours with Malaysia Airlines and the Jungle Railway

Wed May 31, 2017 3:00 pm

Up until a few years ago, there were daytime trains between JB Sentral and Tumpat. Which meant that you get to enjoy more of the scenery by breaking the trip into two days.

This train left JB sentral around 0800 if i recall, and you could get off at Gua Musang around 6 or 7pm. Spend a night in Gua Musang (translates as 'Fox's Cave') to get the Malaysian small town feel, surrounded by limestone hills.

The following morning, hop on the 0600 express service northwards towards Kelantan. This stretch of tracks is where the 'Jungle' is and of course best enjoyed in daylight. Tumpat has really little to see, so get off at Wakaf Bharu for a trip into Kota Bharu, Kelantan's city.

Unfortunately, these services no longer exist, unless you don't mind long intervals in between.
 
nazri
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 3:24 am

Re: Around the Malayan Peninsula in 35 Hours with Malaysia Airlines and the Jungle Railway

Wed May 31, 2017 3:08 pm

KTMB has a a really weird policy of not allowing passengers to be at the train platform (at the major stations like KL Sentral) until the train has arrived and stopped. I wrote them an email many years back when the ETS idea was surfaced, about how I loved hearing and watching the locomotives chugging, etc. so if they could consider allowing ticket holders to wait at the platform earlier just like how it is done in Japan, but never received a reply.

Oh well, ever since the ETS started, I've not taken any of their trains. To me, the romance of train travel has been lost with the electrification of the North-South sector.

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