Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sarawak bus express trip experience

Last August I traveled from Sibu to Kuching by using bus express. Hence, I decided to share some of the experience for other travelers out there who never take a bus express to commute between the cities and towns in Sarawak.

This is the front view of the bus station terminal in Sibu. It is located at Jalan Pahlawan, some 3km away from the town. The front portion of the terminal is basically a huge supermarket called "Everwin"

Behind this supermarket is the bus terminal.

This is how the seating areas look like at Sibu bus terminal. It is not air conditioned and can be hot in the afternoon. Chairs are plenty here.

One can purchased the bus ticket from any kioks available here. There are a lot of bus companies operating here and one need to be smart to pick the most comfortable bus. I had decide to use the bus operated by Bintang Jaya Sdn Bhd (usually I called it "Green" bus) as I had used their bus previously and satisfy with their bus.

This is how the ticket looks like. The fare from Sibu to Kuching is RM40 and the journey is approximately 7 hours

I was a bit lucky as Bintang Jaya was using their newest bus for my trip. They called it "Airbus 350". Bintang Jaya is easily recognised with the green as their primary colour

One need not worry on mistaken boarding the wrong bus. The destination and time of departure placard will be hung outside the bus. Usually the bus will depart some 10 minutes later than its stipulated time to accomodate late passengers. Why can't they just be punctual?

I am amazed with the size of Bintang Jaya's bus seat. It is bigger than their old bus. However the bigger seats resulting in a narrower aisle.

The air conditioning duct is right above the seat. It is huge and resembling those on the air craft.

All the express buses in Sarawak do not have a toilet facility onboard and the bus will make its scheduled stop some half way of the journey at Engkilili (for Sibu/Sarikei-Serian/Kuching route). The toilets here are free of charge. The bus will stop approximately 15 minutes and one can buy some food at the nearby stalls.

There will be occassionally some natives selling their crops. Some of these vegetables and fruits are rare and can't be found at the urban market.

This is how the "highway" looks like from Engkilili

This is the bus station terminal at Kuching at Mile 4. A taxi fare from Kuching City to here will cost around RM20

The seats are rather limited if compared to the Sibu station terminal

For my return trip, I had opt for Biaramas bus as I notice the Company had starting phasing their old buses with new ones. Luck was not on my side as I didn't have the opportunity to use their new bus (Their new buses are painted red).

However, the interior of Biaramas old bus still manage to impress me with its spacious seat. For some reason, the seats are built to be reclined, probably to assist the passengers to get a good sleep onboard.

Overall, a thumb up for buses run by Bintang Jaya and Biaramas


pchi said...

What a coincidence

In the Philippines we have a city called Cebu and a province named Palawan...

seems our countries have something in common :-)

Malaysia is just a little richer

BLue said...

don't kill me, I just feel like singing

Balik Kampung oh oh oh Balik Kampung

chubskulit said...

that bus looks comfy... Nice collection of photos you have! Good job!

Joops said...

Wow, it reminds of the Philippines where my wife came from very nice!

chubs said...

You're good in taking pics, keep it up!

salingPUSA said...

reminds me of going home to my remote hometown here in the Philippines where you have no other option but to take the bus unless you have your own car. No train, no airlines. just land travel.

But I agree, you have to pick the most comfortable one. Then , just enjoy the view, coz it really is relaxing....

eunice said...

U wrote some good reviews about coaches in Malaysia, I have just given a bad one on Transtar at my blog! =P

Have you boarded those with 18 seaters before? It's like First class on airplane (I supposed!).

shawnn loo said...

Cool pic, I would like to have a try...

Plan to going Kuching next year

TNH said...

I never use those bus express in Sarawak..Partly because beside Kuching i din't go other places in Sarawak. Only a few times went to Sibu

Ivana said...

the bus's color is...a little bit weird?hahaha...

Lifesigns Life Quotes