Rapid KL’s City Shuttle buses can be extremely useful for getting around Kuala Lumpur should the LRT system not stretch where you want to travel. However, they are very cheap so you can meet some colourful characters such as Indonesian labourers who can have an boisterous attitude towards Western women travelling alone.
One City Shuttle ticket (RM2) allows visitors to travel all of the ten routes for the whole day. Alternatively there are integrated day passes called Sepadu available at stations and bus stops which cost RM7 and also include the LRT. These are better value and removes the need for fumbling with lots of change when purchasing multiple tickets.
There are many other bus operators such as Len Seng, Selangor, Metrobus and Permata Kiara which may well serve your particular journey better than RapidKL, although the intricacies of all the routes can be difficult to fathom so you are best off just asking local advice.
Due to rising fuel prices and the government’s insistence of keeping fares low, many companies are cutting back on services in recent months to save costs. And be careful of ticket booths trying to offload services which don’t depart for many hours and then not offering a refund when you realise their error. Be specific about the departure date and time you require to avoid being taken advantage of.
Long distance bus services from Kuala Lumpur
Getting from Kuala Lumpur to other Malaysian destinations by bus can be a little confusing due to the number of companies and bus stations that operate. Generally most services run from Puduraya Bus Terminal on the edge of Chinatown including some of the airport connections.
Be warned that when there are numerous services every day these are unlikely to be spread out evenly but be clustered around early morning and late evening when most people want to travel. And beware of just turning up without booking for weekend journeys or during national holidays as reservations several days in advance may be required.
First class overnight buses will usually provide a blanket and pillow which is usually extremely useful as air conditioning is normally turned up to arctic blizzard levels. It is good idea to bring a pair of socks with you on board if you would normally wear sandals and perhaps a hat or fleece.
Most long journeys are accompanied with a variety of films or music which may or may not be to your taste, so if you intend to go straight to sleep request a seat at the back. Baggage is normally stowed under the bus so padlocking your belongings can prevent opportunistic thefts.
Kuala Lumpur bus terminals
Puduraya Bus Staton
This is the city’s main bus terminus with coaches here arriving from and leaving to all parts of the country. Main destinations: Alor Setar (nine hours, nine daily), Butterworth (seven hours, every half-an-hour), Cameron Highlands (five hours, every hour), Ipoh (four hours, every half-an-hour), Johor Bahru (six hours, five daily) Kuala Perlis (nine hours, six daily), Lumut (six hours, eight daily), Melaka (two hours, every half-an-hour), Mersing (seven hours, one-a-day), Penang (eight hours, every half-an-hour) and Singapore (seven hours, seven daily).
Watch out for pickpockets, aggressive touts and taxis who overcharge or refuse to use the meter. (Jalan Pudu, near junction with Jalan Tun Perak, Kuala Lumpur)
Pekeliling Bus Station
Mainly for services to eastern areas such as Jerantut (four hours, four daily), Kuantan (five hours, every half-an-hour), Kuala Lipis (four hours, four daily) and Mentakab (90 minutes, every hour) (Jalan Pekeliling, by Titiwangsa Monorail LRT Station)
Putra Bus Station
Caters for east coast destinations such as Kuantan (five hours, every half-an-hour), Kelantan (seven hours, four daily), Temerloh (three hours, every hour) and Kuala Terengganu (seven hours, three daily). (Jalan Putra, opposite Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC ) LRT Station on the STAR line)
Duta Bus Station
Transnasional Coaches has services to northern parts of Malaysia operating from here. It can be difficult to find taxis here especially if arriving late at night and there is no LRT metro station closeby. (Jalan Duta, by Duta Tennis Courts and Hockey Stadium)