Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Malaysia - a glimpse of KL Sentral

One of the factors that will further push Malaysia's success in tourism industry is KL Sentral. 

I have visited KL city twice. I stayed somewhere near Chow Kit area (Jalan Ipoh) during my initial visit. I got lost when I went to Batu Caves by bus and was ripped-off by teksi drivers several times. The place was not conducive to tourists due to difficulty in choosing what kind of transportation to be used, not to mention the unavailability of decent or nice local restaurant.

On my second time in KL, I searched for a decent hotel near KL Sentral. I never regretted booking a hotel near KL Sentral. Nothing could be more convenient for a tourist than to have various and safe means of transportation right at his hotel doorstep.

KL Sentral from my hotel area.



Actually KL Sentral is not just an inter-modal transportation hub but rather a city within a city. Construction is on-going on different parts of the entire KL Sentral. Offices, malls and apartments are expected to be completed on 2015. It was designed also as new financial and business hub for KL city. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KL_Sentral

Since we have used KL Sentral as reference point of our travel in and around KL city then allow me to focus this post to KL Sentral as centralized transportation hub.




Inside KL Sentral, as expected, you would find this integrated LRT lines. This is very helpful in determining which station is near to your destination. However, there are new stations added after SENTUL. If I am not mistaken, around three stations were added to Sentul station including Batu Caves which was the last station.

Likewise, several information media abound inside KL Sentral that will surely help in locating shops, fast-foods, money changers, etc. inside KL Sentral.


My first glimpse of KL Sentral was on 07 Oct. I arrived at 7:00 AM coming from Singapore by KTM intercity train. The intercity train stopped at KL Sentral platform 1 & 2. Even trains going to Butterworth / Bangkok and other cities outside KL city stop and commence their trips from these platforms.


Alighting from the intercity train at platform 1 & 2, I emerged at level 2 where the main entrance of KL Sentral is. You need to go down to level 1 if you need to travel by KTM and Rapid KL LRT. KLIA Ekspres is also at level 1.



Upon arriving at KL Sentral after 7 hours of grueling train trip from Singapore, I need my caffeine shot but I was short of RM. I searched for money changer and found one at the right-most corner of the main entrance hall (level 2).

It was my lucky day. Found 15 S$ inside my money bag and changed it to RM then ordered brewed coffee at nearby Dunkin Donuts.

I searched for Hotel Summer View after my breakfast.


Thankfully, the hotel released my room as early as 10:30 AM. I slept after taking a quick hot shower. A few hours later, I woke up and took my dinner at KFC inside KL Sentral.






I purchased SIM card from this shop worth 8.40 RM with 4 RM load. As usual, they photocopied my passport as requirement.







I would meet my wife and youngest kid at LCCT at around 1:00 AM so I bought Skybus ticket for 9 RM, one-way.

You would find the berthing station of Skybus at the back side of KL Sentral. Proceed to level 1 back exit then continue to lower level  through this small access. LCCT (Skybus / Aerobus) and Go Genting buses have the same berthing station. You can purchase both Aerobus & Skybus tickets at the berthing station while you need to go to Go Genting counter at level 2 to purchase ticket for GG bus.



I fetched my wife and kid from LCCT and traveled back to KL Sentral safely; again by Skybus. From KL Sentral we took a Teksi going to Hotel Summer View. Actually, the hotel was pretty near to KL Sentral but since it was wee hours in the morning, I decided that it would be prudent to take a teksi than walk to the hotel.

The following day and after several hours of sleep, we went to KL (Menara) Tower. We took a budget teksi from KL Sentral. There is no need to haggle because teksi fare is fixed for each location. I paid 14 RM to the counter for KL Tower trip.



This is the main entrance hall (level 2) and that is the information booth at the farthest end. You would find the budget teksi counter at the back of that booth. Once you receive the ticket or coupon you may now board the teksi in queue outside the main entrance.
Moreover, KTM inter-city ticket counter (going to Butterworth / Bangkok, Singapore and other cities) is also at the back of that information booth beside the budget teksi counter. You need to get queue number first from the left or first window and wait for your number to be displayed on the LED display.

There are two boarding gates for KTM inter-city trains. Gate A is for north bound passengers (Bangkok) while gate B is for the south bound passengers (Singapore).


After enjoying the view from from KL Tower, we proceeded to Petronas Towers. Shortly thereafter, we decided to return back to KL Sentral from KLCC LRT station

elevated LRT (Rapid KL) station inside KL Sentral

The elevated LRT station is on top of Rapid KL ticket counter and entry/exit area at level 1.

We visited Batu Caves the following day. It was pretty convenient to go to Batu Caves coming from KL Sentral due to newly constructed LRT station beside Batu Caves. You might get confuse about LRT in KL Sentral. There are two LRT lines station inside KL Sentral. They are being operated by Rapid KL and KTM Komuter. It is like in Singapore where LRTs are being run by SMRT and SBS. Anyway, you would find two KTM Komuter ticket and entry/exit areas at both side of level 1.


The KTM LRT platform is located below these ticket counters and entrances.



Next day, we traveled to Genting Highlands by Go Genting bus. The price for one-way fare including Skyway was 9.30 RM per person. We bought our tickets from this counter located at the extreme right of main entrance hall level 2. Beside this Go Genting bus counter is teksi counter for Genting Highlands also.
                    

KLIA Transit

In addition to LRT, you would find also KLIA Transit inside KL Sentral. This train shares the same railway tracks of KLIA Express. It mainly serves commuters and KLIA personnel. It has 3 intermediate stops on key townships: Bandar Tasik Selatan, Putrajaya and Salak Tinggi (see integrated LRT line picture on top). The fare is based on distance traveled while the trip duration is 35 minutes end-to-end. KLIA Transit departs every 30 minutes from both KL Sentral and KLIA.
If you are flying Air Asia, you may take the KLIA Transit train until Salak Tinggi station where air-conditioned shuttle bus awaits AA passengers to whisk them directly to LCCT. Porters are available to help them with their luggage. Tickets can be purchased from this counter.
 SHOPS


you can load your local SIM card from myNEWS.com

On my last day in KL city, I rented a coin-locker inside KL Sentral while waiting for my 2:00 AM flight to Dubai.



You can select a big or medium size locker depending on the size of your luggage. I rented a medium size locker. I bought 2 tokens from the information booth, the red circular counter at the middle of level 1. For bigger locker, I believe you need 4 tokens. The locker areas are at the back of escalators / stairs going to level 2.

KLIA Ekspres

You can easily find the ticket counters of KLIA Express due to numerous signs inside KL Sentral.



A few hours before my flight, I traveled to KLIA by KLIA Ekspres. The non-stop trip lasted for around 28 minutes from KL Sentral to KLIA. I paid 35 RM. The trip was indescribable. That was my first time to ride a fast train.

SHOTS INSIDE KLIA EKSPRES



Regarding KL monorail, though its station is within KL Sentral vicinity it is actually located outside the KL Sentral transportation hub building. You need to exit at the backside of KL Sentral building and cross the road. No worries at all because you can easily find the place.

Food concessionaires such as Mc Donald, KFC, Dunkin Donuts, Kenny Rogers and several local names are plentiful inside KL Sentral. We tried the Tom Yam flavored chicken of KFC. I wonder why in other countries KFC is offering 3 pcs dinner box while in Philippines it sells two pieces only.






Or you can eat at the food court.


KL Sentral is a proof that when proper planning has been done and implemented, great result will follow.


Revised on 22 December 2011

6 comments:

  1. nice! detailed info of KL Sentral!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Was looking for details regarding the lockers and your photo of the locker description was precious.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for this extremely helpful material about the KL Sentral area.

    ReplyDelete