Around the Malay Peninsular: Kuala Lumpur to Rantau Panjang by Bus (Ekspres Perdana)

This journey was made during the Around the Malay Peninsular trip in 2016.

Since the plan is to go to Hat Yai via the Sungai Golok railway line, the easiest way to access it would be by express bus from Kuala Lumpur.

Since November 2014, all express buses to eastern states have been moved to the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) or Southern Integrated Terminal. With the recent move of express buses to northern destinations to TBS in November 2015, TBS now serves express buses of all destinations in Peninsular Malaysia, not just for southbound buses only.

UPDATE: You can now purchase your Ekspres Perdana tickets online through Easybook.

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Boarding the bus at TBS is similar to procedures in an airport, with simple security checks before the escalator down to the departure lobby first. The staff will make sure that you are entering the right departure lobby for your bus. Be sure to check your ticket and the departure information screens for your gate number.

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The biggest departure lobby in TBS serving gates 1 to 13. The departure lobby has plenty of seats to wait for your bus, with push carts selling light snacks and drinks, as well as washrooms. 2 other smaller departure lobbies serve gates 14-16 and 17-19 without washrooms.

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The ticket from TBS for the bus journey. Be sure to present your ticket before you enter the departure lobby and before you board the bus.

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Each gate will feature information of the current departing bus and subsequent buses.

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The Perdana Ekspress coach ready for boarding. This coach comes equipped with 45 seats on two levels in the Super VIP or SVIP 1+2 seating configuration on the upper deck, and 2+1 seating configuration on the lower deck.

This bus will head to Hentian Gua Musang for a midway rest stop first, before stopping at Tanah Merah, Pasir Mas and finally Rantau Panjang.

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The view from my seat on the lower deck. The bus does not come with power sockets, but is apparently equipped with WiFi which I am unable to connect to.

The bus departed about 5 minutes late at 10.05pm.

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After about 4 hours, at around 2am, the bus makes a 45 minute stop at Gua Musang for refuelling and a break for passengers to stretch their legs and maybe grab a bite.

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The sign of facilities available at Hentian Gua Musang, or Gua Musang Rest Stop.

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The rest stop is surprisingly busy on a weekday at 2am.

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The exterior look of Hentian Gua Musang.

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Once the bus is ready to depart, announcements will be made in the rest stop to call for all passengers. You can find your bus parked at the waiting area beside the food area.

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At around 6am, the bus arrived at Rantau Panjang bus terminal. Before crossing the border, some opted for a quick breakfast at a minor stall in the terminal, though most had their breakfast later on at Yala in Thailand.

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A plinth just outside of the bus terminal welcoming arriving visitors into Malaysia.

UPDATE: You can now purchase your Ekspres Perdana tickets online through Easybook.

The journey continues with crossing the border into Thailand to Sungai Golok, and onward to the Sungai Golok Railway Station for the railway portion of the trip.

Some possible booking methods for Kuala Lumpur – Rantau Panjang express buses are:

Hotel Booking

Attractions Booking

How do I book tickets online?

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