Transtar First Class Solitaire: Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by Luxury Bus

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Transtar is one of the pioneers in luxury coach travel between Singapore and Malaysia, and they claim that the Transtar First Class Solitaire is “the ultimate 18 individual seater double decker coach in hospitality and luxurious comfort”. After I have tried it for myself, and comparing with other coach companies that I have tried so far,  it’s hard to dispute that claim.

After my onward journey with Qistna, I got my return journey with Transtar First Class Solitaire, which was a total world of difference.

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Transtar’s KL office is located at 135 Jalan Imbi 55100 Kuala Lumpur and their KL-origin buses depart from there. It’s about a 5-minute walk from Imbi or Bukit Bintang Monorail stations.

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After a “check-in” with my Easybook printout at the counter, I was invited to use the lounge just behind.

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A simple lounge with just sofas, a TV showing some music videos and hot drinks, but comfortable enough to wait for the bus instead of standing outside their office.

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Once the bus was ready for boarding, the stewardess called for passengers to board the bus.

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The Transtar First Class Solitaire bus waiting by the road ahead of their office.

The bus departed at 6.15pm, 15 minutes delayed from original schedule due to the late arrival of the bus from Singapore.

Announcements were made by the stewardess upon departure, welcoming all passengers on board and introducing herself and the bus captain. She also pointed out the safety features around the bus such as the seat belts on my seat and the closest emergency exits. Seriously, the only safety feature lacking are oxygen masks dropping down from above in case of a cabin depressurization, and perhaps a slide which will deploy from the upper deck in case of an emergency evacuation on the runway highway.

When compared with Qistna, this is probably heaven.

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Inside the 1+1 seater Transtar First Class Solitaire bus. Despite being a double-decker bus, there are only 18* seats inside.
(*There is a slimmer middle seat on the lower deck between two normal-sized seats which is not sold, which makes the actual total number of seats 19 if it is ever sold.)

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The amount of space one person gets in a Solitaire cocoon seat. The electrical seat controls, personal TV screen, storage and power socket are also conveniently placed around.

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The Solitaire seat also reclines reasonably flat at 140 degrees, with a footrest designed to blend in as part of the reclined seat when fully extended. And because this is a cocoon seat, I didn’t have to worry about reclining into the person behind me.

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The entertainment was available since the start of the journey, so I used that first.

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After departure, the stewardess came around with mineral water for each passenger, which I placed at the side slot of the seat.

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Passing through the new IKEA at Cheras on the way to the North-South Highway. Blankets were handed out at around this point.

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Once the bus passed the Sungai Besi toll, dinner was served. The meal as stated on the sticker was “Silver Anchovies Fried Rice with Kung Poh Chicken”. It also came with stewed potato wedges and a spring roll. Hot drinks were also available to be served with the meal.

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The frills available on this trip.

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When the bus got dimmer due to the sunset and the rain outside, the interior lights were switched on for us to enjoy our meal.

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The bus made a 10-minute stop at Kampung Bemban rest area in Melaka for a short toilet break. Food trucks are available at this rest area for some snacks, but that wasn’t really necessary considering the full meal I just had. Plus my favourite Putu Bambu truck was sold out when my bus arrived.

At the Senai toll, the stewardess came around to collect back the blankets issued.

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The bus made a short 5-minute stop at GP Sentral in Gelang Patah to drop off some passengers and the stewardess before continuing on to the Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ Complex in Tanjung Kupang and thereafter Tuas Checkpoint. A minor inconvenience, but at least I was comfortably detoured in a Solitaire seat.

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The bus arrived at Golden Mile Complex at 12.30am, 6 hours and 15 minutes point-to-point from Imbi.

Will I take Transtar First Class Solitaire ever again?

Definitely, if the prices on Easybook remains affordable. I paid the lowest fare based on the timing at $22 for the 6pm trip from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore which is cheaper than booking direct with Transtar, but it costs $59 from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.

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