Coming out from the rather temporary walkway from Butterworth Railway Station, I found myself back in Penang Sentral’s ticketing area where I had my Easybook booking in my phone which I made while on the train ride from Anak Bukit to Butterworth.
Choices were rather limited to travel back to Singapore here, with just two options, namely Sri Maju and Supernice Grassland. I opted to travel with Sri Maju as they dropped off at Golden Mile Complex rather than Boon Lay, and had big seats which I have tried out before. With a long journey like this, I think I would stick with what I know would work out well as I think I have had enough drama today.
My precious RM1 slip of paper with an important QR code. *insert roll-eye emoji here*
Heading to get my boarding pass checked in and down to the long-distance bus platform.
The strangely-empty long-distance bus platform at night.
I know I took the Ekspres Kesatuan this afternoon to try out the departure process for Penang Sentral, but two times within a day and a short time frame at that was a lot more than I had bargained for.
My Sri Maju bus was departing from Gate 2.
Hopefully it would be smooth-sailing from here.
Boarding the bus through the gates once boarding calls are made by the gate agent.
The Sri Maju Hi-Deck bus which would take me back to Singapore. Finally, I’m on my way.
The interior of the 24-seater Sri Maju bus.
As I had bought the third-last seat on the bus with no more single seats available, I picked a window seat on an empty pair of seats.
The very generous legroom on board Sri Maju – one of the factors that made me pick Sri Maju for this long journey.
Departing from Penang Sentral for the second time in a day.
Night lights were turned on as the bus headed to Bukit Mertajam to pick up more passengers first.
Wasn’t planning to see KOMTAR on a Sunday night.
Goodbye Penang Sentral.
Heading on the bridge over the Perai River, the one I have always seen only from the train.
Paying the toll at Perai Lama.
Making a stop at Panther Holiday Enterprise (No. 44-G, Lorong Usahaniaga 1, Taman Usahaniaga, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia), the ticket agent for Sri Maju in Bukit Mertajam and where most passengers boarded from. This is located just about 10 minutes by foot from the old Bukit Mertajam Railway Station.
From here, the bus cruised on at a leisurely 90km/h to the next stop, Larkin. This is why I chose this no-nonsense bus company.
The bus made a petrol and toilet stop at Dengkil R&R at around 1.45am.
The bus arrived at JB Larkin Bus Terminal at 5.48am.
Continuing on to Bangunan Sultan Iskandar.
The total stopping time at Sultan Iskandar CIQ was rather quick, about half an hour from arrival to departure.
Departing from Bangunan Sultan Iskandar at 6.33am with this fantastic queue for Causeway Link buses.
Once out of the complex, the Monday morning jam to Singapore starts.
Crawling to Singapore. (On hindsight, I should have just requested to get out of the bus and walk to Singapore.)
The journey from Bangunan Sultan Iskandar to Woodlands Checkpoint took 48 minutes, from darkness to first light and sunrise, arriving at 7.12am.
As time was a bit tight on my end, and worried that the bus wouldn’t get out of Woodlands fast enough to get to Golden Mile before 8am, I informed the driver that I would be leaving the bus from Woodlands Checkpoint and to minus one guy off his list to Golden Mile.
I cleared immigration at 7.30am, and went on my way.
Overall, a rather pleasant ride on Sri Maju with the big seats and smooth journey, though it wasn’t really intentional this time and I still would have rather flew back from Alor Setar instead. With this, it concludes my unintentional Penang-Alor Setar adventure.