Starmart Express from Singapore Golden Mile Tower to Tanjung Malim by Bus
Aside from frequent KL buses, Starmart Express also has a network of buses from Singapore to other parts of Peninsular Malaysia, focusing on the west coast. On this trip to KL, I decided to slightly extend my trip to Tanjung Malim and take the train back to KL in the morning, and realised upon being dropped off at “Tanjung Malim” that this bus ride was not a wise thing to do at all.
Singapore Golden Mile Tower
Starmart Express departs from Golden Mile Tower in Singapore.
Heading to the Starmart Express office to check-in for my bus.
I had purchased my ticket in advance from BusOnlineTicket, and will need to check-in to get my bus details before boarding.
My ticket for my Starmart Express bus from Singapore to Tanjung Malim. There are 2 buses daily at 10.15pm and 11.59pm.
The waiting area for Starmart Express buses at Golden Mile Tower is by the steps down to the main driveway in front of the building.
My 10.15pm bus to Tanjung Malim arrived at Golden Mile Tower at 10.21pm.
Tickets are checked by the Starmart ground staff before boarding, and ticked off a manifest. Passengers with luggage place them in the luggage compartment first before lining up in front of the bus door.
The interior of the 27-seater Starmart single-deck bus.
My single seat at 19 for this journey.
The legroom available on board Starmart’s single-deck bus. As there are only 9 rows of seats, there is slightly more legroom for everyone on board as compared to 30-seater buses.
Another headcount is conducted once everyone is on board to confirm before departing.
My 10.15pm Starmart bus departed from Golden Mile Tower at 10.38pm – 23 minutes delayed.
Passing by the Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the Bay on the way out of Singapore.
Heading into Tuas Checkpoint for Singapore immigration.
Crossing the Second Link Bridge over to Malaysia.
Tanjung Kupang Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ Complex
Heading into Tanjung Kupang Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ Complex for Malaysia immigration and customs.
Re-boarding my bus at Tanjung Kupang after clearing Malaysia immigration and customs.
The Point convenience store at Tanjung Kupang Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ Complex has reopened with a new look.
Everything had been normal and speedy up toll this point as all passengers seem to be seasoned travellers and there were no hiccups throughout the border crossing. The bus departed quickly after each checkpoint with no hassle.
Tanjung Malim Toll Plaza
I was woken up at Tanjung Malim by the driver who called out “Tanjung Malim” at arrival.
After gathering my things, thanking him, and alighting, I realised that this was only the Tanjung Malim Toll Plaza.
I then asked the driver in Malay why wasn’t he going to the terminal and he simply said “tak pergi”. When I asked him rhetorically how I should be going on to Tanjung Malim from there at this time of the morning, he simply shrugged his shoulder.
The bus then made a u-turn after shutting the door when the conversation wasn’t going anywhere, and continued on to Penang.
I was left alone at Tanjung Malim Toll Plaza at 4.45am.
No Grab was available at this ridiculous time in the morning, so I took the only mode of transport available to me – I walked from Tanjung Malim toll to the city.
Hitchhiking didn’t work as well, and understandably so, since its highly unusual to have someone walking on the quiet streets in the wee hours of the morning.
It’s about a 4km walk from Tanjung Malim Toll Plaza to the actual Tanjung Malim town centre. Along the way, I was chased by some street dogs guarding the front of a school who were probably wondering why there was someone even walking along the road at this time, but continuing walking at my normal speed and ignoring their barks seem to have done the trick in not getting them to chase after and/or attack me.
The walk was more assuring once I hit the residential areas with more lights around, though it was still very quiet at this time in the morning.
Crossing the border from Selangor to Perak over Sungai Bernam.
Stepping in to Tanjung Malim, Perak.
Tanjung Malim Bus Station
The first landmark across the Perak border is Tanjung Malim Bus Station, where my booked destination actually is. This took me 45 minutes to walk from Tanjung Malim Toll Plaza.
I took a short break in the terminal as it was drizzling and I wasn’t expecting to reach the bus terminal in the early morning march,
with my backpack on my back, with an aching in my heart, and my body full of sweat.
Thankfully and seriously though, I decided to travel really light on this trip with just a small sling bag of rolled up clothes, and the morning weather was cool when the cold wind blows, though the barking dogs may have made my heart pound more than usual at 5 in the morning.
The TM-KL Express counter was already open, selling tickets for the 6am departure to Kuala Lumpur Pudu Sentral. I considered just buying a ticket there and then to save on any more walking that morning, but I reminded myself of the actual intent of visiting Tanjung Malim which is to take the Komuter to KL.
The bus counters at Tanjung Malim Bus Station.
The bus bays at Tanjung Malim Bus Station.
There is a Kereta Sewa stand beside the bus station, though with no cars available at this time in the morning.
The facade of Tanjung Malim Bus Station.
After the rain had subsided, I continued my walk on to Tanjung Malim Railway Station, getting water and breakfast along the way.
The Starmart surprise drop-off at Tanjung Malim Toll Plaza was a rude shock to me and was more effective than any coffee or alarms to set me off in the morning.
My destination stated in my BusOnlineTicket ticket was clearly Tanjung Malim Bus Station, and I found it irresponsible of Starmart to simply drop me off at the toll without any other options. In fact, I would even go as far to say as this is false advertising.
I find myself lucky that I roughly know my bearings around Tanjung Malim, but a first-timer may be totally lost, and at the mercy of the big roads leading out of the toll booth in the wee hours of the morning. If you’re a local with family or friends to pick you up, you probably won’t be affected as they are just a WhatsApp text and 10 minutes away, but for tourists, this unadvertised truncation of journey is not worth risking.
Needless to say, this is probably my last time doing Starmart from Singapore to Tanjung Malim. Very unfortunate, especially when I personally consider them to be one of the more reliable bus companies in Malaysia. This ride has definitely marred my view on them for non-Singapore-KL routes.