Buses are cheap, not necessarily convenient and the bathroom (if it has one) is probably rank. But: The bus trip through Malaysia, from Penang to Kuala Lumpur (KL) was, hands down, the nicest bus trip I have ever taken. Why?
The bus company Aeroline is really nice
Because the bus company Kiwi booked basically acted more like an international flag carrier. Aeroline, a bus company with the tagline “The convenient way to fly,” provided better service on the double-decker than most U.S. airlines.
On our way to the bus stop, Kiwi told our taxi driver that we’re taking Aeroline to KL. The driver told us that we would like them, that it’s a good and safe bus company. That’s a reassuring thing to hear at the beginning of a bus trip.
The double decker bus arrived just after 8:30 a.m., its scheduled arrival. My little 15-month old buddy I made friends alerted me to the bus arrival by pointing at the incoming and saying “bah! [bus].”
The lower lever of the bus is a lounge with some armchairs and the bathroom. Inside the bathroom: this great sign asking for “no heavy usage”:
Passengers are seated upstairs, with three wide leather seats in every row in a two-one formation. We pulled away from the bus stop and an attendant came up offering coffee or tea and a fried fish sandwich. All were fine to enjoy as the bus drove over the bridge.
For the first hour, I was catching up on episode 10 of Serial while Kiwi was reading the novel that inspired Slumdog Millionaire. After the podcast ended (the judge should have called for another retrial), I tried out the screen in front of me. Every seat had a screen; the question is will the screen work. Oh, the number of times a bus claimed to have a service like free wi-fi, but it did not work.
AVOD on the bus
Movies! It’s playing movies! They had like 12 movies, and the system worked! I’m amazed at this because I can’t even get a screen on a cross-country flight in the States (unless you fly Virgin America or JetBlue), and here we have one on a five-hour bus ride. I watched This Means War which I never heard of: Chris Pine and Tom Hardy fight for Reese Witherspoon. This movie would have been better if it was Bane vs. Chris Pine fighting for Reese.
Malaysian highway rest stops are conducive to resting
We stopped at a rest stop which was the nicest rest stop I’ve ever been. It makes the NJ Turnpike look even worse than what your current opinion holds. There are food stalls and juice stalls and fruit stalls, and people actually looked like they were resting and restful.
For the rest of the trip, I put the footrest up, finished my 90 minutes of wanting Bane to win the girl and put on something else I don’t remember. Kiwi watched Iron Man 3 which I should have done as well.
We were dropped off near Kuala Lumpur City Centre, which was about 20 minutes away from our hotel. We walked off the bus rested, not angsty. Would happily recommend to anyone traveling around peninsular Malaysia.
Aeroline did not provide me with any sort of perk to write this (although they did share this post on its Facebook page January 9, 2015). I’m just genuinely amazed that this bus trip was that nice. If you’re interested in booking a trip with Aeroline, visit www.aeroline.com.my