I remember the first time I ever took a coach to Malaysia was to Genting Highlands with my family and back then there were only a few coach companies offering such services. Having fully air-conditioned and cushioned seats with a slight incline was already considered a luxury. Fast forward many years, there are endless choices for people to choose from if they decide to take a coach to Malaysia. With air fares getting cheaper, the competition for suck luxury coaches are becoming more stiff and each companies tries to entice customers with their different services.
We were searching around and found Transtar which comes to be the First Class coach service to Kuala Lumpur so we decided to make a reservations and give it a try. The boarding of the coach is at Golden Mile Express Bus terminal which is just one block away from Golden Mile Complex.
Customers are advised to check in at the bus terminal at least 30 mins before departure timing.
Within the check in office, there is actual a small lounge area where customers can help to themselves to complimentary drinks; mostly 3-in1 drinks sachet. Once it is almost time to board, the staff will actually bring you to the coach.
The coach itself is a 2 storey bus which is parked just next to Golden Mile Complex. The exterior of the coach itself is quite well maintained.
Upon check in, customers are given this ticket stub with your seat number which can be chosen during the purchase of your tickets.
The stairs to access the 2nd level of the coach is at the front of the coach just next to the entrance. There are only 4 seats at the ground floor of the coach which can be a private area for a group of friends but the seats also tend to be more noisy due to the proximity to the engine.
There is only 14 seats on the top level with 1 seat on either side of the windows so the seats walkway is extremely spacious and there is great privacy as the distance from the next seat is far enough so you will not disturb your neighbour. All seats are leather bound with a fixed headrest.
I had the first seat so the leg space was extremely spacious. The leg rest itself only comes up to about 45 degrees and not flat so it was not entirely comfortable.
Each seat resembles the old First Class seats in some of the air planes where each seat is held within a cocoon. There is an entertainment screen which is adjustable.
There are also some space and pockets at the side of the seat for your belongings or water. Each seats has a bottle of mineral water provided. On the side panel, you can adjust the leg rest as well as the inclination of the seat.
I had my power bank put into this pocket when I suddenly found it being stuck. I found the power bank stucked at the bottom of this pocket with a bubble gum and I was totally grossed out. This instigated me to take this picture of the pocket with a flash to realise how dirty these ‘unseen’ sides and holes of the coach. I realised then that the interior of the coach itself is not very well maintained.
Somewhere around 11pm, we were served a packet of hot Nasi Lemak as well as hot tea or coffee. The food itself is warm and fresh as they picked up the meal shortly after we past custom checks. Although the rice itself was quite lumpy, the taste of the chicken meat and toppings were not too bad. It was quite difficult to drink the hot beverages as the coach was swinging left and right.
Overall, I have to say the service of the Transtar coach was great from the staff at the check in centre, to the staff on the coach, they were friendly, helpful and cheerful. The bus itself was well maintained outside but definitely not interior wise. From the First Class seats which were heavily advertised as their selling point, the seats has become somewhat 3rd class with dirty side pockets, cracked leather seats and uncomfortable inclination of the seats. The driver drove rather fast so we reached our destination ahead of time but since we were asleep I couldn’t testify if the drive itself was safe or reckless. Judging from the experience, I would not take the coach services again since dirtiness is really something I cannot stomach.