Thursday, December 29, 2011

Getting to Cameron Highlands - Part 1

Getting to Cameron Highlands was tricky because we did not drive and did not take a direct bus from Singapore.  I had difficulty pre-booking a bus from Ipoh to Cameron until I came across Titiwangsa Tours website.  Even then, my correspondence with Mr. Chai did not touch on specifics like which booth I should collect the tickets from when I get to Medan Gopeng Bus Terminal.

It all worked out fine when we met the helpful taxi driver in Ipoh, Mr. Lai.  (Read about how Mr. Lai brought me to Medan Gopeng to purchase Coach tickets). There was no signboard that read 'Titiwangsa Tours' or 'Unitity' at Medan Gopeng Bus Terminal.  The weirder thing was after Mr. Lai dropped us off at the Terminal on the day to Cameron Highlands, there was no one mending the counter where we bought the tickets from, except for a sign that redirected us to 'Bandar Ekxpress':

I checked my tickets and had a moment of panic:  the Company name on the tickets did not match any of the Counter signboards: 

I checked with the next counter and they were not helpful at all.  As I walked on, I spotted the girl who sold me the tickets, sitting behind the counter of 'Bandar Ekspres'.  She promptly asked me for my tickets and arrange for us the Unitity Express coach 8811, leaving at 12noon.  Mr. Chai from Titiwangsa had mentioned to me in the email of the 12 noon departure time, so I was prepared.  The only thing we could do next was wait - and take pictures.

Beside me is the young lady in stripes T-shirt who sold me the tickets.

Our bus, Unitity 8811

I gathered from a tourist from Germany taking the same bus that she also got her tickets from whichever counter that had buses going to Cameron Highlands.  The counter she picked was different from mine.  It seemed all these counters were agents to the bus companies, so it did not matter which counter you go to.  You just need to tell them your preferred date & time of departure, and make known if you have any preferred buses.  There were other more well-known buses like Konsortium, but they may not have the time schedule you want.  There was also the familiar Sri Maju, but they did not go to Cameron Highlands.  Also, no one responded to my email when I wrote to them during the planning of this trip.

The Unitity bus was new and clean.  Most importantly, it was prompt.  Cameron Highlands, here we come!

Related articles:

Getting to Cameron Highlands - Part 2

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