Lost in transit

Lost in transit from KL to Alor Setar

At the toll gates going outside of Kuala Lumpur

The scene was achingly familiar: graceful rubber trees somewhere, the tunnel, extensive palm oil plantations… and that’s just what I can remember, after Puduraya (now Pudu Sentral). Spanning the length of Malaysia to its north and south neighboring countries with good and efficient road network. And I was trying to grasp from memory the scenes that flashed before me.

I have been to this major highway twelve years ago on a trip in transit from Bangkok to Singapore. After two weeks of training in Thailand, I only got one week to get out via Singapore and back to Manila. From Hat Yai, I took a bus for Ipoh and being a novice traveler, it was my first time to encounter a strict border mama at Bukit Kayu Hitam asking questions that will make the weak cry.

Now, I’m back to this major artery, the other way around, in transit from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar in Kedah and as the scene passed before me, I can only look and try to remember. But alas, nothing.

I was lost.

While the tropical scene was familiar, it was another place, another scene. Another country. Where the outline of the mountains just doesn’t match. The eaves of houses just have a certain unfamiliar curve. And whenever you look around the bus, everyone’s a stranger, everyone’s speaking another language.

But despite this, the anonymity is bliss and there’s always that comfort that I will always arrive safely in my destination.

Rows upon rows of palm oil trees along the route

A muslim girl comfortably sleeping in the plush and reclining chair with leg support

Finally, after more than six hours on the road, I arrived at Alor Setar’s Terminal Bas Shahab Perdana

Check out Toursim Malaysia and ZestAir via their website and follow them at the FB page and Twitter.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

2 Comments

  1. » A cheap and comfortable stay in Alor Setar | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    October 25, 2012 @ 9:16

    […] room with rainshower heads While in transit to this northern city, I was communicating with The Leverage Business Hotel via email [of course, I […]

  2. Resortin Palawan
    November 11, 2012 @ 23:46

    Thanks for sharing this interesting transit adventure in Kl, btw the girl sleeping looks very comfortable in that bus. I hope we have those in the Philippines for a more comfy traveling convenience.

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