Hop On Hop Off – Sightseeing Bus around Kuala Lumpur

KL’s muggy weather and confusing roads are terrible for walks – but there’s a way for tourists to get all the sights in without getting lost/drenched in sweat. The Hop On Hop Off service takes riders sightseeing around the city on a double-decker bus, complete with insightful commentary. Riders can choose to sit on the open-air deck, or enjoy the comforts of a cool air-conditioned coach. The buses run every 20-30 minutes and stop at over 42 attractions.

True to its name, tourists can simply hop on and hop off whenever they like – as long as they have passes. Convenient to get around, and you save on exorbitant taxi fares (taxis charge cutthroat rates in KL).

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Got to try the service for the first time as part of an event. Weather was great, so a whole bunch of us sat on the upper deck.

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Some of the popular spots that the buses stop at: the Petronas Twin Towers, Bintang Walk, Merdeka Square, KL Tower, KL Sentral, Lake Gardens, Petaling Street (Chinatown), Jamek Mosque, Sri Mahamariamman Temple and St Mary’s Cathedral.

If weather permits, sit on the upper deck. You’ll get views of KL you won’t get from the ground. The route offers scenic views of both old and new KL – colonial structures with beautiful English architecture, colourful/beautiful places of worship, vibrant business districts as well as tall, modern skyscrapers.

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KL Tower, located at the top of Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve. The bus drives right up to the entrance, so you don’t even have to hike up the steep hill.

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Afternoon traffic.

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Feeling dwarved in the commercial district, where I cricked my neck looking up at the skyscrapers.

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The iconic KLCC towers from afar.

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And upclose.

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The shopping district of Bukit Bintang.

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Stop here to shop for branded items if you have the cash to spare.

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Traffic is unavoidable in KL, but hey, at least you can look down and laugh at tiny people  there are lots of interesting things to see while waiting.

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Looping past Petaling Street (Chinatown), Central Market and Kota Raya, which, from what I hear, is now dubbed ‘Mini Manila’ because of its huge OFW population.

Where do I Hop On? 

There are hundreds of bus stops all over KL, marked by colorful signage. The buses stop at over 100 major hotels in the city.

There are 24-hour tickets and 48-hour tickets, which allow riders unlimited access within that time period. The 24-hour ticket is priced at RM40 for foreigners. Children below 5 ride for free. Tourists can purchase them online at http://www.myhoponhopoff.com/.

 

Transport in Manila: LRT & Tricycles

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Getting around Manila is fairly convenient. There are loads of jeepneys, tricycles and pedicabs for short-distance travel, taxis (when they are willing to take you lol), buses and the LRT. It can get a bit confusing for the average traveler though; thankfully I had a local to guide me 😀

E and I traveled around using all of the above modes except taxis. From Quezon City to the city center, we took the LRT from Anonas to Rekto. Before entering the station, commuters are frisked and their bags checked at the security point. Our ride was 25PHP (about RM2.50). The trains, although they looked older than the ones in Malaysia, were clean. It wasn’t very crowded in mid-morning, but evening was another story…

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Crowd around 3.30pm. It wasn’t even rush hour yet!

During our stay, we experienced going on the train after work hours and it was madness. Takes the term ‘packed like sardines’ to a whole new level – I basically had my face squashed against someone’s chest and couldn’t move. Try to avoid peak hours if you’re travelling. Jeepneys will be hard to hail as well; we waited close to two hours for one before giving up and taking the train.

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Observation: all the escalators are… stepalators. Because they were all broken down and we had to climb them lol.

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I enjoyed riding the tricycles. They are bikes attached to sidecars which can ferry two to three people each time. These are only for inter-city travel covering short distances, and cost less than 20PHP. The ‘route’ of each tricycle is painted on the front of the sidecar.

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Overall, transport in Manila is convenient, but I strongly recommend planning your travel itinerary right to avoid rush hours. The jams are bad (even worse than KL, and that’s saying something) and it gets really polluted. I got a headache while waiting for the jeepney, standing at the roadside inhaling carbon monoxide for two hours.

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Arriving in E’s neighbourhood. Sari-sari stores are small neighbourhood shops selling everything from snacks to groceries and cigarettes.

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We were met by his mom’s cute but mean cat, Meme. He’s a boy cat and he loves poking his head into bags.

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Mean, bitey, scratchy cat. BUT HE’S SO FLUFFY

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SO. FLUFFEH

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There’s also Ino, a very sweet natured white mongrel who likes to be petted. She’d lean her body against my legs and wait for me to start petting her. When I stopped, she’d make a circle and then rest herself on me again. So sweet ❤