Hop-On, Hop-Off

Although I have visited Malaysia last 2011, I could not really say that I have been able to explore Kuala Lumpur extensively. Back then, my cousin and I only had a day to roam around and the weather was not cooperating. So it was only natural that on the next time I drop by the city, I really have to make an effort to see the place and thank God I moved my lazy bum because I would have hated saying that I wasted my stop over in KL.

Question: If you had limited time, did not want to drive, and your friends will not be able to give you a tour because they were working that day; but you would still like to cover a diverse extent of Kuala Lumpur, what is the best option? For me it was the KL Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour. Yes, it’s that double decker purple and pink bus that transports tourists from one attraction to another, which totaled to over 42 major attractions.

KL Hop On Hop Off

Like a preschooler’s first time to attend class, my friends – Nikkie and Vince – ushered me to KL Sentral, making sure that I knew what to do, how much I will need to pay, and where to go. I have travelled extensively but I have to admit that I was still scared when I watched them wave their hands at me to say goodbye.  I guess it will always be the same reaction every time you are left alone to fend for yourself after relying on other people, even though it was just for a little while – the momentary fear of what is up ahead and it’s best to walk on. And like a courageous 5-year old, I inhaled the fresh morning air and adjusted my bag before walking towards the bus stop.

You probably might be thinking, “Oh my, Den. How cliché.” For those who do not know, my friends know me as the one who usually disapproves of tours of any kind. In this case though, I was glad to have taken this route and I was even happier to have been proven wrong. If you are wondering why I disapprove of tours, I will be happy to give you a run-down, at the same time, relating it with my KL Hop-On, Hop Off experience.

My number one complaint when I join tours was always being rushed into leaving a place when I do not feel like leaving yet, or having to wait for the others when I felt like there was nothing interesting to keep me there; but the terms and conditions of the KLHOHO tour fixed this for me. The ticket has a 24-hour validity and allows you to literally hop on and off the bus stop you like. Usually the bus drops off the passengers and stays for 1-5 minutes to wait for new passengers to hop on; then it continues following a specific route mapped out as convenient guides for tourists. According to the driver of one of the buses that I hopped on to, there are about 8-12 buses running daily so that passengers do not have to wait that long; which I found really beneficial since I was not too keen in visiting all the attractions. I just carefully marked the ones I wanted to visit and skipped the other stops. Further, I can stay as long as I want in the stops where I wanted to spend more time in and spend less (even none) time in those that did not really appeal to me.

KL

Another thing which I disliked about tours is the fact that agencies do not usually lump the best attractions together. What usually happens is you get one or two of the attractions you really like and then these are grouped with another attraction which you care nothing for; or you get some in one okay deal but the others, you will have to register for again in a separate tour; but not with KLHOHO. Its tour route is probably the most comprehensive and cheapest way to experience as much of Kuala Lumpur as possible. Not only does it cover key attractions like the Petronas Twin Tower, KL Tower, Independence Square, Merdeka Square, Petaling Street, Jamek Moswue, Sri Mariaman Temple, and St. Mary’s Cathedral , but also shopping centers where you can buy souvenirs for friends and family in a jiffy.

The last thing that infuriates me about tours is the mobile marker. Seriously, mobile? They should not even be using the word marker if it was going to disappear every now and then, or if it changes right after you have made certain of its location. With KLHOHO though, I did not have this problem. You step off and hop on the same location, with KLHOHO’s recognizable signage to assure you that you are in the right place. No need for those unnecessary mild heart attacks you get when you lose track of your tour guides or the people you were with.

KLHOHO

I was able to go to all of the places that I wanted to see for only RM45, minus the hassle of worrying about which bus or train to catch just to get to the next destination. Besides, bus seats are clumped in pairs so if you are a solo traveller, you’re bound to get hinged for the whole ride. Share a seat, win a friend as the saying goes.

If you have a whole day to spare, why not try KLHOHO. If you just go for a joy-ride, it will eat up 2 hours of your time to finish all 23 stops; but it can be a whole-day itinerary if you have time to burn.

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