Malaysia has one of the most advanced road-systems in the world. The main expressway connecting the states around Peninsular Malaysia is the North-South Expressway which starts from Johor Bahru in the southern state of Johor with Bukit Kayu Hitam in northern state Kedah with a branch out towards the eastern states of Kelantan and Terengganu via the East Coast Expressway.
At the centre of the expressway is Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital of Malaysia and this is where the central transportation hub is located. If you fly in to KL, you can take an express bus to the south or north through the Puduraya Bus Terminal and the Terminal Bas Bersepadu Selatan respectively. Meanwhile, the Hentian Putra at the PWTC area is where you can take buses to the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
At Puduraya – You can take the LRT service and stop at Plaza Rakyat. Here, you can find a lot of ticket counters that provide travel services to the different states mostly heading to the northern parts like Perak, Penang, Kedah and Perlis.
At Terminal Bas Bersepadu Selatan – Use the Ampang Line LRT train and stop at Bandar Tasik Selatan. You will arrive at the doorstep of TBS where you can buy express bus tickets there.
At Hentian Putra – To get here, you can use the Ampang Line LRT and stop at PWTC. Hentian Putra is only 10 minutes walk away from the station.
Pricing – Ticket prices depend largely on the type of bus you are taking and the destination. Naturally, the further your destination, the more expensive it will be. For a single bus trip from KL to JB, it should cost you not more than RM30 (about USD10) for standard coaches. If you take super VIP buses (which has about 18 to 20 passengers), the ticket could be double or more but you actually get a more comfortable ride.
Stops – Before buying your bus ticket, ensure that you have chosen either the non-stop or transit coaches. Non-stop ones are those that travel from one point to another with stops for restroom and meal breaks. Transit buses stop along the towns and cities along the entire route.
Duration – The entire stretch from Johor Bahru to Perlis will usually take 11 hours non-stop. With traffic, it could be longer. If you are travelling from JB to KL, it should take no longer than 5 hours while KL to Penang is about 5 hours as well.
Tickets – The rule of thumb is to buy your tickets from official ticket counters. To be safe, look for established names like Transnasional, NICE, Maju Express and others. NEVER buy anything from ticket touts.
Routes – Always check the routes before you embark. You can ask for the duration of the journey before buying your ticket. If in doubt, check with the information counter of the terminal.