Potentially speaking, this part of the journey could have become the most chaotic part of our journey. And that is the reason why we have very little photos of this part of the journey. Had we traveled in large group (especially with some children), we would have missed the airplane, and would spend additional money and time.
Despite of the quick journey by train, all of its advantage was partly undone when we changed to the bus at Salak Tinggi (it was unfortunate that the airport railway line didn’t go all the way to LCCT). For some reason, the trip between Salak Tinggi to LCCT was hindered by severe traffic jam!
We held our breath. Will we make to the airport in time?
By the time our bus arrived at LCCT, we snatched our belongings and ran to the departure hall. That was just the start of our “race” to the airport gate, running through one of the most confusing and user-unfriendly airport in the world.
First obstacle was airport security check, which we passed through successfully, thanks to the fact that one of our bag will go to the baggage. By the time we cleared the security check, we saw the FIDS that showed that the check in counter for our flight is about to close. Finding our counter was very confusing, but we eventually made it. And thank God, it was still open! In addition, there was not much drama when we checked in our luggage.
From there, we proceed to the passport checking. The passport checking didn’t just go smoothly. The immigration officer who checked my passport smiled upon reading my name and said “Segalanya Bagus ya?” (“Everything’s good, eh?”/My name “Bagus” is translated as “Good” in English).
Once we cleared the passport checking, we proceed to the gate. The gate was really packed, almost like a bus terminal. There are no individual gates for each flight. All of them are unified in a single large hall.
While waiting for our flight, I spend my time by recharging my battery, and contacting bang Eddy to say farewell.
After about 20 minutes of waiting, the PA announcing the boarding time for our flight. We lined up with other Surabaya-bound passengers. Most of them are migrant workers from East Java. Some are Malaysians of East Javanese origin. The rest are business people or holiday makers (either Malaysians who want to visit Indonesia or Indonesians who returning back home).
It was quite awkward to hear some of the migrant workers from East Java spoke in Malay accent with their local peers.
The boarding process went smoothly, and not before long, we’re already seated in our aircraft.
I was lucky enough that when I checked in, I had a window seat.
And I did see some special aircraft too, like this retro-liveried Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800.
When our aircraft was pushed back, I was able to see the giant at KLIA: an Emirates Airbus A380.
As we went further aback, I could see the other big aircraft. Including these AirAsia X wide body fleet.
However, to my dismay, apparently most of the view are on the left hand side. So during the departure, I missed most of the KLIA and A380 view.
Once the clearance was given, our plane taxiing towards the runway.
Unlike the airports near major cities in Indonesia, KLIA airport is not surrounded by bleak urban area. Instead, all of their palm plantations are retained.
Either for buffer area, or to give additional space whenever the need for expansion arise (such as in the case of KLIA 2, which will replace the LCCT).
After our aircraft came to the runway, the pilot applied full throttle, and we went airborne soon after.
During the rotation, I could see the Sepang Formula 1 circuit clearly.
Once the aircraft become airborne, it kept going straight all the way until Kuala Lumpur. For some reason, the plane had to do this unique maneuver, instead of turning to Surabaya straight after taking off.
But just after our plane cleared Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area, it turned back to Surabaya direction.
Once our airplane reached its cruising altitude, Sumatera Island began to appear in the distance.
The weather wasn’t always good. And sometime, our plane had to cross through dark clouds.
Our plane now left Malaysia territory. Welcome back to Indonesia!
And the sight of Lion Air Boeing 737 underneath our airplane confirmed that we’re now in Indonesian territory.
The sky got darker and bluer now.
And when I turned back, I could see the spectacular view of the sunset.
As I looked back, I began to reminiscence my holiday trip to Malaysia in Singapore. Almost ten years ago, I came to both places as a worker. Now I can afford to have some relaxed to journey to these places.
It was also the first time that I returned back to Bukit Timah station since 2005. I just couldn’t believe what I was. When the first time I saw the station, it was a fully functioning railway station. Even, a few years after I left Singapore, it underwent major upgrade. It was really hard to believe that by the time I returned back 8 years later, it is closed down, and traces of its railway tracks have been reduced to bare minimum.
Even newcomers won’t believe if there used to railway mainline in Singapore, aside of MRT.
However, on a positive side, I was able to meet my old railfans friends again. Some that I haven’t seen for 8 years, such as Matthaziq or Dominic. And of course meeting some new friends too.
My friends really helped me to make myself feel like at home throughout my journey. Even in the place that hardly feel like at home, such as in Singapore.
Overall, I rate my journey highly. And I am really thankful to everyone that can make this journey possible.
Thank you very much.