Name: Adnan Haris
Book: My Journey By Bus: Perak ● Pulau Pinang ● Perlis ● Kedah
Author: Lam Ching Fu
Publisher: FuFu Productions
My Journey By Bus, it’s a journey by bus literally to 35 places throughout Perak, Pulau Pinang, Perlis, and Kedah. Imagine a scorching hot day and suddenly a breeze is blown in to cool you down as the bus makes its way through kampungs with trees on both sides of the road. It was indeed a special bus journey. With music from the radio in the background, the passengers alight one by one. Just like a movie, the silver screen, the bus window, the characters, the passengers, and the motion effects, well the actual movements of the bus! How FuFu, the author slowly learned to enjoy exploring Malaysia by bus. You would see the same old bus sign board used for umpteen years, the door that make an ear-piercing sound when it opens or closes, as well as the cushion seats, the round ‘PUSH’ buttons, the wooden and zinc flooring, and the windows that can be pushed up or down, left or right. All these are unmistakably classic buses which you can’t see anymore in the cities, as they are replaced with new air-conditioned buses. After completing this journey, FuFu noticed that our bus system is good. At least the bus coverage is better than what he had in mind, not only from cities to towns and from towns to villages but tourist destinations can also be reached by bus, some bus journeys are truly fantastic. Many thanks to bus drivers and bus conductors, although repetitive work, they still do it diligently and take pride. A bus ticket gets you places, and an open heart gets you hidden Malaysian experiences. So, let’s hop onto a bus today!
Right after resigning from my job, I decided to explore Malaysia, first the peninsular. But I have no car, no stamina for cycling, and our train services were not comprehensive enough, so, I was left with only one choice — by BUS! This was also a coincidence. My research in university was on transportation and my thesis was about travel time and expenditure. I went to Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia for their Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. My master’s thesis was about the BRT. I strongly felt that I must travel by bus to know and understand our bus system, meanwhile to see the bus coverage and which places I get to travel by bus.
On purpose, my trip was extremely free and easy, with no planning, no booking, and no research. Well, some of the towns and villages are not even covered much online. I wanted to start the journey from the North, all the way from Perlis to Pulau Penang and Perak before coming back to Kuala Lumpur.
The book is a travelog by the author. In this book, the author is compiling his backpack journey to the northern states of Malaysia by – “classic bus”. He mentioned some bus names including The Blue Omnibus, The Red Omnibus, Perak Transit, The Jalan Langgar Transport, and Bus No.11. He got chances to see the lives of people by observing everything happening in and outside the bus with no air-conditioning. For example, he once saw an interaction between the bus conductor and passengers. It is more of a daily routine and a bus is a meet-up place for them to talk to one another. By doing this trip, he got to know more about the local history. For example, he went to Muzium Kota Kuala Kedah and Muzium Beruas.
By reading this book, you can feel the journey to different places, visiting old buildings and old shops like fishing and Orang Asli villages. The author stopped at 35 different places with nice and colorful photos in the book. It gives you an exciting moment while reading the travelog. The author also attached routes illustrated in coloured graphics that he took during his travel and placed at the end of every chapter
Some lessons learned after reading this book:
- Be more patient
- Not to take things so seriously
- Enjoy your life
- Smile! smile! smile!
- The classic bus should be maintained
This book is interesting to read for those who wish to travel in a backpacker style. It is a classic style of traveling and there are many different scenes occurring every day. We should try this kind of travel to explore Malaysia. It will bring back memories during childhood. If you love traveling, this book is best recommended for you to read.
“The architecture of the buildings along Kampar’s main road really attracted me, especially the library next to Kampar Old Temple. The library may have been a shophouse once, the ground floor was empty, when I walked in, I saw a signboard written ‘Library on the second floor’. I went up. The layout of the library was simple, you can see the entire library with one glance. The library has all sorts of books, from literature, art, architecture, language, history, fiction, etc. It has newspapers and a section for kids with children’s books and tables” – A Library Visit, page 24
“I continued cycling, turning right to a graveled road, to my left was the ocean. Such serenity, mother nature does calm the weary soul. With the sun high at midday, the rays bounced on the sea below, sparkling like a thousand diamonds. The smell of the sea will make anyone fall in love with the place, we sometimes needn’t go far, when paradise is just here” – An Unreachable Tanjung Piandang, page 98
“I came to a completely different world after 20 minutes of walking. I love the paddy fields here with a backdrop of mountains. Along the way, a myriad of fruit trees from banana, and mango, to coconut can be seen. With a nice trail suited for riding a bicycle, I was on a lookout for a bicycle rental so that I could rent one, too bad there was none!” – Meetings at Fields and Rivers, page 122
“The journey by foot was scenic. It was so green, and although it was high noon, the trees provided shade and made walking nice. And just beyond the shrubbery, you can see the ocean. Halfway I saw a sign ‘Ombak Damai’, I followed it and turned left. It led me to an abandoned restaurant by the sea. I rested a while here while taking in the view” – My Ride Arranged by Kids, page 134
“I love nature, especially any place with mountains and water bodies (river, sea, lake). It really soothes me. About Bukit Keteri, you just have to be there yourself, breathing the air, being enveloped by the surroundings, listening to the sounds of nature, etc. is really magical!” – Looking For a Hill, page 152
“Even if you spend money on luxury cars or dress up in branded clothes, no one here would pay attention to you. I agree that we should focus on things that matter in life: knowledge, attitude, and passion for living. What a difference compared to those living in cities, chasing and showing off material wealth. I think if one is not content, material things won’t help that much either” – The Cows Were Warned About Me, page 166
This book is available at the Perdana Library. If you are interested in reading or borrowing the book, please visit our Library in Putrajaya, or contact us at 03-8885 8961 (Library Counter).