As at 11 April 2010: Ride from Rantau Panjang where the Malaysia immigration is to Wakaf Bharu train station can be RM30. Some taxis waiting just outside the immigration wanted RM40 and they refused to budge. I approached a private taxi operator who was using private car and he readily agreed for RM30.
Taxi ride from Wakaf Bharu train station to Kota Baharu town is about RM15. But early morning taxi at 5.30am from Kota Baharu to Wakaf Bharu train station can be around RM25.
This part of Malaysia can be troublesome. The taxis do not use meters.
This is a very new route to get to Kota Bharu. Previous route people used includes:
North-South Expressway (PLUS) via KL-Kuala Kangsar-Grik-Jeli-Machang-Kota Baharu
Gua Musang route via KL-Karak-Kuala Lipis-Gua Musang-Terengganu-Kota Baharu (Very haunted it seems)
To use this new route, first get on to the Karak Highway (same route you use to get to Genting), Toll is RM5, then pay RM3 for 2nd toll, you head straight and will be on the East Coast Expressway. Here you take a ticket. Town passed includes : Lachang, Termeloh, Chenor, Maran, Sri Jaya, Gambang and Kuantan (Total journey Toll Cost RM21). People get to Kuala Lipis, Tasik Kenyir, Tasik Chini, Taman Negara using this route too.
To get to Kelantan, you will need to drive on the small national route after getting off the expressway. Mostly 1 lane, thus it takes time to get there. Therefore plan your journey.
There are different station for buses travelling around Kelantan and long distance buses to other states.
For travelling in Kelantan, the bus station to go is located opposite the Telekom. It is called SMKM bus station.
From here, you can take bus number 693 at 9am to Kuala Besut, transit point for Pulau Perhentian.
The nearest train station to Kota Bharu is called Wakaf Bharu which is 5km from the town center. Train tickets can be bought from the KTMB's website.
It is a bit confusing at those letters that they use for the booking. Let me explain what I found out:
ADNS - Air-conditioned Day/Night Second Class. Sleeper. 40 beds in a coach with 20 lower and 20 upper berths, with separate toilets for men and women.
AEC - Air-conditioned Economy Class
There are 74 seats with foldable trays behind each seat. Luggage can be stored on the overhead racks, which comes complete with reading lights. The coach also has two separate washrooms for ladies/ gents.
ASC - Air-conditioned Second Class
There are 52 seats in this coach, half facing one end of the coach and the other half facing another end. Each seat comes with a foldable tray, located at the back of the seat. Two onboard television sets which feature an entertaining selection of pre-recorded rail channel programmes are located at both ends of the coach.
ABC - Air-conditioned buffet coach. A seat and it is free seating.
Cost from Singapore to Wakaf Bharu:
ADNS: RM48.50 (Upper), RM51 (Lower)
Singapore to Tanah Merah:
ADNS: RM 46.50 (upper), RM49 (lower)
(minus RM2 if from JB)
Only night trains available departing at about 8pm from Singapore. The journey will take about 14 hours or slightly more than 14 hours! Long journey on "Ekspress Timuran" with 18 stops... Return journey departs Wakaf Bharu at about 7pm for Singapore.
A few kms from Kota Bharu, in Wakaf Bharu, there is the railway station. From there you can catch a scenic trans-Malaysia train that crosses the whole peninsula as far as the west coast with diramations for Kuala Lumpur or Melaka/Singapore.
It is a long travel and the train is slow and it is often a few hours late, but it passes through wonderful and wild jungle sceneries.