Kuala Lumpur – August 2014: Getting a taxi from airport to Youniq Hotel (or wherever you want to go)

Previously, we ended off at KLIA. So that is where we are going to start off towards Youniq hotel!

Youniq Hotel is approximately 15 minutes driving distance from KLIA and its nearest train station is Salak Tinggi. We were pretty much beaten up by the time we reach KLIA, so we decided to go with the taxi. If you are interested in taking the train, you can find out more details about their train system in our post on Getting to Putrajaya Convention Centre.

So, taxi it is! You might want to note that if you would like to hail a taxi, you have to go out of the airport onto the road. You won’t be able to hail one at the departure hall like in Singapore. They have a taxi system at the airport. Here is how you can proceed (based on our experience):

Step 1: Buy a taxi ticket

We alighted at door 1 of KLIA (Disclaimer: Not sure if you would alight at the same door but the doors are not far away from each other). You should be able to see a row of counters – taxi counters, bus counters etc.

Go to teksi counter 5 or 6 to purchase your taxi ticket. It costs MYR$2 per person. Then proceed to door 4 (just opposite door 1).

Step 2: Get a taxi

So apparently, in Malaysia, they have something like a taxi agency (eg: MyTaxi) to help taxi drivers get businesses, on certain conditions. Hence, the teksi counters. Oh well, we all know there are no free lunches in this world. If you’d like to know more about the conditions, read our encounter with Kumar below 😀

So, once you are at door 4, pass your taxi ticket to the person in blue and white uniform (Don’t worry if you are unsure who, they will approach you anyway. haha). Let the person know where you would like to head towards and he will communicate with the taxi driver. Make sure you double confirm your destination with the driver. Do note that not all drivers can speak proper english. So it may serve you better to do your homework beforehand and familiarise yourself with the main roads (:

To Youniq hotel:

Screen shot 2014-08-14 at PM 11.20.00

Step 3: Doing the calculations (Important to note)

1. It is mandatory for taxi drivers to take the highway/main roads to your destination. (This is why our 15 minutes journey ended up 25 minutes ): ) And remember? Their meter runs by seconds! You can try to negotiate for a shortcut though. Let us know if you manage to do it and if you do, perhaps you can share some tips too 😀

2. Passengers are required to pay the following:
– Toll fee (MYR$2.30 for taxi, MYR$4.60 for cars in general)
– Airport tax

Well, we did not know we had to pay so many ++ until we were on the taxi. As such, we paid a whopping MYR$60 for the trip and you know, it was suppose to be a fast and cost saving option to the hotel. Haha. However, everything happens for a reason and we are grateful for this episode for we made a new friend – Kumar! Moving forward, we will cover Youniq Hotel in our next post (;


 

Knowing Kumar, learning the difficulties of a taxi driver

So, we could have either sulk at the situation or make the best use of it but Kenneth and I both firmly believe in connecting and communicating with people. Hence, Kumar began to open up to us when we get genuinely interested in him, asking how is he? How long has he been in this line etc.

Kumar

Kenneth’s experience and conversation with Kumar:

” The first question I asked Kumar once we departed KLIA was how long would it take for us to get to our hotel. Kumar said it would take about 25 – 35 minutes. Coupled with the way he responded, immediately we felt something was amiss. Kumar carried on to say due to the new local regulations, taxi drivers now have to take the long and proper way. They cannot take short cuts. We didn’t know if he was telling the truth or not, but there was an uncomfortable vibe in the taxi. It was almost as if he said those to defend himself, as if he knew we knew something wasn’t quite right. He also mentioned and pointed out a clause paste in his taxi that we will have to fork out the toll charges on the highway.

There wasn’t much that we can do since he had already brought us onto the highway, the next thing we can do is make the best out of the situation. My conversations with Kumar, had many “motives” behind them. Firstly, to understand better the local economy, social and current affairs. Secondly, to break the ice and really get to know him. People have to understand the beauty of conversations. Often conversations reveal very much about the mindset of the people on the ground and by how they react, they leave clues to who they really are, and what has been happening around.

We could have sat back and enjoyed the scenery or just take a break after a long journey, but the cautious side of me kept me awake. I wanted to make sure we reach Youniq hotel safe and sound. And more importantly, seek to understand why do people behave in a certain manner.

As we talked about local economy, eventually we came to a point of revealing our nationality. We said we are from Singapore and Kumar’s response shed light about why he might have intentionally taken us on the longer route. He said he thought we were from China or Hong Kong! I laughed. And of course I didn’t blamed him. Most people if they are not Chinese themselves wouldn’t find it easy differentiating the nationality of the Chinese around the world. He then went on to elaborate the ugly side of certain tourists, how they might sometimes run off from the taxi upon arrival at their destination and didn’t bothered to pay up the taxi fees.

With this, we understood better about the challenges and fears of the local taxi drivers, as well as cleared up the misunderstanding between us. Did it help? I would like to think the conversation did. What really made the remaining of the days a miracle was the conversation that penetrated into his heart. Having said that, I would declare first that much as I am capable of purposing such conversations, these conversations came up from my heart genuinely. I meant well in every single word I said.

You might be thinking which conversation penetrated his heart. It was the one that I asked about his family. I asked about his children, how old were they, and what are they doing right  now. The interesting part about this was, not everything he said at this point was entirely true. We knew that because as he witness and experienced us to be honest and genuine good-hearted people, he began to reveal more about his unhappy experiences in the past.

In later posts, I will cover more about our experience with Kumar throughout our entire week in KL.

All in all, not only did he send us safely to the hotel, he even treated with utmost respect and top notch customer service. Kumar did all sorts of act to make us feel extremely well taken care of, just as we would if we had taken a limousine. There was something very touching and sweet when this “limousine service” started with an ordinary taxi driver in an ordinary taxi. Upon arrival at every destination, Kumar will personally rush to open doors for us and unload our luggages.

He then asked about our purpose of travel and our schedule in the days to come. Unsure if he was trying to earn more money from us, or was he genuine in serving us, we decided to still take that leap of faith, as we always had. Faith and I didn’t have anything to lose, but this step was a mark of trust between Kumar and us, and more importantly it was a mark of faith towards humanity. We believe there is still goodness in people and if we do everything in our way to even pass on a bit of that graciousness and genuine heart, the world will eventually become a much better place.

We made a pact with Kumar then, he would arrive to pick us up the following morning to the convention centre and then proceed to send us to the airport. It was high risk move for both parties especially when it comes to arriving at the airport on time. And there it goes, our friendship began with acts of trust and faith, then secured with actions that has proven that both parties honour each other and honour our words. Trust forged by honouring one’s promises.

There is much more to describe about this amazing experience in detail, but we shall leave it as it is on this post. This is one of our amazing peak life experiences.”

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