Hop On Hop Off Buses are often an excellent way to get your bearings and get a quick overview of the major tourist hotspots. They are generally organised, have great audio guides and show you the best of everything without having to leave the comfort of your seat on the bus.
Unfortunately, KL Hop On Hop Off Bus were not quite up to the mark when compared to other tour buses we have used in other places. I need to stipulate that I am not comparing companies within Kuala Lumpur or the sights themselves. This is a personal review of the KL Hop On Hop Off City Tour and is just my personal opinion based on my own experience.
From now on, the KL Hop On Hop Off City Tour will be called HOHO just for ease of writing and reading.
We had researched the KL HOHO for an hour or two before we decided to actually catch the tour. The reviews on common tourist websites weren't that great but it is hard to make a judgement solely on that as different people expect different things. We headed over to their website and checked out the map route and the places that we could stop at, see, and do along the way.
The route looked pretty awesome actually. The HOHO Bus has 23 stops that would take us to some of the biggest sights in Kuala Lumpur - Little India, Bintang Walk, the National Museum and of course the Petronas Twin Towers amongst many many other sights.
Perhaps it is because Kuala Lumpur is so big but we had to wait over 45 minutes for a bus even though the company stipulates that a HOHO has a scheduled interval of about 15 - 30 minutes apart. The hours of service is between 8:30am and 8:30pm by the way. We were on the verge of giving up when it finally arrived. There were many people wanting to get on so we had to stand for quite awhile. Normally this wouldn't bother us but at a cost of 38.00 RM per adult for a 24 hour bus ticket a seat would have been nice.
So on we got and as we were driving along, the audio guide in English started over the loud speaker. It would cut in and out as we drove along, sometimes mid sentence. The audio sometimes started after we had passed an important landmark. It was quite disappointing really.
However, once we did get a seat, accepted that the cost of the tickets probably wasn't worth what we paid and the audio guide was probably going to be out of time constantly we enjoyed the HOHO tour.
We did get to see some awesome sights from the comfort of a bus seat. It was nice being able to follow a map as the bus was riding along and knowing where we were and what was around. We were able to get off and on when we wanted, if we wanted to. Which we didn't in the end.
The HOHO bus makes two ten minute stops on its route. One is at the National Palace (stop 13) where you can get off the bus and take some photos with the guards and their horses while looking at the gorgeous gardens. The other is at the KL Tower (stop 2). You can jump out and take a couple of photos of the tower if you want.
All in all, it took about three and a half hours to do the whole loop around KL. We didn't get off the buses except for ten minutes at the National Palace and the KL Tower.
We would recommend this bus tour for those people with small children who want to see all the sights without having to make their way by themselves. Also for people who want to be a little lazy and just sit on a bus and watch the world go by. Even if it is an expensive bus ride.
Learn more about the KL Hop On Hop Off City Tour.