SINGAPORE - Those hoping to take a coach to Malaysia next weekend, but have yet to buy their tickets, might have to change their plans.
Many coach companies have sold all seats, given that Hari Raya Aidilfitri and National Day fall on Thursday and Friday respectively to make an extra-long weekend.
First Coach, Golden Coach, Aeroline and Causeway Link Express all reported that bus trips from Singapore to popular Malaysian destinations such as Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh are fully booked on Aug 7 and 8.
Meanwhile, Grassland Express & Tours and StarMart Express Air Asia Liner are also sold out for Aug 7, and have only the less popular night tickets left for the next day. Tickets are still available for Aug 9.
Coming back in time for the work week might also be tricky, as return trips for Aug11 have all been snapped up. Those for Aug 12 are quickly running out.
Coach companies attribute the spike in ticket sales to the fortuitous timing of the back-to-back public holidays.
"Singaporeans are all kiasu because of the long weekend," quipped Grassland Express & Tours ticket agent Stanford Ee, 65. "We are very crowded, just like Chinese New Year."
Said Aeroline customer service officer Nashira Ersham, 25: "Many even called a couple of months earlier to check for tickets."
Most bus operators sold all their tickets as early as a month ago. To deal with the demand, several added more bus trips, but at a higher price.
According to a StarMart Express Air Asia Liner ticket agent, it will dispatch about twice as many buses for its Thursday evening trips to Kuala Lumpur.
These rides will, however, cost $60 instead of the usual $30.
While many are flocking to Malaysia next week, others like National University of Singapore student Alexis Ng prefer to skip the crowd.
"I'm not going this time because I want to avoid the jam," said the 23-year-old, who regularly visits her relatives in Penang.
"Besides, I usually prefer to fly because it's safer and more convenient."
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