This is a stupid experience I wish nobody will ever need to have.
So, whenever I went back from KL to Singapore by train, I always noticed that some beds (so far I always took night train) became empty. So I deduced that some people might have alighted at the checkpoint and transferred to the public buses. This afternoon I became curious and wanted to check where they alight.
For that purpose, I searched for the address of the Woodlands train checkpoint, and also how I can go there. From here, I know that it is located at 11 Woodlands Crossing, and then I checked gothere.sg, which Kerti told me when he visited me last month, that it can be visited by first going to Kranji MRT station, and then taking either 160 or 170 bus from there. So I took the 170 bus with blue plate (there are 2 kinds of 170 buses: those with blue plates and those with red plates, the difference being, as Wikitravel mentions, the blue-plate buses travel between Queen Street and Kranji, whereas the red-plate ones between Kranji MRT and Kotaraya), and arrived at the Woodlands checkpoint.
After I arrived there, I asked the two officers outside, how can I go to the train checkpoint, let’s say if I were to pick up my friend from Malaysia. They checked my ID, so I showed my student pass (I had not even thought to bring my passport!), and told me to go upstairs, and ask the officer at the counter inside to take me there. I took the escalator and ask the officer in charge. He answered that unfortunately he cannot show me, as it is fo. Knowing that my mission fails, I wanted to go back to the bus stop, but noticed that the exit is only one way. I asked a standing officer, how can I go back to the bus stop? She said that that was a restricted area, so I could not go out freely, and told me to approach the counter again to be guided outside. So I went to the counter again, now with different officer, and asked her, how can I go outside? She then held my student pass and told me to wait for another officer to guide me. After waiting for a few minutes, an officer asked me and two other persons to go with him. He escorted us to a room, where the persons with administration problems are asked (I don’t know the room name).
In this room, we were asked to sit down and wait. When my turn came, an officer asked me, where do you want to go? So I just said (with a bit nervousness), I wanted to know where the train checkpoint is, as I am going to pick up my friend from Malaysia next week. Because the student pass has no photo of me, he asked whether I brought an ID with a photo. So I showed my NTU matriculation card, and I noticed that his tone became softer. After a few questions (what do you study there, where do you stay, and so on), he told me that actually I should take the 170 bus, as it is the only way to go there. I said to him that I had taken the 170 bus, then he said, the red-plate bus, but stop before the bus checkpoint (if I understand it correctly). So that was it. After that, my student pass was handed to another officer, who later guided me and another person coming with me earlier outside. I then took the 950 bus, alighted at Marsiling MRT station and went back home. With an unclear mind.
- Checkpoints are restricted areas, enter only if you want to go across them.
- Always bring passport whenever you are about to approach the checkpoints.
Yeah, like what an Indonesian ad says, “kalau tidak kotor, tidak belajar” (if you’re not dirty, you don’t learn anything)…stupid indeed, but at least I have something to learn…
PS: Anybody with better expertise is welcome to correct the content of this post. Thank you.