Discovering Malaysia+Tips on How to cross the border from Singapore to Malaysia

by - Sunday, August 27, 2017

Being a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) traveler is such a challenging thing I have ever done, crossing the border of one country to another country. And it takes me I guess 1 month on researching on how to do it in a cheapest way. So if you’re in Singapore and you have a day or two to spare for a cross-country trip, well, lucky you. Here are some of tips for crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia.

Cross-Border buses to take:
  • Causeway Link CW2 – Daily Schedule 6:00 am to 11:45 pm. Fare costs SG $2.40
  • SBS Transit 170 (Red plate) – 5:20 am to 12:30 Pm. Fare costs SG $2.50
  • Singapore-Johore Express – 6:30 am to 11:30 pm. Fare is $2.40
All three travel from Queen Street Bus Terminal (Ban San Bus Terminal) to Larkin Terminal in Johor Bahru in Malaysia. There you can transfer to an express coach bound for different Malaysian states, including Kuala Lumpur. The trip from Singapore to Johor Bahru can take 40 minutes to 2 hours, while, from Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur is about 4 hours and more (depends on traffic) . Below is the map of the Terminal.

How to get to and away from Queen Street Bus Station

By Foot
The station is close to Little India where many backpacker  hostels are located. You could walk there in 10-15min.

The closest station (400m, 5min walk) is "Bugis" (EW12, East West Line)

By Bus
bus stop opposite Rochor Centre: lines 2N, 4N, 48, 57, 130, 851, 960

By Taxi
Queen Street is relatively central located so a taxi ride should be affordable.
taxi charge examples:
Taxi to Little India: 3 - 4 S$
Taxi to Downtown Singapore: 4 - 6 S$

Kuala Lumpur - Singapore Express 
The Kuala Lumpur Singapore Express Sdn. Bhd. bus company runs their operations from here:
Singapore - Malacca: 8am, 9.30am, 11am, 1.30pm, 7pm
Singapore - Kuala Lumpur: 8am
Singapore - Genting Highlands: 6.45am, 9pm

What are the Expectations?

Cross-border commuters will be required to take off the bus twice during the trip. One when it reaches the Woodlands Singapore checkpoint; and second, for Malaysian Immigration checkpoint. Both will require you to present your passport for verification and validation. Once cleared you can proceed outside the building and wait for your bus.

Note: it may not be the same bus that you ride from the Queen Street. But as long as you have your ticket with you, you can take any bus that passes the border from your chose bus company.

Tips for crossing to Malaysia:
  • Chewing gum is prohibited in Malaysia.
  • Remove your hat and sunglasses while inside.
  • Make sure your immigration paperwork completely filled out and legible before you get into the immigration queue.
  • Don’t lose the exit card you are given; you will definitely need it when you leave Singapore.
  •  Keep your bus tickets with you.
  • Since you’ll be riding a bus, better to bring backpack rather than a suitcase for a better range of motion. 
  •  It would be better to travel at dawn around 3am. The 6 hours trip can take you to just 3 hours if you travel at that time. Because, just like Philippines, you can experience traffic.

Places to visit in Malaysia

Johor Bahru

Photo credit: google images

By Bus

From Larkin Bus Terminal in Johor Bahru, take KTB’s direct shuttle bus (6 MYR) to LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort, which runs every 30 minutes. Causeway Link’s bus number LG1 (2.80 MYR), with 10 trips on weekdays and 15 trips on weekends, also makes a stop at Larkin Bus Terminal. Based on experience, it only takes 20-30 minutes from Larkin Bus Terminal to LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort. Refer to this link for the schedule of both buses.

Hello Kitty World (option only, it is near in Legoland we could just take a picture outside since its also expensive going there and our time is very limited)

Photo credit: google images

Kuala Lumpur
Batu Caves
Photo credit: Twomonkeystravel

Climb the 272 steps of Batu Caves.

                Opening hours: Daily 6am-9pm
                Entrance fee: None

There is also another trail the “Dark Cave” but its not too famous and has an entrance fee.

How to get there: Take the KTM Komuter (RM2) line from KL Sentral station. The train will terminate at Batu Caves station. You may also ride Bus U6 from Titiwangsa.
  • Bring a bottle of water
  • Do not feed the monkeys.
Petronas Tower

Skybridge and Observation Deck – open from Tuesday to Sundays, 9:00 am to 9:00 p.m
Ticket prices – RM 84.80

How to get there:
From KL Sentral station: Ride the Kelana Jaya Rail Line to KLCC station, which is five stops away. Fare is RM2.50.

From Kuala Lumpur International Airport: You have three options if you are coming from the airport.
If taking the train, hop on the KLIA Express train to KL Sentral, and transfer to the Kelana Jaya Rail Line (see above). Fare is RM35.

If taking the bus, there are bus lines found in the public bus terminal outside the airport that will take you directly to KLCC. The buses depart every 30 minutes. Fare is RM18, travel time is around an hour.

If taking the taxi, fare is around RM75, travel time is around an hour. Although the most convenient, this is also the most expensive. There is a chance that you might be scammed so be very careful.

Shop in Central Market
Whether shopping for yourself or buying souvenirs for loved ones back home, the Central Market along Jalan Hang Kasturi is the perfect place for you. This sky blue-colored building used to be a wet market in 1888 before it was revamped into a shopping destination. While there, don’t forget to check out the Annexe found at the back of the market. It serves as a venue for local artists to hold art galleries and exhibits. You may visit their official website for more information.

Operating hours: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Visit Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom (located in Central market)
Photo credit: google images

How to get there: Take the train and alight at Pasar Seni station. Central Market is right across it. It is also a five-minute walk from Kuala Lumpur station, Chinatown, and Petaling Street, and a 15-minute walk from Masjid Jamek station.

Genting Highland

Ride the cable car – RM 6
How to get there:
Most travellers will start their journey from Kuala Lumpur, the nearest city which is linked by a highway and two major trunk roads. Visitors from Singapore will first travel to Kuala Lumpur (3 hours) via the North-South Highway. From Kuala Lumpur, the most popular route is the Karak Highway which is accessed from the end of the MRR2 Freeway in Ampang/Gombak. Drive time takes about an hour, with a distance covering approximately 35km to the peak. The seemingly slow drive is due to the windy and steep mountain road that starts from the base of Genting Highlands. The Karak Highway charges a toll rate of MYR5, but free access is available via trunk route from Batang Kali/Ulu Yam (from Rawang) or Gombak (old Bentong road).
KL Central Station there are Buses Genting Express – RM 10.30

Visit Sultan Abdul Samad Building across Merdeka Square

Walking in the streets of Kuala Lumpur from Central Market was a treat in itself. 

From late afternoon onwards, the whole building lights up in different colors, from pink, to red, blue, and purple, changing so gradually before your eyes. While it’s beautiful, some think it’s tacky, and not befitting a building of its age and beauty. I’m not so sold out on it either, but I admit that seeing the lights at dusk does give it a certain kind of charm.

Kuala Lumpur Upside down House

The newest attraction in town. This fun attraction is located in the KL Tower or Menara Kuala Lumpur vicinity and is currently the talk of tourist here.

But just a tip, if I were you just take a picture outside because going inside you have to pay an entrance fee of RM20 for an adult and RM15 for a child for 15-20 minutes. There is nothing much to experience and thrill inside this place.

Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower

Menara KL Tower is one of Malaysia’s most recognizable and popular landmark. It is 421 metres high telecommunications and broadcasting tower which actually appears to be taller than the Petronas Towers, because it is built on hill. The bulb at the top contains a revolving restaurant, an interior observation deck at 276m and, most thrilling of all, an open deck at 300m, access to which is weather dependent.

At the entrance of the hill there’s a “free shuttle service” and just walk down on your way back.

Other Activities:

Red Carpet – Wax Museum (But the price entrance is RM100 – Php1200.00)
Roam in Chinatown – Petaling Street

Penang travel time is 4-5 hours. The remarkable destination in Penang is the UNESCO World Heritage – The George Town. I myself would like to visit this place however, it’s a time constraint if to pursue. The picture below is the street art in George Town. The whole town is filled with street art. It change every year depends on their advocacy.

By bus – Most bus lines depart from Pudu Sentral, while a few depart from the KTM Old Railway Station Kuala Lumpur. Travel time is around 4 hours. Standard fare ranges from RM37 to RM42. Those with extra services such as Wi-Fi, personal television, and meals could charge from RM74 to RM103. Once they reach Penang, the buses will terminate in Penang Sungai Nibong bus terminal, which is 20 minutes from George Town. From there, you can either take a taxi or hop on Bus 401 that will take you to George Town for RM2.50.

Where to Stay

You can easily find affordable and nice hotels in Malaysia. Hotel ranges to P700-1200 and good for two.

During our trip in Malaysia we stayed in Hotel Summer View-Kuala Lumpur. Our 2D/2N only amounted to RM 260 (P3,070.60) good for 2 (P1,535.30 each).

Here’s the list of the Hotel from Agoda.

Estimated Budget (2 days Malaysia)

SG to Johor Bahru Bus Fare
Php 85.00
Larkin Terminal in Johor Bahru to Legoland
Php 72.00
Legoland Ticket
Php 2,160.00
Ride Causeway Link going to KL
Php 420.00
Kuala Lumpur Hotel (2 nights) Lets assume that per night is Php 1,200 good for 2
Php 1,200.00
KL Sentral Station to Batu Caves (vice versa)
Php 60.00
KL Central Station to Genting Highland
Php 123.60
Cable Car
Php 72.00
Back to Singapore
Php 157.00
Php 1200.00
Php 1000.00
Php 6,549.60

We left Malaysia with a smile, it leaves me a new learning about culture and architectural landscape. And yes, I know I will soon return to.

Will you be visiting soon? Let me know in the comments below. 

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