Earlier this year, I was able to go on a post-boards trip with some college friends, spending four days in Singapore and three in Malaysia. Singapore and Malaysia are pretty close with each other and very much accessible via land travel. You can choose whether to go by train or by bus via public transpo. And I made an infographic guide below for the latter for anyone interested in crossing the SG-KL border.
The trip from Singapore to Malaysia takes about 2 hours and another 3-4 hours to get to Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur from Johor Bahru. So overall, it will take about half of your day. Best leave early so you’ll still have the afternoon or night to stroll around.
You start off in Bugis, and conveniently, our hotel is in the area. We left at 9am after having breakfast, and walked to Queen St., where the Johore Express Bus Terminal is located. You can also opt to just ride the SBS 170 bus from the Fu Lu Shuo Complex bus stop.
There’s three (!) buses to choose from: SBS 170, Causeway CW2, or the Singapore-Johore Express. Prices differ just very slightly from each other as they’re ran by different operators. Nonetheless, the routes are practically the same–all headed for Johor Bahru, Malaysia. [Price: SGD 3 = Php 110]
You have to get off the bus twice for two immigration checks–one for leaving SG, and another for entering MY. Just remember which type of bus you took and keep your transpo card or ticket when alighting. You get to bring all you luggage and bags with you to immigration because the bus you’re riding after does not necessarily mean the exact same bus from which you’ve alighted. Don’t worry though, the concept is like that of hop-on-hop-off buses: get off, clear immigration, line up and get on the the same type of bus for no additional fees.
For our case, we rode the SBS 170 bus from Singapore up to Larkin Bus Terminal in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Once in Larkin, this is where you’ll be buying new tickets to transfer to a new bus. Some stay in Johor Bahru since attractions like Legoland are situated here, but if you’re headed straight to Kuala Lumpur, read on.
Buy a bus ticket headed to KL. I recommend the bus Causeway Link–it’s yellow bus, sometimes with smileys all over, and their ticket booth (also with a yellow sign) is at the near end of the terminal booths. Buses have scheduled departures so after buying tickets and securing seats, you can have lunch in the area first if you have to wait. There’s food establishments in the terminal. [Price: MYR 35 = Php 400]
The Causeway Link bus from Larkin will drop you off at TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) in Kuala Lumpur after a little more than 3 hours. From there you can ride the metro to your hotel. I’d recommend though to just book an Uber or Grab to your next destination especially if you’re with someone or in a group, as booking prices there are cheaper than in the Philippines. Our Uber XL cost MYR 32 (MYR 8/head since we were 4) to our Airbnb around 30 mins away. [Price: varies, approx MYR 10 = 115]
So there you have it. It’s actually pretty straightforward and you only need to ride 2 buses. Plus, you get to visit 2 countries in one trip! DIY-ing your transport saves you lots since direct SG to KL bus tickets cost about SGD 30+ (Php 1100+), but riding as the locals will cost just less than half of that! I’ll be posting my SG-KL itinerary in the coming days like that of my Seoul Travel Guide. And I have no trips planned yet for the latter part of the year; any suggestions where do I go next?