Do you have a day or two to spare for a cross-country trip, other than your destination like Singapore? Here are some tips for crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia.
Does that country happen to be Malaysia? You’re lucky because these two countries can be reached within five to seven hours depending on traffic conditions. Don’t worry about how to do it because we got it covered for you.
1. What cross-border buses to take?
- Causeway Link CW2
- SBS Transit 170 (Red plate)
- Singapore-Johore Express
All three buses 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 can take 40 minutes to 2 hours, and the normal distance-based trunk fares apply.
2. What are the general expectations for this option?
The Queen Street Bus Terminal is closest to Bugis MRT, from which you can walk a few hundred meters to the terminal. Taking a bus ride or a cab is also an option especially since walking makes it harder to find the terminal if you’re not familiar with the roads.
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 the 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.
Why should you opt for a bus ticket online?
Rather than visiting a ticket counter to purchase your bus ticket, you can log on to the portal and get your ticket online. It is an eco-friendly process and one that saves you time and effort. Having an account set up on the bus ticket portal will also make it easier for you to maintain a record of your previous and upcoming travels.
Related Article: Are you looking for a cheap hotel in Malaysia? You can check this list.
3. What are the advantages of commuting through cross-border buses?
Budget-Friendly – You can save RM25 or SGD10 when you commute from Singapore to Johor Bahru or vice versa. Then transfer to an express coach bound for Malaysian cities. Fare starts at RM 31. Departure time is between 12:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.Side-trip in Johor Bahru – The Legoland Malaysia Resort and Sanrio Hello Kitty Town are two tourist attractions you can visit there.
Travel with every day, cross-border commuters – If you’re interested in seeing daily commuters, and having a small talk with them, or simply observing and experiencing it, then this option is for you.
4. Are there disadvantages?
There are and it includes the following:
- No direct trips to cities in Malaysia
- Standard bus seats
- No seat assignment
- Bus transfers before and after inspections are a hassle, especially for travelers that don’t pack light.
5. What are the general expectations for Causeway Link?
The daily schedule starts from 6:00 a.m. to 11: 45 p.m. This bus line has a high number of buses as it has two other sets of buses (CW1 near Kranji MRT station and CW5) bound for Johor Bahru.
These two have different pick-up points but once it passes through the Woodlands, anyone with a ticket from this bus can take any yellow bus along with CW2. This makes CW2 a more popular option among commuters. The fare costs S$ 3.30.
6. For SBS?
Departure times start at 5:20 am to 12:30 p.m. It has a special trip from Woodlands Road (opposite Kranji MRT station) to Larkin Terminal which leaves at 6:30 a.m. The fare costs $2.50.
Among the three buses, SBS is the most familiar as it has been in the transportation service for far longer than the other two. Like in Causeway buses, passengers can take SBS 170X, 170, and 160 across the border.
7. For Singapore-Johore Express?
Buses leave for Larkin Terminal at 6:30 a.m. until 11:30 pm. The fare is $2.40.
Compared with the other two buses, this has more comfortable seats. Although poor causeway frequency can be experienced for it has fewer buses.
Going to Malaysia from Singapore via cross-border buses is your cheapest option by land travel. If you don’t mind the bus transfers while carrying your bags with you, then by all means take this option.
Sharing seats with local commuters – and having glimpses of their daily routines through small talk – can be your reward for sacrificing some of the comforts that express coach buses with direct trips to different Malaysian cities offer.
Tips for crossing into Malaysia/Singapore:
- Remember, being allowed to enter a country is a favor extended to you as a visitor. Although 99.9% of people have no trouble, be courteous and patient.
- Chewing gum is actually controlled in Singapore. Do not chew gum while you wait in the immigration queue.
- Remove your hat and sunglasses while inside.
- Have 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. Expect all of your luggage to be screened for “contraband” items.
- Keep your bus tickets with you.
Budget (All converted to PHP)
Name of the Contributor:
Mavic Conde is a writer based in Bicol. She used to be a web content writer before pursuing travel writing. Her travel stories were published in Rappler Philippines and Mabuhay Magazine. Blog: thejoysofjourneying.wordpress.com