DIY Travel: Cross-border commuting from Singapore to Malaysia

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor January 17th, 2016 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, DIY Travel, Travel Blog 38 Comments

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.

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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 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.

DIY Travel Guide: Commuting Singapore and Malaysia
CW2 Bus from Bugis. Photo by

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 of 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 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 chosen bus company.

Related Article: Are you looking for a cheap hotel in Malaysia? You can check this list.

DIY Travel Guide: Commuting Singapore and Malaysia
Queen Street Bus Terminal. Photo by

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 everyday, 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?

Daily schedule starts at 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. 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. 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.

DIY Travel Guide: Commuting Singapore to Malaysia
SBS Bus. Photo by

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.

DIY Travel Guide: Commuting Singapore to Malaysia
Larkin Bus Terminal. Photo by

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)

DIY Travel Guide: Commuting Singapore to Malaysia

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Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

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Name of the Contributor:

DIY Travel Guide: Commuting Singapore and MalaysiaMavic Conde is a writer based in Bicol. She used to be a web content writer before pursuing travel writing. Her travel stories were published on Rappler Philippines and Mabuhay Magazine.Blog:


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38 thoughts on “DIY Travel: Cross-border commuting from Singapore to Malaysia

  1. Can anyone answer my query please. Im a Filipino and arriving Singapore. I want to stay for couple of days in Singapore. Then, I will go to Malaysia to see and experience this Country.
    Can I depart there going back to Philippines instead?

  2. I travelled with my wife and 4 years-old daughter from Malacca (Melaka) to Singapure by bus. As soon as we boarded we new it was going to be a rough trip. There was no system to pack the luggage and passages were responsible for putting it on the bus. At this stage we thought “It’s not great, but fine”.

    When we got to the Johor Bahru Checkpoint, neither the driver or his assistant gave anyone on the bus heads up about stopping soon for the immigration checkout. It was basically the bus driver suddenly stopping and yelling at us to leave the bus as soon as possible.

    My family was the last one to get out of the bus, just to see our luggage was on the side of the road and having not idea what to do next.

    On the second stop, Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore, same situation again. This time, after going through customers, the bus simply varnished.

    More than 7 people (all foreign) were left behind. Everyone was trying to figure out what the fuck was going on.

    This was definitely the worst bus experience we ever had. Definitely not recommended if you’ve got small kids with you.

  3. how much will we have to spend all in all, there’s 2 of us…, my sister lives in Singapore so, we will just be taking a bus or by train?? which do you prefer??


  4. does the buses or other mode of transportation from singapore to malaysia and VV gives discount to the elderly for their fares?

  5. Is this road trip from India to Singapore covering entire South-East Asia in the below mentioned route were possible? [closed]

    road-trips southeast-asia

    I want to travel to this countries mentioned below by road using cycle












    The Entire South-East Asia mainland
    Is that possible? Do they allow road trip ?
    What are the legal formalities need have to be done for a successful trip ?

  6. hello. i have a concern, does crossing a boarder going to malaysia and going back to singapore can be done in a day?. considering that we would like to do just sight-seeing near those border? thank you.

  7. Hi , im flying in to singapore then go to malaysia but will not go back to singapore but instead fly out from malaysia to my country?
    pls. help to answer.
    travelling by aug 2019
    thank you

      1. Good day! I’m planning the same trip too. From Manila to Singapore then cross county to Kuala Lumpur. I will go back to Philippines via Kuala Lumpur. Do you think will it cause any problem in immigration in Phil. and the possibility to be offloaded? Thanks🙂

  8. Hi! this is a very helpful travel guide for travellers who want to travel from Singapore to Malaysia via land transportation like me. Hopefully, you can reply to my comment regarding the point of entry in Singapore and the point of exit in Malaysia on what to do? I would really appreciate your reply thanks a lot.

  9. Hello,planning for a Legoland 1 day tour this coming June 4, 2019 (Singapore Legoland Singapore)
    Then spend June 5 and 6 in Singapore. On June 7 to June 9 our itinerary is going to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore by bus then Return by June 9 for our departure flight Singapore to Philippines.
    My concern is,is this possible to enter Malaysia 2 times in our 6 day itinerary? Cause Legoland in Johor is still part of Malaysia. Hope you can enlightened us on this matter. Thank you

  10. I will travelling to singerpor
    this weekend, but i will like to visit Malaysia for a day and return back to singerpore and cache my flight. The truth is as Ghanaian i need a visa to enter Malaysia, what do I do. I will like to visit malaysia by bus. Be bless

  11. Very informative article! Question lang po, ano po kayang bus ang magadang sakyan from JB to KL? and how long ang byahe? Need po ba namin magbook ng ticket ng bus or diretso na kami sa Larkin Bus Terminal?

  12. Hi,

    I’m currently working in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia and would like to visit Singapore for 1 to 2 days. Do I need other documents to enter SG? Do I need Hotel reservations?


  13. am vincent david joel, am planning a trip to singapore for the first time an is visa free, am from benin republic, i have my passeport at hand and my ticket money. please do i need other document or just my passeport please tell me

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