Monday, May 8, 2017

Crossing Borders: DIY Singapore to Malaysia


We were about to finish off our two-month backpacking trip and our flight back to Manila was at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Fifteen hours before our flight, we were still in Singapore. We could’ve opted for the easier option of booking a VIP bus that goes directly to Kuala Lumpur with stops at the border for immigration purposes but no, we chose to take the longer but cheaper route, by commuting.

After two months of beach frolicking on some key beach destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Singapore, we are heading back home. Beach Hop Asia 2016 is about to end and I couldn’t be much happier.

We woke up very early and left Beary Best Hostel in Chinatown then headed to Singapore’s MRT. As told by the friendly reception guy at the hostel, crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia is easy as a pie if you just know where to go. We followed his advice and got down at Kranji MRT Station.

Singapore to Malaysia Border Bus
Singapore's Kranji MRT Station
From there, we found numerous money exchange counters wherein you could buy Malaysian Ringgit using Singapore Dollar. We still have enough Ringgits at that time and went on to queue on the bus stop where SBS Transit Bus#170 would stop. (Note: Bus#170 (red plate) will end at Larkin Bus Terminal while
Bus#170 (blue plate) will end at JB Sentral).

Singapore to Malaysia Border Bus
Bus Stop for SBS Transit Bus#170
We waited for a few minutes and then hopped on to the bus that will end at Larkin Bus Terminal. We paid SGD1.90 and were told not to lose the ticket stubs that were given to us as this will be used for the Malaysian bus counterpart when we get to the border.

Singapore to Malaysia Border Bus
Don't worry, it'll just be a ten-minute ride
The bus ride to the border was swift and in just ten minutes, we were dropped at the immigration office for passport control. After we’re done with the mandatory passport check, we went out of the office and looked for the bus stop for the next available bus going to the Malaysian side of the border. You can ride any available bus as long as it’s from SBS company with the same bus number.

Singapore to Malaysia Border Bus
Singapore Passport Control
We got into the bus that was waiting and then were brought to the Malaysian side of the border in around four minutes.

Singapore to Malaysia Border Bus
Crossing the border
We, again, did the necessary procedures to get cleared by the immigration officers. There are few money changers right outside the x-ray area wherein you could buy Malaysian Ringgit.

Singapore to Malaysia Border Bus
Malaysia Passport Control
We asked around for the bus stop for the Malaysian counterpart of SBS Transit Bus and then found the Bus#170 that was going to Larkin Bus Terminal. We then boarded it using the ticket we had from our first bus in Singapore.

Singapore to Malaysia Border Bus
Bus Stop for Bus#170
We were brought to the bus terminal and then hopped on to another bus that brought us to the buses that will go to Kuala Lumpur and/or Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

DIY border crossing from Singapore to Malaysia (Johor Bahru) may sound easy but it’s time-consuming and takes a lot of effort to do it. If you have the money to spare then you can book a direct bus at your own comfort, but if you’re on a really tight budget (just like us) then you could try this route which saved us a huge amount of money. 


Or you could stay overnight in Johor Bahru. Check here for discounted hotels in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.


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