Backpacking and Crossing Borders: Kuala Lumpur to Singapore

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Part of our 9 days backpacking itinerary was Singapore. We came all the way from Bangkok to Malaysia via train, and then from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.

Here’s a guide on how you could cross-country from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore (Malaysia to Singapore).

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Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by bus

If you’re coming from the city of Kuala Lumpur, what you need to do is go to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS). TBS is the integrated transport terminal to serve the southern parts of Malaysia and even Singapore. [READ: 5000 Pesos Challenge: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia]

How to get to TBS from KL City Centre?

From Chinatown,  take a bus from Pudu Sentral. Bus number should be 690. This only costs 2 MYR ($0.45) – just 10-20 minutes ride and you’re there. kuala lumpur to singapore

From Bukit Bintang, ride the monorail to KL Sentral and from KL Sentral, book/buy a ticket to Bandar Tasik Selatan. TBS is just some minutes walk once you’re in the Bandar Tasik Selatan station.

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Once you’re in TBS, look for the ticket counters. There will be several bus companies to cater your ride to the southern parts of Malaysia and Singapore. It would be best if you book in advance, but be sure of the time and date of your booking schedule. Refund or reschedule is not possible. You will have to buy another ticket at another cost. kuala lumpur to singapore

Once you’ve made your booking, head next to the departure area. Present your ticket and proceed to your designated gate. Wait until your bus arrives.

With no traffic, travel time would only take 3-4 hours. In our case, the traffic was bad – it took us 6 hours to Johor Bahru alone.


Immigration Process (KL to SG)

Once you are in Singapore, you will be first dropped off to Woodlands where the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore is. Keep your bags with you when you go off the bus. Never forget your passport. Make sure the departure card from Malaysia is with you as well. kuala lumpur to singapore

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The first checkpoint is where you will be stamped that you have exited Malaysia. Just follow where the people are going but make sure that you are going the right way. It’s easy, don’t worry.

Next, go back to your bus (if you’re headed straight to Singapore) and you will then be sent to another ICA location where you will get your stamp for entering Singapore. You have to fill in a departure card before heading to the immigration officer.

As usual, just tell them what they need to know. Once you have received your stamp, queue for your bags to be scanned, go back to your bus and it will head straight to your location i.e., Queen Street.

The immigration process is easy but a bit confusing as well because you would have to go off and back on the bus twice. It would only take less than an hour if there are not many people entering Singapore with you, else, it would take 2 hours just like it did with us. It won’t hurt to ask, no worries.

After everything is done, welcome to Singapore!

Note: Before you go to Singapore, make sure you booked your hostels and hotel for Singapore here (click me).


Kuala Lumpur > Johor Bahru > Singapore

On our trip, we would have wanted to see the Legoland and Hello Kity Town in Johor Bahru so we booked tickets to JB Larkin station for 35 MYR each (US$8), but due to traffic and lack of time, we opted to head straight to Singapore. This will head you still from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore but with two stops.

It took us roughly 6 hours from Kuala Lumpur (TBS) to Johor Bahru by bus due to traffic plus there have been lots of stop-overs. Long driving is not a problem in Malaysia as there will be specified locations with designated comfort rooms for travelers – one convenient thing about their transport. On those stopovers, are stores where you can buy food if you happen to not bring anything from the city.

From JB Larkin terminal, look for Bus # 170 heading to Queen Street – actually, you can take any bus that’s heading to any points in Singapore as the process will be basically the same. 

I’m not really sure how much was it from JB Larkin terminal to Singapore. What we did was ask the driver how much is the fare in Malaysian currency and he said it’s 2.5 MYR each.

It will only take around 15 – 20 minutes to Woodlands ICA from JB Larkin terminal. Once we got there, we got off and looked for the immigration officers. Had our passports scanned and stamped, waited and look for another bus heading to Singapore. Again, we don’t have any SGD yet so we paid 2.5 MYR each to the next ICA stop. kuala lumpur to singapore

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Next, after getting off the bus, we immediately went to the immigration area, filled up the departure cards, and queued in line for the immigration officer. After getting stamped for entry to Singapore, we then queued to scan our bags and waited for another bus headed to Queen Street.

That entire immigration process took almost 2 hours to complete including the bus drop-offs and waiting time. There were many people entering Singapore.

Our bus was bound to Queen Street and we’re already heading to the Sixth Avenue station. Since we don’t have any SGD in our pockets, we asked the driver if we could pay in MYR but he said we just have to get off the bus – so literally we paid nothing from Woodlands to Six Avenue Station. I then withdrew money from the ATM outside the station.

From Sixth Avenue station, we took the train to Bugis and then interchanged to Aljunied station – where our hotel (Amrise Hotel) located in Geylang was most nearby.

If you need to ask questions about Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, just drop me a message or comment below!


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