Crossing the border: Singapore to Malaysia (Johor Bharu and Kuala Lumpur)

ABOUT TO LEAVE SINGAPORE

ABOUT TO LEAVE SINGAPORE

We started our backpacking trip in Singapore because it is closer to where we were coming from, which is the Philippines, plus the fact that you can almost get to anywhere in Asia from Singapore without a lay over because of its location. This is our first time crossing borders using land transportation, reading other bloggers experience and from family members first hand experience it seemed that this would be easy. But of course, things could be tricky the first time. 

WAITING AT WOODLANDS STATION

WAITING AT WOODLANDS STATION

From our hostel, we took the metro going to Woodlands station. Exit the station and then go down the stairs, where you can see a line up of buses going to different places. After asking around, we found that on the far left side you can find buses going to Johor Bharu. After seeing that we were at the right place, we went up again and bought tickets for the bus going to the Singapore immigration. We were quite uneasy the whole trip which took about 30 minutes because we are the only ones with large backpacks, other passengers have tiny purses or carrying nothing at all. We asked one passenger if the bus goes to the immigration and he said yes, we felt a little bit more secure. 

The immigration is the last stop of the bus, everybody got off the bus and headed to the same direction so we just followed. The Singapore immigration is a quick process but because we arrived at the same time with tourist buses, it took some time at the cue. After getting our Singapore exit stamps, we went down the stairs to what looked like a bus stand. We asked the police officer at site what bus goes to Malaysian immigration and he also informed us that buses only takes Malaysian Ringgit money since we are officially out of Singapore which caused a little bit of panic on our side because there is no money exchange at the area, and we can't go back because we just crossed Singapore immigration (if we went back, it would be very suspicious), we had no other choice but to ask other bus passengers if they can exchange our Singapore dollar to Malaysian Ringgit, luckily two tourist had enough spare change for our bus fare. The bus goes straight to the Malaysian Immigration.

LARKIN BUS TERMINAL

LARKIN BUS TERMINAL

After getting our entry visa to Malaysia, our next step is to find a way how to get to Larkin Bus Terminal where we have tickets going to Kuala Lumpur. Before exiting the immigration building, money exchange can be found, the exchange rate is low compared to others but we needed Ringgit so we just exchange money enough for fare and food for one day. Below the Malaysian immigration, after asking a local, he pointed us towards a local city bus that is going to Larkin Bus Terminal. 

We arrived at the bus terminal just in time for dinner, we bought tickets with Maju Express online for bus that leaves at 10:15 PM so we have time to spare. We search for the Maju Express counter and confirmed our tickets, they informed us to be back 30 minutes before the departure schedule. We ate dinner and just waited for our time since we are not really familiar with the place and didn't want to risk getting lost. The bus departed on schedule, we arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Bus Terminal at 3:30 AM, we waited until 6 AM before leaving the terminal and headed out to find our AirBnb. 

Tip:
1. Exchange money before exiting Singapore - The next money exchange can be found  in Johor Bharu after immigration so it is a good idea to have at least few Malaysian Ringgit. 
2. Have plenty of coins - Thank God for other travellers! We really don't know what would have happened if they didn't help us.
3. Exit to Johor Bharu, Malaysia instead of going straight to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore - It is cheaper. For example: Our tickets from Johor Bharu to Kuala Lumpur Costs RM 34.40 or $8.39 per person while ticket from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur cost SGD 30 or $22.09 per person.