Taking the bus from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore is a cost effective and convenient way of moving between the two cities. For the most part, the interconnecting highway is straight and in excellent condition. Suburban concrete eventually gives way to the green blur of palm and durian plantations along the route, allowing you to see a bit of the Malaysian countryside.
Sure, there are plenty of quick flights between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, but you'll spend more time messing around in airports than actually in the air! Buses are cheaper, efficient, and mostly comfortable.
Don't expect the typical ancient, organ-readjusting buses still rattling down the roads in other parts of Southeast Asia. A long list of companies offer double-decker buses with movies, reclining seats, and lots of leg room. Some buses running between KL and Singapore could even be considered luxurious: they offer work desks, USB outlets, and on-board Wi-Fi!
About the Bus from KL to Singapore
Rather than booking a bus through your accommodation or a travel agent, you can avoid paying a commission by booking a ticket directly with the bus company. That travel agent is just going to do the same thing you can do yourself: book a ticket on the bus company's website. If a company doesn't offer online booking, you can call them to reserve a seat or purchase a ticket in person.
The bus from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore typically takes between five to six hours, depending on traffic in the causeway and processing time at the border. Leaving in the morning is usually best.
The prices for buses to Singapore vary widely, depending on the company and how luxurious the bus. Double-decker coaches and VIP (sometimes labeled "executive") buses tend to cost more. You'll find bus tickets ranging from US $10-100; plan to spend at least $20-30 for an average bus.
Tip: Even on the nicer buses that include food, you may still want to bring your own snacks and water. The "meal" is sometimes just a cup of instant noodles or small, sugary sandwich like the ones found hanging in 7-Eleven minimarts throughout Asia.
Booking the Bus to Singapore Online
The route between KL and Singapore stays busy. Book your ticket at least one day in advance. Book many days in advance if traveling during busy holidays such as Hari Merdeka or around the end of Ramadan.
BusOnlineTicket is an online portal representing several bus companies that run between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Although just one of many, Aeroline is a popular bus company that runs from Kuala Lumpur.
Bus Departures in Kuala Lumpur
Bus companies have various points of departure all around Kuala Lumpur. You'll find buses to Singapore leaving from the following places in KL:
- Pudu Sentral Bus Terminal: Formerly called Puduraya, this bus station received a major overhaul and reopened in 2011. The large, mostly empty station is on Jalan Pudu, opposite the Mydin shopping complex, just around the corner from Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur.
- Terminal Bersepadu Selatan: Also called “TBS,” this clean-and-modern bus terminal opened in 2011 and services destinations south of Kuala Lumpur. You can reach the new terminal via the LRT, KTM, and KLIA Transit train systems (the same train that goes to the KLIA2 budget airline terminal).
- Other Departure Points: Some bus companies actually operate from satellite offices in the parking lots of large hotels and shopping centers; Berjaya Times Square is one. If you book online, you'll need to arrange transportation from your hotel to their departure points around Kuala Lumpur.
Arriving in Singapore
Buses from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore arrive in locations all over the city, however, many routes terminate in the Golden Mile Complex on Beach Road in Singapore. The Golden Mile Complex is located just south of Little India and within walking distance of Arab Street.
You'll find plenty of taxis waiting, or you can take the MRT (Singapore's subway system) at the nearby Nicoll Highway station on the orange CCS line.
Tips for Crossing the Border into Singapore
- Being allowed to enter a country is a favor extended to you as a visitor. Although 99 percent of travelers have no trouble, be courteous and patient during the immigration process.
- 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.
- Do not take photos or use your phone during the immigration process.
- 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 such as electronic cigarettes. Note: Those pirated DVDs purchased in Thailand and Malaysia are illegal to bring into Singapore.
Bringing Tobacco and Alcohol into Singapore
Customs laws in Singapore are notoriously strict, earning it the sarcastic nickname "The Fine City." There are no allowances made for tobacco. Singapore does not permit the usual 200 cigarettes to enter duty-free through customs as other countries in Southeast Asia.
Your baggage will be scanned for alcohol and tobacco — both of which are really taxed in Singapore. “Forgetting” about either one in your bag when coming from Malaysia will result in heavy fines which you must pay on the spot at the border. Don't bring pepper spray or other items that could get you into trouble.
You can be fined up to S$200 per pack of cigarettes and/or detained — don't try to sneak something through! Although some officials may allow an opened pack of cigarettes through, it's at their whim. The land border officials are notoriously more strict about enforcement than the airport.
Regulations sometimes change; check with the Singapore Customs website for the latest.
Getting from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
Most of the bus companies run transportation in both directions, however, departure points differ for buses going back to Kuala Lumpur.