Taking a bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is an easy and less-expensive alternative to flying between the two countries.
Taking a Bus From Singapore to KL
Although there are a few exceptions, a majority of bus companies operate from the lot in front of a large shopping compound known as the Golden Mile Complex.
A string of bus agencies occupy the front of the complex; buy your ticket at one of the counters inside.
The Golden Mile Complex is located south of Little India, not far from Arab Street. The nearest MRT stop is Nicoll Highway on the orange CCS line. Exit the MRT station, cross the pedestrian platform, then turn right onto Beach Road. The Golden Mile Complex is a short distance on the right; you must cross the road again at the elevated pedestrian walkway.
- See where is Singapore?
Prices and levels of luxury vary widely between bus companies. Tickets can be had for as cheap as S$20, however, these buses take a different route and add an hour or more to the journey.
The more comfortable buses can cost upwards of S$50 or more and come equipped with leather seats; some have personal LCD entertainment systems in the seatbacks so that you can choose your own movies.
- Read tips for enjoying Singapore on a budget.
Booking a Bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
A few of the more expensive bus companies offer online bookings, although visiting a counter at the Golden Mile Complex is still the safest way to ensure a reservation. Always book in advance and know about the big festivals in Asia that could affect transportation.
Some of the better buses running from Singapore to KL are:
- Grasslands Express: www.grassland.com.sg / +65 6393-1166.
- StarMart Express: www.busonlineticket.com / +65 6396-5681.
- Five Stars Express: +65 6294 7011.
- Konsortium Express: www.konsortium.com.sg / +65 6392 3911.
Around the Golden Mile Complex
Some of the more luxurious bus companies have waiting lounges, or alternatively you can enjoy some cheap food in the food center directly opposite of Golden Mile Complex. The fourth floor of the food center contains a small market frequented by soldiers where travel, camping, and army equipment can be purchased.
If you have an abundance of time before your bus, consider walking left along Beach Road for 10 minutes to Arab Street where you can sit in one of the many pleasant sidewalk cafes.
The Golden Mile Complex area is considered the "Little Thailand" of Singapore; this is the neighborhood to find inexpensive Thai food and supermarkets.
Crossing the Singapore-Malaysia Border
Crossing the Singapore-Malaysia border by bus is straightforward, and the process is usually expedient.
First, you will exit the bus to be stamped out of Malaysia; leave your luggage on the bus. After being stamped out of Singapore, the bus will continue across the Causeway bridge for another 10 - 15 minutes, then you will exit at the Malaysian border to be stamped into Malaysia. Bring your luggage with you this time, as it must be screened before you enter Malaysia. The same bus will be waiting for you on the other side of the border as you exit.
Tips for Crossing the Border
- Have your exit card ready, and preferably marking the page in your passport that has your last stamp so that the border agent doesn't have to search for it.
- Take off your hat and sunglasses.
- Have your immigration card for Malaysia completely filled out before getting into the immigration queue.
- Bring your daybag/valuables with you rather than leaving them on the bus while you queue.
- If coming from Malaysia into Singapore, remember that Singapore has very strict customs laws -- and fines -- for bringing in alcohol and cigarettes.
- Smile, be courteous, and answer any questions: the agent's stamp wields a lot of power!
Alternatives Ways to Get to Malaysia
Although AirAsia flights can occasionally be found on sale, prices are surprisingly high for the 55-minute flight. Taking a bus eliminates the hassles of negotiating two airports for such a short journey.
Budget travelers can save a little money in exchange for more effort by paying for their bus in Malaysian ringgit rather than Singapore dollars. Do this by taking a one-hour bus from the Queen Street Bus Station in Singapore across the Causeway bridge to Johor Bahru in Malaysia, then a book a new bus ticket in Larkin Station onward to Kuala Lumpur.
- Learn more about using transportation in Asia.
From KL to Singapore
Many of the same bus companies offer return tickets, or you can book direct bus tickets between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.