Travelling from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur by Bus

After another amazing week in Singapore, it was time to head to Kuala Lumpur. I’m don’t like flying, and given the close proximity, I decided to get the bus. The distance between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is approximately 350km – taking roughly 5.5 hours by bus. The cheaper price, and reduced hassle of dealing with airports and flying, meant this was a great option for me!

After reading a number of horror stories online regarding the journey, and immigration, I was apprehensive. However, it ended up being completely fine and definitely the best choice for me. This blog will detail my positive experience getting the bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.

Buying Bus Tickets for Singapore to Kuala Lumpur

I bought my ticket online from this site. I believe you can buy tickets at certain departure stations, however, I needed proof of onward journey to enter Singapore. Therefore, I had to buy mine ahead of time. I was a bit overwhelmed at the number of choices. There are 16 bus companies that travel throughout the 24-hour day, with a number of different pick-up and drop-off stops to choose from.

This image isn’t mine. I have copied it from the bus ticket site

After much research, I went with the Cityline Bus, due to its good reviews and convenient pick-up/drop-off points for me. The ticket cost me SGD$35 – significantly cheaper than flying with all my bags. I chose the 11am bus from Jurong East, as it was close to my hotel in Tanjong Pagar, and on the same MRT line. I picked this time also as the drop-off in Kuala Lumpur was near to my accomodation there.

The Journey from Singapore to Malaysia

Despite reading a number of horror stories about the journey, I had a really easy time. I hope this helps provide an idea of what to expect.

The First Leg to The Singapore Border

The first part of the journey was very quick. With no traffic, it took 20 minutes to get from Jurong East to the Tuas Checkpoint. We were asked to leave the bus and take our passports into the immigration hall. At this point, we could leave all our belongings on the bus. Once in the hall, we walked up to the e-gates, where your passport and face are scanned. There was no queue, so this took less than 5 minutes. We walked out the other side and were reunited with our bus, once the driver had been checked. This entire process took less than 10 minutes from getting off the bus and getting back on again.

I’ve added a Google Map screengrab below to show which Tuas Checkpoint I crossed. The other border crossing, Woodlands Checkpoint, takes you from Singapore into Johor Bahru. My understanding the Singapore to Johor Bahru crossing is much busier, with longer queues times at immigration. If you’re going directly to Kuala Lumpur, I’d recommend choosing a bus route that goes through the Tuas Checkpoint.

Singapore – Malaysian Border

Once back on the bus, we had a 10 drive from the Tuas Checkpoint to Malaysian border control – ‘Sultan Abu Bakar Immigration’. Bags had to be taken off the bus here and brought into the immigration hall. Again, we were blessed with minimal queues of less than 5 minutes.

This was where I had my only problem of the trip. As a UK citizen, I get 90 days visa-free in Malaysia. I researched if I needed anything else to enter the country and couldn’t find any information. However at immigration, I discovered I needed to fill out a Malaysian Digital Arrival Card ahead of time. This arrival card was introduced at the beginning of 2024. Luckily I had data on my phone to apply, and nothing complicated on my application, so it took a few minutes to fill out and for it to process in their system. I was warned that these forms can sometimes take a while to process, so I strongly urge you to sort this ahead of your journey.

The Malaysian Digital Arrival Card can be applied for here with more information on it here.

They didn’t ask for proof of onward journey here. Once through immigration, my bags went through a scanner and I was free to go back on the bus. This whole process took about 15-20 minutes, but that was largely due to the arrival card fiasco. There are toilets and a small snack stall near the buses. We had to wait 15-20 minutes here as other groups joined our bus.

I had read horror stories of people waiting 6 hours at immigration, so I was very relieved how quick this how process was!

Lots of green views along the way!

Service Stop – Yong Peng Bus Station

Approximately 90 minutes from Malaysian immigration, we stopped at Yong Peng Bus Station. We were here for 30 minutes, which was a great opportunity to use the bathrooms and get food. There is a small food hall with options like fish ball soup. However these stalls accept cash only. There are two small shops that largely sell souvenirs and gifts, but I was able to buy water and a chicken pastry there. This was our only stop for food/bathrooms.

Excuse my old gel nails! But here is the chicken puff and coke I bought for 5.90 Ringett ($1)

Onward to Kuala Lumpur

Once we all piled back on the bus, we made our way to Kuala Lumpur. The journey took another 2.5 hours and we faced some traffic getting into the city. There are several bus stops in the city, so choose one based on your accomodation location. I got out a Berjaya Times Square and caught a cab easily to my serviced apartment.

The Bus Quality

The actual bus itself was pretty good! The bus layout included a single row of seats and double row of seats either side of the aisle. You select your seat when buying your ticket online, so I chose one of the single seats by the window. The seats were comfortable, can recline back and there’s a foot rest provided too. There were also fairly wide too with strong aircon overhead. The only downside to the bus was the lack of toilet. Luckily the service station stop along the way sufficed, but be sure to choose a bus with toilets onboard if you think you’ll need more stops.

My bus was very empty, with 8 of us at the start and maybe 15 people by the time we reached Kuala Lumpur. The bus capacity was closer to 40, so we all had room to spread out.

Overall, I had a really great experience getting the bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. At only $35, it was significantly cheaper than flying with added luggage. The entire process of flying (factoring in airport waiting times, security, flying, immigration, baggage reclaim), and the long airport drive, was on par with the driving time to KL. I’d definitely recommend the bus between Singapore and Malaysia if you’re looking to save money. However, I am aware that I might have been lucky with queue times as I’ve heard others say the journey took them 10+ hours with immigration wait times!!

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