There are many ways on how to reach Kuala Lumpur from Singapore. You can take the plane, train, coach or bus in getting there. For budget travelers like us, we opted to take the Bus 170 to Johor Bahru then take another bus to Kuala Lumpur. That is the cheapest way to go to Kuala Lumpur however alighting at Singapore and Malaysia checkpoints are needed. Prepare your passports as well as travel documents like plane tickets and hotel reservations for assessment of immigration officers.
Upon arrival at Changgi Airport Terminal 2 and as soon as we got our baggage, we headed to the right side where escalators leading to the MRT can be found. I bought 2 EZ Link Cards which cost $12 per card. It has a $7 stored value that you can use for trains and buses while the remaining $5 is the cost of the card which is non-refundable. To make sure that we’ll not run out of card loads, I paid additional $10 (minimum) per card for the top-up.
We took the train to Tanah Merah, alighted the train and waited for another train to Joo Koon (EW Line). BUGIS Station is where we supposed to alight but we almost didn’t. Thanks to the Indian guy sitting right next to me who said “You go to Bugis right? It’s Bugis.” Since there was no time to argue, we just followed him as he alighted the train. To our surprise, he’s right! We’re at Bugis station. After thanking him, we wondered how did he know that we’ll be going to Bugis. Well, he was the guy at Tana Merah station, seated near the map that we we were looking at. Maybe he overheard me telling hubby that we’ll be alighting at Bugis station. Wow, he’s such a nice guy. 😉 Thank you sir!
From Bugis MRT Station, take the Victoria Street exit. As soon as you reach that street, go to your right side and and walk straight to Arab Street, next to Opir Street. Turn left and walk around for 5-10 minutes until you see the Queen Street. Landmark is Cambridge Institute. Turn right towards to the terminal. That is the right way in reaching the terminal, on our case, it took us 30 minutes finding the right way! My bad! 😦 Thanks to my hubby who was very patient and understanding to my shortcomings! ♥o♥ In finding our way to Queen Street, we accidentally met the same guy who helped us at the MRT! Was he a stalker?! Hahah! He gave us the direction and saved us from the SECOND time. He’s such an angel! Thanks Mr. Kamma! (Not sure if I spelled his name correctly. xoxo)
There are taxis and buses that you can take in going to Johor Bahru but taking the former would burn a hole in your pocket. 🙂 The cheapest option is taking SBS 170 for it only cost $1.88 using your EZ link card and $2.10 using cash but be ready for having many stops. The last SBS 170 departs the terminal at 12:30am. It is the cheapest way to KL because at Larkin Bus Terminal, you would spend ringgit in buying tickets. But if you were in a hurry, I would suggest to take the Causeway Link for $2.50 per ticket for it only has a fewer stops compared to Bus 170. Or you can wait for the SBS 170 at Kranji MRT Station.
I was expecting for a long queue because it was a Saturday but to my surprise, we were the only passengers waiting for Bus 170 at that time. After 10 minutes of waiting, we were able to ride the bus followed by three other passengers. We tapped our EZ link card at the bus entrance before heading to the seats. That was COOL! 😉
Then, the long journey begun… We were too anxious if we were riding the right bus and heading to the right place. To make sure, I asked a local seated in front of us if the bus would be going to Johor Bahru. He answered “YES”. It was getting late then, since we had no dinner before leaving for JB, we could eat a horse! We were saved by the cupcakes and conjac jellies which I bought at Puregold the day before we left for our trip. 😉 It took us around 1 1/2 hours before we reach Woodlands Immigration. We had to tap the ez link card upon alighting the bus then we made our way to the immigration.
Note: Taking of photographs at the checkpoints is prohibited. You’ll commit a crime if you do so.
Prepare your passport with the departure card (small part left by the immigration officer in the airport). Aside from that, you can also have in hand the plane tickets and reservation forms. As you exit the immigration, go to your left, take the escalator in going down and proceed to the bus stop. Queue on the lane for BUS 170. Remember to tap your card again as you get on the bus. If you paid through cash, keep your ticket and show it every time you get-on the bus. It would only take 15-20 minutes to reach the next stop, Johor Bahru Checkpoint. You have to get-off the bus again, go up and have your documents checked by the immigration officers.
JOHOR BAHRU CHECKPOINT
Before you queue and give your passport to the immigration officer, go to your right side and fill-out a form, Malaysia departure form. There’s an officer at that counter who you can ask for some help on what to write on some parts of the form. After filing it up, queue and give your passport as well as the filled-out form to the IO. Once your passport is stamped, go to your left side again, take the escalator in going down and wait for Bus 170 at the bus stop located at the ground level, left side. Tip: You can ask the IO or the police officers the way to the bus stop.
LARKIN BUS TERMINAL
According to Transnasional’s website, their last departure to Kuala Lumpur at Larkin is at 12 midnight. Well, we left Johor Bahru Checkpoint at around 12:45. I was panicking that time and desperately hoping that we can still go to KL at past midnight for I cannot allow us to wait until morning at Larkin with no idea of what might happen. God is so good for we were able to find a bus going to KL. Since the bus was leaving at 1:30am, we bought something to eat inside the terminal. There’s a Mcdonalds open for 24 hours but we opted to look for a cheaper alternative. Lol! After having our “snacks”, we ordered for hot milo and cold tea then told the Hindu guy that we’ll had it as take-out. He then asked us “Take-away sir?”…. we were not sure if he said it incorrectly but hubby answered back, “Yes, take-away.” And we were happy to had those drinks as “take-away” because we were able to experience Malaysia from there… 😉
Traveling in a foreign land for long hours most especially at night stopped me from sleeping. I tried to be awake as far as I can but due to tiredness I fell asleep for an hour. In going to Kuala Lumpur you’ll see many trees along the way. I wonder if there were people living there. 10 minutes prior to our arrival to Bukit Jalil, I was awake. The driver was telling all the passengers to get off the bus. As far as I know, Bukit Jalil terminal has counters and buses but when I checked the place, it has none. When I asked him if it’s really Bukit Jalil, he said yes. Out of confusion, the other passengers got-off the bus. The Indian driver cannot converse well in English that’s why many of us decided to leave and find the way ourselves. After a few minutes of observing the area, I noticed that there was a huge dome-like place across us. Hubby and I went to the place and found out that it was a MRT terminal, Bukit Jalil terminal. 😉 Since it would open at 6am, we waited for 30 minutes outside with other passengers. We met some Filipinos (OFWs) working in Singapore, who would be going to KL (they were not familiar with the place they would go) for a religious group seminar. They decided to take the teksi and leave the terminal. Finally, as soon as the terminal was opened, we bought two tickets to Hang Tuah interchange and from there we transferred to another train to Bukit Bintang.
Note: Bukit Jalil Bus Terminal is already closed as of March 01 however Bandar Tasik Selatan Integrated Transport Terminal (BTS ITT) started their operation. It is located next to the existing Bandar Tasik Selatan LRT Station (Star LRT), the Stesen Komuter KTM Bandar Tasik Selatan and Express Rail Link (ERL) KLIA Transit Station. Download the KL train route map here.