CNY 2020 – Day 4 – KL to Singapore

I’ve grown spoiled with China’s high speed trains, and I figured our trip to Singapore would be a quick one, given its proximity to Kuala Lumpur. I was wrong…

China’s high speed trains are incredible. They’re fast, cheap and can take you just about anywhere on the East coast!

A few years back, Singapore cancelled the train coming directly from Malaysia’s capital, leaving only two options: bus or plane.

After our experiences in Laos (where they sell motion sickness pills at every pit stop), I was a bit nervous about the bus…

For this trip, I tried very hard to minimize the number of flights we booked. Flying is not great for the environment, but we aren’t left with many other options during our holidays in this part of the world. South East Asia doesn’t always have the best roads, so flying is often our best (and safest) option.

With poor infrastructure and winding mountain roads to worry about, driving can be hazardous in South East Asia

We ended up looking into both options and saw that although flights are generally very cheap going from KL to Singapore, they quadrupled over Chinese New Year. The buses were more expensive too but still cheaper overall, so we decided to take the longer (and more environmentally friendly) option for this trip.

The plus side of driving is that you get to see more of the country. I’ll never forget the drive from Vang Vieng up to Luang Prabang. Breathtaking!

We arrived a half hour before our scheduled departure, as recommended by the booking website (we used We were a little annoyed when we tried to board the bus with our full cups of coffee, only to be told they weren’t allowed. We drank as much as we could and left our half-full coffees behind, much to our chagrin.

The bus was clean and about half empty. With buses going to Singapore nearly every hour, I imagine they don’t often fill all the way up.

These are all the companies making the trip daily. Each company makes various trips throughout the day.

There are a lot of different bus companies making this trip, but we decided to go with The One Tours. They rated well online, while some of the other companies had awful reviews. Some bus drivers refused to even take passengers all the way into Singapore, leaving them stranded at the border. Aside from our wasted coffees, we were very happy with our experience and I’d recommend The One Tours without hesitation.

This is what our bus looked like. Lots of space and comfy seats

Because there is a border crossing, this trip into Singapore has a few stops (in addition to regular rest stops). The first stop is to leave Malaysia. You’re stamped out and sent on your way. The process doesn’t take long as long as you don’t have anything to declare. We had to put our bags through an x-ray machine but it wasn’t nearly as much of a hassle as at the airport.

Singapore is a very small island. The bus drives over a bridge to get there. No ferries!

After “leaving” Malaysia, you actually need to get back on the bus for a few more minutes until you reach customs on Singapore’s side. Here, you’ll get stamped in, asked a few questions and then be on your way!

It’s all very simple if you’re lucky enough to be Canadian. I’m sure it isn’t as easy with other passports. You’ll want to check your government website ahead of time, just in case you need to apply for a Visa before you arrive

I should note that each bus company does pick ups and drop offs at different locations. We were dropped off near a hotel in Singapore, where we were able to get onto WiFi to order a Grab (like Didi or Uber). It turns out that we could have gotten cheap roaming on our Malaysia Sim cards if we had done it before leaving, but once we were in Singapore it was too late, so of course, we had to get a Singaporean sim card too.

Each of these companies has different pick up and drop off points so make sure to double check once you’ve booked!

If you’re planning to take the bus out to Singapore, I can reassure you that it’s nothing like Laos or The Philippines . There will be no live (or dead) farm animals on your bus and the seats are comfy. Best of all, it’s a safe and reliable way to get around.

No one was sitting in either of the seats next to me. A very relaxing journey!

My next few posts are going to be long ones! I’ll be writing them on the bus ride back to Kuala Lumpur! Check back soon!