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You have a couple of different options if you want to cross the border from Singapore to Malaysia. While you can no longer walk across the causeway from Singapore to Malasyia, one options is that you can take a taxi from Singapore to Malasyia. It is important to note however that you must take a specially licensed taxi to Malaysia from Singapore. A cheaper alternative is to take a bus from Malaysia to Singapore or from Singapore to Malaysia, which is what we did. I will focus this Singapore to Malaysia border crossing article specifically on crossing the border by bus, as crossing the border by taxi is fairly straightforward, while crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia by bus is slightly more complicated (yet still totally doable!) so a bit of pictures and documentation might be helpful to other travelers trying to cross the Malaysian border.
Crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia (Johor Bahru) via bus
There are 3 different Singapore to Malaysia bus options, which is what we chose to do for our trip from Singapore to Malaysia. From our hotel (Conrad Centennial), it was a quick taxi ride to the Johor Bahru Express bus and terminal on Queen Street (it’s also only about a block away from the Bugis MRT/ subway stop).
The three different Singapore to Malaysia bus options to choose from – the SBS transit bus (Route 170), the Causeway Express, and the Singapore – Johor Express (SJE).
Based on information I found, it looked like the Causeway Express bus was the best bus option, so that is the one we chose. The buses are bright and yellow and conveniently, one arrived at the Queen Street / Bugis terminal right as our taxi dropped us off. Here’s what the Causeway Express Singapore to Malaysia bus looked like
Note the bright yellow color. The Causeway Express bus fare was S$3.30 per person. There was a man right out front of the bus with a table selling the tickets. He did not take credit cards (as far as I could tell – I didn’t try), but they did give change. I believe they also take the EZ Link transit pass – there was a card reader for it near the bus. Because we got there just as a bus pulled up, there was already a relatively long line waiting for the bus so by the time we got on it was fairly full, and so we did not have to wait for very long for the bus to depart towards the Malaysia border. There was extremely limited space for luggage on the bus – we each had a carry on sized piece of luggage and I was able to find a spot for one while Carolyn had to hold hers on her lap. The bus took off once all the seats were full, which was about 3-5 minutes after we boarded. It is very important that you keep your ticket with you even after you board the bus!
The Causeway Express bus is an express bus and does not make any stops before the Woodlands border crossing stop, just before you cross the border from Singapore to Malaysia. This is in contrast to the SBS Route 170 bus which does make several stops before you get to Johor Bahru (which is one reason we chose the Causeway Express bus, even though it’s slightly more expensive)
Once you get to the Woodlands border crossing station, the bus stops and you must get off with all your luggage. This is important as you will NOT be getting back on this bus. Go through Singapore exit immigration, and once you do, you’ll go down an escalator and queue back up for your bus. There are several different lines for the different bus companies – if you take the Causeway Link bus like we did, you’re looking for one that looks like this
A yellow Causeway Link Singapore bus came by every 2-3 minutes while we were down there. The first yellow Causeway Link Singapore bus left just as we got downstairs after going through Singapore immigration, the 2nd yellow Causeway Link Singapore bus filled up before we got to the front of the line, and we got on the 3rd yellow Causeway Link Singapore bus, which was fine with us (I’d rather be one of the first ones on a bus and get a seat than be one of the last ones on a bus and have to stand)
Here we are waiting in line for our Causeway Link Singapore bus
This is where you’ll theoretically need to show your ticket, though nobody was really checking them at least in our case. You should not have to pay anything extra (assuming you have your ticket). The Singapore to Malaysia bus ride across the causeway took about 5 minutes, and then you get BACK off the bus and go through Malaysian immigration and customs. Once you clear through there, you just follow the signs for JB Sentral to the Johor Bahru City Square, where you can get another bus or a taxi if you’d like.
You’ll cross over one road, then continue following the signs through a small shopping mall and cross on a pedestrian bridge OVER a 2nd street. You’ll be about to go through ANOTHER mall (I’ve found that SE Asian countries really like to use shopping malls as a method of transit!). The view will look something like this
When we were there, there was a Starbucks right in front of you and you could go either left or right. You want to go right (past where the Angry Bird is in my picture) and that should take you through the mall and back onto Jalan Wong Ah Fook, after which it’s a short walk to the Doubletree Hilton Johor Bahru (where we stayed)
Taking a taxi from Singapore to Malaysia
As I mentioned earlier, if you want to taxi from Singapore to Malaysia, only specially licensed taxis are allowed to go from Singapore to Johor Bahru. If you want to take a Singapore taxi to Malaysia, even the specially licensed taxis can ONLY go to Larkin Bus Terminal in Johor Bahru, at which point you would need to get another bus or taxi to take you elsewhere in Malaysia. You can ONLY pick these up on Ban San St., very near the Queen Street Johor Bahru Bus / Taxi terminal). If you’re going right from Queen Street in Singapore to Larkin Street in Johor Bahru Malaysia, the taxis wait till they are filled. It’s S$12 / person, and if you want to take the whole taxi, you can pay the full S$48. By law (regulation?) these taxis can ONLY go to the Larkin Bus Terminal in JB Malaysia, but if you get a Malaysian taxi (rather than a Singapore taxi), you can always negotiate with your driver if you’re going somewhere else.
Going from Singapore to Malaysia by car
You CAN also hire a private car / limousine to go from Singapore to Johor Bahru Malaysia, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny – this will likely run you AT LEAST S$100, and probably more, even if you’re just going into Johor and not very far into Malaysia. If you have your own car (rental or otherwise), make sure it’s allowed to cross the border, and then your border crossing should be fairly straightforward, though again, the queue to cross the border by car / taxi CAN be significant
If you have your own car, you might want to consider crossing the Malaysia border by the Second Link Expressway (at the Tuas checkpoint). This is a 2nd border crossing point, and even if it’s not directly on your way, the time that you save in going through immigration control may make up for it.
Best times to cross the border from Singapore to Malaysia
We crossed the border from Singapore to Johor Bahru Malaysia on a Friday. The concierge at the Conrad Centennial hotel in Singapore suggested to us that because there are many Malays that work in Singapore, the lines for border crossings on Friday afternoons get VERY crowded (and long!) We caught the Singapore bus from Queen Street at about 10:45 a.m. on a Friday and the entire process which included the bus ride, Singapore immigration, waiting for another bus, the drive over the causeway to Malaysia from Singapore and Malaysian immigration and customs took just under an hour.
In theory a taxi could be faster as you don’t have to get off/on a separate bus and you just show your travel documents, but the causeway traffic crossing the border on the Singapore Malaysia border causeway can get REALLY long. On our bus we zoomed past literally 100s of cars in the special “bus” lane.
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I hope this helps you if you’re trying to cross the border from Singapore to Malaysia – any questions or additional thoughts, leave them in the comments!
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Usually JB CIQ is very crowded, so a best to avoid the crowd is to take the train from Woodlands Railway Station to JB Sentral, where there is a dedicated passport control for train passengers. The only downside is that the train operates 5~7 times a day. But the speed is unbeatable than the bus.
Thanks for adding the train as a possible option for crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia. We didn’t have a problem with crowds at JB CIQ, but I definitely heard that there can be problems depending on the time of day
Thank you for a clear and informative article. I will be doing this border crossing this weekend and it is extremely helpful.
Glad it helped! Good luck going from Singapore to Malaysia! If you have to go back, you might be interested in my article on how to go back from Malaysia to Singapore!
thanks so much with the help of information to across border
so, when is/are the best time/s to cross border from SG to Malalysia?
how long is the trip from singapore to kuala lumpur (malaysia), if you went there?
i’m asking these questions as I will have the same trip in September. thanks in advance.
I shared my thoughts on timing in the post (if I didn’t write it down, I won’t remember now :-D). We didn’t end up going to Kuala Lumpur – just across the border from Singapore to Malasyia to Johor Bahru
so what is the best time to cross the border of singapore to malaysia
Thank you ^.^
Good day! We’re backpackers from the Philippines going to Singapore. We booked Seasons Express Tours from Golden Mile Complex, Singapore to Berjaya Times Square, KL and will go back to the Philippines from KL the next day- is that ok? I mean, we should get off somewhere in the border to exite Singapore immigration and enter Malaysia, right? Is this bus will stop over in the border? How does it work? We’re visa-free in both countries. I need your help haha! Thank you!
I am not 100% sure but yes, I would think that the bus would stop at the Malaysian border and everyone would get off, go through customs / immigration to exit Singapore and then enter Malaysia and then you’d get back on the bus. So it would be similar to how I described except since you’re on a specific tour bus you’d have to wait and make sure to get on the right bus after going through immigration. I’d imagine your tour company will walk you through what you need to do.
Can I ask if I hold a US passport or a Canadian passport, can I enter Malaysia from Singapore by car? I see that Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website says this: “All visitors MUST ENTER Malaysia through airports only”. I am quite confused.
I’m not an expert, so I encourage you to double check with an official source, but I think that should be fine. I am a US passport holder and we entered Malaysia by bus.
hi, i am in singapore for one month, i have work permit, so do i need visa for malaysia johar bahru or i can take bus directly?
The Singapore to Malaysia bus ride across the causeway took about 5 minutes, and then you get BACK off the bus and go through Malaysian immigration and customs. Once you clear through there, you just follow the signs for JB Sentral to the Johor Bahru City Square, where you can get another taxi if you’d like.
I would like to stay at Singapore on 11-12 october and 18-19 Malyasia. How i can transit with low cost?
Very useful article, thanks for sharing! I used your tips the other week and my trip to Johor Bahru went smoothly, although I accidentally bought a ticket for another company, Johor Bahru Express/ red bus. Whether JB was worth visiting is another question haha.
Thanks for your very informative post.
Do you know when the Singapore – Malaysia border closes?
I am a US Passport holder and wandering how long it takes at Malaysian Immigration when traveling by Bus from Singapore? Do they issue visa there or no need of visa?
Totally depends on the time of day you go. We went around 10-11 am and we were through everyting in less than an hour. For US passport holders, I believe there is no visa required, but doublecheck.