Border Bureaucracy – Malaysia to Singapore

In order to get from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, I paid 50 ringitt to my hostel and collected my ticket and caught my bus from Puduraya station. The station is pretty big and I would recommend checking out the specifics of your bus counter the day before or leave yourself plenty of time for walking around looking confused on the day of your bus.

My bus was due to leave at 9:00 so I was at counter 41 to collect my ticket at 8:30. I was told what platform I needed to go to and headed on down. The bus was running behind and we didn’t leave until after 9:30 but we also didn’t leave from our designated platform. We got rounded up by a member of staff and walked outside the station for our bus. Pay attention to the people with walkie talkies yelling stuff, they could be yelling for you. We all got on eventually and were underway.

The drive was fine. Roads in Malaysia are well done, no humps and bumps here guv. We got to the border after stopping at a few outlying bus stations on the way. Stamping out of Malaysia is easy. You walk up and they stamp you out. Getting into Singapore takes longer.

Singapore is strict with regard to their customs laws. They really do check your bags thoroughly and you won’t get waved through if they see something even a little suspicious. I got stopped at customs because a substance similar to cigarette filters was detected in my bag. Being a non smoker, I was baffled. After a rummage, the customs officer found a box of sticking plasters. That’s what had been detected and I was waved through. That’s right folks, my anti blister precautions had got me a customs search! Basically, check you’re not bringing anything into Singapore that they say you shouldn’t. They will find it and they will punish you accordingly.

Once you’re stamped in, you’re good to explore this incredibly clean and organised metropolis. My bus dropped me off on Beach road but transport in Singapore is good so don’t panic about how you’ll get around. An MRT station is never far away.

Note: This was my last land border crossing in SE Asia. I’d travelled through 6 (7 if you count the border run to Burma) countries without taking a flight. I wasn’t robbed, conned or imprisoned. How did I do it? I applied common sense, knew the rules before I got to the border and then followed them when I got to the border. I also only booked through my hostels for border crossing trips so that I had some come back if it all went wrong. Hostels want good reviews so it’s not in their interests to pack you off with a crap company. Just be sensible and you can do it.

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