Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : Let me count the ways

Malaysia’s election is something closely watched in Singapore. If not for anything else, it can be very ‘entertaining’ at times, though personally I think my countries politics sometimes veer on the side of pretty-bad-reality-tv status. But my thoughts on politics aside, this year’s election has been highly anticipated by Malaysians the world over. People have already started flying down from different countries to cast their votes. In whichever which direction, meant to be for the betterment of the country.

My Malaysians in Singapore are no different; they too are planning to head back to Malaysia to cast their votes. And it is in this spirit that I wanted to share the four different ways that you can get between the two countries.

By air

img5076_25072012100854(Changi airport – greatnewplaces.com)

The quickest way between the two countries is of course by air. Thanks to the open skies agreement, this route is no longer a monopoly between the two national carrier giants. These days, you can make the 40 minutes flight between the two countries through other low cost carriers as well, including Jetstar, Tiger, and AirAsia. Just remember, once you land in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) it will take you another 28 minutes on the train to get to city center or an hour by cab. If you’re landing at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), it will take you up to an hour to get into the city by local bus or by cab. Jetstar and Tiger Airways lands at KLIA, while AirAsia lands at LCCT.

By land

You could of course always rent a car to get you from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (estimated at about 3-4 hours). I can’t give an expected cost on this as this would really depend on your arrangement with the driver (most taxis in Malaysia are open to doing it if you ask them). It could probably set you back between RM600-RM1,000 (USD 200-325).

Alternatively, you could take the bus. Again the quality and price of these could range from budget, to luxury. You could take:

Transnasional – RM 46/ USD 15 for a one way trip. Busses are basic and air-conditioned

Nice++ coaches – RM 88 / USD 29 for a one way trip. Reclining seats, air-conditioned, personal entertainment/ tv system

Aeroline – RM 90/ USD 30 for a one way trip. Reclining seats, air-conditioned, on-board food. Main tv in front of bus and in lounge area. Lounge area in bottom deck of bus

381556326_879bf0550a(Lounge area in the lower part of the bus)

Odyssey – RM 90/ USD 30 for a one way trip. Reclining leather seats, on-board food, on-board wi-fi, personal entertainment/ tv system, on-board power plugs. Lounge area in bottom deck of bus.

outlet_image(Power plugs in bus)

our_fleet_02(Personal entertainment system)

Note: there are also other basic bare-boned busses you could take from the Pudu bus terminal in Kuala Lumpur

By rail

You can easily take the train to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur (or vice versa of course) by using the KTM trains. Of course there is a lot of information about this out there, and I have to say Seat61 does an amazing job with all the details – read more here. So I will give you the bare bones of it.

You could take a day trip between the two countries: 6 hours during the day or 8 hours overnight. Prices range from USD 25 to USD 100 for the Deluxe Sleeper. Trains are generally comfortable and clean, but do expect it to be a bit worn out. Refreshment carts drop by to sell light snacks and drinks.

Singapore on a train 001(Deluxe Sleeper – The bottom bed folds up and becomes two seats facing each other. The blue box is the head and neck rest)

Singapore on a train 003(The bathroom in your cabin. On the left, private shower, individual sink, and on the right your own toilet)

I’ve travelled by Deluxe Sleeper (overnight) before, and have to say I found it really enjoyable. For each cabin there are two seats (facing each other) that pulls out into a bed at night. A separate single bed pulls out above. The cabin comes with a personal tv (that sometimes blares sound far too loud), and a private bathroom (can you say luxurious for a local train!). The bathroom actually comes with a separate shower and toilet – as opposed to those many who have a shower that is above the toilet seat. And I have heard there is a hairdryer in there somewhere as well. They also have porters who would come and serve you dinner and breakfast. Though don’t expect too much ok, keep your expectations to fried rice for dinner and buns and hard boiled eggs for breakfast.

So take your time, save on an overnight hotel fare (hotels in Singapore are ridiculously expensive) and enjoy the very personal ride.

Singapore on a train 009(Getting into the old Tanjong Pagar train station. Sadly renovation plans underway there now)

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