Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Malaysia to Singapore by land

Another unique and first experience for me in this trip was crossing an international border by land, from Kuala lumpur to Singapore. It was around 8.30 in the morning, when we checked out and drove to the nearby Berjaya times square. We boarded the Starmart express coach after filling the immigration forms. After continuous running around for 3 days, it was now time to sitback, stretch and relax on the massage couches of the coach.

I was expecting lot of scenic views all along but for a long time after I left the city, there were palms, palms and only palm trees. The travel time was around 6 hours with a short break of 10 minutes at Malacca and 2 stops for immigration and customs check. 

My son urged the driver if he could drive fast, but the driver said it was GPS driven and monitored at the HQ and he could not exceed the speed limit. So, it was smooth and steady drive with no traffic interruptions, no jerks or sudden brakes until we had to stop for stamp of exit at Malaysian border. We got down with our passports and waited for our turn in the queue at the customs and immigration office. The queue here was short and so things moved quickly and we boarded the bus again after our passports were stamped. 

Once you pass the immigration building, the palm views give way to some resorts, backwater views with beautiful water villas  till we reach the second checkpoint.  Here the driver announced that we must unload our baggage for scanning, passport and visa check for our entry into Singapore. The time given here is just 30 minutes. One has to get the processing done and reach the exit gate within 30 minutes to board the same bus, failing which the bus will leave, but the next bus( whenever it comes) will carry the passengers.(the buses are allowed only 30 minute parking time). There were many passengers from other buses at the immigration office, but plenty of counters and swift officials helped speed up the process. So once again it was a smooth sail and we reached our bus well within time. But it is difficult, if you are not agile or drag heavy luggage.

While the trip was longer due to these checks, it was a great experience. The journey threw us sights of the huge Malaysian peninsula which was worthwhile. The blue back  waters,  the water villas (fishing homes)  and the drive on the second link expressway  which links Malaysia with Singapore over the straits of Johor was memorable.

The link way ended in a remarkably green area. The water views gave way to city views of streamlined traffic, majestic MNC buildings surrounded by beautiful gardens. And, I knew I had arrived in the city of merlion, my dream city Singapore. 

It was raining when we entered singapore and it was a drenched Singapore that i saw till we reached the Golden mile complex which was  the  final stop of the bus.

Our starting point

wanted to capture the water villas but the bus was moving and so moved to the next frame

                                There you see the Singapore city a busy  port  from the second link express way
                                                      You can't escape the toll fee anywhere
                                     Singapore through a rainy window
                                        MNC buildings surrounded by  gardens
                                  This is one of the most majestic and world's costliest building
And that's the Singapore flyer equivalent to London eye, They are two of a kind.  Again taken from a moving bus

And I reach Singapore, will take a break from my travelogue which i enjoy writing, my next post a book review of a book i enjoyed reading recently


  1. you know .. my dream is todo a road trip from UK to India .. madness I know but I really want to :)
    those are beautiful pics


    1. Road trip from UK to India is a difficult dream alright, but you can do it if you put your heart into it. Hav'nt we hear d of people aged 50 years going around the world in bicycle. Wishes for your dream to be realized:)
      thank you Bikram

  2. Thanks for the nice travelogue. And, thanks for sharing these beautiful photos. You are lucky the immigration line was short. Usually, it is huge,

    1. Thank you, thank you, yes we were lucky:)

  3. A border crossing by land is always evocative. Much more "romantic" than a sterile flying in by air. Thankfully you had a nice experience - often these crossings aren't so great.

    For a completely different experience on a land crossing, read this blogger's account

  4. read the account that you referred to. We were lucky indeed,

    There were too many counters to handle the passengers and moreover I must credit the officials too for being so dedicated. no exchange of talks , no chai sipping or no sulking officials. The queue and the counter work were like well oiled machinery, the only problem was lugging the luggage from the bus through the lengthy walk area as many older people and people with young children found it difficult. We of course had teens who were of great help.

  5. Interesting travelogue! I liked how the buses were allowed only 30 minutes parking! A well thought strategy. That definitely must be helping in a smooth journey ahead. The pics are great too :)

    1. but the buses do leave and many have missed the bus. It would be an helpless situation to get stranded in the middle of the road in a foreign country. Thank you, shilpa:)