Coach – Singapore – KL – Singapore or bus or train? That is the question!
In this article, I’ll be sharing my ideas and reviews on the travel, both from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (KL) and from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by land route. I’ll mainly focus on luxury coaches as well as buses. And also share with you, why not train to JB or KL? So should you go for a bus or coach from Singapore to KL or KL to Singapore? Later in the article, I’d also talk about buses and coach to KL. This is what we intend to explore here.
I’ll try my best to provide correct information in this article. All information should be correct at the time or posting and/or update of the article. However, I’d suggest checking with the relevant companies and authorities before you finalize your travel. This will make sure that your travel remains pleasant and safe. You can get some of such information when you buy tickets online. I’ll paste some links to the ticketing website and other resources to facilitate this for you. You may also consider searching for any missing information on your own if you feel like it.
I am sharing my experiences and knowledge here with you. So if you are traveling from KL to Singapore or Singapore to KL, especially if you are traveling for the first time, you can decide how to travel. What is the best way to travel?
Luxury Coach Singapore – KL
Several companies offer travel service by first or business class like luxury coaches to the green, clean city of Singapore.
Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by a luxury coach can take 5-6 hours generally. However, if traffic congestion is high, it can take up to 8 hours or so. Traffic jams are very common, especially on long-weekends – when a day or two of holidays fall just after a weekend. Such traffic jams are also witnessed at the beginning and end of school holidays.
Types of coaches
The luxury coaches can be further categorized into various types. Different operators call these differently. Premium coaches with 40 seats. VIP coaches may have 26-30 seats. Superior First Class coaches may have 18 seats or so. Luggage allowance allowed is mostly one 15 kg check-in bag and small hand carry/pax. The luxury coaches are usually double deckers with seats on the upper deck and business lounge for 6-7 passengers downstairs. These seats are for all passengers to use for short time. Some luxury coaches may sell tickets for few seats (not all) there for walk-in passengers.
Cabin environment, meals, and toilet
Cabin environment of these luxury coaches is often excellent. Air conditioning can be too cold. So do bring a long sleeve jacket or cardigan for a comfortable travel, especially if you don’t like cold environment.
Seats are mostly excellent, comfortable, reclining and ergonomic. Some operator coaches have cocoon seats with back massage facilities. You will have ample knee and leg space. Most luxury coaches have on-seat LCD touch screens for an individual passenger. You may have at your disposal a variety of infotainment and entertainment. Each seat has its own reading light, plug point for laptop or mobile phone recharging. Most luxury coaches serve meals with options of Halal or vegetarian (must pre book). The cabin crew also serve drinks and water to the passengers. Onboard Wi-Fi is available in some coaches.
On board, toilets are available for ‘short use’ (pass urine). For ‘long use’, you can request the staff to stop the coach at the next highway rest area.
Booking, check-in, and luggage
All luxury coaches ticket bookings are possible through various ticketing websites or through their call centers. You can book tickets as early as 4-6 weeks before your actual travel date. Luggage compartments are available in these luxury coaches but please do make sure your luggage is kept in the luggage compartment of the same bus you are traveling.
As a precaution, please carry all your belongings with you when you alight and go for immigration and customs clearance at Malaysia – Singapore border. Sometimes, if your passport is new, or you belong to a ‘flagged’ country or you need a visa on arrival, you will need to stay longer than the coach can wait for you.
Coach operators and their pick-up and drop-off locations
If you ask me of the coach operators between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, I would mention Tanstar Solitaire, Nice Imperial, and Executive.
Nice coaches depart from Terminal KTM Old Railway Station, also from the KL Sentral Bus Terminal and Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS). So you will have the option to select time and bus station when you book the ticket online. The drop-off place in Singapore is The Plaza @ Beach Road. At TBS, you can wait in NICE lounge with complimentary food and coffee.
Transtar is the luxury coach that plies between KL and Singapore. The Transtar Solitaire is 18 seater and Transtar First Class is 16 seater couch. In these coaches, the seats are individual with your own isle access. It departs from various locations in KL, including Jalan Imbi (No.135. opposite Oversea restaurant), Berjaya Times Square, Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS), One Utama Complex. So while booking, you have options to select the most appropriate location and time. In Singapore, it currently stops at Golden Mile Complex, 5001, Beach Road #01-12.
Coach to KL
As mentioned above, the travel time from KL to Singapore and from Singapore to KL varies between 5 to 8 hours, depending on the traffic conditions. To enter Malaysia, the coaches from Singapore usually take Tuas 2nd Link Expressway. Sometimes they may use the Johor Causeway as well.
Luxury coaches to KL
Transtar Solitaire, Nice, and Aeroline are to name a few. These are double decker coaches which also ply from KL to Singapore. On board services, as mentioned above in review about coaches from KL to Singapore, are also provided in these coaches. These include on board food and beverages, individual LCD touchscreens, and luxury seats, etc.
Coach to KL pick up locations
The correct pickup locations can only be found on ticketing website as these keep changing and so is the departure schedule. You can find and select this when you buy the ticket online. The information here is only a guide. Mostly, the luxury coaches to KL depart from Golden Mile Complex (Transtar coach departs mostly from this place). There are some other locations as well. These include Boon Lay shopping center, Plaza @ Beach Road (Nice coach departs mostly from this place), Harbor Front, etc.
Bus to KL from Singapore and Bus to Singapore from KL
Besides luxury, executive, first class, business class and premier class coaches, there are many air-conditioned buses for comfortable economy travel. These buses are cheap and reasonably comfortable for economy travel.
Buses from Singapore to KL
The Golden Coach Express is probably the only bus service which departs from Singapore (current pickup location is Concord Shopping Center) and plies directly to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA/KLIA2), Malaysia. Grassland Express Bus alights passengers at Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur. This location is good for tourists as is in the city center, whereas TBS Bus Terminal is somewhat away from the city center. Most other buses alight passengers at the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS). Grassland Express departs from Golden Mile Complex. KKKL and Causeway Link Express are two other bus operators to name, which ply from Singapore to KL and back. Causeway Link Express departs from Jurong East (Singapore) to Kuala Lumpur.
Advice for passengers with new passport, passengers from flagged countries, and those who need visa on arrival
As mentioned above in the ‘Luggage Advice”, it’s better to carry all your belongings with you when you alight and go for immigration and customs check at Malaysia – Singapore border. This is because if you fall under the category of passengers who have a new passport, or if you are from the country that is ‘flagged’ for security concerns, or you need a visa on arrival (where allowed), you’d need more time at the checkpoints. More than 30 minutes in most cases. The bus or coach will not wait for you for more than 30 minutes. If your coach or bus leaves while you are still stuck at the customs and immigration checkpoint, you will end up buying a new ticket for going to KL, from Johor Bahru (JB).
Advice for a better option
The best strategy, in this case, is to go to JB first by a local Singapore – JB linking bus. And then, go to KL from JB, by another bus or luxury coach, after you have cleared your immigration and customs checks. If you take a Causeway Link Express bus ticket from Singapore to Johor Bahru, you can use the same ticket after Singapore immigration and customs check to cross the Johor Straits to Johor Bahru and then alight to get the Malaysian immigration and customs clearance.
Once that is done, you can use the same bus ticket to go to Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal by Causeway Link Express to take another bus to KL. You can use any Causeway Link Express bus from Singapore until Larkin Bus Terminal. Please note that Larkin Bus Terminal has many buses going to KL but this is not the only bus terminal in JB. The luxury coaches and buses also depart from some other places.
Please note that the Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal has many buses going to KL but this is not the only bus terminal in JB. The luxury coaches and buses also depart from some other places.
Time options for buses to KL
Once in JB, you can take bus, coach or luxury coach to KL. If you leave Singapore in the morning, you can book a bus ticket from JB to KL online for a late afternoon bus or the evening bus, if that is more appropriate for you. Once someone mentioned to me, it is better to take a luxury coach
Once someone mentioned to me, it is better to take a luxury coach from Singapore (or JB) in the late evening and go KL at night time, if you can sleep on the bus. You’d save the hotel room cost ($25 or more) and in lesser price($20 or so) would also reach Kuala Lumpur, comfortably! Not a bad idea, if it suits you.
Luxury coaches and buses from Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur
The following are few of the reputed express buses that ply from JB to KL.
KKKL Express bus, Causeway Link Express, and Transnational buses ply from Terminal Pengangkutan Awam, Larkin (Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal) to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) of KL.
One of the luxury coaches that ply from JB to KL is Aeroline, which picks up passengers from Persada Johor International Convention Centre and alights passengers in front of Corus Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
Train to JB – Singapore – KL
Train to JB / Singapore – KL sector is not a very popular option these days, probably because trains are infrequent, and schedules may not be convenient for passengers. However, those who do not have time constraints, traveling by train is not a bad option. I’ll write more about the train to JB/Singapore – Kuala Lumpur at some other time as it needs a full page review.
Singapore – KL – Singapore Rent a Car
If you love to drive, this can be an option to consider. North-South Highway (PLUS Highway) between KL and JB is a good picturesque highway. Better safe than sorry: Don’t over speed while driving on this highway. There are speed trap cameras on this highway at many places. This topic warrants a separate review and I’ll try to post one at other some time. [Click here to rent a car]
Is it worth to stop by at Melaka for a night or two?
If you are a tourist traveler, never been to Melaka before and if you don’t have time constraints, it is worth to stop by at Melaka instead of traveling directly from Singapore/JB to KL or KL to Singapore/JB. Melaka has all ingredients to be a tourist city – good food, good sights and scenes and best of all – cheap!
Have happy and safe travels – “Selamat Jalan“.
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