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The most practical way to arrive in Singapore is by plane. If you are visiting both Singapore and Malaysia, then you might want to consider taking a bus or train. Boats are used only when you want to go for a cruise or if you are travelling  to neighbouring Indonesia (Batam or Bintan) or Malaysia (Johor) on a short getaway.

 

By Plane

If you are arriving by plane, Changi Airport (IATA: SIN) is the main International gateway into Singapore. (Unless you are flying in via Berjaya Air). There are 3 terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Budget Terminal. Terminal 1 and 2 is connected by Skytrain. There is a free shuttle bus that goes from the Budget Terminal to the other 2 terminals.

Here are some of the options to get from the Airport to the City:

  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available outside the Arrival halls of all the terminals. Note that there is a Airport pickup surcharge of S$5 on Fri-Sun (5pm to midnight) and S$3 at all other times. A trip to the city will cost about S$20 to S$30. Other surcharges (eg. midnight surchage, CBD surcharge, etc.) also applies. Please refer to our Getting Around guides for a list of the other surcharges.
  • MRT: The MRT is the cheapest and most convenient way to get to the city from the airport. Each trip shouldn't cost more than S$2, depending on where you are alighting. (This excludes a refundable S$1 ticket deposit). You will need to switch to the East-West line at EW4 Tanah Merah station. The MRT station in the airport is located at Terminal 2.
  • Public Bus: Bus terminal can be found at the basement of both Terminal 1 and 2. The locations which the bus service travels to can be found on the boards at the bus terminals. Remember to prepare the exact change as no change will be given. Each trip should not cost more than S$2.10. The first bus usually starts at about 5.30am and last bus leaves at about 11.30pm.
  • Airport Shuttle Service: If you feel that the taxi is too expensive with all the surcharges but you have too much luggage to take a MRT or bus, you might want to consider using this service. This is a six-seater Maxi-Cab service, which charges a flat fee of S$7 per adult and S$5 per child. It operates 24 hours daily from Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Budget Terminal and goes to any hotel in Singapore except Le Meridien Changi Hotel and hotels in Sentosa. The waiting time during Off Peak Hours (6.00am to 6.00pm / 12.30am to 6.00am) is 30 mins while for Peak Hours (6.15pm to midnight), the waiting time is 15 mins. To book a shuttle service, the booking counters are located at: Terminal 1 Arrival Hall Counter GTC No. 3 (Opposite Exit Belt 22), Terminal 2 Arrival Hall Counter No. 13 (After Exit Belt 38) or Budget Terminal Arrival Hall (Near Main Exit). Click here for more details.

 To get from City to Airport: 

  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available for flag down at any part of Singapore. A trip to the airport will cost about S$15 to S$30. Other surcharges applies. Please refer to our Getting Around guides for a list of the other surcharges.
  • MRT: To reach the airport by MRT, go to the nearest MRT station. Take a train to a train interchange and change to the East-West line. (If you are on the North-South Line, go to City Hall. If you are on the North-East line, go to Outram Park). Take a East bound train to EW4 Tanah Merah Station. Once there, change to the shuttle train service which goes to the Airport station.
  • Public Bus: Several buses from various parts of Singapore arrives at the Airport. Please refer to the online bus guides for the buses that arrives in Changi Airport: SBS Transit IRIS and SMRT E-Bus Guide
  • Airport Shuttle Service: This is a six-seater Maxi-Cab service, which charges a flat fee of S$7 per adult and S$5 per child. It picks you up every hourly from all hotels in Singapore (except Le Meridien Changi hotel and hotels in Sentosa). You are required to book at least 3 hours in advanced before the pickup time. To book, call 65428297/ 65425831 or fax your booking to 65428297. Alternatively, you may want to book your return shuttle when you arrive at the following counters: erminal 1 Arrival Hall Counter GTC No. 3 (Opposite Exit Belt 22), Terminal 2 Arrival Hall Counter No. 13 (After Exit Belt 38) or Budget Terminal Arrival Hall (Near Main Exit).

 If you're here only on a transit, Changi Airport has quite a lot of activities and services for you. If you do not intend to check out of Changi Airport and have more than 5 hours before your connecting flight, you might want to register for a free 2 hour sight-seeing tour. There are 3 tours to choose from: Colonial Tour, Cultural Tour or a Lifestyle Tour. Sign up at the Singapore Visitor Center within the transit area in Terminals 1 and 2. Terms and conditions apply. Also, there is a transit hotel, free Internet access and limited sets of X-Boxes among other things at the transit lounge area to keep you entertained.

 

Bus

If you are coming to Singapore from Malaysia, or vice versa, buses are the preferred mode of transportation by the Malaysians working in Singapore to travel between the 2 countries. 

To arrive in Singapore, the 2 popular cities to take buses from are: Kuala Lumpur and Johor.

  • From Kuala Lumpur (KL): This is the capital of Malaysia and home of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). There are a number of bus terminals which offers bus services to Singapore. One of the main bus terminal is Puduraya, located within 100m near Malaysia's Chinatown. Transnasional (Malaysia's biggest long distance bus company) offers economy bus services from Puduraya to Singapore Lavender Street which departs at 8.45am, 10.30am, 1.30pm, 5.30pm, 10.30pm and 11.59pm. Most of the other buses arrives in Golden Mile Shopping Centre, which is a few blocks away from Lavender Street. The journey takes about 5 1/2 hr and takes and cost about RM30 for one way Economy ticket.
  • From Johor: This is the southern most city of Malaysia, and closest to Singapore. Make you way to Larkin Bus Terminal. The cheapest way to get to Singapore is to take bus no. 170. The bus fare is about S$1.60 and operates from 5.20am to 12.10am. Remember to keep your tickets after boarding the bus. After clearing your luggages, show the bus driver your old ticket, and you do not need to pay for the bus fares again. Alternatively, you may board the Singapore-Johor Express from Queen Street. Each trip cost about S$2.40. The Singapore-Johor Express will be faster as it does not stop along the way. Note: For both bus No.170 and Singapore-Johor Express, remember to take your luggage with your when you alight at the immigration and customs points, as the buses will not wait for you.

From Singapore to Malaysia,  

  • To Kuala Lumpur : You may book buses from private operators. Many of the bus operators can be found at Golden Mile Shopping Centre. Most of the buses boards from Golden Mile, Beach Road or Lavender street (all within walking distance from Lavender MRT station). Transnasional (Malaysia's biggest long distance bus company) can be found at Lavender Street. Other operators include Transtar, Grassland, Konsortium, Gunung Raya, etc. Buses departs for Malaysia's Puduraya station at 8.30am, 10am, 12 noon, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 8 pm and 11 pm. An economy ticket cost about S$15.
  • To Johor: The cheapest/ easiest way to reach Johor is to take SBS bus no. 170 from Queen Street (near Sim Lim Square). Remember to keep your tickets after boarding the bus. After clearing your luggages, show the bus driver your old ticket, and you do not need to pay for the bus fares again. Alternatively, you may also take the Singapore-Johor Express. Both bus no. 170 and Singapore-Johor Express stops at Larkin Bus Terminal. The Larkin Bus Terminal is a major bus terminal where you may book buses that goes to any state in Malaysia. You will need to alight at both Singapore and Malaysian customs checkpoint. Remember to bring your luggage along with you, as the buses will not wait for you.

Note: Avoid taking buses between Malaysia and Singapore during peak periods, like during the Chinese New Year period. If you decide to do so, please book the bus tickets way in advance.

 

Train

The train service between Singapore and Malaysia is operated by the Malaysian railway network, KTMB. 

There are 3 train services from Kuala Lumpur station (Sentral Kuala Lumpur) to Singapore: Ekspress Rakyat (People's Express), Ekspress Sinaran Pagi (Morning Express), and Ekspress Sinandung Malam (Evening Express).  These services operates once a day to and from Sentral Kuala Lumpur. The cheapest adult fare available is on the Economy class (AEC) of the Ekspress Rakyat at RM$19.

Go to KTMB's website to check the route, seat availability or to make an online booking: http://www.ktmb.com.my

The Singapore train station is located near the Central Business District in Tanjong Pagar. It is a short walk (20min) to the nearest MRT station (Tanjong Pagar MRT station).

The train rides takes about 7 hr 20 min between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The train journey may be longer than some of the direct long distance bus journeys operated by the private bus companies. The availability of seats may be quite limited and the timings of the services are quite restrictive.

 

Boat

Travelling by boats are usually used for short-getaways to the neighbouring countries or if you are going on board Cruises.  The more popular destinations for getaways are Bintan (Indonesia) and Batam (Indonesia). Many locals go to Bintan for the beach, spa resorts and golf; and Batam for their watersports, golf and spa packages.

There are 2 main ferry terminals operated by Singapore Cruise Centre : SCC@Harbour Front and SCC@Tanah Merah. These 2 terminals operates a majority of the cruises and ferries to Bintan and Batam.

If you are interested in going for a side trip to these places, do book a tour package from a local travel agent in advance (before you visit Singapore).  You will be able to get better deals than if you were to book the individual items by yourself.


(C) Copyright 2007. Sunshine Traveller.com

 

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