Singaporeans love travelling to Malaysia, but the truth is that there are certain inconveniences. Since we’re mostly only there for short trips, we just suck it up.
But… what if you could skip the snaking bus lines and queues at the checkpoint? What if you could avoid the aggressive, exorbitant cab drivers who want to eat you alive?
Well then. You might want to try these tips out.
Take the train from Woodlands Checkpoint
If you haven’t heard of Shuttle Tebrau, it’s time you did. Shuttle Tebrau is a dedicated train service that runs 22 trips between Woodlands and Johor Bahru daily.
The train service, started in July 2015, is aimed at reducing massive traffic congestion on the causeway. Which is what everyone detests, but forces themselves to sit through. Not anymore.
The ride takes just five minutes in total and costs S$5 from Woodlands to Johor and RM5 vice versa.
The best part? Ticket holders go through checkpoint counters that are separate from travellers who take buses. AND you clear both Singapore customs and Malaysia customs before you even get on the train at Woodlands. Shiok.
Train tickets are available for sale 30 days in advance, both online and at ticket counters. Pro tip: You’d want to book your tickets once they’re available, because they’re snapped up fast.
Rent a car in Malaysia
While it’s impossible to do a roadtrip in Singapore, there is plenty of road up in Malaysia. But it’s not always safe like we’re used to here, so we take buses instead. What roadtrip? Hello long, dreadful bus rides.
An alternative is to rent a car in Malaysia. It’s (relatively) cheap without the dangers associated with driving a Singapore car, and petrol is… well, it’s affordable. Like RM2.61 for RON97 affordable.
Japanese cars are more expensive, but even so, they go for $78 a day. And since roadtrips should never be done alone, that’s a maximum of $39 a day, for adventure on the Malaysian roads.
Here’s the thing we never ever consider: getting data in Malaysia. Especially when it’s just a day trip to JB. For what? Need to take out SIM card all. So troublesome, you think.
Well. It doesn’t always have to be troublesome (if you’re a Singtel user, you can get ReadyRoam at $5/GB in Malaysia. Tell you this is sponsored already). And data can come in extremely useful.
Use ride-hailing apps
Safe meh? Here’s the thing. You’re probably in a place where the roads are unfamiliar, so taking a taxi is equally unsafe (or not). You can track your journey, and you have the driver’s profile.
Safe anot? You tell me.
If you’re in a place without cabs, you can easily call for a car instead. You also don’t have to worry about meeting aggressive drivers who want to charge exorbitant rates.
Find new places for food
Humans are creatures of habit, especially in a foreign land without data. If you’re a Singaporean who has been to JB a few times, you’d know where most Singaporeans go to eat (Banana cake! Cafe!). Because you’re one of them.
Besides the good food, one reason why you keep going back is because you don’t know where else to go. Which is where data comes in helpful with Google reviews, Tripadvisor and HungryGoWhere (indeed).
You could always look for new food options before crossing the border, but if you hate planning and like to cross the border on impulse, this could be helpful.
You will be contactable
If you’ve had the horrifying experience of not being able to contact your parents when you were younger, because they went to Malaysia, you’d know how unsettling it can be.
If possible, you’d want to be contactable for your loved ones. And also be connected to your beloved Instagram. So you can update your IG stories for friends who love you.
It’s called being responsible. And you can stop having to buy coffees just to use really slow Wi-Fi.
Singtel ReadyRoam for Singtel subscribers
Not that there’s anything wrong with travelling Malaysia without data, but if you’re already a Singtel user, you might want to try out ReadyRoam -- because it’s only going for $5 per 1GB, valid for 30 days, in Malaysia. So you can make as many impromptu trips as you want -- even if you go all the way to Penang.
Activation is pretty easy as well, via the Singtel app, without having to remove your SIM card. It’ll be just like using mobile data back home, with your own Singapore number.
Is it affordable enough for you to try and change up your short-weekend-trip-to-Malaysia routine? You decide.
This sponsored article by Singtel made us want to go to JB.
Top image from Wikipedia and Taxify