Thursday, December 29, 2011

Backpacking Malaysia - Singapore - Brunei

If you're one of those lazy to do a bit research, utterly clueless about South-East Asian geography, and baffled that I got to visit 3 countries in one go, then stick around. I'll let you in on a little secret.

The Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei route is absolutely attainable and you don't have to be moneyed to be able to do that. But it will definitely be helpful if you brought out a map now (or google it) as I explain the routes.

My original itinerary is as follows:

* Clark - Kuala Lumpur
* Kuala Lumpur - Johor Bahru
* Johor Bahru - Kuching
* Kuching - Kota Kinabalu
* Kota Kinabalu - Clark

While I was clicking away and booking my online flights, I strategically located them in such a way that it will let me explore nearby countries. Now if you take a second look at the map, you'll see that Johor Bahru (JB) is near to Singapore. And if you look at Kota Kinabalu (KK), it is in close proximity to Brunei. I could've also included Indonesia in my itinerary but that's another story, and that'll require another few weeks to explore!

So how did i do it?

Coming from Senai Airport, I didn't waste any more time by getting a bus that would bring me to Kota Raya.
cost: RM 8

From Kota Raya, buses would frequent the terminal picking up passengers headed to Singapore. Make sure you know and specify your destination; otherwise, you'd have to pay double.

[As for me, I thought they only go to Kranji MRT. It was only after I got out of Singapore immigration that I found out that they also service Woodlands Bus Interchange, which should be the best route for my destination. Ergo, I had to pay again. So, make sure you know where you're going.]

Also, make sure that you keep the ticket the bus driver issues. That way, you won't pay twice. Remember, you'll be on and off the buses to go through immigration exiting Malaysia and entering Singapore.

cost: RM1.1

* NOTA BENE: On our first drop off, I found it odd to spot a desk positioned by the road. On it, 3 Indian-looking locals were queued while another man sitting behind the desk were filling out immigration cards. Since there were no signs in english, I waited patiently for my turn. But when I saw the men shelling out a couple of ringgits, my instincts tell me something was off. This guy was pulling a scam on them! So I immediately went pass them and straight up the stairs. And right there, i saw the official booth.

travel tip

The best way to get around Singapore is to get yourself an EZLink. It'll be your ticket to all rides--bus, MRT, LRT. That way, you won't have to fumble through your purse looking for loose change.

cost: S$15

travel tip

If you're a Filipina going to Singapore, read this.


This leg has only one itinerary:

KK-Labuan ferry: 3hrs
Labuan-Muara ferry: 1 hr
Muara-Bandar Seri Begawan bus: 30 mins

The ferry always leaves KK at 8am. If you want to get guaranteed seats, you can purchase your ticket a day before. Their booth (in Jesselton Point) is open until 1.30pm.

travel tip

It's always cheaper if you get a straight-through-ticket from KK to Muara than buying KK-Lbn & Lbn-Mra.

RM 53 + RM 3 (Terminal fee)

Once you reach Labuan, and assuming you got a straight-through-ticket, you still have to go to the Ticketing Counter to pay for another Terminal Fee (for Labuan). you can't get away with it, because they check it before letting you in.

cost: RM 5.

From the Muara ferry terminal, you can catch a bus that brings you to Bander Seri Begawan. Just walk straight out the hall. You won't miss it, there's only one Bas Express parked there.

cost: B$2travel tip
Since Singapore and Brunei have practically the same exchange rate, you can use your leftover Singapore dollars as tender in Brunei. it is widely accepted.

travel tip
If you're a Filipina going to Brunei, read this.

Original journal entry written in 2007


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...