How to get from Singapore to JB
Those who have been longing to cross over to the neighbouring land of JB for some cheaper shopping to stock up on essentials and chilling at aesthetic JB cafes will be glad to know that restrictions have since eased, and travelling over is now easy peasy.
From the different modes of transport to take and their expected costs, to tips that we personally found helpful on our recent trip over, here’s the 2022 guide on how to get to JB.
– Preparations before travelling over –
Image credit: KKM Facebook
Yes, yes, we’re all itching to head over for some long overdue retail therapy and affordable foot massages. But before you make any solid plans, here are a couple of things to note:
- For fully-vaccinated travellers, no quarantine or pre-departure and on-arrival testing is needed.
- For partially or unvaccinated travellers under the age of 17, no quarantine is needed but you’ll have to take a pre-departure PCR test 2 days before your arrival date, and another on-arrival test.
- Those partially or unvaccinated travellers aged 18 and above will also require the same 2 tests, and will have to be quarantined in Malaysia for 5 days, regardless of the test results.
The 2 main sections to fill in are “Travel for xx” and “Overseas Vaccination Details”.
Image credit: Oh Qian Yi
To ensure a smooth vacation in JB, you’ll have to prep the following things that will be needed during your trip:
- Check that your passport has at least 6 months of validity; if not, book a passport renewal appointment with ICA ASAP.
- Save a copy of your Vaccination Certificate from HealthHub; you can also print out a hardcopy for convenience.
- Verify your vaccination status on MySafeTravel – this typically takes 5 or more working days to update, so it’s best not to leave this to the last minute.
- Download the MySejahtera app and fill in your information under “Traveller”. This app is the equivalent of our TraceTogether app, where you’ll have to turn on your bluetooth and scan the respective QR codes when entering establishments.
Note: As of 1st May 2022, the MySejahtera app is no longer needed for entering establishments.
Tip: When filling in your details on MySafe Travel, have all your info such as your vaccination dates, your vaccination batch numbers, and address of accommodation for those staying overnight on hand. Exiting the app halfway through may cause the app to refresh and you’ll have to restart the whole application.
– Getting to JB –
Now that you’ve got your travel prep sorted out, it’s time to settle your transportation. If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest LTA updates, here’s everything you need to know.
Cross Border Shuttle Bus
The transportation we went for was the Cross Border Shuttle Bus, which picks you up from Woodlands Checkpoint CIQ and drops you off after a 15-minute ride at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar for a small fee of $2. Remember to bring the exact amount of cash as this service does not provide change.
You’ll alight here and proceed on foot to customs.
To get to Woodlands CIQ, hop on a 10-minute cab ride from Woodlands MRT or take bus 911, 912 or 912B and alight at Woodlands Train Checkpoint.
You’ll need to walk about 900m after alighting, or you can change to bus 160 – which will be resuming services on 1st May 2022 – and alight at the W’Lands Checkpoint bus stop.
Image credit: Causeway Link Facebook
However, this shuttle bus service will be terminating its services on 30th April 2022.
Cross border bus services
If you missed the $2 shuttle service, fret not as our beloved bus services are returning from 1st May 2022.
Image credit: Causeway Link Facebook
Depending on which buses are more convenient for you, these are the locations available and their respective fees. From 1st June 2022, only cashless payments including EZLink, Nets and ManjaLink are accepted.
SBS Transit will also be bringing back the following buses:
- 160 that goes between Jurong East and Johor Bahru
- 170 which commutes between Queen Street Terminal and JB Larkin Terminal
- 170X that travels between Kranji MRT station and JB Sentral
SMRT bus 950’s cross-border service from Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange and JB Sentral Terminal will also be making a comeback, and Transtar Travel will reinstate TS1, TS3, TS6 and TS8 services.
If you’ve been reminiscing about the drives up to JB, you can revisit these trips and do so now.
Image credit: Simply Enjoy JB
Similar to pre-Covid days, your passports will be checked and digitally stamped, and toll fees are charged to your CashCard. While we’ve had friends who’s vaccination statuses were not checked by officers, it’s always good to have your completed details on the MySejahtera app just in case.
You can also get a cab from the Queen Street taxi terminal, or hire a car from taxi companies such as Strides with licensed cross-border taxi drivers to bring you across.
Those who prefer flying in can hop on any flight that leads you to JB so long as you’re fully vaccinated. If you have yet to get all your vaccinations, you’ll need to quarantine for 5 days before roaming around JB. There’s a variety of airlines to choose from including AirAsia, so plan your trip and book away.
– Upon arrival at JB –
After you’ve cleared JB customs, follow the path and walk towards JB Sentral.
For travellers who opted for land transport, the scene upon arrival in JB isn’t too different from what it was before the pandemic.
These stands don’t open till 9am so you can hang around and take some “arrived in JB” selfies while waiting.
If you’re planning on getting a SIM card to let your folks back in SG know of your safe arrival, there are several stands right outside selling them.
Image credit: Alvin Wong
The stalls we saw offered 3 different mobile service providers – Maxis, Celcom and Digi, which are among Malaysia’s main telcos. However, remember to double check on the prices as there are specific ones only for Malaysians, and others for non-Malaysians.
You can also hit up the nearby money changer shops to exchange for Malaysian Ringgit. We came across one that’s next to a SIM card store, and the exchange rate was similar to the ones we checked in Singapore – S$1 to ~RM3.1.
City Square Mall is a stone’s throw away from the customs.
After that, you’re all set and ready to begin your JB journey! Remember to keep your masks on when you’re travelling around, and check in on the MySejahtera app when entering an establishment.
Note: As of 1st May 2022, wearing of masks outdoors is optional and checking in using MySejahtera is no longer required.
– Getting back to Singapore –
After all the fun in JB, getting back to Singapore – and reality – is straightforward. For those travelling via land, you’ll basically be going through the same processes as when you arrived – head over to customs, go through the necessary passport and luggage checks and head over to the bus station.
If you’re heading back via the Cross Border Shuttle Bus before it closes on 30th April 2022, the bus fare will only set you back at RM2 (~S$0.64) thanks to our exchange rate. Or, you can take the Causeway Link buses that are available after 1st May 2022.
Travellers returning via air are required to submit the SG Arrival Card within 72 hours before arriving in Singapore.
Travelling to JB and back
The long-awaited day trips and short holidays can happen with ease thanks to the reinstatement of pre-Covid transport modes. You are no longer limited to hiring private cars or VTL flights to JB, and convenient buses from Newton or Kranji are now available.
Try to avoid travelling during peak hours like Friday nights or PHs as you might encounter long queues at customs or intense traffic jams. Our team arrived on a Tuesday morning and departed on a Thursday night, with each taking less than 40 minutes – including the bus ride – each way. Pretty easy for a bunch of folks who haven’t crossed the causeway in 2 years.
For more JB related things:
Originally published on 24th June 2019. Last updated on 29th April 2022.
Photography by Alvin Wong.