Tips on taking train from Singapore to Malaysia



Update [March 23, 2013] Check out the FAQ too

I went on the overnight train to Kuala Lumpur last weekend and it was really fun–the train ride and the trip. For those who have been wondering how to take the old rail train to Malaysia, here are some money saving tips that you can use to save on the train trip from Singapore to Malaysia. My guide will focus on buying tickets online.

1. Leave from JB Sentral instead of Woodlands, Singapore

Actually, you can stop reading from here because this is the best tip I have. As noted in my previous post announcing my trip, you will save half the amount if you leave from Malaysia instead of Singapore.

Based on the 2nd class sleeper ticket, I

Since the Singapore and Malaysia train stations are just a causeway away, it really makes more sense to travel to JB Sentral on public bus and board there. Plus, the KFC at JB Sentral is 24-hours, eat all the fried chicken you want!

If you really want to leave from Singapore (so you can skip the torturous bus ride across the causeway), I’d suggest you buy a cheap seat (about S$17) from Woodlands CIQ-JB Sentral. When the train reaches JB Sentral, you can hop off and go to your carriage. (The ticket checking for the JB passage starts when the train moves.)

2. But come back to Woodlands not JB

Am I confusing you? Yes, you leave from JB but come back to Woodlands. Why? The ticket from Malaysia to Singapore is in RM so it’ll still be cheap. You’ll also skip the horrible traffic jam on the causeway, especially if it’s commuting hours.

3. Choosing where to buy tickets

Back to ticket buying, I’ll assume that you are based in Singapore. Buy the ticket online instead of heading to JB Sentral’s ticketing counter. Plus, you’ll be charged in Singapore dollars if you buy directly at Woodlands.

My guide here will focus on buying online. KTMB’s Web site is a bit old school–it even has frames. But it gets it job done.

First check the timetable to figure out which train to catch. I picked the 23.55 train from JB because it arrives at 06.30 in KL. Saves me travelling time during the day. Then sign up for an account to book your tickets.

4. Selecting the tickets online

This part is slightly confusing because of KTMB’s naming convention:

  • JB Sentral=Johor Bahru train station
  • Sentral Kuala Lumpur=KL Sentral
  • Woodlands CIQ=Woodlands station

Pick the timing that you want to leave. Then you choose the type of sleeper/seat you want. I’d recommend the sleepers for overnighting to KL. There are 5 types of seats/sleeper.

  • ADMFB: Air-conditioned Day Night First-class Berth
  • ADNFD: Air-conditioned Day Night First-class Deluxe
  • ADNS: Air-conditioned Day Night Sleeper
  • AFC: Air-conditioned First Class
  • ASC: Air-conditioned Second Class

I’ve only been on ADNS’s upper bunk. It was quite a pleasant ride/sleep, minus the shaking and snoring man.

I was on the upper bunk

The page says you will need to key in passengers’ names and identificaiton number. They never checked mine against the ticket so if you are in a hurry, I think you can just put fake names/ID number.

5. Payment and proof

Pay using a regular credit/debit card to buy the tickets.

They will not send you a proof of confirmation, so remember to save the page. I usually save my Web pages in PDF form so it prints out nicer. I use PDF Creator which shows up as a virtual printer in my Print tool. (Don’t click the toolbar when installing).


Printing out the ticket is necessary. DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT.

6. Things to bring on train

Waiting for the trip to arrive is the hardest step. Here’s something you need to know about the trip: There is no food and drink station onboard so bring your own munchies and liquids.

Attention! During my trip in October, I found out that KTMB stopped providing blankets. Please bring something warm for the ride, it gets really cold.

Safety pins to pin your sleeping curtain will be very helpful. I found myself peering into curtains on my way back from the loo. Not much privacy for whoever was in it.

The only bus that seems to be on duty around 23.00 is the SBS and SMRT buses. So there is not much choice in the bus leaving Singapore to JB. Oh, the train might break down, like it did on my trip. Just sit/sleep through it with a smile.

BONUS! JB Sentral map

Many have been asking me about how to get to JB’s train station. I’ve used Google Map to show you that it’s really really easy to reach JB Sentral (where the station is). Map of JB Sentral, train station

Update [March 23, 2013] Check out the FAQ

Update [December 24, 2013] Comments are now closed.

123 thoughts on “Tips on taking train from Singapore to Malaysia

  1. Woah this is amazing! Thank you so much, very very useful. I took the train with my family to KL before, now I want to take a trip on my own. Besides, Krispy Kreme is in KL, deserves a grand journey up. FUN!!!

  2. Hi..good tip…something I should have shared long time ago! Thats exactly what I have been doing in the past! Train fr spore to jb then buy ticket on line from jb to kl..U save 50%…if in a big group like when you book the whole carriage for the family…its a lot of savings!

    1. Hi i just want to noe izit will be safe to take train from jb to kl? Coz tis is my first time for me to bring the whole family by train.

      1. Yes it is very safe. I would say even safer than the bus because of unlikely traffic accidents.

  3. Hi! Can I ask for some help? I am planning to take the overnight KTM train departing 11.30pm. Prior to that I am attending a show that ends at 10.30 pm at about Marina Bay Sands. Probably will take a taxi. Do you think I can make it to the station by 11.30? Including getting a taxi that late at night after an event?

      1. hi, love your site! can you please help…I ma trying to book the overnight train from JB to KL on 29th March but when I put in the dtae the only option is the 9am train….how do I get the night train as an option?

  4. hi! does the bus from Queen street go directly to the KL Sentral Station? because i red somewhere it goes to larkin station.

    – we’ll be there on the 27th

    1. Hello Justin,
      The bus from Queen Street stops at the JB immigration center (“JB Sentral”), which is on the way to Larkin. [This guide shows which bus to take from Queen Street. (Yellow bus!)
      If you stay along the red line, it might be easier to take the bus to Singapore immigration from Woodlands MRT. But that will take another post to explain the procedures.
      Have fun!
      -Yun Qing

  5. Hi Yun Qing,
    Me and my sis are planning to have a trip from KL train via Singapore. My question is if i am going to purchase an online bookings KL to SG, do we need to stop in JB sentral then take a bus straight to woodlands for us to save fare or purchase ticket onlien from KL to woodland straight?
    Hoping a response from you.
    Thank you.

    1. Hello migo31,
      You should head to Woodlands if you are coming from Kuala Lumpur. It’s written in #2 tip. (but maybe it’s drowned out by the other text.”
      Have fun on the train!

  6. I am so much disappointed, i booked a ticket just while ago, and when in payment transactions through Maybank, suddenly the internet sucks, my transactions failed and i checked my Maybank account already deducted. And in KTM stated that transaction failed. I dont have reference number to track my transactions,,,Pls. help me about this u have any idea to help me on this matter? THank you.

    1. I’ve always feared this happening to me. But I am not sure how to solve this. You should call them up. Give them the dates and your seat/bed numbers.

  7. Hi Yun
    Wonderful tip! at first it was very confusing for a foreign national like me. However, i just had one tiny doubt.
    Is there any way to reach JB from Singapore (business district or any other prominent location in singapore) via mass transit system (Metro/Tube). I am planning to go to KL on 20th night. Please advise.

    Ashish Shah

  8. Hi Yun
    As you mention the train might breakdown, do you reach Sentral KL as the stated time 6:30am?
    I’m intending to buy the tickets online from JB Sentral to Sentral KL. So I just need to show them the printed eTicket and I will be able to board the train at JB Sentral?


    1. Hello Alvin,
      The time the train broke down, I was 1.5 hours late and even had to take the other train into KL Sentral,
      But it only broke down once in my 5 trips. It left the station late once but arrived on time.
      Yes, you show the e-ticket (in printed form) when you queue up to board. And the conductor will punch the ticket when you are in the train.

      1. Thanks for your quick response. So it will take about 6.5hrs to reach KL from JB? As some say it take 8hrs for the night train. Have you tried 2nd class before? Wanted to book ADNS but sold out :( so thinking of 2nd class as 1st class is too exp…

      2. The train takes about 6 hours when it is on time (which is most of the time, hopefully).
        My friend took the 2nd class train to KL last weekend. She said it’s not really worth the money as there’s no curtains.
        But it’s better than the common carriage because it’s much quieter.

  9. Hi Yun!
    I´m planning to travel by the KTM train in dec from Singapore to Alor Setar (transit in KL. My travel plan is as follow:

    Singapore > Kuala Lumpur, Train nr 12, 13:45 PM. Arrives KL 20:25 PM.
    then change to Kuala Lumpur > Alor Setar, Train nr 20. Departs 21:20 PM.

    Do you think there will there be enough time between arriving and departing in KL to change train? And if the train breakes down as you described, do you know the common KTM drill for next-leg journey KL-Alor Setar? Will my ticket be useless sort so say? I very much would like to take the morning train from Spore but as I will arrive from Batam I will not make it in time due to the ferry schedule contra traveltime to Woodlands and time difference… (I´m like 30 mins short.)

    Have a nice day!

    1. There is probably enough time to change trains, unless it breaks down. But I am not sure if KTM will refund your ticket if your first train delays so the ticket might be useless. But it’s worth a gamble.
      Have you bought the first leg of your trip? You should leave from JB (which is a bridge away) to save money on the ticket, if you haven’t bought it already.

      1. Havent bought any of them yet, and yes I know pretty much the money deal.
        Plans to buy a one way ticket Woodlands-JB sentral at the KTM counter at woodlands and then continue with pre booked tickets.
        Have sent an email to KTM customer service to try to sort it out abt the refund =)

        Another good website to look at concerning train rides on the malacca is:

  10. I’ve done the night train many many many times between Penang & my hometown Kuala Lumpur. Its cheaper than driving (unless if I bring 2 people along in my car to split costs) & safer & more convenient than the express buses.

    More Tips:

    – Always Bring Earplugs. Otherwise you’ll have problems sleeping.

    – don’t bother about the day train, as the journey is too long & takes too much of your day time. Unless you have lots of time on your hands

    – on the other hand, you waste little waking hours with the overnight train. Get a bed, the econ sleeper is only a few dollars more than the seat. I did seats before from Penang KL… trust me, you’ll get no sleep at all; a/c too cold, too many people walking up & down, keeping eye on your luggage, etc.

    – If the toilets in econ class sleeper are too dirty for you, use the loo in first class carriage

  11. I have one query on Your tips mentioned above. I will be going from SG to KL.

    1. I was planning to book ticket from JB central to KL for overnight train and will board the train directly from JB central instead of woodland ?

    2 Where will the immigration take place At JB Central or Woodland Station ? If I l catch a bus to reach JB Central from Woodland in order to board my train.

    1. I’m not sure if you are familiar with taking the bus from Singapore to JB. The immigration process is exactly the same as taking the bus: immigration points at woodlands checkpoint and JBx

      If you buy the KTM ticket leaving from JB, you leave from the building connected to the Malaysian immigration (and is connected to City Square).

      * Woodlands train station is at the checkpoint. It is different from Woodlands MRT.

  12. Thanks for the immigration points..No I have not taken the bus earlier from SG to JB..What is the best way to reach JB with Family in order to board the train and save the currency impact in fare. ? Can you please guide..

    1. I think there’s a inner city train for your route and you can buy the tickets at the station without booking.

  13. Hi Yun.we r planing to take bus to KL fr sing,how long is the bus journey will take & how many times does the bus stop?

    1. That will depend on the bus company and the road condition. I haven’t taken the bus for a long time so I am not sure.

  14. Hi thanks for this useful information. As tourists from Europe, I am wondering if I am allowed to purchased 3 tablets from Singapore when I depart Singapore back to KL for my flight out? Are computer tablets exempted from tax? Do I need to declare them when I am on my way out from Singapore via Woodland train station?

    1. You won’t need to declare when you leave Singapore. However, Malaysian custom might be a bit anal and force taxes on your tablets. I’ve seen them demanding a man to pay duties for a table fan (a fan!!!).
      If you need to, take the tablets out of the box to show that you are using it. (Or do it in front of them if they want to charge you.)
      Have a great trip!

  15. Thank you so much for your quick answer. I will certainly follow your advise but I guess I would get only 2 tablets since having the 3rd. tablet would be too risky as my son is only 8 years old. They will ask a lot of question why would my son have a tablet since he is still young.

  16. hi, i would like to know how much the cost for deluxe sleeper (with shower) from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore). thanks.

  17. Hi, I am currently trying to purchase sleeper train tickets from JB Sentral to Kuala Lumpur but the KTM website is only bringing up the daytime train. Has anyone else had this problem?? If so any tips on getting the website to bring up train 24?

    1. Hello, you should choose Sentral Kuala Lumpur instead of Kuala Lumpur (which is one stop after the central train station).

  18. Very useful tips YQ. How about giving some tips for us Malaysia residents travelling to expensive Singapore such as how to get around cheaply, where to stay, where to eat without breaking the bank.

  19. Hi
    I want to travel from Singapore to KL on 12th Feb but the train says sold out already. Any ideas as we are on aschedule and need to be there on that day.

    1. Since the train seats are sold out, you should consider buying bus tickets instead. The date is near Chinese New Year so you will have to book your bus tickets fast too.

  20. we are travelling from jb to bangkok in stages in march. I have tried to book online, but can’t make sense of the booking page. can someone please help

  21. Hi
    How about the custom procedure for entering Singapore by rail? I plan to travel from Tampin/Seremban to Woodlands, where and how should I do my customs clearance?

  22. hi
    am travelling on 10th of march to KL from singapore when is the earliest date i can book the ticket.

  23. That’s the awesome tip for a new comer as me.. ANyway, one question, How long will i spend during the train?

    1. That would depend on your train ride. Most likely 6 hours for JB to KL but longer if the train breaks down.

  24. hi, I will be taking friend who is holding a tourist visa, would like to know if we are taking the train from woodlands SG to KL, do we still need to queue for immigration counter, is there any on board embarkakation? Coz I am afraid that immigration officers will harass my friend like will not be allowed to exit Malaysia to enter SG, coz I heard a lot of stories about it.

    1. For your question, is it about Singapore immigration after you come back from Malaysia or leaving Singapore?
      I’ve not taken the train leaving Singapore so I don’t know how the immigration procedure goes there.
      The only time I’ve witness someone being questioned before entering Singapore at the Woodlands checkpoint was when the information given to the officer was fuzzy.
      I guess you have to make sure that the tourist visa is multi-entry and the days are long enough for your friend to stay in Singapore.

  25. hi. your page is very helpful. i hope you can also help me on this one. i am staying in little india (j. besar) and i want to know how to get from here to singapore zoo via MRT and to woodlands station afterwards (but if buses are inevitable, please include them too). thanks ahead.

  26. Also,
    1. from little india, how can i get to raffles place then sg flyer?
    2. from little india to universal studios

    i’m just visiting sg so i’m not at all familiar with the place. please help me. i appreciate your help much. thanks.

    1. Hello Judie,
      I understand your excitement and confusion about visiting a new place. For Singapore, I suggest using this search engine
      It’s really easy to use. For example, type “jalan besar to singapore zoo” and it will show you the route. Check it out!

  27. Hi, I am an Indian staying in KL sentral..planning to visit Singapore With in next 2 days and will be back by Next monday(27 mar -2013).. Can u please tell me the cheapest way of getting to and fro tickets from KL sentral To Singapore..

  28. Hi,
    I am planning on travelling from Singapore to Tampin and an curios on which options would be best in the am and some unanswered questions for each option:

    1. Buying ticket from jb to tampin, taxi from changi airport to jb. How is immigration/ causeway process at 6am weekday?
    2 buying ticket online from jb, taxi to woodlands, train from woodlands to jb sentral. It seems I may have less than 30 minutes to hop over . Is it possible? What is the immigration process ?
    3 ticket from woodlands to tampin.

    Please help ! Thank you !

    1. Second choice is best. Buy separately online: singapore to jb; jb to tampin. It’ll be same train so you won’t need to change trains.
      This way, you won’t have to be stuck on causeway and risk missing the train (happened to me).
      Singapore’s ticket closes 20 minutes before departure. I learned this the hard way

      1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your answer as it gives me comfort on the choice.

  29. Hi, I am planning to travel to Sentral KL from JB Sentral with my friends (total 4 of us) this coming May. I noted that it is advisable to choose middle seatings instead of near doors due to noises. However I’m not too sure about the seating layout (what they mean by Coach label M6/M7)
    I’ve sent you an email of the snapshot image of balance of seats available for our date of travel. Could you advise which seatings (preferably just adjacent/opposite to each other) should we book?

    Would really appreciate your reply soon as most probably I would be making the booking tonight. Thank you so much! :)

  30. Just wondering if I have to precook when booking online because its not letting me book the leg from JB to KL online and was hoping to go later today.

  31. Thanks for that, that was part of the problem but now it’s telling me I have to book at least 2 days in advance. Any ideas on how to avoid this? Hardly enough time to run off and back on at JB and purchase ticket?

    1. consider catching bus to woodlands, catch bus across causeway and buy the ticket there????? Really easy to do, we did that a couple of weeks ago. Just not sure what time they sell the last tickets? Assume you are going for the overnight train? Otherwise there are loads of buses

  32. Yea that’s my new plan, gonna get bus and transfer to train in JB- normally wouldn’t mind but its a crazy price difference. Thanks so much for your help.

  33. Hi Yun,

    I am planning a trip from Sentral Kl to Singapore.
    Sentral KL to Woodlands CIQ is straight forward. Buy the single journey and save by buying in ringitt
    Am confused about Woodland to Sentral KL.
    1) Buy a ticket from Woodland to JB Sentral in SIN dollar and another from JB Sentral to Sentral KL in Ringitt. But what about the train is it 2 trains or the same train. I am travelling as a group of 4 pax and can save considerably

      1. Hi YQ, many thanks for your useful tip. Please advise if any place to keep luggage at Woodland Station? We will take night train but do not want to carry luagages around before that. We will take tomorrow night train so appreciate your prompt help. Thanks.

  34. Hi
    I am travelling by train from woodlands to kuala lumpur
    Want to know what and how easy is the immigration procedure from woodlands station, as if when passport will be stamped etc

    1. Hi.. a question to ask.
      1st- if i buy tickets frm wdls to jb sentral, must i drop down and go to the next train dat ived bought online frm jb sentral to kl ?

      2nd- can i book the return trip tickets for my return to singapore when i purchasing online booking for my trips?

  35. Question from Robin re pensioners reduced rail fares… it possible to book your multi train reservations by email through KTMB [ JB to KL then KL to Butterworth and Butterworth to Hua Hin ] but then actually pay when collect all tickets from Johore Bahru so can take advatage of reduced fares for over 60s [ includes foreigners ]

    1. Hello Robin. Sorry, I don’t have any experience making e-mail bookings. Good luck.

  36. hi,there
    Liau Yun Qing ..
    Me and my family are planning to have a trip KTM from Singapore to kuala lurmpu.
    Coz tis is my first time for me to bring the whole family by train.
    And i have a few question to know ………
    * i would like to know what time the train off
    * And how much cost for the first class sleeping (with shower) from Singapore to kuala lurmpu)
    *And how long the journey takes to kuala lurmpu
    * i”m going to kl on 25 Dec when and how do i book the tickect…

  37. I’ve booked 1 ticket but I forgot print before close. How can I reprint this? Help me please, thanks.

  38. hi Yun, thank you for the useful tips
    i tried senandung sutera train last year from KL to Singapore round trip, so i boarded from woodlands CIQ station. but next month, i will take Singapore to KL train by senandung sutera again. i was thinking to take bus but might have difficulty about the immigration.

    after reading your tips, i think about taking train from woodlands (take the cheapest one – ASC SGD11) then at JB will take ADNS RM39, at least i don’t have to hop off hop on from the train for immigration. is it a good idea?

    i’m not sure yet because i can’t make online booking at the ktmb website. already sent an e-mail to the call center, still waiting for their reply. please give me your suggestion about my idea ^^ thank you

  39. Hi! I am booking without my passport number. I just put random numbers. Do they check the ticket with the passport number? What is the difference if i choose M6 over M7? Please help.

    1. Hello! They only look at the ticket and not the name or ID number.
      M6 and M7 are different carriages.

  40. Hi, I’m planning to travel from Sing. to KL with my family (Wife, 2 kids- 2.5 yrs – 4.5 yrs, 1 infant). Do I need to buy KTM tickets for my kids (4.5 yrs and 2.5 yrs)? Do u recommend ADNS for us as a family? If I go with ADNS, will they choose the beds randomly (because we need the beds to be close to each others)?

    1. Hi Mohammed

      As part of a recent holiday in Singapore,Malaysia and Thailand,myself and wife recently made the journey from Singapore to Hua Hin in Thailand by train.

      Top tip is if you are starting in Singapore do not start journey from Woodlands,instead get the Express Bus over to Johore Bahru and start your train journey from there also pay for your tickets there….this will cut your cost by half. The Express bus stops at Woodlands where you get of and go through immigration which we found straight forward and you get back on to the same bus,otherwise the next one that comes along as yout ticket is for the journey.

      Beforehand you can book your train journies by email from KTM and pick your tickets up at JB Sentral and then pay in Malaysian Ringetts.

      If you are planning to stop over on route then you will have to book each separate journey eg; JB to KL and the KL to say Butterworth.

      We did three train journies and they all went very smoothly…. we got the sleeper from Butterworth up to Hua Hin which was comfortable and great fun. If you are choosing to get sleepers for any part of your family trips then again book thru KTM and pay at JB or which ever station leaving from in Malaysia.

      The bottom sleeper bed is quite roomy and therefore would suggets just pay for the two bottom ones opposite each other and the kids can double up with adults.

      Try and book in the middle of carriage wether sleeper of normal seating eg row 8 ….less drafts and interruptions from people getting on and off.

      If can give any other tips please get back in touch.

      Have a great journey…..does take longer then the bus but we loved it and seating is reasonably comfortable…if funds possible get Ist Class seats,only small difference in price but far more roomy and the seats tilt back plus you get a bottle of water and piece of cake …what more could you ask for !!!

      Regards Robin

  41. Hi,
    I have been trying to make online booking for the overnight train from JB Sentral to Sentral KL for a few days now but every time i get a “transaction failed error 34” message.
    I have used to same card to do all my bookings in SG as well as Malaysia so I know that the card works just fine.
    Is there a bug in the website …?
    is any one else facing this problem?

  42. Hi,
    Thanks for such clear instructions. I am planning a trip for a group of 12 of us. Reading the thread here, I thought I may want to cross the causeway to book tickets there just to avoid all the hassle. I would like to ask,
    1. Do I need to have all the passport details of all travelers when I book the tickets?
    2. Do I need proof when booking tickets for children & elderly?


  43. Hi
    I was looking to book Sentral Kuala Lumpur to Woodlands CIQ for the overnight train. It looks like they only offer ADNFD (private room w toilet) and no longer offer ADNFB (private room w basin) which was cheaper. I emailed KTMB and they confirmed this. :(

  44. Hi, amazing blog, we have used it extensively for planning our Asian trip. Thank you for all the info! We are a family of 4 from Canada with two teenage daughters (15 and 12), we are arriving at Changi airport on Dec 25 (yeah, Christmas morning) at 7:00am. Is it possible for us to clear customs, immigration and catch the 8:30 train to KL at Woodlands CQ? They say that you need to be there half an hour before departure, so are we really pushing it? My guess is at that time on a holiday morning, traffic will be light so we should be able to get to Woodlands CQ in under 20 minutes, also hoping we can clear Changi customs and immig in 30 minutes.

    1. Hello Peter,

      Thanks for visiting. I think it’s pushing it a bit with your timing. You won’t be sure if the plane will touch down at the scheduled time. It will take about 33 minutes to get to CIQ with normal traffic but we can’t tell if there will be any changes then.

      Why don’t you stay an extra night in Singapore? Then you won’t need to rush. You can even take the night train which is more comfortable..

    2. Hi

      Have to agree others that you would be really pushing it trying to catch morning train.You are so dependent on everything running smoothly !!!!

      In the summer we travelled by train [ three journeys thru Malaysia up to Thailand stopping at KL and Butterworth. We got the express bus from Singapore via Woodlands [ for Immigration ] to Johore Bahru [JB Sentral] and then the train up to KL.

      Apart from the big bonus with the fare being cheaper at half the cost from JB we really enjoyed the train.

      Have you considered taking the afternoon train,If you check out Website Seat61 they will have the latest time tables.We got the 2pm train and it gets into KL at about 10pm. Possible Christmas day may be reduced service?

      You can book your train tickets by email and pay at JB when you collect.

      The express bus is very efficient and you hop off and then back on after going thru the formalities of immigration,pretty straight forward,you will likely then get back on the same bus and continue the 10 minute journey to JB. If for some reason you get delayed at Woodlands there are buses every 10-20 mins as you pay for the bus journey so no problem just jump on the next express bus.

      Hope above helps,either way have a fabulous time ….Malaysia is fantastic ….KL is very easy to get around by public transport and cheap.


  45. Totally agree, whilst Changi is normally really efficient it can take a long time to get through customs. Last time we travelled it took almost an hour and a half. You are also cutting it fine with travel time, Christmas Day is likely to be quiet but again I wouldn’t risk it. Enjoy Singapore overnight….the train is not as special as you might be anticipating. We caught the overnight up to KL last Christmas Eve and I haven’t been forgiven by family yet as I told them it was going to be quaint. Very efficient but not quaint or charming! Have Christmas in Singapore and travel more leisurely the next day!

  46. Thanks Liau, Robin, and Kate for all the comments, very helpful, really appreciate your inputs. We are staying in Singapore twice (6 days total) on our way from Canada and back to Canada – so I am confident we will cover Singapore very well. We are also visiting Thailand and India. Malaysia was a last minute decision when we saw how close KL is to Singapore.

    Well, based on your inputs, our thoughts are that if we get out early, we will try catching a cab and go direct to Woodlands CQ (we wont reserve a seat, but try to book on the spot, even if it means paying in SGD), but if we are delayed in Immigration, we will catch a bus/coach service to KL later in the morning, so we get a couple of days in KL.

    We plan to take the night train on Dec 28th from KL back to Singapore and flying back to Canada on Jan 3rd(schools start Jan 6th!), Tight schedule, but we will have been in Asia for almost one month and its time to get back home.

    Our return trips and flight tickets to Thailand and India are booked, but our itinerary is still open, so any suggestions, ideas and thoughts regarding possible destinations are all welcome! Once again, thank you all for your help.

    1. Hi Peter

      Sounds as if your going to have a very busy schedule !!!

      Tip if you are planning to get up the Petronas Towers in KL,would suggest booking in advance as usually booked and just turning up during holiday period may mean missing out. Re the cost,this can be expensive for a family,with teenagers however a possible saving to take advantage of is that if you are over age 55 is you get pensioner rates [ half price ] even if a that is worth bearing in mind ..

      Menara KL Tower is a cheaper option and gives superb panoramic views of KL city and beyond.

      Whilst in KL sampling the Hawker Street food is great fun lots of tips on the web re this..

      If you get to Bangkok, the river tourist boat is a great option for seeing a lot of the city quite easily. Your ticket lasts all day and you hop on and off at the different jetties close to quite a few famous tourists sites.

      Tip is remember to wear long sleeved top and long trousers as some of sites require certain dress code such as the Grand Palace……if you forget do not worry but do not get caught out by touts outside who try to make money out of tourists through making a non refundable charge for the hire of clothing items,just wait until you get inside the gates and you can pay to loan them easily from official loan store and when you are finished you hand back and you get all your money back.

      We had a smashing time in Singapore,Malaysia and Thailand….am sure you will.


  47. Hi Robin, thanks again for the tips, these are all great tips and we will plan accordingly for KL (Petronas) and Bangkok (river boat). We are very excited about the trip and haven’t been able to talk of anything else recently :-) we are pretty seasoned travellers and have travelled extensively in Mexico and the Caribbean, but this is our first visit to Asia, so a little nervous/ overwhelmed/ excited.

    1. Hi Peter

      You will have a terrific time,hope your family are big foodie fans as you will love the vast array of Hawker street food and not forgetting Food Courts.

      For Singapore suggest sight Trip Advisor.”..Best Street Hawker Food ” will get lots of tips about where to eat cheaply and the food is fab.

      Would certainly recommend Lau Pa Sat ” Boon Tat Street for Satay…stall 7-8 was brill.

      Similarly checkout Trip Advisor for KL…Asia is one big food experience….Happy eating.


  48. Hi im tryin to book online but i cant use my visa/mastercard credit cards. It always says “pincode authorization failed” have u encountered anything like this? Pls help. Thanks so much inadvance.

    1. I don’t remember having such a problem. That must be really tough. I see that you have tried different credit cards. How about trying different browsers?

  49. Hi there! Nice blog by the way :) very informative. I would like to ask if the ADNS sleeper that you suggest includes a shower room? Were planning to reserve the deluxe one because it has its own shower, but its a bit pricy compared to the common sleeper. We really need to take a shower once we get to the train so we can freshen up and be ready for our 1 whole day tour in KL. Hope you can enlighten me in this matter.

    1. ADNS does not have a shower and the toilet isn’t conducive for showering.

      If you are leaving from JB/Singapore, I suggest showering in the toilet [] Even if it’s really gross.

  50. HI, we would be travelling from KL to JB. We are a family of four. Me, my wife and my two daughters aged 9 and 7. We are all of medium built. Would you know if we could just book for two 2nd class sleeper beds and the kids could just double up with the adults?

    Also, coming from KL, how will we know if the train is already at JB Sentral station? Will the train operator announce that we are at JB? Just wanna make sure that we wont miss the station that we are supposed to alight at.


    1. The bed was kind of cosy for my backpack and me. Your kid is probably much bigger than my backpack but since I am slightly larger, you are probably smaller than I am. Conclusion: Not very sure.

      They will announce when the train is at JB. Don’t worry. Plus, Singapore is really just a bridge away if you do miss the stop.

      Safe travels.

  51. Hi Yun Qing, Been referring to your blog quite a number of times! Found it when looking for shower facilities and attracted to your…not so graceful shower experience at KL Sentral : ) Thanks for your blog and for sharing so much. I am amazed as I checked the last post, this page is still generating so much traffic and you are still answering questions…even ones you have answered before …good on you. Will be traveling in West Malaysia in Dec-Jan, bump into you maybe?

    1. Hello! Great that you find the blog useful. :)

      Haven’t made any plans for Dec or Jan yet (I really should book my Chinese New Year flight back home to Sabah though). Drop me a tweet @yqtravelling or e-mail if you are in Singapore.

  52. hi Yun, on feb 2014 I was planning a solo travel in Kuala Lumpur (at least one day tour from Singapore) before I go to Bangkok. I want to know:
    1st – if it is ok to travel alone via train?
    2nd – ticket booking though online or purchase in train station (is it possible to purchase ticket in woodland station on the same day of departure?) using credit/master card of other, like card of my brother. Do they will check who’s the owner of the card or they will look for the owner if he/she is with me?
    3rd – what time should I came to the train station if my boarding was midnight (I think it was the last trip on daily schedule)?
    4th – on the date of departure from Woodland Station, am I going to pass the immigration before boarding to the train?
    5th – on train, if I’m going to book Woodland to JB Sentral with cheapest seat (as other suggest) and book again JB Sentral to Sentral KL with 1st class deluxe sleeper (if I like), once reach the JB Sentral Station do I need to “hop off and hop on” on the train to transfer in 1st class deluxe sleeper and is there any immigration check?
    6th – luggage, is it ok to bring medium trolley bag, like those trolley with four wheels?

    I really appreciate if you can give me answer or advice. To be frankly, I can’t decide right now if I’ll take the chance to went in Malaysia.

    thank you :)

  53. hi,
    if i am thinking to bring my parents from woodland CIQ to JB sentral by train just to avoid the immigration hussle. is SG immigration check done before i board train at woodland CIQ and immigration check at johor done after i come out from the train at JB sentral.
    is there a train from SG to senai airport.

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