Singapore, Johor Border Crossing via Land – How to Guide (2024)

We’ve just completed the Singapore Johor border crossing and had a really good experience. Use this guide so that you can do the same!

There are two land border crossings between Johor, Malaysia and Singapore. The first and main crossing is called Woodlands and the second is Tuas which a little further to the West. We used Woodlands so our directions below apply to that but from what I read Tuas to very similar.

From here it’s a pretty quick trip to Legoland or you can head a bit further to one of our Malaysia highlight destinations Melaka.

Woodlands Singapore Johor Border crossing

Catch any Singapore bus headed towards the Woodlands crossing – the final stop on the bus route. Once you arrive at woodlands, everyone must get off the bus to clear immigration. Follow the crowds – there are a number of local people who do this regularly. They will lead upstairs to the immigration departure area. Pass through customs as you would in any airport – passports and visa’s ready.

Once through immigration you will exit the departure area and hop on a second bus. There are many different lines you can join, but it doesn’t matter which one as they all go across the causeway to Malaysia. The 10-minute bus trip takes you to the Malaysia Johor checkpoint. It’s really important to complete your MDAC online arrival form no earlier than 3 days prior to your arrival in Malaysia. Make sure you have at least six months left before your passport expires. 

We found this process really straight forward with minimal queues. Once you’ve cleared customs on the Malaysian side you will be in Malaysia! Well done. You can take the next available bus to JB Sentral bus station which is a 10 min trip.  

Top Tips for Singapore Johor Border Crossing 

  • Ensure your Singapore MRT travel card has enough cash on it to get you to the Malaysian border. You are required to tap on and tap off with each individual mode of transport you use. This includes your MRT in Singapore to the bus station and at least 3 tap on / tap off payments during the border crossing process. Around SD $1.50 per person, per tap.
  • There is a currency exchange counter after you clear customs in Malaysia. Switch your Singaporean Dollars into Malaysian Ringit here to pay for the final bus from Customs to JB Sentral bus station.
  • To map out our route from our accommodation in Singapore to Woodlands Crossing we used Google maps which will map out your route – which train and bus to take including walking directions in-between and which metro exit to use.
  • We found all the staff at immigration and the bus drivers very helpful in directing us when we needed confirmation that we were going to the right place.
  • When you arrive at JB Sentral, there are many taxi drivers wanting to give you a lift. Make sure you haggle a good price as they will start very high. Use apps like Grab as a guide for the right price for Malaysia. We found it tricky to find the Grab pickup point. At the end of the day, overpaying slightly at the end of a stressful border crossing isn’t a big deal.
  • Your children will need to clear customs one at a time when leaving Singapore, Malaysia has a family line. Our 4-year-old was allowed to pass through with an adult, but our 7-year-old was not and had to go alone. Not a big deal, but just prepare your children in advance – just photo and fingerprint scanning.
  • For land crossings like this, it was easy with backpacks. There is a lot of hopping on and off busses etc. If we were wheeling suitcases that would have added another layer of difficulty.
  • Load your eSIM for Malaysia prior to the border crossing (i.e. the night before). We use Airalo and find it easy and cost effective. Your eSIM for Singapore will stop working when you are driving across the causeway at this point your Malaysian eSIM will kick in if you have it already set up (Top tip sometimes you need to restart your phone for this to happen). One less thing to do when you’re looking for a taxi!
  • Go through customs between 10am and 3pm to avoid the commuter rush hour. This is a regular daily crossing for many locals.

Overall, the process was really straight forward and took us around 1.5 hours from when we left our accommodation in Singapore to when we arrived at JB Sentral in Malaysia.

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