Johor's position as the southern gateway to Malaysia makes it a natural transportation hub. This means the city is quite easy to get to, even though most people are just passing through.
The national carrier, Malaysia Air System, flies between several cities in Malaysia and Johor Bahru. Air Asia also offers direct flights.
- Malaysia Air System
- The national carrier flies several times daily between many cities in Malaysia and Johor Bahru. Prices to Johor Bahru are often much cheaper than to neighboring Singapore.
- Air Asia
- Air Asia is Malaysia's discount domestic carriers. If you book well in advance you can get some absolutely rock bottom fares.
Planes arrive at Johor Bahru's Senai international airport. Its about half an hour by taxi to reach the city center.
Johor Bahru is easily reached by train from either Singapore or the rest of the Malay Peninsula. Malaysian Rail has daily trains traveling up and down the entire length of the peninsula..
- Traveling by bus is not something that readily comes to mind, but there are some excellent services around Malaysia that offer a level of comfort that can even out-do first class air flight. Check out Plus Liner for more information.
Singapore to Johor Bahru
Getting from Singapore to Johor is relatively simple. There are several ways to get there, and the particular method you use will probably depend on whether you're visiting for the day or for onward travel.
Day Tripping to Johor Bahru from Singapore
If traveling light, or visiting Johor Bahru for just a day trip, then the simplest route is to use the MRT. Take the "red" Marina Bay - Jurong East line to Kranji station. On exiting the station, you'll find a bus queue on the street immediately in front of the station. There are two bus services to choose from. The SBT buses are popular with Singaporeans, since they take the same card as the rest of Singapore's mass transit system. The alternative is the bright yellow buses of the Causeway Link, which are also less expensive.
The fare for either bus is inexpensive, around S$1 depending on the exact destination in Johor. I'd recommend the Causeway Link buses, simply because they will usually be less crowded. In either case, if paying with case (exact change only) you will be issued with a tiny paper ticket. It is very important that you keep the ticket handy, since you will need to get off and back on the bus several times, and you will need to show the ticket each time you re-board the bus.
From the MRT station, it's a short trip to the Singapore immigration checkpoint on the Singapore side of the causeway. This is the first point at which you need to get off the bus, and take any bags or luggage with you. From the bus, you take the escalators up to immigration and pass through passport control, then then take another set of escalators down to re-board the bus. Note that the bus you re board may not be the same one you alighted from, which is why you need to take your bags.
After departing Singapore, the trip across the causeway is usually quite short, depending on traffic. Then it's time to get off the bus again and pass through Malaysian immigration. This can be a bit more time consuming, as even getting forms can take a bit of a run-around.
Once you pass through Malaysian immigration, you can re-board the bus, which will then go on to Larkin bus depot. You only need go there if you're heading immediately out of Johor to other destinations in Malaysia. If you're just planning a day trip of shopping or sightseeing, you can get a taxi after exiting immigration. There are plenty of touts that will approach you as soon as you pass out the door. Remember that Johor taxis do not have meters, and you need to negotiate rates before getting in the taxi.
Returning to Singapore is as simple as reversing the same process. You can catch the buses at either the Larkin bus station or at the Malaysian immigration point itself.
Getting to Johor Bahru with Luggage
If your purpose in going to Johor Bahru is to stay for a period, or onward travel in Malaysia, then you should consider a taxi or train. Regular Singapore taxis cannot cross the causeway, but you can get a special taxi from the Queen Street bus terminal. You can also get an inter-city bus at the Queen Street terminal. There are some excellent services around Malaysia that offer a level of comfort that can even out-do first class air flight. Check out Plus Liner for more information. Lastly, Malaysian Rail has daily trains departing Singapore traveling up the entire length of the peninsula.