Travelling to Petaling Jaya from Singapore

Since my wife is Malaysian, we travel from Singapore to Petaling Jaya (PJ) quite often for family events and such.

Over the years of living in Singapore I have noticed the time and money to journey the 350km seems to increase.

Malaysian Peninsular

Bus

Bus is the cheapest at 60SGD return and for example FirstCoach is our current choice. However as we found out when we travelled with our baby boy the long hours in the bus for an infant is very difficult.

Journey time: between 6 and 9 hours. Holiday traffic like CNY is just a nightmare.

The causeway crossing at Tuas is a painful experience, especially with a baby who can't use the biometric express queues until the child is four years old.

Flights

There are about 40 flights a day between Singapore (SIN) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL).

Journey time: 4.5 hours in best case FOUR HOURS via SZB 3hr 20mins SZB→SIN is THE NEW RECORD !

Price: Varies tremendously, but typically in the 150-250SGD range for a return fee booked weeks in advance. 3x the cost of a bus and lets not forget the taxis to and fro the airports! (~20 SGD + 120MYR) * 2

Annoyingly KLIA airport is actually really quite far from Petaling Jaya. Since we travel as a group of three, the Uber at ~120MYR is still cheaper than the KLIA Ekspres which is 55MYR x 3 people = 165MYR and of course doesn't get you to PJ.

There is a smaller airport Subang Airport, but only Firefly operate at the terminal and you need to book long in advance for a reasonable price.

Car

Crossing at Tuas or Woodlands in traffic is an absolute nightmare. Buses are expedited, not cars. It's not a fun drive. Renting a car from Singapore to travel to Malaysia is expensive.

Train

Update: Agreement between Singapore & Malaysia inked on 13 December 2016

Presently the train to KL takes umpteen hours (overnight usually), however there is a new Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail proposed but it won't be ready until 2026.

Another annoying aspect is proposed new the train terminates in Jurong East, not downtown Singapore. Since I live in East Singapore, it can easily take upto an hour to get home from Jurong!!

Journey time (once completed in 10 years time): 99 minutes plus 1 hr from Eunos-Jurong & 1 hr between KL & PJ =~ 4 hours

Conclusion

In my mind, the overland route with the crowded and chaotic causeway border crossing makes it not an option for us anymore. Would be nice if ICA published some metrics on their performance to give us some confidence. The new proposed train line is very welcome, but if they don't do sensible things like check passports on the train I feel potential any time savings will be lost.

At this point of time, I am left having to carefully plan my trips to Malaysia and booking flights in advance. All options are equally inflexible. If you need to make a last minute change, you basically lose a lot of money.

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