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Old Sep 1, 10, 8:59 am   #1
 
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Day trip to KUL or CGK during stopover in SIN

On my way to Australia I have a very long stopover in SIN (from 0720 to 2350), and I'm considering taking a day trip to Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta. I know it's quite crazy, but I guess it's typical me: in the past I've spent my stopovers taking a ferry to Batam and back, gone to Johor Bahru or simply explored Singapore.

I have a few questions:
- Even if I'm actually in transit and already have the boarding pass, I guess I must go through Singapore immigration so as to officially enter the country I'll be leaving shortly, right?
- I've seen that Tiger Airways, Air Asia and JetStar are flying these routes. Should I avoid any of them? (For such a short trip I'd rather use a low-cost carrier, I don't want to spend too much).
- I've chosen KUL and CGK because, even if I've already been to Malaysia and Indonesia, I've never visited their capital cities. But I know that I won't be able to see much. What other places can you recommend? No more than 1.5 hours away; there must be plenty of flights serving SIN and the other city daily, so that I can choose other options in case my booked return flight is delayed or whatever; And it has to be a country that's easy to enter for a European citizen (visa on arrival as in Indonesia is fine). Your suggestions are more than welcome.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Sep 1, 10, 9:25 am   #2
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If you haven't been to Melaka before, head there. There are express buses leaving in the morning, google a bit and see if you can pick up something directly from SIN, or have to head into the central city first. You can also fly SIN-KUL and head south from KLIA (google for how to do this). If you've been to Melaka already, head for KUL. Easier to get to/from city from airport than CGK, and less immigration time and hassle. You want to leave yourself options to get back in case of weather or IRROPs. With Kuala Lumpur, there's always road options. CGK, you're screwed. CGK is not worth going that far just for a daytrip.

And yes, you'll need to go through SIN immigration, which is pretty painless. If your checked luggage is already through-tagged to Australia, you can ignore baggage claim. You shouldn't have any visa issues entering Malaysia, just keep your passport handy.

Edit to add: I forgot, but I thought Melaka has recently upgraded its airport, so if interested, flying directly there from SIN or Johor Bahru might be possible -- I don't know who is flying into there.

Last edited by jiejie; Sep 1, 10 at 9:35 am.
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Old Sep 3, 10, 7:05 am   #3
 
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If you haven't been to Melaka before, head there. There are express buses leaving in the morning, google a bit and see if you can pick up something directly from SIN, or have to head into the central city first.
It's a solid 4 hours one way to Melaka when you figure in border crossings, so trying to do this as a day trip with a flight to catch would be pushing it. The land borders can also get quite congested around holidays, so double-check that calendar.

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If you've been to Melaka already, head for KUL. Easier to get to/from city from airport than CGK, and less immigration time and hassle.
I think KUL is actually a more sensible option than Melaka (although it's still slightly crazy ). Tons of flights, many of them dirt cheap, plus fast links to the city.

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Edit to add: I forgot, but I thought Melaka has recently upgraded its airport, so if interested, flying directly there from SIN or Johor Bahru might be possible -- I don't know who is flying into there.
Nobody -- the only flights are from Indonesia. Firefly was supposed to start flights from SIN, but apparently it didn't work out.
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Old Sep 3, 10, 9:56 am   #4
 
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Thank you both for your tips, jiejie & jpatokal

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It's a solid 4 hours one way to Melaka when you figure in border crossings, so trying to do this as a day trip with a flight to catch would be pushing it. The land borders can also get quite congested around holidays, so double-check that calendar.
Yes, I know that Melaka is a great place to visit, but when I googled, I found out that the bus takes 4.5 hours to get there (from Singapore, not SIN), and 1.5 hours from KLIA, so I'm afraid it's no doable.

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I think KUL is actually a more sensible option than Melaka (although it's still slightly crazy ). Tons of flights, many of them dirt cheap, plus fast links to the city.
I also think that KUL is the only sensible place to visit. Every quarter the KLIA Ekspres takes you to downtown in 28 minutes, so it's quite convenient.

It is crazy, for sure. But unless anything unexpected happens, I should be OK. Besides, I guess I'll fly back to SIN with Tiger, and after this flight there are 4 more with AirAsia and JetStar that would still allow me to catch my flight to ADL.

I guess I'm looking for a way to get really tired for my second back-to-back red-eye flight in Y.
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Old Sep 3, 10, 5:43 pm   #5
 
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I also think that KUL is the only sensible place to visit. Every quarter the KLIA Ekspres takes you to downtown in 28 minutes, so it's quite convenient.
By the way, I've just read that both AirAsia and Tiger are flying to the LCCT of KLIA. Is this terminal also serviced by the KLIA Ekspres, or shall I have to transfer the main/satellite buildings to take the train to Sentral? If that should take more time, I need to know.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 3, 10, 6:09 pm   #6
 
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By the way, I've just read that both AirAsia and Tiger are flying to the LCCT of KLIA. Is this terminal also serviced by the KLIA Ekspres, or shall I have to transfer the main/satellite buildings to take the train to Sentral? If that should take more time, I need to know.

Thanks.
No, the train does not run from the LCCT. However, you can take the RM9 Sky Bus or RM8 Aero Bus to get to Sentral. They are both fairly comfortable and, between the two services, a bus will be departing every 15 minutes or so.
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Old Sep 4, 10, 7:50 am   #7
 
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No, the train does not run from the LCCT. However, you can take the RM9 Sky Bus or RM8 Aero Bus to get to Sentral. They are both fairly comfortable and, between the two services, a bus will be departing every 15 minutes or so.
Alternatively, you can try the KLIA Transit to LCCT package, every 30 min for RM12.50: shuttle bus to a nearby station, then the airport express to the city. It's not really any faster, but it's rather more comfy, rather more fun and, above all, immune to traffic jams.
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Old Sep 5, 10, 4:22 am   #8
 
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No, the train does not run from the LCCT. However, you can take the RM9 Sky Bus or RM8 Aero Bus to get to Sentral. They are both fairly comfortable and, between the two services, a bus will be departing every 15 minutes or so.
They do however take 1hr+ depending on traffic, so not fun for a day trip.
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Old Sep 5, 10, 5:27 pm   #9
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Honestly, why don't you just spend the day wandering around Singapore?

The new marina sands casino complex is worth a visit... to eat, sightsee or just plain relax...

Have you been to the other parts of Singapore... Punggol, Tuas, Pasir Panjang?

It is simply not worth the hassle to go somewhere for the day.. I mean, what will you get from a few hours in a city?

If you really want something different from Singapore.. may I suggest Penang? Its far better to go there than KL - which is just one big city.
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Old Sep 5, 10, 6:31 pm   #10
 
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They do however take 1hr+ depending on traffic, so not fun for a day trip.
According to Aerobus it takes 1 hour, and Skybus cites 1h15. Hmmm... I guess the latter must be more accurate. But it's good to know there are 3 options. I may take the KLIA Transit, but I'll bring all 3 timetables with me just in case.

I'm pleasantly surprised at how well organised the transport to/from the airport is. I was expecting something more chaotic, as is the case in most countries in the region.

PS: I have a few questions for you, jpatokal, regarding OpenFlights. Please check my post in the OF thread.
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Old Sep 5, 10, 6:48 pm   #11
 
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If you really want something different from Singapore.. may I suggest Penang?
I was there on a business trip 2 years ago, but I managed to do some sightseeing. Nice place indeed.

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Its far better to go there than KL - which is just one big city.
That's me: I just love big cities, especially the Asian ones!

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Honestly, why don't you just spend the day wandering around Singapore? The new marina sands casino complex is worth a visit...
The day-trip is planned for the stopover on my way to Australia. On the way back the stopover is quite long too, and that's when I'm intending to check the new complex, which was being built last time I visited Singapore. Really looking forward to it too.
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Old Sep 7, 10, 6:50 am   #12
 
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Have you been to the other parts of Singapore... Punggol, Tuas, Pasir Panjang?
Tuas!? That's like telling a visitor to New York to go take in the sights, sounds and smells of Elizabeth, NJ.

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If you really want something different from Singapore.. may I suggest Penang? Its far better to go there than KL - which is just one big city.
YMMV, but I'd find spending a couple of hours at a run-down beach resort-cum-electronics factory zone even weirder than spending a couple of hours in a big city!

(And yes, I know there's plenty of interesting stuff and good food in and around Penang, but good luck getting to any of it in a few hours without your own wheels and/or a local taking you around.)
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Old Sep 15, 10, 8:14 am   #13
 
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Neither.A better option for your time and given you have to be back at the Airport around 9pm would be to go to Universal Studios for most of the day and spend some time around Orchard Road and possible try and fit in a Singapore River Cruise.
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Old Sep 16, 10, 6:37 pm   #14
 
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Neither.A better option for your time and given you have to be back at the Airport around 9pm would be to go to Universal Studios for most of the day and spend some time around Orchard Road and possible try and fit in a Singapore River Cruise.
Well, I've already bought the flight tickets to KUL. They were really cheap, so it doesn't worry me much not to be able to stay too long in KL. There's always a second time...

But on my way back from Australia (mind you, I'll spend a few days in your town), I have a 10-hour stopover, so I may explore Universal Studios or try the river cruise, which I've never done. Thanks for the tips!
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