Going to Malaysia

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We left Singapore for Malaysia without looking back. We will be there again since we are flying back from there.

I had no idea how the land border-crossing was going to be. Crossing borders in Latin America usually involves queuing in a chaotic and dusty town, changing money at the “cambio? paying a couple of bribes and getting a passport stamp. My only land border-crossing experience in Asia had been between Hong Kong and Shenzhen on week-ends, and let’s just say I was glad I was about 30 centimeters taller than the rest of the crowd because you had to fight your way in.

But going to Malaysia turned out to be very straightforward. We boarded a bus at the Golden Mile Station in Singapore and quickly reached the immigration officer. An exit stamp later, and we were out. Entering Malaysia was similarly easy: no questions were asked and we were given a three-month permit on the spot. The only creepy factor was the huge posters everywhere that read “death by hanging for drug traffickers”.

We stopped along the way for lunch and I got a first glance at Malaysia. Lots of palm trees, very hot and sticky like in Singapore, and a diverse population. Some of the bus passengers were of Chinese descent while others were clearly Malaysian. Some women wore a headscarf and other didn’t, and Imams, dressed in white with long bears, sat beside Chinese men.

I had no idea what to get for lunch so I went for a curry puff and a cheese roti, a kind of crêpe with sugar and cheese. I also learn to say “terima kasih” (“thank you”) although I’m afraid my language skills won’t be that good here. But at least, I can get around speaking Mandarin and English.

You can see the complete set of pictures taken in Malaysia on Flickr.

Bus Station in Singapore

Temple at the Bus Station

Malaysian Broder-Crossing

Roti Canai on the Go


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. “Some of the bus passengers were of Chinese descent while others were clearly Malaysian.”

    Oh do you mean the Malays? Cos ‘Malaysian’ refers to the nationality – and that includes those of Chinese and Indian descent. 🙂

  2. Lifecruiser Travel Blog on

    Sounds very easy to cross the border and get a visa then. I’ll note that down. We’ve wanted to go to Malaysia, so maybe one should go to Singapore as well – if we ever get that far 🙂

    Our only worry would be the language, but then: never under estimate the body language…. lol

    Very nice posts you have here. I must remember to come back to read more. I’ve a bad memory and not so good health, so forgive me if missing out.

  3. I am assuming you crossed through Johor Bahru? I’d love to have more experiences with land borders: currently, the only land border I crossed that I needed to show a passport was the US-Canada border, and that is boring as you know.

  4. @Nigel – Yes, very straightforward and quite quick too.

    @expatraveler – Thank you! Ah well, when we travel, we take it seriously!

    @kyh – That what I meant! I know they were Malaysian (citizenship) but I believe they were of Chinese descent. Like we would say “Mexican-Canadian”, i.e. born in Mexico or Mexican parents but with Canadian citizenship.

    @Lifecruiser Travel Blog – Language wouldn’t be a problem in Singapore and in Malaysia, people spoke English very well!

    @Sidney – Nah, sorry, not this time. We would have enough time…

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – Yes, that’s it. It was very easy and very well-organized.

  5. Having seen you for a while, you’re already in Malaysia! Ha!

    >…while others were clearly Malaysian…

    That’s actually incorrect, I know it’s confusing.
    It should be Malay instead of Malaysian.

    Malaysian is the nationality – any body born in Malaysia (be you Malay, Indian, Chinese, etc) falls into this category.

    On the other hand, if you want to point out one’s ethnicity, Malay is the right word.

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