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Travelling: Driving Up North to Malaysia and Thailand: Border Crossings PDF Print E-mail
Driving Up North: Border Crossings

Border Crossing - Singapore & Malaysia

When both sides are being cooperative this is one of the most efficient restricted border crossings in the world. Of the two crossings the Woodlands Causeway is by far the busiest because of its proximity to Johore Bahru and slightly cheaper toll charge. There are currently plans to improve this crossing with the establishment of a new bridge.

For those going directly onto northern destinations such as Malacca or KL the Tuas link is faster and cleaner. The Tuas link was opened in 1998 and for a long time was underwhelmed as Singaporeans reacted to its cost and distance from Johor Bahru. Consequently it was and still is the faster crossing.

Leaving Singapore: Immigration

After queing, your first stop is immigration. Setup nicely for the level of the car window, you will be required to present your passport and ID card. If the car is Singaporean registered they will show no interest. At this point you must produce a Crossing Coupon (see Coupons) as payment for the crossing.


After immigration you proceed on through customs. Unless you have something to declare drive on through the green channel. Proceed quietly and be prepared to stop unless the customs guy waves you through.

Fuel Check

After this is the fuel check for the � tank rule. This is random and more often than not you are waived through. However don’t get caught out as the fine is steep.

Entering Malaysia

At this point you will travel across no-mans land, be it the bridge at Tuas with the Malaysian Immigration some 3 kms inland or the Causeway at Woodlands, your next stop is …


You will need three documents. Have your passports ready, your Malaysian Arrival/Departure card and your currency declaration form filled in. If you don’t have any, pull over before the booth and walk up to the first booth to get some forms. At Tuas there are parking spots for this, but at the Causeway you’ll need to get someone else in the car to run up. The forms at the Causeway crossing are available at the far left booth near where the motorbikes cross.


After immigration you should proceed on through customs. All cars are required to stop and open their boot/trunk. If your boot is full of luggage, you may be asked what you are carrying. The customs guys are polite and efficient and do understand English.

Border Crossing - Malaysia & Thailand

The North South Expressway drops you right at the border Bukit Kayu Hitam. This border carries much less traffic than the crossing at Singapore. However do expect delays at the usual peak times and on public holidays. Note also that this border closes at 10 p.m. Malaysian/Singaporean Time (9pm Thailand).

Leaving Malaysia

At Bukit Kayu you can pick up copies of the Thai immigration documents. For a modest fee, these can be filled out by petition writers if you feel you need this. You can also pick up the Thai documents at the border itself as you approach Thai Immigration.


In booths similar to the Singapore crossing you must present the same documentation: passport, arrival card and currency declaration form. Processing takes no more than a couple of minutes.


Drive slowly through – there is little interest. When you come back from Thailand however expect an inspection of the boot, some questioning and possibly the need to have your luggage x-rayed.

Police checkpoint and time change

As you drive up the road into no mans land, you will come to a Malaysian police checkpoint. Here the police will inspect registration documents. Being a Singaporean registered car, we have been stopped every time. Make sure you have your log card and identification ready. If you do not own the car have a letter prepared authorising you to take the car into Thailand.

At this point adjust your clocks. Thailand is one hour behind Malaysia.

Next: Entering Thailand

Back to Regional Travel


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