It is easy to travel to Malaysia, and onward to Thailand, by bus from Singapore. The Golden Mile Complex houses numerous bus agencies specialising in these journeys, including Phya Travel, Grassland Express and Transtar Travel. You can book online at www.busonlineticket.com.
First Coach has daily buses to Kuala Lumpur departing from Novena Sq and the Queen Street Bus Terminal services a number of Malaysia-bound buses, as well as taxis which can take you to Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
If you are travelling beyond Johor Bahru, the simplest option is to catch a bus straight from Singapore, though there are more options and lower fares travelling from JB.
From Johor Bahru, commuter buses with Causeway Link Express (www.causewaylink.com.my) run regularly to various locations in Singapore (one way S$3.50/RM3.40, every 15 to 30 minutes, roughly 6am to 11.30pm), including Newton Circus, Jurong East Bus Terminal and Kranji MRT station.
Numerous private companies run comfortable bus services to Singapore from many destinations in Malaysia, including Melaka and Kuala Lumpur, as well as from destinations such as Hat Yai in Thailand. Many of these services terminate at Golden Mile Complex Bus Terminal, close to Kampong Glam.
There are only two roads connecting Singapore and Malaysia, the Woodlands Causeway Bridge and the Tuas Second Link. Both can get terribly congested before and after office hours on weekdays as commuters travel to and from work over each border, with traffic jams sometimes lasting hours. Saturday mid-morning and Sunday late afternoon can also be busy; around public holidays traffic is horrendous. Everyone needs to pass through Malaysia and Singapore immigration, which slows everything up; cars entering Singapore are thoroughly checked by customs officers. Motorbikes usually make it through in less time, and the Tuas Second Link is often quieter as it is further away from Johor Bahru.
Fuel is much cheaper in Malaysia, so fill up before you head back to Singapore. If you're driving out of Singapore, ensure your tank is at least three quarters full, as per government regulations.
As of July 2015, it’s no longer possible to catch a direct train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. Instead, Malaysian company Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (www.ktmb.com.my) operates a shuttle train from Woodlands Train Checkpoint to JB Sentral with a connection to Kuala Lumpur. Tickets for the shuttle (S$5) can be bought at the counter. Trains leave from here to Kuala Lumpur, with connections on to Thailand. You can book tickets at the Woodlands or JB Sentral stations or online at www.easybook.com.
The luxurious Eastern & Oriental Express departs Bangkok on the two-night, 1943km journey to Singapore – one of the world's great train journeys. Don your linen suit, sip a gin and tonic and dig deep for the fare: itineraries (including side tours) start from US$2799 per person for three days/two nights.