Weekend getaway in Singapore is always good for whatever reasons. We planned a 3 night-trip to Cameron Highlands Malaysia last July. Accommodations is easy to book, but the transport was a nightmare. Lack of information online, and it’s not exactly an easy place to travel to without car. Hence I hope it will be useful to write this blog for readers who are planning a trip to Cameron Highlands from Singapore.
Cameron Highlands is a beautiful highlands in Malaysia that is popular for its cooler weather, tea plantations, golf course, fruits and vegetables farms. Good place to chill, have afternoon tea, hiking and relax.
How to travel to Cameron Highlands from Singapore?
Our travel options from Singapore to Cameron Highlands were:
- By car (Self-drive): Approximately 600 km, can take up to 8 hours drive
- Direct bus: taking bus from Golden Mile Complex to one of the resort in Cameron Highlands (about 9 hours ++ depending on the traffic)
- By flight then taxi: Singapore to Ipoh Airport via TigerAir (1 hr 15 min), then take a taxi from Ipoh Airport to Cameron Highlands (1 hr 45 min)
It takes approximately 8 hours drive from Singapore to Cameron Highlands. For a weekend short trip we rather not to spend a whole day driving to tire ourselves out. So, no car!
Bus from Singapore to Cameron Highlands is good value. S$56.50 one way bus ticket. Approximately 9 hours (for our case, our bus took a long 12 hours ride including 1-hour traffic jam to clear Singapore Custom Immigration, and some traffic jam on the road and a couple of food and toilet stops)!
Apart from being budget-friendly, it is also an easy option to travel. If you can sleep on the bus, bus departs from Singapore at 10.30pm and you’ll reach Cameron Highlands in the morning. Bus on the way back departs at 10 am. So be prepared to spend at least a day on the journey.
By Flights then Taxi
The nearest airport to Cameron Highlands would be Ipoh International Airport (Sultan Azlan Shah Airport). Currently, TigerAir fly from SIN-IPOH (1 hr 15 min) with approximately fare S$190, 2 ways. Upon arriving at Ipoh Airport we still need to arrange taxi transport to hotels in Cameron Highlands. That could cost up to another S$136 (RM210) one way. Taking a taxi from the airport is a little bit risky as I’m not familiar with Ipoh and I don’t want to risk being conned by the local taxi drivers. Although flight seems like an easier option, it is certainly much pricier compared to bus.
Taking a bus from Singapore to Cameron Highlands…
1. Online Booking
Apparently, there are only 2 bus companies in Singapore that operate the direct bus to Cameron Highlands. We booked our bus tickets for Easy Book.com. We took Konsortium Express because they allowed us to choose seats while we can’t do the same at another company. Paid S$96 per person, 2 ways. Sweet deal!
2. Bus Check-In
Upon booking the tickets online, we were told to be there 30 minutes before departure to check in. On the day itself, we were there early but can’t seem to find Konsortium counter. Then I received a call from Konsortium staffs 20 min before departure time, apparently, we were at the wrong GOLDEN MILE. The bus departs from Golden Mile TOWER, not Golden Mile COMPLEX!
So we finally dragged our luggage to Golden Mile Tower, Konsortium office, which is just another block away. The staff gave us a quick briefing like where to board the bus etc and gave us 2 bottles of mineral water. We then boarded our bus which was just parked outside the building.
3. Konsortium Bus
The bus has 31 seats with 2:1 seats in a row. Bus interior looked quite old and worn out.
Seats were big, comfort level 7/10.
Aircon was blasting hard the whole night, not exactly comfortable. (Wearing hoodies might help)
Cleanliness of the bus: 6/10
Update!!! Konsortium Bus Company Shut Down as of 22 Feb 2018
Alternative for other bus companies that travel from Singapore to Cameron Highlands can be found here.
4. Clearing Singapore/JB Immigration Checkpoint
The bus dropped us off outside Singapore immigration checkpoint. All passengers were to bring their passports and valuables to clear the Customs, without the luggage. There’s a waiting area after the passport scan and we were to board the same bus. Make sure you take a photo of your bus just in case you can’t remember the number plate.
Pros of taking bus to Cameron Highlands
- Cheap ticket and hassle-free.
- Direct transportation to Cameron Highlands
Cons of taking bus to Cameron Highlands
- took a long time (9-12 hours depending on traffic)
- great if you can sleep on the bus, if you can’t… then would be a super long journey
Tips to make the long bus ride easier
- bring your own neck pillow and wear something warm (overnight bus can be freezing)!
- Eye shades and ear plugs
- Wear something comfortable like hoodies and sweatpants
- Bring some snacks and water (Yes, you will sure get hungry later)
- Small plastic bag in case one of you vomit due to motion sickness
- Face mask (just in case somebody sneezes non-stop in front of you)
Will I take the bus again?
Probably not! 12 hours bus ride can be really exhausting. If you are not on a budget, definitely should consider taking a flight!
- Bus: S$100 both ways, 9 -12 hours
- Flight then Taxi: S$400++ both ways, 1.15 hours + 2 hours taxi
I hope all these information helps with your trip planning to Cameron Highlands!
Have a lovely trip!
- Things to do in Cameron Highlands (Boh Tea Plantation, rose garden, afternoon tea at Smokehouse hotel etc)