Affordable fuel, a vast array of food cuisines and wide range of entertainment, coupled with a strong exchange rate of 1 to 3. It's definitely no surprise for locals to flock over to Johor Bahru, Malaysia, over the weekends for a short getaway or for Chinese New Year visiting.
1. Ditch Your Car for the Bus
The jams at the causeway are mostly caused by cars, while the bus lanes are usually empty. There are several bus services such as SBS Transit 160, 170 and SMRT Bus 950 that brings you into JB. Ticket fares to and fro are very affordable and will typically cost you no more than what a regular bus ride would cost. If you do not mind paying more for a lesser wait time, shuttle buses are the way to go as they help you avoid long queues to get on the bus, as well as public bus queues at the Malaysian customs. You also get slightly more pick-up points to choose from, such as Changi Airport and Buona Vista. It is convenient if you live near those areas. You can check out Transtar Travel, TakeMeToMalaysia, or Easybook for more information.
2. Understanding the Traffic
However, some drivers still prefer to drive in due to the convenience of fetching family members in, or bringing in CNY goodies for relatives. First, find out which checkpoint has smoother traffic — either Woodlands Checkpoint or Tuas Checkpoint. The general rule that applies for both weekdays and weekends, is having to reach Woodlands Checkpoint before 8am or before 5pm to avoid heavy traffic. Friday evenings and Saturday mornings are the highest peak periods as Malaysia citizens working in Singapore would usually travel back to their hometowns during this time frame. We recommend leaving early on a Saturday morning to avoid the jam.
3. Take A Weekday Leave to Avoid the Jam
Being caught in traffic jams should not be part of your travel plans. Taking a day off on Friday could be the difference between actually enjoying yourself in JB than getting caught in the jam for hours, wondering when you will finally clear the customs. Conversely, clearing a leave on Monday can help you avoid the jam on a congested Sunday when you return.
4. Entering JB via Tuas Checkpoint
If you’re just in the mood to cross the border for a quick shopping spree or supper spots, consider heading to Bukit Indah via the 2nd Link (Tuas Checkpoint) instead of through the causeway at Woodlands. Aeon Mall Bukit Indah also provides day trippers with plenty of F&B and shopping options.
5. Place the ICA FB Page in Your “See First” List
Should you be moving to and fro Singapore to JB frequently, you can get traffic updates with just a few taps on your smartphone. All you need is to place the ICA (Immigration & Checkpoints Authority) page on your FaceBook “See First” List. This way, whenever you open up your Facebook page, ICA’s traffic update will always top your newsfeed to keep you updated on the traffic flow.That's it! Wishing a smooth journey ahead for everyone, and here's wishing all our readers a Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year from all of us from the CarTimes family! ????????!