Melaka Sentral (Malacca Central Bus Terminal)

How to Get to Malacca from Singapore by Bus

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic city of Malacca (or Melaka, its local name) is one of Malaysia’s most important tourist destinations. Its long history saw the rise and fall of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British as they conquered the place, leaving long-standing structures and cultural influences that are still alive and visible and creating a melting pot of cultures that is truly one of a kind. Although this city is rapidly developing into an urban hub, at its core is a heritage area divided into two parts by the Melaka River. On the river’s eastern bank lies the Chinatown and on its western bank, the center of the European settlement during their rule.

Dutch Square, Malacca

The historic city of Malacca may be in the heart of Peninsular Malaysia but it is only 4-5 hours away from Singapore. This means that if you’re visiting Singapore, you may consider paying this magnificent destination a visit, too. Be it a day trip, an overnight stay, or a whole weekend, a stop in Malacca will surely prove to be an enlightening and rewarding experience.

The Poor Traveler had always planned to travel to Malacca but it was not until January of this year when it finally happened. I tried my hardest to squeeze a two-day visit to this city into our 4-day itinerary in Singapore and fortunately for me, my travel companions loved the idea. If you’re going to Singapore for 4 days or more, I encourage you to visit Malacca.

Traveling from Singapore to Malacca by Bus

Plenty of bus liners ply the Singapore-Malacca route. Although you may simply walk in, you might want to book in advance just to be on the safe side. Here is the list of bus companies that offer trips to historic Malacca from the futuristic city of Singapore.

  • StarMart Express Air Asia Liner
  • S&S International Expres
  • CitiExchange Express & Services
  • Delima Express
  • Konsortium Express
  • Suasana Edaran Coach Services
  • Melaka-Singapore Express
  • Golden Coach Express

Skechers GoWalk

They use different bus stops and have different times of departure. Choose the first trip out so you could make the most out of the trip and visit more attractions.

Aboard the bus!

You may also book via third-party websites, which was what we did. We purchased tickets with Easibook.com using a credit card. Be sure to call the bus company after purchasing to double check your reservation and so you would avoid what happened to us (read on to find out what happened).

Please do NOT forget to bring your passport with you. Remember that you will be crossing the Singapore-Malaysia border and you will pass through both Immigration booths within the first 30 minutes of your trip. That also means you shouldn’t sleep immediately after boarding.

When you reach the Melaka Sentral (Malacca Central Terminal), you may take a bus to Chinatown, where hostels abound (RM1). You may also take a cab for RM15-20. Note that they don’t use meters much (or at all?).

The Poor Traveler’s Bus Ride to Malacca

We booked a bus ticket for three with Golden Coach Express via Easibook.com using a credit card. We thought that was it.

On the day of our trip, we were already at the Keypoint Building Bus Stop, where the bus was supposed to pick up passengers going to Malacca. And then a series of unfortunate (but hilarious) events happened.

Our bus was scheduled to leave at 8:45am but we were already there at 7:30am. We waited and waited for the bus but there was no sign of any Golden Coach Express. At around 8:20am, we asked around and found out that the bus was on the other side of the Keypoint Building. We ran to the site and found a bus going to Kuala Lumpur. We asked the driver where the bus to Malacca is parked. He answered with a heartbreaking, “It already left.”

Wuuuu. What we gonna dew???

The friendly bus driver suggested that we go inside the Keypoint Building and find the office of Golden Coach Express and maybe they could help. We did just that and we were entertained by two women from the bus company. They confirmed that the bus already left.

“But it’s only 8:25am,” we said. “That bus is scheduled to leave at 8:45am. We’re early.”

“The bus left already because we thought we were not waiting for any more passengers,” one of the women reasoned.

“Aw. But we booked via Easibook.com,” my friend Ces said.

“Really?”

“Yes, we already paid via credit card and we have a ticket.”

We showed them our ticket and they confirmed that it was a legitimate transaction. Apparently, our booking was not reflected in their system. The women apologized and said that it wasn’t the first time this happened. They were really apologetic but they were really nice. While one women made a few phone calls, the other (the Malaysian girl) was giving us tips. When the other woman put down the phone, she told us that we should just take the bus going to Kuala Lumpur and then transfer to the other bus going to Malacca when we reach the border. We agreed.

While on the way to the Malaysian border, my friends Astrid and Ces and I laughed off the entire thing. We even came up with a Plan B — should we fail to find the Malacca bus, we’d just go to Kuala Lumpur.

My friends Ces and Asta, waiting for the bus to Malacca at the wrong Keypoint Building Stop
Keypoint Bulding Bus Stop. If this is your view while you’re waiting for the Malacca bus of Golden Coach, you’re on the wrong side of the building!
Golden Coach Office inside the Keypoint Building

Before we knew it, we were already at the border as announced by the bus driver. We got off and passed through both the Singaporean and Malaysian Immigration. Our problem now was how to find the driver of the other bus, who was told to wait for us at the border. There was no sign or whatever so we began looking for the bus, which we couldn’t find either. After several minutes, a man approached Ces and Astrid. He was the driver and he led us to the bus, parked in a far side of the area.

The first thing we noticed was that the other passengers were so mad at us for “returning to the bus late.” They thought we were with them when they came here and that it took us forever to get through the Immigration. Apparently, the bus driver did not explain the situation.

We endured the entire five-hour trip with other passengers bitching about it. It was really uncomfortable. We couldn’t blame the other passengers. It was not their fault. But it was not ours, either.

All is well as soon as we reached Melaka Sentral, though. Whenever my friends and I talked in Tagalog, someone always asked us “Tagalog? Tagalog?” Turned out that there were many Filipinos working in Malacca but most of them are from Mindanao (Zamboanga and Sulu) according to one guy who worked at the terminal that we met. He said they usually asked whether someone spoke Tagalog or Cebuano when they know that person is Filipino. He’s from Sulu and he’s such a sweet guy.

Melaka Sentral (Malacca Central Bus Terminal)
Melaka Sentral building. It’s actually a mini-mall. So many restaurants and stores inside.
My friends Ces and Astrid with a Pinoy who works at a resto in Malacca. He’s from Sulu. I feel bad coz I forgot his name but he was so funny and nice.
One of the taxi drivers who helped us!
Our jolly cab driver with equally cheerful Ces

Malacca locals are very friendly, too. The taxi drivers we talked to while trying to find the buses to Chinatown were very welcoming, throwing jokes here and there to make us feel at home. They also shared tips and stories about their Filipino friends.

MALACCA GUIDE


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Yoshke Dimen

Captain Dreamer at PhilippineBeaches.org
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 Philippine Blog Awards and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
  • http://www.easibook.com Bus From Singapore to Mallaca

    i buy the bus ticket from http://www.easibook.com before as well .
    i quite satisfy with the service they provide. Thanks you that share a quality information to us . Nice article :)

    • The Poor Traveler

      Well, I’m not sure whose fault it was, what happened to us. Easibook or Golden Coach Express…

  • Belinda

    You’re so cheery and have such a great positive attitude! I would have been mad/stressed at the mix-up and I am a fairly seasoned traveler. Definitely not very professional that the bus company’s records did not reflect your booking..

    I need to get to my rellies in Malaysia, family emergency. Trying to decide which coach company to go with. Golden Coach Express would not be my first choice based on your experience. But it is the earliest bus time so don’t think I have a choice…

    Thanks for your write up!! At least I am pre-warned about the meeting point and I will ring up the company to make sure my booking is received!

    • The Poor Traveler

      Haha, thanks Belinda! Cheery perhaps because I was with very cheerful friends. I would have reacted differently had it been just me, though. :P

  • lei

    Thanks for this post. I just booked using golden coach site. but payment seems to be redirected to busonlineticket.com.
    I will take note not to wait on the wrong side :D I am really slow in directions so I might just drop first the sales office to confirm booking then ask them again for directions before going to the bus stop :)

    • The Poor Traveler

      Yay! I think that’s the best way to do it! Good luck and have a safe trip! :)

  • http://AlmosthitbyGoldenCoachdriver!!! Awful Golden Coach

    Almost hit by Golden Coach driver !!!

    Hi everybody,

    I would like to tell the awful experience we’ve just had with Golden Coach on August 7th 2012.

    We first had a wonderful honey moon with my wife in Malaysia, Sumatra and then in Singapore before returning to France from Kuala Lumpur.
    So, in Singapore we looked for a bus going to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). In Golden Mile Complex, almost every travel tour propose bus ride to KL in Puduraya bus terminal. But we found only one who could take us to KLIA, which is Golden Coach. Their bus takes you at Puduraya and then you change bus automatically (that’s what they say!) to take another one to KLIA.
    The lady asked us when was our flight from KLIA to Paris. It was at 10:30 pm. So we had to be at 08:30 at the airport. Then she proposed us to take the bus at 01:15 pm taking normally between 5h 30min to 6hours. Everything seemed ok at this time…
    But once we paid and were in the bus, all what have been promised have been forgotten! The driver passed his time doing phone calls and laughing with friends. So, he was driving slowly. He stopped once at a petrol station during 20 min, going for a coffee, making phone calls, etc.
    So, the trip was slow until I asked him if he would be able to make it at the promised time because we had a flight to take! He said that we would arrive at 07:30 pm (instead of 06:45pm !!!) and then to 1,5 hour trip to KLIA!

    But things changed totally…
    First, we arrived at Puduraya terminal before 08:00 pm! Then the driver said to us to step out of the bus and see another guy who would take us to KLIA. But contrary to what Golden Coach said, the change of bus was not automatically and there was a bus every 30 minutes! So the next bus was at 08:15 pm and would arrive at 09:30 ! With the traffic-jam, who knows what the real arrive time would be ! So, anyway it was too late for us. But when we complained the 2 drivers did not care at all and just said to call the Office in Singapore! They refused to call Golden Coach. They refused to listen to us. The first bus driver knew that he didn’t respect the initial plan and just shouted at us that our problem was not his problem! So we were just stuck in the center of Kuala Lumpur with 2 drivers who even refused to listen to us! We paid for nothing!
    And then everybody was really excited and we had no Malaysian ringgit left!

    The first driver did not want to listen to anybody! He got back to his bus and closed the doors and began to leave! Then, I desperately hit the door with my hand to try to stop him. But the big guy step out of his bus with a huge stick. He was angry, coming towards me and my wife, shouting and showing that he wanted to hit us!
    We had a flight to take and no time to argue with this kind of person! We calmed the situation and were forced to take a cab urgently and pay him much more to go to KLIA. Thanks to him, he drove very fast for us, even if we almost had a car accident!!

    So, my advice: NEVER TRUST GOLDEN COACH when they tell you that you’ll make it for your flight! Never argue with their drivers!
    And, generally, do your planning yourself and not according to what the travel agents will say to you!

    • The Poor Traveler

      Thanks for sharing this! At least our readers can’t say they hadn’t been warned. :)

  • http://www.batangala.blogspot.com noel

    we are also doing the SG-Melaka-KL trip this november. someone suggested that it would be cheaper to take a bus going to Melaka in Johor. any idea on that? thanks

    • The Poor Traveler

      Haven’t been to Johor. :(