5 Days Trip to Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia
I didn’t think that my 2019 would start in a very interesting way! I visited Dalat once again in Jan after the last time I went there at the end of 2018. Then in the last days of Jan, I did a 5 days trip to Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Yes, 5 days trip in 3 countries. That could be so short to do everything. However, it was still enough to take my first steps in new lands and to have my experience in destinations that I hadn’t been to before.
Why I Chose Batam and Cameron Highlands
I just planned to visit my girlfriend in Singapore. Then she suggested I travel around rather than spend my whole vacation in only a city. So I chose Indonesia and Malaysia, the two nearby countries of Singapore.
I actually haven’t visited Indonesia before. Hence, I chose Batam, an Indonesian island that’s very near Singapore, which is the middle point of both Indonesia and Malaysia. Also, it was kinda easy to access Batam from Singapore.
Then I picked Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, a pretty similar place to Dalat, Vietnam. With its location in the high mountains, Cameron Highlands has cold weather over the year. By that, the land is very developed in agriculture, particularly in growing tea trees, flowers, and fruits, especially strawberries. Therefore, Cameron Highlands is beautiful with the tea hills and the greenhouses. If you live in a place like Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where it’s hot all the time, you will know why I prefer a cold place like Cameron Highlands.
How to Go from Singapore to Batam, or Cameron Highlands
From Singapore to Batam, Indonesia
The best way to go to Batam from Singapore is by taking a ferry. Mostly, the ferry operators charge around $10 – $15 SGD for one way. Nevertheless, you can find a promo ticket at $6 SGD sometimes at a point in the day. My friend used a ticket search engine to book the route going to Batam from Singapore. We had a really better price than on the ferry operators’ websites.
From Singapore to Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
To save money for transportation, and to take advantage of the nighttime, I chose a night bus to go from Singapore to Cameron Highlands. It was simple to book with the bus ticket search engine. As planned, I will go specifically from Singapore at 9.30 p.m. and will arrive in Brinchang, a town of Cameron Highlands, at around 7 a.m.
The 5 Days Itinerary from Singapore to Batam, then Cameron Highlands
First Day – to Batam, Indonesia
After arriving at Changi Airport, Singapore, I and my girlfriend went directly to Harbourfront, where we took a ferry to Batam Island, Indonesia. It took about 1 hour to get to the island.
We actually didn’t have any plan when going to Batam. So we initially got a taxi and went straight to the hotel. At Batam, you can easily find 3 or 4-star hotels with good prices, as far as I saw. On the way to the island, you can see many ads about Harris Hotel, which could be a pretty good choice. Its location is right near the harbor, and quite close to Batam Centre. However, we chose Zia Boutique Hotel, a more affordable price but also equivalent in service, and it was suitable for our needs.
After checking in at the hotel and organizing the luggage, we needed to find a place for dinner. The receptionist told us about WTB, an area right at the bottom of the word ‘Welcome to Batam’, where many Indonesian people sell local foods. That would be a great place for dinner, especially to try Indonesian cuisine. Furthermore, you may be able to take some great photos with the welcome words.
Wandering around the Batam Centre could be a good option to generally see the life on the island. And that was even a better choice when we had no sim or wifi to catch a taxi or Grab. We then walked to the Mega Mall Batam Centre, after dinner, to both see around the city and to find a taxi to go back to the hotel, the end of our first day.
Day 2 – 1 Day in 3 Countries
We started our morning with the breakfast served at the hotel. And then figured out some places that we could visit. Many tours would suggest Vihara Duta Maitreya temple, Batam Miniature, Pineapple Cake, Be Superheroes, Chocolate House, or many beautiful beaches around the island. Moreover, you may want to try the traditional massage of Indonesian.
Nevertheless, as we didn’t have much time on the island, we would love an experience in which we could see the whole island, or at least have a general view. Therefore, we chose to visit a spot called Ex Camp Vietnam, or Galang Refugee Camp. The destination is a historical site where the Vietnamese took refuge from the Vietnam War. At the place, you can learn more about the life of the refugees when they left Vietnam by small boats. Of course, not so many people were alive to step on the new lands. Additionally, the Camp is located on Galang Island, which is the very South of Batam Island. Therefore, by going to the place, we can also have a general view of the whole 3 islands. Honestly, I love doing that than going to a beach, which I have been to a lot last year.
Actually, Batam Island connects to Rempang Island and Galang Island. On the way to the Camp, we got through Barelang Bridge, the longest suspension bridge that connects the strait, also connects the islands there. Talking about the bridge, the locals are very proud of the construction. At the area of Ex Camp Vietnam on Galang Island, we visited Batam Pulau Galang, a Vietnamese pagoda that has a pretty nice view of the island. And it has some good background for any photographer.
We left Batam Island at around 2 p.m. and arrived in Singapore at 4 p.m. local time. My friend has a house in Singapore so we came there for a quick rest before going to Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. The plan was to take a night bus to save our travel time. The bus left the station at 9:30 p.m., and we crossed the Singapore – Malaysia border at approximately 11:30 p.m. Hence, it wasn’t really a 5-day trip in 3 countries, but we even did 1 day in 3 countries. And that was so cool!
Day 3 – Hello Cameron Highlands!
The bus dropped us at Brinchang, a settlement of Cameron Highlands, at around 7 a.m. As it was not the right time to check in the hotel, we took a walk down to the center of Brinchang for breakfast. At the destination, Brinchang looked like an old district with a lot of old houses, and restaurants opened by locals, the Malaysian Chinese. Therefore, at Brinchang, you can easily find a lot of Chinese foods. There was only one KFC restaurant for anyone who wasn’t familiar with Chinese cuisine.
We then came back to the hotel – Wan Alyasa Hotel to check in and started our day exploring the land. In the area, you can take a taxi and go to 3 spots within 3 hours for $75 Malaysian Ringgit (RM). There are no other options such as Grab, or public transport. You can only take a taxi, or hire a motorbike if you have an international driving license. Hence, a taxi to us was the best choice. We visited BOH Sungai Palas Tea Centre, Lavender Garden, and Tanah Rata, a very tourist area. Cameron Highlands, overall, is very similar to Da Lat. Therefore, you can easily take a lot of beautiful photos of the land.
That was a kinda cold day, especially at night. We ended our day with an iconic hotpot, the Charcoal Steamboat. That was awesome! The hotpot always was the best choice for a cold day. Particularly at Brinchang, almost all Chinese restaurants serve this hotpot for dinner.
Day 4 – A Long Day on the Bus
We woke up early to have breakfast, then left Cameron Highlands at around 8:30 a.m. by the bus we had booked. That was really a long day on the bus. It took us approximately 10 hours to come back to Singapore. I can still remember the moment I and my girlfriend had to share our only neck pillow to prevent neck pain when sitting on the bus for a very long time. However that made our good memory!
On the other hand, that night in Singapore was perfect. We awarded ourselves after a hard day with the hotpot at Haidilao restaurant. It was the best restaurant and the best hotpot I have ever tried. This is not an advertisement, but this is definitely the have-to-experience restaurant in Singapore. I must absolutely do a review about Haidilao soon.
That day ended up after we strolled around Orchad Road. Actually, we planned to go to Clarke Quay, but we were so tired.
Day 5 – Goodbye Singapore!
I always love to start a day in Singapore with Kaya Toast and half-cooked eggs, the traditional breakfast of the country. After breakfast, me and my friend wandered around the city, starting from Takashimaya Mall, to Bugis, then a mall near our accommodation. As the day was pretty close to the Lunar New Year, Singapore was decorated pretty nicely at places we went to, and people sold a lot of things for the special occasion.
At around 1 p.m., I went to Changi Airport and had lunch there before getting on the plane to fly back to Vietnam, ending up an enjoyable 5 days trip to Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
IF YOU LIKE THIS ITINERARY, ‘PIN IT’ NOW!
READ MORE SINGAPORE, INDONESIA, MALAYSIA POSTS
I hope you love reading this itinerary. And I hope it helps you to plan your trips to Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Here are some posts that I believe you would love to read: