We recently drove to Legoland (Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia) from Singapore and although it was just a short car ride from Singapore, we had heard such horror stories about car-jacking and pickpockets and god knows what else about “driving to Malaysia”. I personally was worried for days before the trip wondering if my family would be safe (becoming a mom has now made me quite the worrywort).
Hence I decided to write this blog post to answer any questions for those of you that might be planning a road trip to Legoland in the future. Hopefully this will help. 🙂
How long is the drive? Legoland is approximately 45km from Orchard Road, Singapore. It took us approximately 1 hour 45 mins door-to-door. We left the Orchard area at 8:40am on a Thursday morning.
What is the fastest way to get there? We crossed-over at the Tuas immigration checkpoint, although you can also cross-over at the Woodlands checkpoint, but it will require a bit more navigation in Malaysia.
After the Tuas Second Link, you will first cross at toll-booth, and then you will exit at the Nusajaya Exit 312 (you will see Legoland signage along the way).
The drive is relatively easy. The reason it took us so long to get there was traffic at both the Singapore and the Malaysian checkpoints.
What do you do at the Immigration Checkpoints? We all sat in the car while we were went through the checkpoint (this was similar to going through a toll-booth, except it was fully covered). There are multiple lanes and we just waited until it was our turn. We handed the immigration officer our passports and rolled down the windows so that he could see the kids in the backseat.
After going to the Singapore checkpoint, we had to go through the Malaysian checkpoint. The Malaysian checkpoint was very similar to the Singapore checkpoint. However, after the Malaysian checkpoint we had to also go through the “customs channel”. At the customs channel, one person (usually the driver) has to get out of the car and open the trunk so the officers can look inside.
On the way back from Malaysia to Singapore, the “customs channel” is after the Singapore checkpoint.
What is a Touch ‘n Go Card? The Touch ‘n Go card is similar to the Singapore E-Z Link card. According to my own research and asking around with my colleagues, this card is not available for purchase in Singapore. The Singapore customs officer at the check-point informed us that we could pull over at the side after immigration and purchase one at the “gantry”. We must have missed the gantry because we did not see any place to stop.
Hence we did not have a Touch ‘n Go card and decided that we would use cash when going through the toll roads. We drove through the furthest LEFT Lane of the toll booth. We were informed we needed a touch and go card (new rules) and purchased it directly from the lady at the booth. The lady at the toll booth also topped up our card so we would have money for our return journey.
We used a $50 Malaysian ringitt note (SG$20)and told her to use the money to purchase the card and then top it up (even though we didn’t need to use it all). Note: If you plan parking at the mall or at Legoland hotel (and are not staying the night) you will need to use the card for the parking lot.
The Touch ‘n Go card is valid for 10 years. My card expires in 2024, however you must use it at least once a year otherwise it will be deactivated.
Where did you park at Legoland? We parked at the Legoland Hotel. If you are a hotel guest, parking is free! Parking is in the basement of the hotel. There are security cameras and security guards watching the parking lot at all times. I felt my SUV was safe. We did not park head first, nor did we use a steering wheel lock. There is also parking at the Medini mall (I never saw the parking lot, so I can’t really comment).
Can we use Singapore dollars at Legoland? We only used Malaysian ringgit when we were in Malaysia. However, Legoland does accept most major credit-cards. I would make sure you change money before you leave Singapore, otherwise you can change money at the hotel. You will need cash for the toll booth unless you already have the Touch ‘n Go card.
How far is Legoland Resort from Legoland and the Water Park? The hotel is right next to both Legoland and the Water Park. It is about a 2 minute or less walk from the hotel to either attraction. Along the way are many Lego people and things to look at as well. Many of the hotel guests came went to the waterpark dressed in their hotel robes. The hotel is actually right between the Water Park and Legoland – practically connected. FYI – when I called the hotel to enquire about the walk they told me 5 minutes – it is actually much less and super convenient even with little kids.
How far is Medini Mall? Medini shopping mall is right outside the main entrance of Legoland (about a 2 minute walk). You can see the mall from the entrance of Legoland. We went to the mall right after Legoland at 5:30pm, but we only stopped at KFC (which is right in front) to get some chicken nuggets for the kids. Also next to KFC is Burger King and a hot dog vendor. Not sure what else is in the mall, or how safe it is, but KFC was very empty. Only 2 other families sitting and eating at the restaurant.
How was the drive back to Singapore? We left Legoland at 2:55pm on a Friday. We were planning on leaving later, but it started thundering and lightening, then pouring down with rain. The ride back to Singapore is easy, all you need to do is get back onto Tuas/E3. However my husband missed the exit because I turned around to look at my cute sleeping kids (a minute before the exit) and I was the so-called “navigator”. But even in the pouring rain we made it quickly back to the correct exit and within 10 mins were at the immigration checkpoint.
The Malaysian immigration checkpoint was really quick. The Singapore immigration checkpoint took at least 20 minutes (but this was still shorter than the way to Legoland).
Would you drive to Legoland again? Yes, for sure. The kids loved Legoland and the drive was super easy and safe (in my opinion)! We will definitely stay the night at the hotel again – maybe once every 6-8 months. Oh and I definitely recommend going on a weekday and on a non-school holiday!! The park was empty when we went, otherwise I am not sure we would have had such a good time.
I hope this helps all of you that are planning on driving to Legoland. Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions.
Good luck and have an awesome trip!!