VTL: What Malaysians need to prepare before travelling to Singapore


It's been a long time coming, but the highly anticipated Malaysia-Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane programme finally kicked off on Nov 29 for both air and land travel.

Although all vaccinated adults are eligible for entry (unvaccinated children are still allowed to travel, provided that they are accompanied by at least one vaccinated adult), you would still need to register for the quarantine-free travel.

Also, each traveller must also comply to all the terms and conditions set by both countries under the VTL agreement.

We've prepared a chart containing some basic information on what you would need to do and prepare before travelling to Singapore under the VTL, but for the complete details, head to the Malaysian Immigration Department website, or to the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoint Authority website (https://eservices.ica.gov.sg/STO1/VTL).

If you are all set to travel, here are some of the attractions in the island state that you can explore.

Food

Okay, the "joke" going around since the announcement of the VTL is that "Singaporeans are finally able to get their hands on some good food in Malaysia".

While they may be some truth in that statement... just kidding! It's a personal choice, and we will not judge any Malaysian who likes the hawker food in Singapore.

When it comes to fine dining options, however, our southern neighbours definitely win hands down. You probably won't be able to get a reservation at Odette – crowned Asia's best restaurant in 2019 and 2020, and second best in 2021 – but there are plenty of other top-rated restaurants to try.

One of these restaurants is Candlenut, the first Peranakan restaurant in the world to ever win a Michelin star. It is led by Chef Malcolm Lee, who elevates his Straits-Chinese culinary roots to new heights with inventive dishes.

For more options, head to the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants – Singapore website (shorturl.at/qIV08).

Museums

Museums are not boring, especially if they're anything like Singapore's ArtScience Museum, located at the Marina Bay Sands. The ArtScience Museum features exciting exhibitions that blend both the world of art and science... in case you're still wondering.

Its Future World Exhibition is a collaboration with the internationally-renowned multidisciplinary art collective teamLab from Japan, and it is set to take visitors on a fantastic journey of discovery.

From Dec 1, the exciting Sketch Christmas programme begins. This is where visitors get to see their hand-coloured Christmas drawings come alive on screen as animated images.

Another museum worth mentioning is the Asian Civilisations Museum located at the Esplanade, where you can explore the artistic heritage of Asia.

Kai Kai the giant panda lives at the Singapore Zoo. — AFPKai Kai the giant panda lives at the Singapore Zoo. — AFP

Adventure

The Universal Studios Singapore is probably where you want to go if you have kids who are just tired of online learning. This theme park is one of the top destination choices during school holidays in Singapore, so do be wary that it may get a little crowded.

Check out the park's official website on information and updates on crowd control, sanitising exercises and others.

If a theme park is too much for you, then head to the Singapore Zoo – during the daytime or at night. Yes, there is a Night Safari available at this zoo, so you may want to consider checking that out.

Other interesting sections of the zoo is the River Safari which features a giant panda forest (Singapore recently welcomed a baby panda so you can visit him!) and the Jurong Bird Park, where you can learn more about Nelly, a 30-year-old eagle living at the park with 3,500 other feathered friends.

For a unique and personal wildlife experience, try the Singapore Zoo Breakfast with the orang utans.

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