On my recently concluded solo travel to Singapore and Malaysia, I got to explore the vibrant cities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur over the course of 11 days. I began my solo adventures in Asia last year by visiting South Korea, which turned out to be phenomenal!
Naturally, I was excited to explore other cities and countries in the area afterwards. Singapore and Japan were the countries that appealed the most to me, so I figured I’d try to visit at least one of them this year.
As it so happens, I got to explore Singapore first. Because the country is quite small and the journey to get there from Nairobi is relatively long, I thought it was good value for money and time to combine the trip with another country close by.
Being very close to Singapore and having the option of applying for an evisa, Malaysia seemed like the perfect add-on destination. My initial plan was to visit 2 cities in the country – Penang and Kuala Lumpur, but due to an unfortunate racist encounter at the Malaysian border, I was only able to spend time in Kuala Lumpur.
I still think both countries make the perfect combination trip for Nigerians looking to visit either for tourism purposes. It is just important to know what to expect and how to minimize the chances of having a negative experience.
What's Covered in this Post
Solo Travel to Singapore and Malaysia from Nigeria – Getting a Tourist Visa
Nigerians who plan to visit Singapore and Malaysia need visas to enter both countries. These posts (for Singapore and Malaysian visas) contain extensive information about how to apply from Nigeria and Kenya. For Singapore, the easiest way to apply is through an authorized travel agent, although I managed to apply for mine independently.
And for Malaysia, the visa application process is a little more straightforward for independent travellers as you can apply directly via the evisa website.
Be aware that Nigerian travellers may face discriminatory treatment while attempting to travel via land from Singapore into Malaysia. I believe it might be possible to leave Malaysia via the land border but travellers may be denied entry into the country if they take any route other than flying through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
stay safe while you travel
Protect yourself from the unexpected while you travel by purchasing an Insurance Cover. I use SafetyWing, which is affordable and covers several travel-related risks, such as unexpected illness or injury, eligible hospital expenses, lost luggage and more. Click here to purchase a cover for your travel and visa application needs.
Solo Travel to Singapore and Malaysia – Best Flights from Nigeria and Kenya
I flew Qatar Airways from Nairobi to Singapore and then from Kuala Lumpur back to Nairobi. The flight time to Singapore and Malaysia are relatively long but I found the fares and layover time on Qatar Airways to be cheaper and shorter than other airlines I considered.
The long journey to get to both countries is also why I recommend travellers to combine both as they are close to each other.
Solo Travel to Singapore and Malaysia – Booking Accommodation and Activities
I used booking.com for my accommodation in Singapore and KL and also for both visa application processes. For activities, I either enjoyed free attractions in the cities or got my tickets on the day of. I’ve found that purchasing tickets in advance might be ultimately cheaper.
So if you’re considering pre-booking some activities, you can do so via the links below.
Trip Planning Resources
Book your accommodation: Find accommodation options for any budget on Booking.com
Purchase Travel Insurance: I use SafetyWing for both my travel and visa application needs
Is Singapore safe for solo female travellers?
Safety as a solo female traveller is something that is always at the back of my mind when I travel and based on my experience and information from several articles I read before my trip, I can say that Singapore is indeed very safe for all kinds of travellers. There was never a single moment when I felt unsafe travelling in the country.
In malls and public spaces, you will often find people leaving their items, like phones and wallets, on tables to keep their seats. I think this can be viewed as a great indication of how safe the country is and the low crime rate level.
Having said that, I advise travellers, especially women who travel solo, to always maintain a good level of situational awareness, regardless of where they travel to.
Is Malaysia safe for solo female travellers?
I also felt safe exploring Kuala Lumpur on my own. The only moment I felt a tinge of fear was when the immigration officer at the land border asked me to walk through a poorly-lit tunnel on my own. I’m not sure why that scared me, but it did.
I will share more about my visit to both places over the next few weeks. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions about visiting both countries in the comment section below.
As always, I love to hear from you!