Half-priced movies, delicious local food and best of all the dollar-to-ringgit exchange rates… This is one of our favourite destinations for a quick day trip!
Johor Bahru (affectionately referred to as JB) is the capital of Johor, the most southern Malaysian state and is connected to Singapore by more than just two causeways. We tell you some of the fun things you can do across the strait.
Many shops, especially local ones, are priced dollar-to-ringgit, which means you’re paying only a third of what you would in Singapore. SCORE!
The customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) complex in JB (just after the Johor–Singapore Causeway) is directly linked to Johor Bahru City Square, a huge mall with 300 retailers (pictured), and that is just the beginning of your all-day shopaholic indulgence. Venture out a little further and check out these retail offerings in JB:
If you’re coming from the Tuas Second Link, you might want to drop by:
Check out JB’s cafe scene not too far away from the Johor–Singapore Causeway. Wander around Jalan Trus, Jalan Dhoby, and Jalan Tan Hiok Nee to chill out at these spots. Warning: May require multiple visits!
The Replacement – Lodge & Kitchen
IT Roo Café
Chaiwalla & Co. Container Café
Alicafe Specialty Coffee
Faculty of Caffeine
Flowers In The Window
TIP, The Ice-Cream Project
Roost Recycled & Repurposed
Ehhe Art Cafe
Photo by Muneerah Bee
You might’ve conquered hawker centres in Singapore, but local delicacies in Malaysia are slightly different and worth a try – their fried noodles, for instance, are darker and more intensely flavoured; their sambal (hot sauce) is typically sweeter, with a stronger hint of its tomato base.
Head to Taman Sri Tebrau Hawker Centre for a characteristically South-east Asian dinner – unpolished, but no less satisfying for that reason.
Even locals frequent this place, and surely that speaks volumes!
Not sure how to get there? Simply hop onto a cab – every driver knows this place like the back of their hand.
The new city of Iskandar Puteri (previously known as Nusajaya), is a haven for recreation and leisure. Visit LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort for hours of fun for the whole family and be blown away by Mini Land which showcases famous landmarks from 17 Asian countries.
Best thing is, they are all easily accessible via the Tuas Second Link.
Photo by Muneerah Bee
You can get to Desaru from Singapore via ferry from Changi Ferry Terminal (which will take you to Tanjung Belungkor) or Changi Point Ferry Terminal (which heads to Pengerang). Alternatively you can also drive to Desaru from JB.
Other hidden gems in JB include…
- Johor Zoo
- Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque
- Royal Abu Bakar Museum (The Grand Palace)
- Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru
- Istana Bukit Serene (Bukit Serene Palace)
- Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum
To all our Malaysian readers, Selamat Hari Merdeka!
By Muneerah Bee, August 2016 (additional reporting by Pinky Chng)