One of the great things in living in Singapore is its proximity to neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. So if you are living in Singapore, you are just several minutes away from Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Surprisingly, this proximity hasn’t been taken to full advantage by people residing in Singapore. I have been to Johor Bahru approximately 5x. In my recent trip to Johor with my family, I got better acquainted with the place after a local gave us some recommendations of things to do and places to go.
Here are a few things you can do in Johor Bahru, Malaysia:
1. Stay in Hotel Jen
Staycations are a trend right now. People like to book a hotel and just enjoy the amenities & comfort of a hotel. We loved staying at Hotel Jen at Puteri Harbour. It is very kid-friendly with its spacious space for kids to play in the lobby with big pillows, a large TV, several iMac to use while I check in the hotel. I am happy that we get to do an early check-in when we upgraded our room to the harbour view. We loved our room and the aesthetics of the hotel. Our kids were particularly happy and comfortable at Hotel Jen.
We love that our room is overlooking the harbour and kids enjoying seeing the yachts below. We like the location of the hotel. There are lots of nearby restaurants and there are pharmacies, convenience store and boutiques as well. The hotel provides free shuttle bus to Legoland and it is just walking distance to Hello Kitty Town and Thomas & Friends. The hotel staff were all so friendly and accommodating. When we plan to stay for a night or two in Johor Bahru, we know that we will be staying at Hotel Jen.
2. Enjoy a day of fun & rides with your kids at LegoLand
Of course, when you speak of Johor Bahru, it is often synonymous to Legoland Malaysia. So you must visit Legoland when you have young kids when you are in Johor Bahru. Our eldest celebrated his birthday there twice when he turned 2 years and recently when he turned 4. Kids would surely love it there. For younger kids below 4, they will enjoy the playgrounds while 4 years and older will love the rides.
If you opt to stay in Legoland Hotel, it would be an awesome experience too. Their themed hotel rooms are so cool and spacious with a treasure box for you to figure out how to unlock. We had a fun time when we stayed in Legoland Hotel too.
3. Ride the Thomas & Friends train or Have a Nice Afternoon Tea with Hello Kitty
Thomas & Friends Train is currently our kids’ favourite cartoon especially our second-born. Naj and Fynn were so excited that they get to ride the Thomas & Friends’ Train. Thomas Town is found 3rd and 4th floor of building while Hello Kitty Town is at the 2nd floor. We are happy that it is just a few steps from Hotel Jen. Since we got boys, we didn’t visit Hello Kitty and opted to just visit the Thomas Town. There were several kiddies rides. Afterwards, our kids get to enjoy the large playground while my hubby and I stayed at the Parents’ Lounge to enjoy some armchair massage.
Hello Kitty Town
4. Go shopping at Johor Premium Outlets
If you like shopping branded stuff, try visiting Johor Bahru Premium Outlets. You will find great deals there. You will enjoying spending a half day walking around the area searching for items that would attract your fancy.
5. Enjoy some cakes & hang out at TreeSea by 3C Cafe
Someone from JB suggested this cafe to me for its yummy cakes. It is found inside Horizon Hills. The place looks very instagrammable. People would love to hang out there for a chill afternoon away from the sun. My family and I had lunch there before we headed back to Singapore.
6. Have a tall glass of Old Town White Coffee
If I don’t reach out for my favourite Singaporean kopi peng, my next best thing is the 3-in-1 Old Town White Coffee in Hazelnut. In Johor, they have cafe that serve the Old Town White Coffee bought as 3-in -1 here in Singapore. They also serve meals for their customers.
7. Buy some yummy breads at Lavender
If you want to buy some breads to munch on going back to Singapore, I suggest you drop by Lavender bakery. You can find one in City Square. Must try their Pandan Sponge Cake, Macaroons, Corn Peppers and Chicken Ham & Cheese Bun.
8. Pamper your nails at Cynbolic Nail Bar
You can also have a pampering treat at the lovely posh Cynbolic Nail Bar. It is definitely worth the trip. My nails looks so pretty and nice after they did their 5-step Cynbolic Treatment on my poor nails.
I love how pretty the place looks and that they are very particular with their hygienic practices to provide clean and high quality service to their customers. They also serve refreshments for their customers. They have a mini-retail store area upfront, selling cute stuff that you would be tempted to buy.
9. Stroll around to shop or eat at JBCC Komtar or City Square Mall
If you are in Johor to just shop and eat, visit City Square Mall or JBCC Komtar Mall. You can just stroll around and enjoy your favourite boutiques and restaurants that are usually half the price cheaper than in Singapore. Once my galpal and I chance upon a sale in Padini and shop ’til we drop. It was perfect time because it was near Christmas season and we bought our Christmas gifts to our families there. My gall also love the KFC in Johor and would always buy a bucket of chicken there. She says it takes way better in Johor than in Singapore for some reason. While my family and I would often have dinner at Tony Roma at JBCC.
10. Enjoy a beach stroll or the evening lights at Danga Bay
Danga Bay is a a new recreational park in Johor which was opened in 2017. We noticed it on a taxi-trip back to our hotel when we say bright lights from what looks like a carousel. Danga Bay got a theme park for families to enjoy. Nearby also is the Dang Bay Beach which you can have a quiet stroll or you can take a cruise ride which can accommodate up to 12 people. There are nearby cafes and restaurants too.
So for the next long weekend, you might consider trying out exploring Johor Bahru, Malaysia if you are living in Singapore. Let me know if you have other discoveries in JB too.