Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Since I have become a frequent visitor to JB, it is a natural progression to include the places to check out here. Funnily, it is more exciting to do so for a foreign land than the one you are used to. What an irony.

Here is a list of things one can do while in Johor Bahru:

1. Pamper yourself at one of the many beauty spas or saloons. Alternatively pamper your other lady with a thorough snow wash or pimp her ride at the many car mechanic shops.

– Chin Ly along Jalan Harimau

2. Spend a family day at Asia’s first Legoland and the first of many to come your way. The Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park is Iskandar’s latest addition for young children who are fans of Thomas and Friends, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina and Barney and Friends. Of course if you love pink, you’d love Hello Kitty! too.

3. Sample the freshest seafood served up by the native Orang Laut at many of the villages that dot the coast.

– Passed the Taman Laguna estate through the dirt paths – a few outlets here but the one I’ve tried is called Kah Lin

– Along the East Coast Highway, follow the road to Teluk Jawa

4. Visit the Johor Premium Outlet to check out and buy last season’s styles at fantastic discounts – brands such as Burberry, Coach, Guess, Zumi, Tag Heuer to name a few

5. Shop at one or all of these megamalls – KSL City, Aeon Tebrau City, Sutera Mall, Aeon Bukit Indah, City Square Mall, Danga City Mall

6. Attend one of the many weekly trade expos from travel, property, IT and electronics, home furnishing, books, wedding and fashion fairs. Locations for expos can be found in Persada Johor, KSL City, Danga City Mall

7. Make a day trip to Desaru for some sun, sand and sea plus fruit farms, ostrich farms and glittery fireflies

8. At The Zon Regency, you can catch a ferry to somewhere or nowhere, buy and consume duty free products onsite or chill out at the nearby clubs

9. Tee off at the award winning golf courses such as Pulai Springs, Austin Hills, Starhill, Daiman, Octville etc.

10. Pig out in the many roadside kopitiams or hawker centres (food centre next to Grand Paragon Hotel, Permas Jaya) or bistros/restaurants/cafes at Sutera, Bukit Indah, Permas Jaya, Taman Mount Austin.

– One of my favourite chain of restaurants is called Tang Shi Fu where you can try a variety of herbal rich soups and dishes at decent prices – can be found in Tebrau City, JPO, KSL City

– 大家胜美食中心 – another favourite as it is next door to our car wash haunt. I love to eat the frog leg porridge here while enjoying the open air screening of soccer matches or Hokkien karaoke

– Taman Sri Tebrau aka Tebrau Market – you can find all kinds of seafood here. Personally recommended by a few friends and relatives, look out for Hiang Kee Seafood and order the butter crayfish. They were really fresh and juicy!

– Restoran On Kee at Permas Jaya – the Chinese restaurants serves relatively tasty dishes at very reasonable prices. Great for family occasions.

11. Buy fresh market produce at Kip Mart Masai, Pandan City along Tebrau Highway, Bestmart between Bkt Indah and Sutera. If this isn’t your cup of tea, there are no short of Jusco, Tesco, Giant hypermarts for your everyday groceries.

– Masai Kip Mart – wet market selling fruits, vegetables, dried products, fish, meat. Even if you’re not buying anything, it feels just alive walking through the alleys. Opens till late at night. There is a Hwa Tai supermart here as well.

– Tesco can be found in Tebrau City, KSL City, Bukit Indah, Plentong along Pasir Gudang Highway, Seri Alam

Well there you have it – the almost complete list of how you can totally spend weekend after weekend across the Causeway without bursting your wallet before your waistband does.

I have to add a disclaimer though. JB seems like a ghost town on weekday afternoons. The best time to visit when all the shops are open are on weekday evenings or weekends. But that is also when the traffic comes to town.

As this is a permanent page, I will continue to build a directory of places to eat, to shop and to go as I discover them.

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