Johor Bahru (JB) can be fun for families who watch their budgets. With our rising Singapore dollar and the high costs of air travel (taxes and fuel surcharges particularly), there are more reasons than ever to consider a Malaysian holiday.
Tag: Johor Bahru
What are Johor Bahru’s (JB) malls like? Do they really offer great value for shoppers?
Recently, my wife and I decided to revisit JB’s shopping malls after hearing positive things (mainly how cheap it was to buy books from Popular) about our closest neighbouring city from friends. As we’re pretty time-starved, we chose to focus on two malls – City Square and KSL City.
In my previous post, I’ve shared how my wife and I decided at the spur of a moment to take a train from Tanjong Pagar to Johor Bahru. Naturally, the train ride itself was an experience in itself. Upon reaching our nearest Northern neighbour, our mission was to explore its newest shopping malls, eat till we burst, indulge in some massage, and shop during the post-Christmas sale (especially for Chinese New Year clothes).
The trip was certainly an eye opener. It revealed how similar yet dissimilar JB is to Singapore. While the shopping malls were every bit as impressive as ours – give or take a couple of years in terms of fashion tastes and trends – what particularly charmed me were the old style kopitiams (coffee shops), hawker centres, and street scapes which can no longer be found in Singapore. Although the roads are more chaotic (and dirty) than the streets here, I love that sense of rusticity and nostalgia in JB.
We were also charmed by the hospitality, warmth and sincerity of the Malaysians working in the service industry there. Their earnestness, proactiveness, and friendly banter made all the difference in our shopping, massaging and eating experience.
It has been quite some time since my wife and I travelled across the Causeway to Peninsula Malaysia, and we recently decided to embark on a day trip to Johor Bahru. To heighten the novelty of the sojourn, we decided to take a train from the Tanjong Pagar KTM Railway Station and to experience what its like to chug along the old railway line before the station is decommissioned and shifted to Woodlands.
Having trekked along the Bukit Timah Railway on foot, we were curious to feel what its like to be seated in the passenger carriages. It was also an invaluable opportunity to travel along a nostalgic, scenic and heritage rich route winding through the central core of our island. Yes, I must admit that we are quite “sua ku” (mountain tortoise) in this respect as our usual modes of transportation abroad are either by air, by car or by boat.
Here’s a visual account of our journey.