Things to do in JB for a day trip(Woodlands side).
As I always frequent JB over the weekends, I am not going to do a post on like 2D1N or 3D2N trip to JB but instead, Im going to list down all the things you can do in JB(for a day or per trip) in this post as I always frequent the same old places.
For those who does not own a car, fret not. I’ve been heading into JB via all ways (car, bus, train, chartered car and even WALK). So, this trip can be done easily without a car.
Before we start, here are some tips:
- Book the KTM train(to & fro) in advance as the queue is wayyyy shorter than both buses or car no kidding. As there are only a max no. of seats, the people you can expect at the Train custom are the max no. available too.
- Just take uber/grab around inside JB. The places are all located near each other and it doest really cost much. If you are going in a group, you can book the grab 7-seater its even way cheaper if you split.
- Change more money if you like to do shopping + massage + nails (for the girls). Although food is relatively cheap in there(imagine cafe food price in SG but in RM currency), the nails and massage cost about RM60-90 each depending on what you are getting.
So, let me start this with the most thing first…..
As mentioned above, there are about 5 ways to head into JB.. For me, I prefer the train the most cause the queue is always the shortest and the train took about 5mins to reach JB from SG. Yes, even way better than a car(stuck in a jam for 3hrs before) in my own opinion.
You may book the train tickets here but I will advise you all to book at least 2-3 weeks in advance as it gets sold out easily. Also, book 2 ways unless you want to walk or take bus back to SG. Or go for an alternate option which cost way more that bring me to my next point.. Oh, the train station is located at Woodlands Check point.
For this, you will just enter the SG custom as per usual. Then when you come down from the custom escalator, you will just need to turn behind and you will start to see a queue. If there is no queue, you will see SBS bus no. 170 and another bus no. beside it. I cant remember the bus number cause usually I dont even bother seeing it. Why? Cause both the buses will stop at JB custom no matter what so it doesnt matter which you took. JUST BOARD ANY! (except the CW link of course that one you need to have a card for it).
This option usually take the longest and the most tiring cause first, you may have to be standing in a long queue in SG custom, then you need to stand in a long queue for the buses(interval about 10-15mins per bus depending on the jam) and then you need to stand in a super duper long queue in JB custom!!
Be prepared to take about 4-5hrs if you are unlucky.
3. Chartered Car
This, works similar as per to driving in just that there is a driver for you and you dont have to worry about your legs cramping from the jam. Also, you can take a nap too. But normally, we only take this option back to SG as we tend to hang till late in JB and by then, there will not be any buses or trains available. You can grab such car at the Bugis bus terminal.
This is the most ex and they cost $70 per car. So normally they will just squeeze or combine you with other people heading into JB. But if its just 4 of you… then its $70/4.
For me, I usually take either the train or bus in (cause the last train and bus were quite early) then I will take the car back as they will drop you off right at your doorstep.
But, the cons were that you will definitely take it with 6 other strangers and if your house is at the far end of SG, then prepared to be the last to alight = head to 5 other places first. So, the entire ride can take about 1-1.5hrs.
The location to grab those cars are below the bridge as shown in the photo below:
Yes, I had walked from SG custom to JB custom before. Its just a straight road but do note that at some point of the bridge there is no pedestrian path and you will have to walk on the road along side with the cars. So please be extra careful. Also, be prepared to walk for 20-30mins(depending on your speed) and real hot weather.
I will skip the part on car cause its the simplest, just have to see heng/suay whether there is a jam. But if you’re really driving, please go during the weekdays during non-peak hours cause CONFIRM jam during the weekends at any timing. Of course, unless its just a supper thing and you head in at like 11pm.
Places to eat
These are the places I always frequent, in no specific order. You may or may not choose to skip certain places. Note this is just my own preferences so the locals may disagree with me.
If you realise, all these places are actually located near one another. I’ve pasted a map here for your easy understanding. You can just cab to one of the cafes below and walk to the others.
The Replacement Lodge & Kitchen Cafe
Address: 33, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
One of the most famous brunch cafe in JB. The food were good, coffee were good and the prices were similar to brunch prices in SG but in RM. Also, its a very pretty and nice cafe to chill and spend some quality time with your gfs/partner.
Hiap Joo Bakery
Address: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
This is a MUST when I head into JB! But, its also only a must if you are a banana cake lover. This is by far, one of the best Banana cake I ever have and I can finish an entire pack myself! I will always buy back a few boxes whenever I am here.
Note that the queue is long and they close around 5.30pm so head there early if you dont want to miss it!
Chaiwalla & Co. Container Cafe
Address: 36, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
This is just located somewhere further than Hiap Joo and its in an open space carpark. As a Thai milk tea lover, its also one of my to-go whenever I head into JB. There are also seatings for you to grab a cup of drink before hitting the road again.
Address: 54, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
For coffee lovers, this is a must-go for you. Its a place famous for coffee and they are really good especially their house special- the Espresso Ice Cube. The hipsters will definitely love this place as well cause its not a normal cafe (see pictures) out there the whole interior is just, unique.
They serve brunch food there too so you can lunch there with the coffee or do it like me, brunch at other cafe then head there for coffee. Whichever suits you better.
Restoran Ya Wang
Address: 28, Jalan Segget, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
They call this the Dian Xiao Er in JB. There is always a long queue so I will advise you to avoid peak period like lunch hours or weekends. But do note that they closeat 6pm or when the ducks are sold out. You can choose flavours which are similar to those provided in Dian Xiao Er at half the price?? (If you convert RM to SGD currency of course)
IT Roo chicken Chop
Address: 17, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Its said that these are the best chicken chops in Town and… I agreed too! Its one of Thye and I must go to whenever we head to JB. Ok it wasnt really very WOW in terms of presentation but its just so authentic and how a good traditional chicken chop taste like. So far, I’ve brought a few of my friends there and they love it too!
Cheap and good!
Restoran Hua Mei
Address: 131, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
By right, they are famous for their Hainanese Chicken Chop but so far, I’ve tried it yet. I went there for their traditional breakfast one day and its goood. Its just local kaya bread, soft boiled eggs + Teh peng but its just good.
This place is located slightly further away from Woodlands. Its only accessible via cab/car. But, they have one of the better brunch food there as well. I wouldnt mind driving all the way back here again.
Address: 30, Jalan Mutiara Emas 5/3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Bak Kut Teh (2 locations)
There is one that is just located right opposite KSL and that will do pretty fine if you are not a fussy eater. For us, we will only head there if its convenience else usually I will go to the one that is further away from KSL known as Ah Soon Bak Kut Teh. Its nearer to the abalone noodles/Taman Sentosa that side.
They only serve claypot BKT and claypot soy chicken there. Nothing else.
For exact address and location: 141, Jalan Keris 1, Taman Sri Tebrau, 80500 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia. I’ve also inserted a street view of the place for your easy references.
The one and only Lok Lok that I visit now is the one located right outside Bangkok Spa- Fa Ge Lok Lok (发哥渌渌). I used to go to the ones at the Abalone noodles or Taman Sentosa there but they were nothing compared to this! Firstly, the food are placed in a container fridge= more hygiene and their seasonings used were.. SEDAP!
The place is easy to find too and quite a few seatings were available. You may even sit at the tables outside Bangkok Spa if you’re doing massage with them.
Abalone noodles + Wanton mee
This is one of the supper places most people went to. There are 2 shops side by side its ok to try either cause they both tasted the same to me. Out of all, I only like the abalone slices haha.
For me, this will be the last on list to go to unless like no choice(e.g supper and the others were closed) as I find the food so-so only as compared to the rest in this post.
Taman Sri Tebaru Hawker Centre
If you have been seeing pictures of huge butter crayfish that ppl took in JB… this is the place where you can find it. Its located near the famous Abalone noodles and you can see this Hawker when you are driving towards Taman Sentosa. If not, just take a grab and set this location as grab in JB is really cheap..
Its 1KG for RM99. There is small (about 3 crayfish), medium (about 6 crayfish) and large (never order before but Im guessing 8?). Anw you can just check directly with the Uncle there he will tell you roughly how many for what sizes.
Address: Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru 80050
Yes you can even pack home if you’re heading back to SG after that. They will poke holes through the packaging to keep it nice & crispy.
Taman Sentosa Seafood
There are a rows of seafood restaurant right opposite Taman Sentosa and here is where people come often to eat “tze char”. Their butter crayfish wasnt as nice as the Hawker centre one but food & cost wise were pretty reasonable & good too. They have the 1 bone chicken wings and some lok lok which you can order together with the seafood dishes. Of course, Fa Ge Lok Lok is still the best.
Places for massage
Just search this place in GPS you can definitely find it. This is our go-to whenever we head into JB be it during the day or late in the night. If you’re staying at KSL hotel, there is a shuttle van to bring you to and fro the place too! So far, out of all the 3 places I’ve tried this is my favourite of the load in terms of the massage skills, the masseur & the cleanliness.
Oh, do try to book in advance as sometimes they are fully booked. But if so, you can just have a quick bite at the Fa Ge Lok Lok (发哥渌渌) located right outside the spa while waiting.
You may also feel free to drive there as there are parking lots available and a uncle will help to look afte the cars too.
Holiday Plaza Thai Odyssey
This is the place I used to go before I get to know Bangkok Spa. Reasons being its convenient location (right outside Holiday Plaza where I do my nails & hair). The massage is not that bad but personally I prefer Bangkok Spa’s.
Places to do nails
Just 1 location- Holiday plaza 2nd level. There are 2 buildings in Holiday Plaza so be sure to walk to the end if you cant find certain shops. For the nails and salon, all the way at the end and you will see a Macdonald there. There will be rows of nails palour side by side. Just choose any as so far, their prices are almost all the same to remain competitive. My personal fave is the Nails Studio- address Holiday Plaza, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
Think I dont have to add pictures or talk much about the shopping centres as its easily located via google maps & grab.
- Komta Mall & City Square Mall right opposite the JB Woodlands Custom.
- Paradigm Mall (NEW) near JB Woodlands Custom
- KSL Mall
- Holiday Plaza- mainly for IT gadgets.
Beside Shell station– There is one that is located right after Shell, turn left into the small lane once you passed shell and you will see tons of car there waiting to be washed. For exact coordinates will be: N1.47135 E103.76559 (note that I got this online so it may not be accurate).
I’ve also inserted a map for easy reference.
-Will insert photo the next time I wash my car in JB-
Outside KSL-This is the one my dad always frequent as he can park there for “free” while we head to KSL for shopping as its right outside. So we just leave the car there for them to wash, walk to KSL, shop and eat then back to collect the car. This way, he saved parking in a way.
The shop is located right in front of the shop shown on the left of this pic.
Anddddd thats all you need to know for a day trip in JB. Well, at least for me. I hope this really help and will be sufficient for you to spend the entire day there. I will continue to update this post as and when I find new good places to try in JB!
Will try to do up a JB post on Tuas area next time since I am currently heading there often as one of my closest girlfriend got a house there.