Just right across the border, Johor Bahru has plenty to offer for a short getaway to let your hair down. Unsure what you can do to fill up your day trip in JB? Here are 7 things you can do and not break a bank! 😉
1. Sing Karaoke
This is something we ALWAYS do whenever we go into JB. Partly cause it’s located right at City Square, the mall beside the Immigration Checkpoint. They open as early as 10am (which is as early as the mall opens, anyway) and closes only at 3am! (for those who are driving in!)
They have a plethora of song choices ranging from English pop hits to Mandopop and even to Cantopop! Some of the rooms might have a lingering cigarette smell, so if you ever get that kind of room, just request for another one. The rooms are quite big, and the toilets relatively clean, so you can sing to your hearts content for 3 hours there. Oh, and did I mention, if you go there on a weekday in the morning before 1pm, it’s only 19 RM++ (~S$6.33 ++) for 3 hours inclusive of 1 drink and 1 set meal! (prices vary by day and timing)
2. Watch a movie in the cinema
City Square Mall has mmCineplexes, where they offer a number of movies. It’s definitely cheaper than in Singapore; you can buy your tickets there, but if you are kiasu and want to make sure there are seats, online booking only costs 17 RM (~S$5.66) per ticket. We usually go to MBO Cinemas @ KSL to watch a movie since we got a member card there and we can even redeem points! They have packages which includes tickets and a popcorn combo so remember to look out for that.
3. Cafe hop
Everyone LITERALLY does this in JB. Even though the hype has died down significantly since a few years ago, there are still numerous cafes that people still go to, such as the The Replacement Lodge and Kitchen Cafe, Bev. C (for desserts), Chaiwalla & Co. Container Cafe (for drinks), and T.I.P. (for ice cream).
4. Hunt for good food in the area
Honestly there are SO many good food in the area, but there are a few that we always frequent just because it’s SO CONVENIENT. We highly suggest Restoran Ya Wang for tasty and affordable roast duck. It also opens really early in the morning so if you reach JB before the mall opens, do hop over to have some duck. If it’s too heavy for you, there’s also Restoran Hua Mui @ Jalan Trus (along with the other cafes). They have amazing kopi, toast, and chicken chop. Try to go early as the queue here is usually long.
If you reach JB at around late morning or early afternoon, head over to Kam Long Curry Fish Head for cheap curry fish head. Just make sure not to go during the lunch period unless you are ready to queue for an hour!
Time to release some knots in your body! We’ve been to several massage parlours, but there is only one we found was the best (in terms of massage quality consistency). The quality of your massage depends on the masseuse but generally, Sawadee Thai Spa @ Jalan Dato Sulaiman topped our list. (don’t get confused as there are a few outlets) It’s actually really near to KSL and Holiday Plaza (walking distance), so getting there is SUPER convenient.
They offer a few types of massage such as Thai massage (non-oil) and aromatherapy massage (oil). The massage prices start from 56 RM (~S$18.66) / hour, and be warned – after that you might not want to do anything anymore. (The massage parlors found in the malls are definitely more expensive than this)
6. Get a Haircut
You can get a haircut at one of the many hairdressers in City Square, KSL, or even Holiday Plaza. The prices there are quite affordable, especially if you are looking to do something different to your hair (perm, colour etc.) I personally don’t have much experience with hairdressers in JB, but yes, it’s definitely an option if you are looking for good hairstylists.
7. Get a Manicure/Pedicure
Our go to place for cheap manipedi are those found in Holiday Plaza. They have many nail parlors there and usually we go to the ones that look full, but not too full (Singaporean mentality 😉 ) so we don’t have to wait too long. It’s definitely cheaper than in Singapore, so if you have time, do drop by to get your nail therapy.
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