Weekend Getaway: Johor Bahru

Over the long weekend, my family went on a trip to Singapore’s closest neighboring city – Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Johor Bahru is so close to Singapore that you are practically crossing a mere 1 km causeway which is about 15 minutes of driving from border to border.

Unfortunately, last Friday was a public holiday and many people were traveling outside Singapore. From Woodlands Immigration Checkpoint, the traffic was so jammed that it took us more than two hours to reach Johor Bahru Checkpoint.

Good thing we left early from the city, had breakfast, packed lightly and brought some snacks in our bags. We were also very comfortable with our rented taxi for that day despite the heavy traffic. The car was new and very clean. The driver was punctual, courteous, and we felt safe with his driving.


A week before, I searched for specialized taxis who transfer people from Singapore to Johor Bahru, read reviews and finally booked our taxi via sgmytaxi.com. The confirmation was quick and instructions were clear. One-way is $70 for a Toyota Innova which is actually good for 5-6 people. Highly recommended for pregnant travelers, those traveling with kids or in big group.

Our hotel is beside Johor Bahru City Square. The shops inside the mall were almost the same as what we have here in Singapore, but there were restaurants worth trying nonetheless and the flea market type of shops in the upper level got great variety of clothes, mobile accessories and whatnots, plus, prices were considerably cheap.

We dined at a local restaurant called SDS where I had chicken rendang in fragrant basmati rice and soursop smoothie for lunch. Food was really good, serving size was just enough, and the price was okay.


We also went to another nearby mall called Plaza Kotakaraya and it looked new as many stalls were still unoccupied. There was nothing much to see or buy although there was a big supermarket inside and popular food outlets were around like KFC , Kenny Rogers and Pizza Hut.

At dinner time, we tried barbecued baby stingray and grouper fish, fried oyster omelet and some satay at the Meldrum Walk. The food was inexpensive and taste is okay. Be wary though that the ambience is nothing sophisticated, you are eating literally in a street with makeshift dining, and the area is a bit dirty and all.


The following day we took a metered taxi to Johor Premium Outlet. There were many things to buy, luxury brands, at discounted prices. There were good selection of food and refreshment shops, shaded and ventilated walkways, clean toilets and taxis were plenty. We spent the whole afternoon window-shopping and thought that it was a good place to shop for Christmas gifts, but maybe on another trip to JPO later in the year.

On Sunday morning, we went to the Church of the Immaculate Conception , a Catholic Church within walking distance from our hotel.


The Easter mass was held in Bahasa. We did not understand a word that the priest and parishioners were saying but I guess our prayers was heard by our one God and that was all that matters.

Well, that’s how our long weekend went, and with the busy season in the office right now, I am desperately looking forward to another restful and fun weekend with my loves. Till my next post, chiao!

8 thoughts on “Weekend Getaway: Johor Bahru

  1. Pingback: Travel Blog Award: I am Richer! | Expat Mom Diaries

  2. Pingback: Good Friday and My Lemongrass Tea  | Expat Mom Diaries

  3. Hi, I am thinking of hiring SGMYTAXI service to JB. May I know if they are reliable and on time in picking up customers? I will be travelling with 1 toddle so punctuality is very important.


  4. Johor Premium Outlets to me looks a lot like Alabang Town Center so I’d love to go back not so much for the shopping, but in that it reminds me of home =)

    Liked by 1 person

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