Johor Bahru is one of the best places (if not the best) for Singaporeans to head to for a day trip be it to indulge in delicious local foods, hop from one aesthetically-pleasing cafe to another or simply relax and unwind over affordable body massages.
The endless things to do in Johor Bahru leaves little to wonder as to why many Singaporeans often flock there especially during weekends and school holidays. However, even though going to JB for just a day may seem rather straightforward, it actually requires a lot of planning beforehand especially if you’re not familiar with the city.
For first-timers, crossing borders even for a simple day trip might be confusing—after all, you’re heading into a foreign country so things might get a little challenging along the way. Fret not for here are some tips you may wish to keep in mind before heading off for your trip!
#1 CHECK THE TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU HEAD THERE
If you’re driving, the last thing you want is to be stuck in a 3-hour long traffic jam on the causeway bridge which would definitely tire you out before your day trip even starts.
Before leaving your home, you can check the traffic forecast on several websites such as www.checkpoint.sg and www.onemotoring.com, which shows the exact traffic conditions at the time you’re checking the forecast.
Photo Credit: Mothership.sg
#2 CHOOSE YOUR DATES WISELY
On usual weekdays, the commute from Johor Bahru across the 1 km-long Causeway bridge takes about 1 to 2 hours. On weekends and public holidays, that journey can be much longer.
On top of that, try to avoid public holidays and eve of public holidays because that would be when many Singaporeans are free to head over too. On 2018′s Christmas Eve, the customs took a whopping 7 hours to clear and those who planned to grab breakfast there ended up only getting to have dinner.
Having access to the internet makes going about much more fuss-free and convenient. Get yourself a SIM card at one of the many convenience stores over in Johor Bahru instead of turning on roaming to save some cash.
#4 TRAVELLING AROUND
Have several places on your to-go list but can’t seem to make your way from one place to another by foot? Make use of ride-hailing apps such as Grab to get around and trust us when we say that it is not difficult to get yourself a driver there.
Otherwise, if you’re flagging down a cab, be sure to request for a metered pricing rather than fixed pricing as most cab drivers tend to surge the prices. Unless you’re very familiar with the costs and distances in JB, we’d highly recommend that you opt for metered pricing.
#5 PLAN AHEAD OF TIME
Johor Bahru is huge—and when we say huge, we mean that is it 26.7 times larger than our little red dot. With that being said, there are several different areas you may wish to check out, all for different purposes so make sure that you know exactly where you want to go before heading over.
If you’re looking to find the best street foods in Johor Bahru, exploring the area around Jalan Wong Ah Fook would be a great idea. Kam Long Curry Fish Head, Ho Seng Kee Wanton Noodles and Restoran Hua Mui are just a handful of the many local eateries you can find there.
Should you be a frequent traveller to JB, do check out Taman Mount Austin if you haven’t already done so. The area has over 70 hipster cafés, local eateries, KTV lounges and massage parlours and you can easily spend an entire day there!
#6 KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT BRING BACK TO SINGAPORE
We totally understand how easy it is to get carried away with shopping in a country where almost everything is cheaper and when you see items that you can’t usually find in Singapore.
However, bear in mind that there are several items that you cannot bring back to Singapore and may get fined at the customs for doing so. Bak kwa is way cheaper in JB but that is one item that Singaporeans are strictly not allowed to bring home. Other goods include milk powder, eggs and large quantities of fruits and rice.
Photo Credit: The Straits Times
#7 BOOK A TRAIN IN ADVANCE
Should you be planning for a trip way ahead of time, you may wish to consider booking a train to and fro rather than taking a bus or driving over as it is generally faster and more reliable.
You can book your train tickets on several websites such as www.easybook.com. Fares usually cost S$5.68 and S$1.77 to and fro Johor Bahru respectively.
Read our Johor Bahru guides to discover the best places to visit in the city.