"5-hour Traffic Jam towards JB from Singapore" is one of the most common news we see around over a long weekend, or in fact, any other weekend.
It's pretty crazy how many Singaporeans actually head to Johor Bahru weekly, but yet we always head to the same old places - City Square and KSL.
I get it, they are convenient, easily accessible and has almost everything you need.
But there is so much more to explore in JB that those two malls and let us give you some refreshing inspiration on where to go the next time you are in JB!
BUT FIRST, FOOD:
1. HIAP JOO BAKERY
An unassuming exterior that houses a century-old family business, Hiap Joo freshly bakes their signature cakes, buns and biscuits using a traditional charcoal oven and Hainanese baking methods.
They are especially known for their signature banana cakes which are released at scheduled timings and you'll want to be there before it runs out!
P.S. They might sell out before their closing time, so we suggest heading there on weekdays or early on weekend mornings!
Address: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
2. SALAHUDDIN BAKERY
The rustic and traditional interior of Salahuddin Bakery has never undergone any changes since it first opened in the early 1900s.
Even so, the quaint bakery has been well-kept and cared for, and has secured a loyal spot in the hearts of locals and tourists alike.
Signatures include deep-friend and flaky curry puff filled with the classic potato or lamb curry and coconut shavings.
This is the perfect mid-day snack or even as your breakfast for tomorrow!
Address: 26, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
3. MOK MOK BRUNCH & BISTRO
Cafe-hopping in Singapore usually burns a hole in your pocket. Which is why many Singaporeans head to JB to get their brunch fix.
Mok Mok Brunch & Bistro is one of the top-recommended cafes in JB that locals and tourists flock to - especially for the Cream Cheese Souffle Pancakes.
Considerably cheaper than Singapore, these pancakes are the ultimate show-stopper. Plus you can choose your preferred topping (we say choose the boba), catering to your personal preference.
FOR QUALITY FAMILY TIME:
4. UK FARM KLUANG
Let's get this straight, UK Farm Kluang is not associated with the United Kingdom even though the name might hint so.
That aside, It is actually the largest sheep and goat farm in all of Malaysia! It will be the perfect opportunity to let your young kids have their hand at feeding the animals and you'll get to buy fresh goat's milk on-site too!
5. ANGRY BIRDS THEME PARK
Modelled after the famous game, the Angry Birds Theme Park is decked out in everything Angry Birds. You will find a huge slingshot waiting for you right at the entrance.
Expect the likes of themed arcade games and rides, but do be aware that age limits apply for some.
The theme park stays open till 10pm so you will have more than sufficient time in the day to explore and have fun!
6. AUSTIN HEIGHTS WATER & ADVENTURE PARK
Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park is the perfect one-stop destination for families.
Cool off the unforgiving heat with the numerous pools and water rides available here. With 10 different waterpark attractions, namely the "Hola-Flora" TOTs Play, Splash World, Supersurf and more, there is definitely an attraction for everyone here!
OTHER MALLS TO SATISFY YOUR SHOPPING NEEDS
7. JOHOR PREMIUM OUTLET
As much as we try to avoid shopping malls, shopping, in general, is something that we can't shy away from.
If you want to get your branded goods shopping done, then the Johor Premium Outlets will be one way to enjoy savings even as you shop away!
Lay your hands on the best bargains from premium brands such as Coach, Burberry, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren and more! Think IMM prices, but a whole lot more competitive.
8. MIDVALLEY SOUTHKEY
Spanning 2.5 million square feet (yes, imagine how huge!) and standing five levels tall is JB's latest shopping mall, MidValley Southkey.
Dubbed the largest integrated shopping centre, this mall is very much similar to its sister mall in KL.
It will almost an entire day to cover this gigantic mall so be sure to refer to the directory for clues on where to head next.
Located just 10 minutes away from the checkpoint by car, this mall is home to Singaporeans' much-missed department store SOGO, and other brands like Kate Spade, Coach, Village Grocer, a cinema and more.
9. PARADIGM MALL
6 floors high and more than 500 retail stores, Paradigm Mall is the mega centre for both shopping and activities.
There's an indoor skate, indoor rock climbing walls and even an ice skating rink - all in the mall!
These are rarely seen in Malaysia and to have it all in a shopping mall makes it even more convenient and accessible for all.
Plus, there are serviced apartments and a four-star hotel built right above the mall so start planning your weekend staycation now!
10. IKEA TEBRAU
Fun fact: IKEA Tebrau is the first IKEA outlet in Southern Malaysia!
It is also connected to Ikano Shopping Centre, making it the ideal shopping destination for many.
Most of the products found in the Tebrau showroom are alike to our outlets in Singapore but we definitely can't say the same about the price.
But you might just want to check if your new buys can fit into your car, or cross the customs back to Singapore!
Next time you are planning a trip to JB, be sure to pull up this read! After all, there is more to Johor than just shopping at City Square or KSL!
This article was first published in Shopback.