Johor Bahru (JB) has been a beloved weekend getaway and day trip destination for many Singaporeans. To be very honest, I was not a fan of JB and I’ve only been there twice pre-pandemic. I’ve been there a few times since restrictions lifted and have found some interesting things to do other than the usual haunts of City Square Mall and KSL, so here’s a 2D1N JB itinerary I’ve put together.
Overview of this JB Itinerary
Getting to JB from Singapore
There are many ways of getting to JB from Singapore — by car, bus and train. My favourite is definitely by train as you will not be caught in the traffic jam at the causeway. You can purchase train tickets online via the KTM website. The tickets cost SGD 5 one way.
Taking a Causeway Link bus might be cheaper than the train depending which bus you take. There are a number of buses that bring travellers from Singapore into JB. Most travellers get on bus CW1 from Kranji MRT, CW2 from Queen Street Terminal or CW5 from Newton Circus. You can check the website for the full list of bus services and bus fares.
Day 1: Flowers in the Window, Serba Serbi, Horse Riding, Shi-ba Cafe
Flowers in the Window
Flowers in the Window was an unexpected discovery when my friend and I were looking for a thrift shop. We were drawn to this cafe by its beautiful exterior and the charm of this cafe extended into its interior as well.
We ordered a latte (RM9), matcha latte (RM11.90) and a slice of earl grey lavender cake (RM12.90) to share. The cake looked really aesthetically pleasing and were not too sweet and the flavours blended well without anything overpowering the other. The cafe also serves main dishes.
Serba Serbi Vintage Goods
A few units down from Flowers in the Window is Serba Serbi, a shop that sells secondhand vintage clothing. Though the shop space was small, they have quite a good selection of dresses, tops and pants. Thrift lovers will definitely love this shop and you may even find some secondhand branded clothing here! I got a Kenzo Golf outerwear which was in really good condition for RM250 and my friend got an unbranded blazer for RM30. I would definitely recommend checking this spot out if you’re enjoy thrifting as it is one of the best secondhand clothing shops I’ve been to.
Opening hours: 12pm – 7pm
Note: They weren’t open when we visited at 2pm but were open when we went back at around 3.50pm, so it’s best to send them a message on their Instagram before dropping by
Address: 18, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Amigos Horse Riding
Horse riding in JB? Yes you read that right! Amigos Horse Riding is a horse riding school that offers horse riding class and trail rides. We went on a 45-minute jungle trail (RM99/pax) which took us through an oil palm plantation, jungle and also along a short coastal stretch where you can see the straits of Singapore and Pulau Ubin.
The trail was really scary for me at first as I have no horse riding experience and they allow riders to control the horse without a trainer holding onto the reigns. We only had a 30 second “briefing” on how to steer the horse forward, left and right. I had so many doubts in my mind but the owner assured me that the horses are trained to recognise the path and will be able make it back to the stables even if we are separated from the group.
It can get muddy so wear shoes and long pants that you don’t mind dirtying! It rained before our jungle trail experience and I had some small spots of mud on my shoes after the experience but were barely noticeable unless you are looking up close.
Do book in advance, especially if you’re planning on heading there on the weekends. We got lucky as someone cancelled, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to go on this experience as we booked really last minute. You can contact them via Facebook.
Tip: Get an evening slot as it can get really hot and humid in the jungle.
Edit: As of early 2023, they have opened another branch, which is just a 20-minute drive from the Tuas-Second Link Expressway.
Getting there: Driving would definitely be the best option. It is easy to get a Grab/taxi from town but it can be difficult to get a taxi from the stables. It took us a few tries before managing to get a Grab back into town.
UPDATE JULY 2023: The Pasir Gadang branch is closed from 27 July onwards for renovations, I’ll update again when they reopen.
Opening hours: 9am – 12pm, 2.30pm – 7pm, closed on Mondays
TANJONG PUTERI RESORT: Jalan Tanjong Puteri 1, 81707 Johor Darul Takzim, Malaysia
LEISURE FARM: Jalan Polo, Leisure Farm, 81550 Gelang Patah, Johor, Malaysia
Website | Instagram | Facebook
You’ve probably seen images of the furry cuties at the Shi-ba Cafe floating around the internet. Having gone slightly viral when they first opened, Shi-ba Cafe is Malaysia’s first Shiba Inu cafe located in the cafe-centric Mount Austin.
Shibas are one of my favourite dog breeds so I knew I had to check this spot out. We stayed for about an hour and bought a pack of Shiba treats for RM2 to bait the dogs into befriending us. Tailor your expectations if you do decide to visit as the dogs may not come up to you if you do not have treats for them.
Prices have increased since my visit to the cafe and it is now RM22/entry on weekdays, RM27/entry on weekends and RM12 for children 12 years and below. The entry fee includes a refillable drink.
According to their Facebook page, reservations are required before visiting, so do remember to book beforehand!
The cafe also serves food, so you can choose to have a meal here too. Otherwise, there are many eateries along the streets around Shi-ba Cafe.
Day 2: Johor Premium Outlets, HOME by Tales of Paws
Johor Premium Outlets (JPO)
The layout and design of Johor Premium Outlets (JPO) is pretty similar to that of the outlet villages in Europe and there are around 130 stores in JPO, including Lululemon, Prada, Bottega Veneta and Burberry.
In my opinion, JPO is nothing compared to what you’ll get in London’s Bicester Village or Paris’ La Vallee Village, but it still has a decent selection of brands. I did notice that the selection of goods in the “branded” outlets such as Prada and Bottega Veneta were not great, but it is expected that popular styles would not be in the outlet.
My favourite was the Lululemon outlet, which had a good variety of female activewear. I bought 2 Action Always Tee at around SGD 50 each (original retail price is SGD 90 – 98), which was quite a steal in my opinion.
Reach early during the weekends to avoid the crowds. We got to JPO before 11am and the place was almost empty. When we were leaving around 1pm, the place was packed and many shops had a long line, with the queue outside Gucci and Coach being especially long.
It was easy to get a Grab to and from JPO so no worries if you are not driving. If you do choose to spend the entire day here, there are also food options, though limited.
HOME by Tales Of Paws
HOME by Tales Of Paws is home to a quite a number of uncommon breed of dogs and cats. The dogs are cats are housed separately and I only visited the cat cafe section. We got there around 1pm on a weekday and it was just us and another visitor in the cafe.
Most cats were asleep except for 3-4 cats that were curious and wanted to play. The cats seem to be more intrigued by our tickets than the cats toys provided though haha.
The cat cafe is pricey for Malaysia’s standards and they even charge foreigners a different rate. The entry fee includes a scoop of ice cream and bottle of water. Entry fee starts at RM58 (≈SGD 17) for foreigners on a weekday.
Where to stay in JB
During our JB trip, we stayed at Holiday Inn, which was connected to City Square Mall and paid around SGD 100 per night for the cheapest room. We booked 2 days prior to traveling to JB so the last minute booking may have played a part in the high price. We chose this hotel because it was near the causeway but if you want something cheaper and don’t mind traveling, it would definitely be better to choose a hotel further away from the causeway.
The room we got was alright, good enough for a comfortable one-night stay, but my only gripe is that there were some stains on the table which left me wondering if they wiped all the surfaces in the room.