Category Archives: Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru (6 Dec – 8 Dec 2008) Part 2

We went to Johor Bahru the second time.  I don’t think there will be a third time to JB again until next year or so?

As this was a long holiday for the workmates, public holiday on the Hari Raya Haji (today), hence we made another travel to JB for another adventure.  Actually there wasn’t any  great adventure on this 2nd trip though,….

The custom was filled with people.  It took 30 minutes for my bus to cross the Malaysia-Singapore bridge due to huge traffic jam along the bridge.  Not just vehicles traffic but human traffic too.  The bus driver let us down half way in the middle of the bridge… we walked to JB custom by foot.

Johor-Singapore Causeway Link - me walking along the bridge

Johor-Singapore Causeway Link - me walking along the bridge

Again once  we went to City Square JB for a break.

City Square JB

City Square JB

Many Singaporeans or Malaysians working in Singapore, tend to travel  to City Square JB for good shopping and food due to the money exchange conversion rate (Malaysia Ringgit and Singapore Dollar).  So do we……  🙂

On the same day we went to Pelangi Mall.

Plaza Pelangi (Inside)

Plaza Pelangi (Inside)

Plaza Pelangi (outside)Plaza Pelangi (outside)

Another mall which is located about 8 minutes drive from City Square. We had our dinner there, a restaurant called VIVO (American Pizza & Panini) which is not available in Singapore nor Kuala Lumpur.  I think it is only available in Johor Bahru as I have seen branches of VIVO restaurants in JB – City Square, Pelangi Mall and Tebrau City.

VIVO American Pizza & Panini

VIVO American Pizza & Panini

Vivo Logo

Vivo Logo

VIVO is similar with Secret Recipe restaurant.  To me, although it is named as an American restaurant… but i doubt that!  After trying out the restaurant….. I won’t go again although the price is cheaper than Secret Recipe.  Nothing that really special that would bring us to having it again…. The food is average. We ordered Baked Rice Oriental Chicken and Spaghetti Mushroom in Cream Sauce.

Baked Rice Oriental Chicken (ordinary but better than the spaghetti)

Baked Rice Oriental Chicken (ordinary but better than the spaghetti)

Spaghetti Mushroom in Cream Sauce (Average)

Spaghetti Mushroom in Cream Sauce (Average)

On the next day, here we go to Tebrau City again.  We took a public transport bus cost RM2.20 per trip.  To me, the bus fare is very expensive as compared with Kuala Lumpur Rapid Bus that only RM1.00 per day and to anywhere.  The condition of the bus, as if we were at a 3rd world country.  Or Kuala Lumpur 1970’s Mini Buses. 95% non-chinese in the bus. It took about 20-25 minutes to reach Tebrau City.

JB Bus

JB Bus

The Tebrau City for the interior and exterior it looks like One Utama, Bandar Utama.

Tebrau City Johor Bahru (Exterior)

Tebrau City Johor Bahru (Exterior)

Tebrau City (Interior) 1

Tebrau City (Interior) 1

Tebrau City (interior) 2

Tebrau City (interior) 2

Tebrau City (interior) 3

Tebrau City (interior) 3

Here we wandered the mall and window shopping plus a movie BOLT….and lunch Hong Kong Restaurant – Food & Tea…. After writing this blog up to here, do you notice that many of the restaurants these days likes to name their restaurant  using the country name?  Now realised that!  This is a type of marketing strategy.  Using the name of the country to lure customers in…… eventually, there are not! from the country!  (of course very few were came from the country itself)

Food & Tea (Two thumbs down!)

Food & Tea (Two thumbs down!)

I think I have seen branches of Food & Tea in the Klang Valley but couldn’t name them… there is one at One Utama?  Anyway, I am not sure it is well served and the food quality at other branches but this one at the Tebrau City, should not try.  Service quality served by non-chinese bad…. and food quality.. worse.  Not a recommended restaurant…

We had dinner at Manhattan Fish Market,…again another restaurant uses “Manhattan”, the city for United States as the name of the restaurant.  Do you think the Fish Market came from Manhattan?  Absolute NOT!  But this restaurant made a great success… it was established by a Malaysian young man whom he graduated from his Perth, Australia studies.  He have this idea of starting a seafood cuisine as many of the restaurants seen near the Perth.   I read about this recently from a business magazine.  His restaurants have been branches out and franchises to Singapore and throughout Malaysia.  This man does not have any experience in food industry as he was only a graduate…..Interesting…. OK. About the food, it wasn’t my first time eating at Manhattan Fish Market,… as i am a seafood lover and if you too a seafood lover,….this restaurant is highly recommended…. I love all the dishess!!!!!

Flaming Platter For One - Simply YUMMY!!!

Flaming Platter For One - Simply YUMMY!!!

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Shop + Eat + Drink…

Johor Bahru (JB) is the southest city in the West Malaysia.  It is under the state of Johor.

JB is the border between Malaysia and Singapore.  Hence, many people travels to and fro from JB to Singapore or vice-versa.  Many Singaporeans or people from Singapore, travels to JB.  Why?  This is because the food and the saleable items are cheaper than Singapore. Another reason is because the Singapore Dollar currency is stronger than the Malaysia Ringgit currency.  SGD2.35 = MYR1.00.  Earning $$$ in Singapore is much valuable than Malaysia.  For instance a simple example, a fresh graduate earns S$1,800 in Singapore, while fresh graduates in Malaysia earns RM1,800.  Therefore with the conversion of S$1,800 X 2.35 = RM4,230.  With this RM4,230 the spending is 2.35 times better than the Malaysian graduates.  This is why people in Singapore, travels to Malaysia very often.  And many of the Malaysians or especially the neighbouring countries and even from afar i.e. Philippines, China, Indonesia, India, Europe, Australia and etc works in Singapore  including ME.  🙂

After working for just 2 months and 1 week, myself and my travelling partner venture to JB for a trip.  Once i stepped at JB, we were not used to the JB environment as it was so under-developed as compared with Singapore.  It is uncomparable.  With many buses, cars, taxis calling for customers…like there are not any traffic control.  Even there are many pickpockets in JB, an unsafe city. Hence, both of us had to be alert of the surroundings.

When comes to the immigration, the custom in JB is the “best”… the immigration officers, never check the local passport.  People just can walk pass the counters.  I wonder how Malaysia can boost the tourism sector?  People from Singapore to Malaysia, will not have their baggage checked.  People can easily bring a bomb with no fear.  I hope the Malaysia will be strict when the new custom commences which will have to wait for the moon to fall down from the sky and cows start to fly…

Malaysia new custom starting soon? When?

JB new custom starting soon? When?

We went to the City Square as it is only a 3 minutes distance walk from the JB custom.  Extremely near… in fact City Square used to be the only shopping mall (consider large mall) in JB.  So most of the shoppers find their shopping items only in this mall.  However, another new mall built 2-3 years ago.  This new mall is called Tebrau City which needed to take 30-40 minutes bus ride from City Square to Tebrau City.  This mall is a must go GO mall when you are in JB.  Although JB city is not a developed country as like Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, but once you enter the new mall, Tebrau City,… the feeling was different.  We had our lunch at Chinku Ho Ramen, a place you should not miss… A japanese restaurant specialises on noodles.  Even though this type of restaurant is commonly found in Singapore and Malaysia… BUT i just love their soup!  BIG bowl… and soup… whoaaaa…….. fantastic! So hard to discribe… 😛

Interestingly, the bus fare to and fro are pretty expensive.  RM2.20-RM2.40.  How i find it expensive?  Bus fare in KL even cheaper than JB.  RM1.10 you can travel anywhere in the Klang Valley for 1 whole day!!!  One thing i noticed was, there are different bus companies in JB.  There are a few companies travels at the same destinations and their fares aren’t standardised.  Know what bus company for Klang Valley?  Bus Rapid……

There are so many good food in JB… another one we had was Thai cuisine named CARABAO Seafood Restaurant.  The restaurant cater for familes, couples and friends patrons.  We bulat bulat walked in to the restaurant as we found thats the best restaurant that can be found along the Dato’ Abdullah Tahir Road.  Luckily we were early. If we were 10 minutes behind,.. we were on queue already.  People were queing for this restaurant.  The environment is pretty cool… design of a village house.

Carabao Seafood Restaurant - Must go restaurant. YUMMY!

Carabao Seafood Restaurant (Thai cuisine) at Jalan Dato Abdullah Tahir - Must go go go restaurant. YUMMY!

Carabao Restaurant in Johor Bahru (Ichiban!)

Carabao Restaurant in Johor Bahru (Ichiban!)

Whether you are a Singaporean, Malaysian, or any other foreigners… no harm to explore further and JB is always a good choice for shopping spree especially for people working in Singapore!!!  To me, i will set once a month to shop in JB and have yummy food there and yet cheap! (only when you make comparison between MYR & SGD money!!!)