Are you fond of day trips? For folks in the Lion City, one of the best places to have one is in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Crossing the Johor-Singapore Causeway via bus or train from the Woodlands Checkpoint, you can reach “JB” in just a few minutes. This gives you plenty of time to look around and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. What’s more, it’s easy to find accommodations if you want to stay the night or longer. Just search “Hotel JB,” and you’ll get a list of popular options. Of course, Johor Bahru is also a great foodie destination. In fact, you can spend your entire day here just exploring the restaurants and the food stalls.
That being said, you wouldn’t want to go to Johor Bahru without even a modicum of idea about what to do for the day. To this end, we present you with this short list of things to see and do in JB on a day trip that doesn’t involve temple hopping.
If you’re a kid at heart or simply love Lego, then it’s definitely a must to visit Legoland Malaysia. It’s the first of its kind in Asia, the first international theme park in Malaysia, and the sixth Legoland in the world. The theme park has eight zones that cater to both kids and adults: The Beginning, Lego Ninjago World, Miniland, Imagination, Lego Technic, Lego Kingdom, Land of Adventure, and Lego City. There’s also a hotel and resort inside, perfect if you want to explore both the theme park AND the water park.
For those just visiting the theme park, there are plenty of rides and activities for the little ones at Legoland Malaysia. Still, adults can have a perfectly great time. For example, you can see Lego recreations of various landmarks across the world, like the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal. There’s also one of the Merlion, so Singaporeans should definitely drop by and take a photo. For building enthusiasts, you may want to check out Lego Technic to build robots and more. There’s also Lego Star Wars, with over 2,000 Lego figurines of the characters and scenes from the movie franchise. Of course, there are also plenty of food choices and souvenir stores here. If you don’t want to lug your purchases around, however, you can ask the store to send your purchase to the exit so you can just collect it there when you leave.
Sanrio Hello Kitty Town
Are you a 90s kid? Do you love Hello Kitty? If you answered yes to one or both of those questions, then you’ll love Sanrio Hello Kitty Town in Puteri Harbour. Here, you can take photos, pose in costumes and Sanrio outfits, make your own souvenirs, tour Hello Kitty’s home, watch live performances, and even get to meet and greet Hello Kitty and her friends. You can easily spend a couple of hours here to revel in the cuteness, and still have enough time to visit other destinations.
Angry Birds Theme Park
Yet another theme park in Johor Bahru, for both the young and the young at heart, is the Angry Birds Theme Park located in KOMTAR JBCC. The sprawling indoor theme park has rides, games, and other attractions inspired by the popular video game. If you feel like you can’t keep up with the young ones, there’s also a Parents Lounge where you can just sit down and marvel at how kids seem to have infinite energy. Another great thing about Angry Birds Theme Park? It’s open until 10:00 PM, so you can arrive a little late and still have a lot of time to enjoy everything.
Johor Bahru has a lot of malls, sure, but if you want to really shop ‘til you drop, wait for Pasar Karat to open at about 8:00 PM. This pasar malam (night market) boasts of a wide selection of goods, including independent clothing brands in Malaysia and even shops that sell antiques. What’s more, like many street and night markets across Asia, haggling is expected and very much welcome. There’s also a live band every night to provide some entertainment. Across the bridge, you can find an array of food carts to keep your energy up as you scour the stalls for the best bargains.
Pasir Gudang Kite Museum
If you’re an avid fan of museums and are looking for something unique, why not visit the Pasir Gudang Kite Museum? It opened in 2002 and is the first museum in Malaysia to be entirely about the history of kites and how they’ve become an important cultural element through the years. The galleries and displays here include actual kites, along with kite-making materials, posters, and videos. You can even learn how to make your own kites! They also hold an annual International Kite Festival around late February to early March. Muzium Layang-Layang also has another unique feature outside: a huge windmill on the roof. This is not just a quirky design element, though, since it actually provides the museum electricity!
For some tasty treats to eat and take back home—as well as a trip back in history—visit Salahuddin Bakery. It’s been in operation since 1937, and there hasn’t been much change in the bakery’s interiors. If you want to see how bakeries looked like during those times, Salahuddin Bakery will not disappoint. Of course, their pastries are quite delicious, too! The most popular ones are the curry puffs, which can be considered a tourist attraction in themselves. These curry puffs are traditional Malay snacks, composed of a flaky crust and a filling made from vegetables and curried meat. Be sure to take some home for your friends and family.
Ready for a quick but well-deserved break? Get on that bus or train, and visit Johor Bahru for a day! You’ll be glad you did.
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