Taking the Train to JB

Train to JB, why not 🙂
In this post, we share why Train might be the alternate (or best) option to travel to Johor.

We can order our train tickets online at http://www.ktmtrain.com . Infact, online order is preferred in case tickets are sold out over the counter (especially on weekends).

Do take note KTM system only allow for booking of one-direction ticket, no return ( ie, need to buy to and fro tickets separately). Yes, we are bewildered too.

KTM train ticket cost only Rm16 and Rm5, to and fro respectively. Train to JB is so cheap 🙂

Free seating. After booking your tickets, print out your tickets receipt. Return trip will need the QR code.

Taking the Train to JB
Taking the Train to JB

Head towards Woodlands Train Checkpoint, many folks would be taking a bus from Woodlands Interchange.

A) At the information counter (level 1), you will need to show your passport and printed ticket receipt to exchange for real tickets.  Sometimes, the counter staff will just stamp (acknowledge) your hardcopy receipts email (no tickets).

Train to JB
Train to JB

B) Queue for your train. Do arrive early (maybe 30minutes, expect bigger crowd over weekends). We need to queue for tickets collection, baggage scan etc

B1) At Singapore side, you will pass through both Singapore and Malaysia customs.  All baggages will be scanned.

Immigration checkin is relatively fast and efficient, minimum hassle.

C) Your Train to JB is only 10 minutes, one stop. (Cars might take up to 1 or 2 hours )

Arrive at JB sentral, and you can walk across bridge to City Square.
(no more custom checks, since we have scanned our details at Singapore side already)

The FUN Starts now! SGD and RM exchange rate is still 1:3 🙂

CIQ Johor is at City Square
CIQ Johor is at City Square

This is where you GRAB to your next stop. We should mention that Grab taxis are everywhere, and fares start from only Rm5 (for 10 minutes ride!)

Both City Square and KSL Mall are very popular with Singaporeans.

In case you need more assistance, Google will share nearest Restaurant, Cafe, Massage spots. Do read these posts :

Johor Good Food (and GPS)
Google Map Hacks
KSL Pasar Malam (if you are new to JB Pasar Malam, only on Mon)

Example, Google highlighted Massage joints (link ) are concentrated near KSL and Taman Sentosa areas.

Please read the reviews for the “real” massage joints. Some are sleazy, while others hard-sell to top up your package.

Attractions near KSL
Attractions near KSL

Massage was our first activity 🙂

We decided on either Sabye Sabye or Let’s Relax Spa (Different from the Bangkok franchise).  Both are side by side, popular and located at Plaza Sentosa. There are more tips from Vanessa’s blog.

Recommend Johor massage
Recommend Johor massage

We opted for Let’s Relax Spa (GPS 1.492031, 103.769116). Rm55 for 90 minutes, shoulder and leg and head. We recommend massage should be minimum 60 minutes, 30 minutes are only for warm up :p

We heard Thai massage are popular too. Our masseurs are from Thailand.

Soothing. Shoik. Rejuvenated.

.. and HUNGRY. We walk 5 min to some delicious paper wrapped chicken (Teck Sing).

Johor Paper wrapped chicken
Johor Paper wrapped chicken

Rm28 for a delicious tandalising chicken 🙂
Soft and tender, with a tinge of herbal goodness

Do order the bittergourd egg too.

More shopping for the Mrs, I was the porter. We also package some goodies for the hungry  kids.

 

While she shops, I detour to buy famous banana cake.  Hiap Joo is 7 min walk from City Square.

Mission achieved, if Darling happy, I am happy. 满载而归 🙂

On the return trip,  head back to JB Sentral for your return train. Again, do arrive early, as you do not want to miss you train.

In worse case, you may still purchase tickets over the counter. Photo below-right, use the “printed QR Code” to enter the transit area.

Your luggage (and souvenirs) will undergo one more round of security scans.

 

So why do we recommend Train to JB for you?

-Convenient, avoid the jams, and it is a cheap mode of transport.
-Some folks might hesitate to drive into Johor for security reasons.

Additional tips.

*No photo taking in immigration areas
-Toilet facilities are available in immigration sections
-If you are driving around Taman Sentosa (at night), do be careful as this area is notorious hot spot for car smash and theft (read some tips on car protection)

Take the train to avoid the jams 🙂

KTM train schedule
KTM train schedule

ps.. Follow our Instagram tag #SengkangBabiesJohor for more JB adventures

Fun hiking at Pelepah Waterfalls Gunung Pelepah

Some call it Pelepah Waterfalls. Some call it Gunung Pelepah or even 水晶山瀑布. It is different from Kota Tinggi Waterfalls which is more for tourists 🙂

Updated 20190809 – Take note the trail markers (ribbons red/white) had been removed. We spend quite some time trying to find the right path. Do not go alone if this is your first time, go with a guide or regular. The new post and direction is at this blog link. If in doubt, do drop me an email.

Pelepah Waterfalls was my first waterfall hiking too.  Unlike normal hiking, 30% to 40% of our journey is on water!

Best thing about Pelepah Waterfalls is there are so many ponds and waterfalls for you to jump into! Imagine trekking through the forest and seeing a waterfall in front of you!

 

As an estimate, it is about 2 hours up, and 2 hours down.

Me acting cool at the last Waterfall

I kept imaging how my kids would have enjoyed themselves at Pelepah Waterfalls, a pity they “were underage” (Hello organisers :p )

Checkout out our Waterfalls adventures at Chiang Mai (sticky waterfall) and Kota Tinggi (too touristy). I thought Pelepah Waterfalls was easier than Gunung Panti.

This trip was organised by Anchorvale Youth Club (Yes, I am not that old yet), and SGTrek (guides  Vijay and James). There were about 40 of us, including four local guides from Malaysia.

Pelepah Waterfalls trail head
Pelepah Waterfalls trail head

Pelepah Waterfalls trailhead (GPS 1.826111, 103.835556) is near the entrance of Kota Tinggi Waterfall entrance.

(Photo below) Gate is locked, hikers had to go under the bridge and wade one min behind the gate. This would be called trespassing in Singapore hee hee, but online references indicated this is ok 🙂

From the first min, our shoes and socks were never dry. Yeah!

Do wear socks, to minimise sand and pebbles bruising your toes. Seasoned hikers swear by Kampong Adidas.

 

Palm oil seed, shoes soaked

For first time hikers, permit and guides are strongly recommended. The tracks are well marked but you can still get lost or injured. I would recommend going with someone experienced.

Fyi, follow the red/white tape and keep to the track.  I noticed these white patches on the palm oil estate ground. Follow them on the way back (like Hansel and Gretel) and you will find civilisation again.

Malaysia Hiking trail markers
Malaysia Hiking trail markers

We can actually wade in the stream to our destination, but the meanderings will take up precious time. That is why we trekked through the estate.

If one is lost, just follow the stream.

This image is taken on the “return” trip

15 to 20 min easy trek through estate.

After 20 to 25min, you will see this bridge. From here onwards, we will be trekking in the forest.

Checkpoint 1 at 30 minutes mark.

At around 40min point, you will see the first pond.

Our guides told me this is Japanese Garden or Rock Garden, I forgot the sequence, but both landscapes are enchanting.

If you are going to Pelepah, help me confirm with the local guides ok.

Climb over the small boulder and another landscape awaits 🙂

水晶山

Pardon me if there are too many selfies, I love Nature and Pelepah Waterfalls trekking had been amazing thus far!

Our guide told us nicer waterfalls is just ahead WOW!

This steep 80 degree wall is our first obstacle.

The view behind is worth the climb 🙂

Our FIRST WATERFALL, although a small one, is enough to keep us happy. Take note the water can be 2 to 3m deep at the other end.

We were more reserved and shy at the first pond, but everyone could not wait to jump into this pond! We spent almost 20 minutes here.

The cool water washed away our fatigue. Invigorating!!

Found another waterfall model :p

Everyone was soaked inside out, the next segment was the most beautiful along the entire trek.

We waded through a “narrow corridor”. Water is waist deep (90 to 100cm), and we were flanked by two walls.

The rocks can be uneven and slippery, be careful when you are taking photos. I saw many folks stopped for wefies 🙂

This path is dangerous during rainy days as flash flood can sweep us away. Look out for incremental weather.


Everywhere we hike, we heard the sound of water streaming, more water FUN beckons.

Around another corner (15 minutes from first waterfall), we spotted our SECOND WATERFALL!

If the water is emerald, you might believe I am in the Philippines :p

Personally, this is the best Waterfall for me. We spent another 20 minutes here, showering and taking more photos and jumping jacks too.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#PelepahWaterfalls I must bring the kids along next round, so much 🚿 FUN 😊 #kotaTinggi #pelepah #sengkangbabies

A post shared by Andy Lee (@sengkangbabies) on

Chilling and powerful cascades of water soothed our shoulder and joints. Shiok lah!

Pelepah Waterfalls
Pelepah Waterfalls

Be careful of the hidden logs and stones underwater, I can understand why many would like to dash under the cooling waterfall haha 🙂

This is the same reason why “cliff or log” jumping might not be recommended.

Google indicates some folks do abseiling here too 🙂

Our guides had a hard time peeling us away from FUN haha. The last waterfall is 10 mins away.

Video (YouTube link):  Water Fun, I would do Pelepah again 🙂

The THIRD WATERFALL looks majestic but less fun then the second one, and it is very slippery too.

Waterfalls are super cold but our adrenaline and body heat (from hiking) meant we got to enjoy the cool dips!

The waterfalls tiers might offer a good spot for group photo but keep body low and on all fours (if necessary) to navigate the rock face.

I slipped and fell on my bums at least twice. If someone at the top slips, Domino Effect!

We had our packed lunch here.

Pelepah Waterfalls photo
Pelepah Waterfalls photo

Do take note that return trek is along the forest path and minimum water crossings. We will not u-turn along the same path, so NO more ponds and waterfalls 🙁

We did spot a few campers at Checkpoint 1.

Hiking and Swimming at Pelepah Waterfalls was a good workout for my body, my muscle still felt a bit numb on the second day 🙂

If you love adventures, do checkout all our Gunong hikings in Malaysia (Belumut, Panti and Taman Nagara )

Our Waterfalls adventures are here (not all are hiking). Three images below credit YEC and SGTrek 🙂

More photos can be found on Facebook Anchorvale YEC and SGTrek .

Additional tips :

-REMEMBER to waterproof your belongings, especially passport

-Hikers can shower at the Kota Tinggi Resort (nominal fees). Small tap

-Malaysia Waterfalls listing – http://waterfallsofmalaysia.com/24pelapah.php

-Waterfalls can be dangerous, slippery rocks and careless photographers. Be vigilant and exercise caution. SAFETY First.

-Do take note of these emergency contacts:
a) 999 or  112-This will activate Police or Ambulance

b)994-Bomba (Emergency Rescue)

-Try not to ingest too much waterfall waters, especially if water is static. This helps city folks avoid stomach upset or even rat urine poisoning

-We did not encounter any leeches but I suspect I got some minor sandfly bites. For leeches, just spray saltwater to detach

ps.. Follow our Instagram tag #SengkangBabiesJohor for more JB adventures

 

ps 2019Aug, we did a family hike to Pelepah again! Blog – http://sengkangbabies.com/sports/johor-waterfalls-pelepah-hiking