Cycling to JB (Johor)

Cycling to JB is easy. It is faster than the long queue of cars!

The no1 question from friends is always
“Is it safe to cycle in Malaysia?”

Our Fun Cycling to JB clip (YouTube link)

Many well-intentioned friends will share why Johor cycling can be dangerous. My recommendation is to get first-hand feedback from those who have actually cycled across the causeway, then form your own opinion.

There is a certain element of risk in whatever we contemplate. Find a reliable and experienced partner to explore together. Start small, then expand your playground.

Referring image below, me and kakis have already covered Legoland, Forest City and Pekan Nanas. Next up will be cycling to Pontian, Melaka, Desaru…

There will be incidents, there will be punctures and falls. These are part and parcel of adventures. We manage the risks and adapt accordingly.

Ya Wang famous herbal duck!

Today’s post will focus on what you can EAT and SEE within 3 hours 15km in JB downtown (JB is short for Johor Bahru ).

You will notice that 90% of the F&B are clustered together (refer Google Map F&B stops here)

Met up kakis at Esso Woodlands.  Both of them have not crossed the causeway on two wheels yet.

The car jam is horrible during school holidays. Cyclists can always overtake them.

Novelty for cyclists to take a photo at the midpoint of causeway. The “container” behind is a temporary toilet (life saver for those dreaded car jams).

Cycling to JB

The attractions and F&B venues might not be listed in order or proximity.
Do Google Map and identify their respective locations.

Sultan’s Grand Palace (one of many). Singapore has an identical one at Nassim.

Zero Kilometre. We heard many cities have their own marker to indicate the  start of a journey or adventure.

Many folks (especially Singaporeans) will take photos at this Red building (Marry Brown wording).

Just across the road, you must try the old school wanton noodle at Kedai Kopi Xuu Yau.

The famous Kam Long Curry Fish Head. The shop front is super indiscreet.

Banana cake shop which needs no introduction. Just expect long queue :p

Some shops open later. Would be returning to try TIP The Ice Cream Project. Too many options for JB cafes hopping.

Which chicken chop is nicer? IT Roo or Hwa Mui? If you are heading to Hwa Mui, get a seat on the 2nd storey.

We pop by a newly landscaped stretch next to Jalan Wong Ah Fook.
Gone are the black smelly drain.

You have flowing streams and even fishes now!
This is already a big improvement over yesteryears.

We are spoilt for choices as we had lunch at Restoran Ya Wang (鸭皇). Love the 当归 (herbal dang1 gui1) succulent duck! Moist and juicy.

After a fulfilling 3 hours, we are ready to head home.
We could not stay longer because our stomachs were full!

Newbies can always navigate to Pasar Malam CIQ !
(I am not sure whether this pasar malam is for real)

*Below route is safer for first timers. Route 1 would be dangerous and stressful for newbies.

Follow Hospital Aminah direction (Danga Bay) towards “Pasar Malam CIQ”

Anyway, just follow the motorbike lane. I have shared the tips at this blog post (cycling to Legoland and Pekan Nanas) and YouTube (First 4 minutes and from 8 minutes onward).

At SG Custom, follow the red colour signage “Manual”. The other motorcycle lanes are for those with “Auto-pass” (ie with COEs).

Cyclists who get into the Auto-pass lanes will be asked to Uturn.

In June, the KTM trains between Singapore and Johor are running again!
KTM website has been revamped but the booking steps are still the same.

I hope to bring my foldie aboard the train one day, so that I can explore far flung corners like Kluang.

Refer our previous train experience between Singapore and Johor (booking tickets Woodlands and 2010 Tanjong Pagar)

KTM train to Johor 2022

Through cycling, you realised how BIG is Johor!
For average speed of 20kmh, a normal cyclist might cover up to 150km within a day.

50km ride in Singapore might be equivalent to 75km in Johor . You can expect more bridges and slopes in Malaysia. Factor in more time if you are scaling up hills and mountains.

Strava cycling trips Johor

 

If it helps, do take note that many bridges await you for the return trip. Climb baby climb!

One day, I hope to cover Round Island Malaysia.
That would require about 11, 12 days (100km ride per day).

Meanwhile, you may read about other cycling trips below:
– Cycle to Pekan Nanas and Legoland
– JB food hunt (3 hours 30km)
– Cycle to Forest City
Cycle to Pontian (笨珍)
Cycle to Elephant Rock (Bukit Batu Gajah)
Cycling to Malacca
2018 Cycling Hualien to Taitung (with two kiddos)

*Do follow our cycling adventures here -> https://sengkangbabies.com/tag/cycling

YouTube: Chill at Pontian 笨珍

YouTube :Cycling to Forest City and boat ride (my best Johor trip yet)

YouTube: Cycling to Elephant Rock (Bukit Batu Gajeh)

ps.. every 2nd Saturday is Cars-Free Day in downtown JB between 0700 to 1000 (to confirm again)

 

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 https://online.ktmb.com.my . 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 or get SengkangBabies blog recommendations on our blog (2019).

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

Johor Massage recommendations -> https://sengkangbabies.com/holiday/johor-massage-recommendations

*Can we bring our foldies to Kluang to cycle the hills?
(NST article from 2016)

ps.. updated 2019Oct – We can only use Malaysia Banks to book train tickets now. KTM will announce once Singapore Banks can be used