Weekend Getaway to Johor Bahru

March was a busy busy month at work for me. Though I made initial plans to take Sophie out during the March school holidays, these got shelved and she had to spend her holiday at both grandmas place.
Thankfully, I did managed to take a day off during the mid-week and we went to the  Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. It was really fascinating to learn that we had our very own Natural History Museum to boast of and that ought to deserve a blog post of its own, which I need to get down to soon I promise.
Anyway, Alexis and I felt bad that we didn’t get to spend much time with Sophie during the March school holidays and decided to go on a weekend getaway to Johor Bahru over the Good Friday weekend. Unlike  the other trips where we made the mandatory visit to Legoland, we decided to explore the other places in JB this time.

Getting to JB

Since we sold off our car early this year, we got a driver to drive us in and out of JB. This was a contact shared by a friend and the MPV was more than enough for the three of us, including our luggage. We anticipated long jams to JB, since it was a long weekend. But it wasn’t too bad as the whole journey took 3 hours from our home to hotel in JB. And when you’re not doing the driving, the jam becomes that much more bearable too.

Johor Bahru 01

Stuck in a jam to JB

Stay in JB

We stayed in two hotels for our 3D2N trip and the first hotel we stayed was the Puteri Pacific, a 4 star hotel with a very convenient location in the city centre, just across City Square.

On the second day, we checked into Doubletree by Hilton and we loved it even more! Besides the warm reception when we checked in, we were delighted to receive their famous chocolate chip cookie. And that my friend is how you impress your guests. The hotel looks spanking new, clean and modern and the pool and gym was up to mark too. Yes, I actually hit the gym during this trip and my PT even reminded me to train for my upcoming run >.<


Shopping and Eating in JB

As the hotel was just across City Square, we headed there after we dropped our luggage since we couldn’t check in yet. Ironically, the first thing we ate was the famous Penang Chendol and Asam Laksa from the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul on level 3.

Johor Bahru 02

Johor Bahru 04

Johor Bahru 03

Penang Chendol in City Square

This is the very same stall that I’ll hunt down whenever I’m in Penang and on my recent trip there last year, I brought my parents there and they loved it too.

After a satisfying brunch, we did some shopping in City Square and here you can find familiar brands like Cotton On, H&M, Royal Sporting House, Uniqlo, MPH, Popular, etc. And yes, you can even use your local Popular member card to enjoy greater discounts, though I must add that the selection of books was rather disappointing and we bought our books from MPH instead.

With our stronger currency, things naturally seem cheaper here but nevertheless, we’re still discerning shoppers and bargain hunters looking for good value and one place that I enjoy shopping at is Padini. I usually get basics like T-shirts, tights, dresses for Sophie and their range of clothes for adults are not too shabby either. Another place I shop for basics is FOS and Sophie chose a Frozen t-shirt that was retailing at S$10.

Lunch was an easy decision and we settled on Dragon-i as Sophie was looking forward to xiao long bao. But this time some of the dishes were more of a miss than hit, but I don’t think that will stop us from returning.

Johor Bahru 05

But when it comes to food, there are plenty of  options at City Square, like Seasons (like our Swensons), Kim Gary, Sushi King, Old Town, Papa Rich and the list goes on and on.

Angry Bird Activity Park

Since Legoland was not on the agenda for this trip, we decided to take Sophie to the Angry Bird Activity Park in Komtar JBCC, just next to City Square. While most of the blog reviews didn’t seem too promising, we were not deterred by it since Sophie surprised us with how much she enjoyed The Little Big Club on our last visit.

The place isn’t very big and while you pay RM75 per pax for adult and child, you only get to be in the park for 3 hours as they have 3 timeslots for the day, 10am-1pm, 2-5pm and 6-10pm.

Alexis very gamely agreed to accompany Sophie while I continued with my shopping and here are some photos he took while I shopped at Daiso (it’s only RM5.30 here), Padini, and the sports wear shops.

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Johor Bahru 07

Angry Bird Activity Park in Komtar

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Hiding among the eggs and on the go kart

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The main attractions are the trampoline and foam pit which Sophie went for again and again. She also rode the go kart but was terrified to try the drop zone.

But the poor thing got ill after 2 hours and was running a high fever, so we cut short our visit and headed back to the hotel for her to rest.

By evening, it started to pour. So I sent Alexis to buy dinner from IT Roo Cafe where they supposedly have the best chicken chop in Malaysia. And not just in JB but in Malaysia.

The cafe is at the junction of Jalan Dhoby and Jalan Pahang and you can’t miss their shop.  We had both the grilled chicken chop and deep fried chicken chop that was accompanied by thick wedges of potatoes, cold slaw and mushroom gravy and both versions were super yummylicious, not too greasy and the batter was just nice too.

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Poor Fifi, only had a soupy noodle and refused to touch any of it because she wanted to recover quickly so that she could go swimming the next day.

Here’s the address for it and do note that they open at noon.

IT Roo Cafe
Address: 17, Jalan Dhoby, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 12-10pm


Besides shopping and checking out the awesome local food, we also went cafe hopping and checked out the street art in JB. If you’re heading to JB, then don’t miss these posts where I share some of my shopping finds and places to go cafe hopping across the causeway as well.



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Comments: 61

  1. Madeline March 30, 2016 at 11:22 am Reply

    JB is damn fun! Lol we go once every month =P

    • Susan March 31, 2016 at 8:51 am Reply

      Must get more tips from you then! We didn’t manage to eat a lot of local food on this trip and plan to go in again.

  2. pc March 30, 2016 at 8:09 pm Reply

    The Angry Bird Park doesn’t look fascinating. But then again, I’m not kid and lack of child heart. Hahaha :p
    Lol at “not just in JB but in Malaysia”. IT Roo Cafe is now registered in my brain!

    • Susan March 31, 2016 at 8:53 am Reply

      The Angry Bird may be more fun if the kids have company of friends. So for now, the Legoland water park still ranks the top for Sophie. Yes, must go try IT Roo when you’re in JB.

  3. Cafe Hopping in JB - A Juggling Mom April 13, 2016 at 9:38 pm Reply

    […] you missed it, here’s Part 1 of our weekend getaway to Johor Bahru and I hope I don’t take too long to complete part 3 on to share about our stay at DoubleTree […]

  4. […] Weekend getaway to Johor Bahru […]

  5. Justina May 13, 2016 at 4:56 pm Reply

    Can you share contact of the driver ?
    Did you also get him to the the hotel transfer to doubletree Hilton?

    • Celine Tay November 24, 2017 at 9:46 am Reply

      Hi Susan, can I please have the driver details?

      • Susan December 6, 2017 at 9:39 pm Reply

        Hi Celine,
        I’ve emailed the contact to you.

        • Ash June 12, 2018 at 2:54 pm Reply

          Hi Susan, how much do you pay for the driver and where else can you drive you around in JB?

          • Susan June 15, 2018 at 11:33 am

            Hi Ash, I paid $150 for both ways. It was a pick up from my home to the hotel in JB and from hotel to my home on the last day. We didn’t hire their services to get around in JB and Grabbed our way around.

  6. […] Weekend getaway to Johor Bahru […]

  7. […] first half of 2016, we’ve kept our travel plans close to home and went across the causeway to Johor Bahru and Malacca. But unlike previous years where we’ll drive up in our car, we hired a driver and […]

  8. Nicole July 19, 2016 at 11:43 am Reply

    How much did you guys spent in total?

    • Susan August 1, 2016 at 10:33 pm Reply

      Nicole, may you’ll like to be more specific on what expense you’re referring to? If it’s for the hired driver it’s $150 for both ways for the 3 of us.

      • Jamie May 23, 2017 at 11:27 pm Reply

        Hi, can i get the driver contact detail?

        • Susan May 30, 2017 at 9:26 pm Reply

          Hi Jamie,
          I’ve emailed it to you.

  9. Evonne July 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm Reply

    Can share about the contact for driver to go JB? How much is it?

  10. […] Weekend getaway to Johor Bahru […]

  11. […] may have remembered that in my earlier post, I mentioned that we’ve gone carless, so a centralised and assessible accommodation is one of our top priorities. Conveniently located […]

  12. […] young kids, you may be familiar with Legoland and Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, The Little Big Club and Angry Bird Activity Park. Since Sophie is now 8 years old, these kiddy theme parks no longer give her an adrenaline kick and […]

  13. Felicia Theodorus (@Felitheodorus) April 14, 2017 at 10:02 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for your tips! I really need it!

  14. Shannon May 11, 2017 at 12:42 pm Reply

    Hi, thank you very much for sharing your JB trip experience. I would appreciate very much if you could kindly share with me your driver contact to go JB and the rates. Many thanks

    • Susan May 23, 2017 at 1:20 am Reply

      Hi Shannon, apologies for the late reply. I’ve emailed the driver’s contact to you.

  15. Kelly June 5, 2017 at 12:01 am Reply

    Hi Susan, can share the driver’s contact to go jb? Thank you.

    • Susan June 26, 2017 at 11:35 pm Reply

      Sorry for the late reply Kelly. I’ve emailed it to you.

  16. Trish June 22, 2017 at 9:16 am Reply

    Hi could you please share the driver contact . Thanks in advance

    • Susan June 29, 2017 at 10:03 pm Reply

      Hi Trish, I’ve emailed it to you.

  17. Jesslyn August 27, 2017 at 9:35 pm Reply

    Hi Susan, can I have the driver contact too. Thanks in advance.

    • Susan September 4, 2017 at 8:42 am Reply

      Sure Jesslyn. I’ve emailed it over to you.

  18. […] Weekend getaway to Johor Bahru […]

  19. PP October 4, 2017 at 1:50 am Reply

    Hi, could I get the driver details too? Thanks

    • Susan October 26, 2017 at 9:49 pm Reply

      Sorry for the late reply PP. I’ve emailed it to you 🙂

  20. RT October 7, 2017 at 8:09 am Reply

    Hi, can share the contract of the driver to JB tks

    • Susan October 26, 2017 at 9:50 pm Reply

      Sure, I’ve sent it to you RT 🙂

  21. Krystal November 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm Reply

    hi, how did you get around JB? by grab/uber? thanks!

    • Susan November 13, 2017 at 11:08 pm Reply

      Yes, we don’t drive so we;’ll rely on Grab or Uber. Will usually get the data sim card once we cross the causeway.

  22. Feli November 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm Reply

    Hi hi, interesting blog
    can I have the contact for the driver please?

    • Susan November 22, 2017 at 11:24 pm Reply

      Hi Feli, I’ve sent you an email of the driver’s contact.

  23. bettster January 28, 2018 at 10:37 am Reply

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for the tips! May I have the contact of the driver please?

    Thank you.

    • Susan February 8, 2018 at 9:15 pm Reply

      Hi there, I’ve dropped you an email 🙂

      • Bettster February 9, 2018 at 10:14 am Reply

        Thank you very much! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  24. Mei February 4, 2018 at 1:08 pm Reply

    Hi Feli, can i get the contact of the driver? Thanks

    • Mei February 5, 2018 at 1:46 pm Reply

      Sorry, should be message should be for Susan. Typo error.

      • Susan February 8, 2018 at 9:14 pm Reply

        Hi Mei,
        I’ve sent the contact to you.

  25. angie February 21, 2018 at 9:15 pm Reply

    Hi Susan, could you email me the contact of driver too? Thanks!

    • Susan March 8, 2018 at 8:07 am Reply

      Hi, I’ve dropped you an email with the contact.

  26. edmund March 11, 2018 at 9:08 am Reply

    Hi Susan,
    May I have the the driver contact.
    Thank you.

    • Susan April 3, 2018 at 10:37 pm Reply

      I’ve emailed the contact to you 🙂

  27. Emeline March 29, 2018 at 12:14 am Reply

    Hi Susan, can you email me the contact of the driver please? Thank you!

    • Susan April 2, 2018 at 10:41 am Reply

      I’ve dropped you an email.

  28. Eileen June 5, 2018 at 5:46 pm Reply

    Hi Susan, I would like to plan a trip to Johor too. Please email me the driver contact no. Thanks!!!!

    • Susan June 15, 2018 at 11:53 am Reply

      Hi Eileen, I’ve dropped you an email with the driver’s contact details.

  29. Andrea June 12, 2018 at 1:29 am Reply

    Hi Susan,

    Can I have the driver’s contact please?

    Thank you.

    • Susan June 15, 2018 at 11:45 am Reply

      Hi Andrea, I’ve emailed the contact to you.

  30. Tonkin-Travel Vietnam July 27, 2018 at 4:52 pm Reply

    Your girl look so cute and active. Do you usually travel with kids?

    • Susan August 8, 2018 at 11:42 am Reply

      Thanks so much. Yes, she’s been travelling with us since she was 1.5 years and she’s a seasoned traveler 🙂

  31. ivy September 12, 2018 at 9:49 am Reply

    Hi Susan, can share your driver contact with me too? Appreciated, thanks.

    • Susan November 9, 2018 at 12:04 pm Reply

      Hi Ivy, sorry for the late reply. I’ve emailed the contact to you.

  32. Meiyi September 12, 2018 at 10:41 pm Reply

    Hi Susan, could you email me the contact of the driver, please?Thanks!

  33. […] READ ALSO: Angry Bird Activity Park […]

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