I know what you’re thinking; you’ve seen it all before. I used to feel that way too. Johor Bahru is the ultimate weekend getaway for those of us driving up over the border and if you’ve not made the visit to Legoland, which seems to top every list around, did you even have a childhood?
All joking aside, there’s way more to Johor Bahru nowadays than people realise. While I’ve been enjoying travelling far and wide, it’s interesting seeing somewhere a little closer to Singapore shine through as a go-to destination, and with a little research I’ve found that there’s plenty to see and do, if you’re taking a day trip there. Take a few of my tips into account and don’t be shy about finding out more information well ahead of time as well.
Bargain hunting at the Rusty Market
If you’ve been whiling away your day at City Square, don’t let this hidden side of Johor Bahru pass you by! After 7pm or so, the stands and stalls of Rusty Market, or Pasar Karat, start coming to life. While the name might sound a little low-end, there are plenty of suave antiques and some surprisingly nice fashion pieces to be had here, so don’t assume anything. There will be lots of street food to sample as well and some say you can even pick up a new pet here. It’best to shop responsibly though!
Either way, it’s a nice way to see a side of Johor Bahru that might get missed by going to the same old haunts that we usually do.
Feel tres magnifique at Little Paris
Ah, the romance of Paris! This part of Johor Bahru has been designed in the French style, with such attention to detail that it’s like you’re actually in Europe!
At night-time, the lights come on and everything is delicate and sweet, but they also know how to bring the French verve for passion to life, but not just in the clothes shops or styling. The patisserie shops, where cakes are decorated oh so ornately, make my mouth water involuntarily. Tres bien!
I’ve heard that they hold fantastic and elegant street parties and music events here too, making it a cultured little hotspot in Iskandar.
Beat the crowds to the bay
Here’s one that took me by surprise. Danga Bay! It was only built in the last few years and is just outside Johor Bahru city, in a gorgeous waterfront area. There’s a big beach to enjoy, as well as parkland and well kept gardens, but I was surprised to find that it’s also got the likes of the Danga City Mall there too. That means snapping up all the bargains that fellow Singapore tourists might have missed after being so busy in the usual hangouts…I’m tempted to take a look! This place is popular with couples and families, but really, it suits anyone and it’s definitely somewhere I’m going to investigate, when I next take a day up in Johor Bahru. I better start planning a getaway!