Top picks for trips to Johor Baru include shopping for groceries

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Here are eight activities to help you get re-acquainted with Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU - Travel between Singapore and Malaysia had been heavily restricted for near two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But on Friday (April 1), many restrictions were lifted for land crossings, including the need for testing and quarantine.

Vaccinated travellers from Singapore were quick to seize the opportunity for a road trip to Johor Baru.

Here are some of the things that they did when they were in Johor Baru:

1. Visit seafood restaurants

Tucking into sea bass at Grand Bayview Seafood Restaurant in Johor Baru. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Seafood restaurants dot the city and many are also around the waterfront, including in upmarket areas such as Danga Bay.

From fish to prawn, seafood is cheaper in Malaysia. Chilli crab costs around RM8 ($2.58) per 100g in Johor Baru, compared with around $10 per 100g in Singapore.

Mr Tan Ooi Koong, owner of Grand Bayview Seafood Restaurant, near Danga Bay, said visitors from Singapore enjoy the seafood there because it is affordable and fresh.

A popular dish across the Causeway is the Malaysian hokkien mee, which unlike the Singapore variant, is cooked with a dark sauce.

2 . Shop for groceries

The Aeon hypermarket in Tebrau and Angsana mall are among the popular places to visit for groceries, clothes and textiles.

The KSL City mall, which opened in 2010, is another popular stop with its shops and water theme park. But many of the 500 retail shops have been shuttered for months.

The exchange rate means travellers from Singapore get more for their money.

Malaysia's food inflation hit a 4-year high in February, with a tray of 30 eggs costing around RM12.

A tray of 30 eggs costs about $7 in Singapore.

3. Pump petrol

Singapore cars seen at a Shell petrol station in Johor Baru on April 2, 2022. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Many cars bearing Singapore registration plates could be seen at several petrol stations around Johor Baru after the reopening of the borders.

On average, 97-grade fuel is RM4 per litre.

It costs around $3.47 a litre for 98-grade fuel in Singapore before discounts.

4. Buy local delicacies

Business was brisk at Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory in Johor Baru on April 1, 2022. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory is a popular destination for Singaporeans to buy banana cakes and coconut buns.

Mr Joseph Lim, third-generation owner of the family-run business, said like other eateries in the city, they have stocked up on ingredients in anticipation of more customers travelling from Singapore.

The bakery, which is one of the oldest in the state, sells 10 pieces of banana cake for RM12. 

5. Visit night market

A night bazaar in Johor Baru on April 1, 2022. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Patrons who visit the Pasar Karat bazaar in the city centre can buy items such as children's toys and T-shirts.

The flea market also features popular street fare and is open every day until midnight.

Depending on the day, the bazaar is open between 5pm and 7.30pm.

6. Get a massage

Enjoy a foot massage at Javanese Massage and Spa at KSL mall in Johor Baru. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

KSL City and Johor Baru City Square are among the shopping centres where popular massage spas are located.

A one-hour foot massage is around RM50.

  • Additional reporting by Ram Anand

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