facebookOn A Budget? Here Are The Best Things To Do In Johor Bahru For Cheap!



Things To Do In Johor Bahru On A Budget

On A Budget? Here Are The Best Things To Do In Johor Bahru For Cheap!

profileRuth Lum

If you’re an avid Seedly fan (a.k.a following us on our Seedly socials), you would have known that the Seedly team took a recent trip to Johor Bahru (JB) earlier this month.

Source: VampirezKing | imgur

The type of jokes our co-founder Kenneth cracks sometimes.

It has become somewhat a yearly tradition for the Seedly folks to hit up our friendly neighbour up north for great food and pocket-friendly activities to do.

Disclaimer: This article is in no way sponsored.

TL;DR – 12 Things To Do On Your Day Trip To Johor Bahru

Pro-tip: You only have that many hours to spend in JB, so don’t waste precious seconds queuing at the customs. Skip the line and cross the causeway in under 15 minutes!

Get the most bang for your buck!

  • Massage
  • Famous Banana Cake
  • Delicious Curry Puff
  • Do your hair
  • Go Kart
  • Eat Curry Fish Head
  • Shop Till You Drop
  • Watsons
  • Pump Petrol
  • Cafe Hop Affordably
  • Friends Bonding! Laser Tag and Escape Room
  • Watch a Movie

1. Massage

Source: Bangkok Spa | Facebook

Getting pampered in an atmospheric spa can leave you feeling calm and free of the Singaporean-induced stress for a couple of days. So why not do it, for cheap?

SQ Massage and Nails

The Seedly team got all the kinks in our limbs and back ironed out at SQ Massage and Nails on the ground floor of KSL City Mall. Their special packages for full body and foot massage start at just RM112 (~SGD37 only!)

SQ Massage and Nails
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday:
10am - 10pm
AddressGround Floor & L2-01a, KSL CITY, 32, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru

Bangkok Spa

Another highly-recommended massage parlour by our community would be Bangkok Spa at Jalan Abiad where a full body traditional Thai massage will cost RM62 (~SGD20.60) for 60 minutes.

They have another outlet at Jalan Perisai, which is just a 6 minutes drive away from Jalan Abiad, so don’t worry about getting a slot.

Not the cheapest deal out there, but judging by its good reviews, it must be of quality.

Bangkok Spa
Taman Pelangi. JB
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday:
11am - 5am
AddressJalan Abiad, Taman Pelangi, 80400, Johor Bahru
Taman Sri Tebrau. JB
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday:
11am - 5am
AddressJalan Perisai,
Taman Sri Tebrau, 80050, Johor Bahru

2. Banana Cake

Source: Hiap Joo Bakery | Facebook

Hiap Joo Bakery

Have your cake and eat it too. But what no one really told you is that you have to earn it by waking up really early to queue for this legendary banana cake!

The bakery sells its delicious banana cakes affordably at only RM10 (SGD $3.30) for big boxes of 10 cakes, as well as other classics such as Otah Buns and Coconut Buns.

Hiap Joo Bakery
Opening HoursTuesday - Saturday:
7:30am - 5am

8am - 11am

11am - 5pm
Address13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Johor Bahru 80000

3. Curry Puffs

Source: Johor Kaki

Salahuddin Bakery

Don’t worry if you ain’t a big fan of banana cake, you’ll find an alternative just a few minutes away.

You’ll be greeted with bread freshly baked from their traditional wood-fired oven in the Salahuddin Bakery, which is arguably one of the oldest bakeries in Johor Bahru.

Don’t miss out on their triangular curry puffs at RM1.20 – RM2 (SGD $0.40 – $0.60) apiece for a little spice kick!

We won’t judge you if you decide to get both the banana cake from Hiap Joo and the curry puffs from Salahuddin…

Salahuddin Bakery
Opening HoursMonday - Thursday,
Saturday - Sunday
7:30am - 6pm

(Closed on Friday)
Address26, Jalan Dhoby
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru

4. Get Your Hair Done

JB City Square Mall

The most convenient option would be just to head to City Square Mall right past the customs to get you hair fixed.

If you want something more elaborate like a full-head dye or perm, the cheapest prices we have sieved out from City Square Mall would be from the popular Thomas & Guys salon (J4-02 & 03) and Protrim, the salon right beside offering similar prices.

Johor Bahru City Square
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday:
10am - 10pm
Address106, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

5. Go Kart

Permas Go-Kart

One place our community recommended as a hidden gem would be Permas Go-Kart. It is priced affordably at RM35 (SGD $11.50) for beginner carts on weekdays and RM40 ($13.50) on weekends for 10-minute games.

Nothing screams a childhood thrill like Go Kart does.

Permas Go-Kart
Opening HoursMonday - Friday:
10am - 6:30pm

Saturday - Sunday:
8am - 6:30pm
AddressLot. 681 Jalan Permas Jaya, Johor Bahru 81750, Malaysia

6. Curry Fish Head

Source: Royston S | TripAdvisor

Unlike the rest of the world…food can truly motivate any Singaporean or Malaysian to travel the distance for.

One popular recommendation was Kam Long Curry Fish Head, where prices start from RM20 (SGD$6.70)! What a steal for scrumptious food.

The fish head’s fresh but the queue is always long, so be prepared to wait when you get there!

Kam Long Curry Fish Head
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday:
8am - 4pm
AddressNo. 74 Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

7. Shop Till You Drop

Need to satisfy the inner shopaholic everywhere you go? You can’t complete the day without shopping in Johor Bahru!

And I suppose you’ve probably been to KSL City so many times and gotten bored of it by now?

Paradigm Mall

Source: Eat Drink KL

Once the largest in Johor Bahru, you will probably be able to find anything you need at Paradigm Mall.

If you need more physical activity apart from just walking in the mall, have a good workout at their indoor climbing gym and indoor ice skating rink.

Paradigm Mall
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday
10am - 10pm
AddressJalan Bertingkat Skudai, Taman Bukit Mewah, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey

Source: TODAY

Here comes the biggest and newest player in Johor Bahru!

You’ll probably have to spend the whole day at The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey if you’re planning to cover the entire place, especially the high-end stores.

If you’ve missed shopping at SOGO, a Japanese department store, The Mall has got your back!

Psst, only those born before the 90s will understand.

The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday
10am - 10pm
AddressNo. 1, Persiaran Southkey 1, Kota Southkey, 80150 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Johor Premium Outlets

Source: Klook

True shopaholics, this one is for you…

It’s definitely further away, but for the amount you can save on your branded goods, it’s going to be worth it.

With 150 outlet stores, you might really shop till you drop, but your wallet will still be safe!

Johor Premium Outlets
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday
10am - 10pm
AddressIndahpura, 81000 Kulai
Johor Darul Takzim

8. Watsons

This one’s a favourite, I can attest to it. Watson’s makeup and beauty products are priced cheaper than that of Singapore’s.

Prices go down as much as 30%, imagine how much you can save buying contact lens saline solutions and vitamins!

Just to pick a random item, a bundle of 3 bottles Blackmores Glucosamine 30-tablet will cost you RM119 (~SGD39.60) in Malaysia when you’ll be paying SGD116 for a 180-tablet bottle in Singapore. Even if you bought two bundles, it’s still cheaper!

Plus, you can use your Watsons Member Card from Singapore in the JB stores!

You’ll probably pass by a few Watsons throughout the day, but be wise, shop at the JB City Square outlet so you don’t have to lug your bags around the whole day.

Watsons (City Square Outlet)
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday:
10am - 10pm
AddressLOT M2-06-LOT M2-11 LEVEL 2, 106 & 106 JLN WONG AH FOOK, Johor, Johor Bahru, 80000, Malaysia

9. Pump Petrol

This is what your worldly uncles and taxi drivers will tell you. Trust us, take the tip.

Fuel prices are cheaper by almost half when you fill your fuel tanks up across the borders. Most of the petrol stations are near Tuas and Woodlands Checkpoints.

10. Cafe Hopping

Instagram just cannot get enough of all the hipster cafes along the streets of Johor Bahru.

The hypes started from Kone, The Replacement Lodge, Flower In The Window and so on which offer not just affordable “cafe food” but also nice shots of their plates and musings.

The food here costs about $9 to $13, compared to the high $20s we will see on Singaporean Cafe menus.

Tropique Cafe & Restaurant

Seedly had a nice brunch in this super-made-for-Instagram cafe called Tropique cafe. It is a bit ulu, though.

Tropique Cafe & Restaurant
Opening HoursMonday - Friday:
11am - 11pm

Saturday - Sunday:
10am - 11pm
AddressLot D, Jalan Ekoflora 1, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru

11. Bond With Friends

Our community also recommended some fun team bonding activities at an affordable price. This can be a serious new consideration for company bonding activities or simply a weekend getaway with your friends.

Laser Battle

Laser Tag at Laser Battle Johor charges RM48/pax ($16) for 3 games, up to 1 hour. Laser Tag games are usually $28/pax for an hour game elsewhere in Singapore.

Laser Battle Johor
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday:
10am - 10pm
AddressLot MS-11, Johor Bahru City Square, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Lost In JB

Escape Room, Lost In JB, as recommended by one of our community members is also an affordable, fun choice priced at RM42/pax (SGD $14)

Lost In JB
Opening HoursMonday - Sunday:
12:30pm - 10:30pm
AddressG10&11;, Block A, Akademik Suite,
No.2 Jalan Austin Heights Utama,
Taman Mount Austin, 81100. JB

12. Cheap Movies

Don’t forget to end the day with your favourite blockbuster (ahem Avengers ahem), starting from only RM9 (SGD $3) for adults! The nearest cinema is just at Johor Bahru City Square, mmCineplexes.

To end off… the Seedly team had a hearty dinner at a Korean barbecue place with a view of the waters and even Singapore’s coast. Ask us where this was if you’re keen to find out 😉

Bonus – Keep Track Of Your Spendings (Even For Foreign Currencies)

Travelling is all fun and games – until you have to keep track of how much you’re actually spending.

For most of us who likely count everything down to the dollar, you’re going to want to find a way to make sense of all your spendings while travelling before you realise you’ve greatly exceeded your budget and go home broke.

Simply add an overseas cash “wallet” within the Seedly app using the steps here:

  1. Click on “Add Account” in the Accounts tab
  2. Choose “Cash” and enter wallet details
  3. Here you can also change the currency from SGD to the relevant currency (MYR in this case)
  4. Once wallet is created, add transactions on the go in MYR and the app will log it in in SGD for you

No more fumbling with calculations of changing currencies just to find out how much something costs in your home currency!

About Ruth Lum
Breaking down 'chim' finance knowledge into manageable pieces so you don't have to.
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