Sunday 12 June 2022

[Post 124] 1 Day trip to Johor Bahru after 2 years (Eat, Massage ,Karaoke)

After about two years, I traveled to Johor Bahru for the first time with a few friends for a day trip.We were pretty excited because we hadn't been to JB in over two years ever since covid.Fortunately, none of our passports expired during this time period, and we manage to went in without much queue

We met at the Woodland temporary bus interchange to board the 950, which will take us directly into customs.

(Note: If you want to take the 950, you must do so from the Woodland Temporary Bus Interchange, not the new Woodland Underground Air Conditioned Interchange.I'm not sure why it's planned this way though.)

The line for bus 950 is as long as usual, but the lines at the Singapore customs are relatively short. One notable change was the machine to verify your Identity.Previously, it only required your thumbprint as shown below.

Old thumbprint regconition machine(Source)

However,  the new machine will verify your identity through face recognition. If the machine does not recognize your face, be prepared to use your thumbprint.

(Note: Remove your mask or spectacles to allow the machine to regconise your face. This is what I observed from other queues)

New Facial Regconition Machine (Source)

We took 170 to the other side after passing through Singapore customs. On the Malaysian side, the queue was relatively short because we went after lunch, around late afternoon

(Note:We got lucky! 🀞)

City square was pretty much the same as two years ago, however there were quite a few shop and restaurants that closed down in the inner city section.

We decided to have lunch at the newly opened meng meng roasted duck in JB city square as we had a good experience eating it at the KSL branch

If my memory serves me right, we ordered(Menu):
1. A roasted trio consisting of crispy roast pork, honey-roasted port, and roasted chicken (RM33.80)
2. Half duck roasted with Chinese herbs (RM44.80)
3.Old cucumber soup with pork rib(RM13.80) 
4.4 fragrant rice (for two people) (RM1.20 each)
5.5 herbal infusions (RM3.80 each)

Verdict: Damage was around 150rm ++ after extra charges, about RM30+ per person (not bad!). My friend claimed that this was the most delicious duck he had ever tasted in his lifeπŸ˜‚,will probably be coming back

After which,we went to secret recipe to eat some cakes! .I order blueberry cheese cake(RM 10.19 per slice),while my friends order hokkaido triple cheese cake (RM 12.17 per slice ) and chocolate indulgence(RM 10.19 per slice)

(I'm too broke to eat cakes in Singapore πŸ˜‚)

Blueberry Cheese Cake (Source)

Chocolate Indulgence(Source)

Hokkaido Triple Cheesecake (Source)

We then decided to go to Holiday Plaza for a massage. But, due to the high cost of the grab and that no driver responded to our request, we returned to Malaysia Customs and took bus s1 from its bus interchange instead.

(Note: A one-way trip to KSL city mall via BUS S1 costs RM1.50; bring some coin or notes with you as payment is made by passing the money to the bus driver or inserting the notes/coin into the ticketing box.)

Bus S1 JB CIQ TO KSL(Source)

We arrive at KSL city mall after about a 10-minute ride. As we passed by the KSL hotel lobby, it was already fairly crowded, with Singaporeans checking in for a two-day, one-night stay.

There were quite a few shops selling screen protectors  ranging from RM10 to RM15 depending on your model, and one of my friends took the opportunity to change the phone screen.

(Note: This is relatively inexpensive in comparison to Singapore, where screen protector changes can cost up to $10.)

After that, we go over to Holiday Plaza, which is about a 5-minute walk from KSL, for a massage. Before covid, I used to come here for massages with my family, and many shops have since closed down, including the KFC and McDonald's outlets. On the way there, we stop at the K Fry outlet at the holiday villa for a reservation at 7 p.m.

I often go to two massage parlors on a regular basis: Javanese and Chinese traditional massage (opposite of Javanese massage). Due to the fact that there were only three lady massagers available at the Chinese traditional massage, two of my friends (couple) went shopping.

Javanese Massage(Source)

Verdict: As usual, it was a good massage and the masseur was skilled. Highly recommended since 1 hour of full body massage is around RM45, which is pretty cheap compare to the outlets in KSL mall. We did about 1hr 40min, which ended up being about RM70 because we had time to spare until 7pm.

(Note:The ladies masseur will tend to chat with each other, so if you are more of an ambience person and wish to have a better experience, try another more expensive massage or go alone next time.Both massages are also family-friendly.)

We meet at kFry after the massage. One plus point was that their welcome drink was coka cola (self refillable), which was very refreshing after the massage.

As below,we order(Menu):
1.K fry Garlic Soya wings(RM 25.40)
2.Original cheesy fried chicken Bambuk(RM 68.32)
3.Bulgogi fries(RM 20.76)
4.Truffle Fries(RM 21.92)
5.Plain water(Free)

Verdict:Total damages was around RM150++ .The chicken was pretty good itself, except the cheese mixed over the chicken tasted like chewing gum. It was also quite crowded. Most likely not coming back in the future.

By the way, during dinner, my two friends (couple) told us that while we were massaging, they went to sing karaoke at KSL city mall at I am a singer family karaoke (located on level 2 KSL city mall) for about an hour, which cost them about 50rm (after 6pm)

It was about 9.30pm and we decided to head back to JB city square to watch the new Dr.Strange movie as the last Bus from Malaysia custom to Singapore custom was around 12.30am midnight.But alas,there was no Dr strange showtime but only Top gun at 10.30Pm.It cost RM17 per ticket for weekend.

We decided to sing Karaoke instead at the newly refurbished neway karaoke ,now known as Queens karaoke by a majority vote🎀

(BTW ,I voted for karaoke 😏)

Neway Karaoke Box before (Source)

Queen Karaoke (Source)

Queen Karaoke Room Rate (Source)

Previously, Neway Karaoke charged per head, which was quite expensive despite the fact that it had a buffet, but the new Queen Karaoke has since changed to a per hour charge, which is a welcome change as one of my friends did not sing. We initially wanted to sing for an hour, so we booked the deluxe room (4-7 people) at RM38, which was similar to the one shown below. We ended up extending it another hour because we were having too much fun singing😁.

Queen Karaoke Deluxe Room 4-7 pax (Source)

Verdict:Each room has two microphones. The song selection system is similar to other karaoke in JB. My ordered iced tea tasted like plain water though . Will definitely return for the RM38 per hour price, but will probably order only canned drinks next time.

After the karaoke,we simply head home to singapore without much queue as it was already past midnight.It was a breeze to get home because I live in the north.One of the rare perks of staying in the north😏.

Final note: It was great fun to return to JB after a two-year absense.Can't wait to go back and explore other parts of JB to see if anything has changed in the last two years😁. Will be sharing my experience to Mid Valley mall soon just last week

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