Never ever underestimate the crowd that moves between Singapore and Malaysia – the wait is real and the causeway can feel like the longest 1.05km ever.
Since half of my extended family are Malaysians, I do make a few trips to Johor Bahru every year for a visit. I’m not really an authority when it comes to the good food in the nook and crannies of JB, but I do know how to get there from Singapore and back as painlessly as possible.
Try Not To Go On A Public Holiday
Going to JB from Singapore during the public holiday can sound fun. That is, until you realise you need to queue for hours just to clear the customs and half your day trip is gone. The last Good Friday, the queue to get from Singapore to Malaysia was so out of hand it made the headlines the next day. So unless standing in a long ass queue is what you do for fun, best not enter JB on a Public Holiday.
Go On A Saturday
Besides the weekdays, the best day to enter JB is actually Saturday morning, around 10am to 11am. Most Malaysians working in Singapore would have found a way to squeeze their way back on Friday evenings, and wouldn’t return until Sunday evening. I say 10am to 11am because any earlier and you’d be visiting a ghost town with closed malls and no cars on the streets, which was exactly what happened to my friend and I. We somehow thought it’d be a great idea to make the most of our day trip and arrive at 830am, only to realise that we had to kill time by having two rounds of tea for the next 2 hours (we also had Prata for an hour opposite the mall – I gotta say, one of the best Pratas I’ve had).
Book A Train Ticket Back
Especially if you’re going in on a Sunday. The crowd going back to Singapore starts to thicken at 3pm and before you know it, the causeway starts to jam. Taking a train back, on the other hand, takes just 30 minutes at most (the actual train ride takes about 10 minutes). The tricky thing though, is booking the train tickets early online – you might want to book them about a month before your day trip because train tickets back sell like hotcakes.
What Not To Eat There
And finally, is there anything one should NOT eat in JB? Nothing. I don’t think bad food exists in JB. Everything is delicious (and of questionable cleanliness, which always makes it delicious). What’s even better is the exchange rate so you can have a beautiful spread of Dim Sum with your bank account is still intact.