#199 A Singaporean Guide to Exploring JB
Monday, 9 March 2015

As the title suggest, this is just my guide for those planning to do a day trip and explore JB. My tips may not be the best available online; and if so, please do leave a comment telling me what are some of the things I could have done differently to perhaps save more money on the trip or things that could have made life a bit easier for myself.

So, stuff to prepare before heading to JB - actually, nothing much. We just went to Raffles City to rent a portable router so we wouldn't have to spend money getting a SIM card instead. However, on hindsight, the reception was pretty weak throughout the entire trip. I'm not sure if it's because reception is generally poor in JB or if it had something to do with the place where we rented the router from. Either way, most cafes provide WiFi. Hence, you'll probably only need the router if you want to access Google Maps. My advice would be to plan your routes beforehand and screen shot everything.

There are a whole bunch of places where you can take a coach/bus to enter JB (google is your best friend). We settled for the one near Bugis because I live near the airport, ha-ha. Travelling all the way down to Admiralty/Khatib would have been a complete pain in the ass for me.

Insomnia Cafe, Country Garden Danga Bay (behind the sales gallery)Jalan Skudai 80200, Johor Bahru

This place was an absolute nightmare to find. First of all, the address provided on most online sites are un-plottable on Google Maps. I finally found a useful article by The Straits Times, stating that it's near a place called Country Garden Danga Bay. Secondly, the place was supposed to be renamed 5 months ago, from Cestino CP Patisserie to Insomnia Cafe. Clearly from the picture, you can see that it hasn't. Hence, we walked past it countless times without realising that it was just there! Lastly, the food is very mediocre. Avoid the pasta at all cost and perhaps just get their coffee and pizza? Overall, I'd definitely advice to give this place a miss. It's also very difficult to get a cab to take you away once you're done; minus even more points! We only wanted to give this cafe a try because the interior looked nice. Lesson learnt: don't be so superficial and pretentious, ha-ha.

Bev C, 54 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia

I can't say as much about the food from this cafe because we went over for coffee and dessert after a horribly disappointing meal at Insomnia Cafe. However, this place was positively teeming with Singaporeans. We got a particularly judgemental stare from this dude as we sauntered in and lamented about how hot the weather was, ha-ha. That said, the drinks and dessert are good and the overall interior provides a nice back drop for photo taking. The streets also have a whole bunch of other cafes to try out and for all the IG addicts out there, there's certainly many photo opportunities here waiting for you to capture. I would definitely pay this street another visit, perhaps to try out the other cafes or maybe even just return to Bev C for their desserts. 

Taman Sri Tebrau Hawker Centre

We chose to end off our trip with affordable seafood seeing as how we had enough pretentious cafe food for the day. Rather than telling your cab driver to drop you off at Taman Sentosa (like we foolishly did), ask him to bring you to Taman Sri Tebrau instead; it'll save you a lot of confusion and money, ha-ha. No pictures of food because it's honestly you're run-of-the-mill tzi char food fare that you can get in Singapore. The catch is, everything is much cheaper there. AND, they have this AMAZING cereal crayfish that's so sinfully delectable, you'll gobble everything up despite being acutely aware of how much calories you're consuming. #thedietstartstomorrow

On the whole, the day trip was a memorable experience for me. I enjoyed the wonderful company of close friends and with proper planning, there wasn't much cock ups we had to deal with. I only wish I wasn't in such a rush to return to Singapore so that I would have had more time to explore the streets of JB at night. I guess that gives me another excuse to return there one day, ha-ha. And one last lesson learnt, try to bring as little things as possible, and dress like you're going on an escapade to a dessert. Even though JB is very close to Singapore, our urban planning is done in a way that helps reduce our temperatures as much as possible. You'll experience none of that in JB. So be prepared to sweat or dress skimpily if you've got the body for it (not to show off of course, but to save yourself from a world of discomfort, ha-ha).


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written at 15:32