Hey guys! I’m excited to share about our first trip across the causeway into JB together. Hammy and I went with another friend couple who wanted to get CNY goodies from JB City Square Mall. Thankfully we tagged along with them as they are quite familiar with getting around, while we were pretty much like two country bumpkins who had never gone into JB on our own before. Needless to say, we were super hyped up to experience something new.
As it was pre-CNY period and a weekend, we were caught in a terrible human crowd at the Singapore checkpoint and JB customs. The bus journey itself also took quite long due to jams. I think we spent about 4 hours in total to get into JB by bus from Kranji, and we started at 8+am! Well anyway by the time we reached, it was just nice for lunch.
We had Seoul Garden BBQ buffet in City Square. It was really value-for-money with lower prices and the exchange rate. Food-wise, it was acceptable and we had our fill.
After that, our friends went ahead to shop for their new year goodies and we walked around the mall. City Square is pretty much like any other mall in Sg, with familiar shops like Watsons, Uniqlo, Skinfood, etc… What’s more unique would be their restaurants, as there are quite a number not found in Singapore. But.. more of that in JB Trip #2! :)
Bangkok Spa Review
We headed to Bangkok Spa around 3+pm! When I first heard that they provide a van to pick their customers up from wherever they are, and then drop them off after the spa is done, I thought it to be quite scary! It’s something unheard of in Singapore. But it makes sense when a lot of their customers are Singaporeans who do not drive in and rely on their free transportation to get to the place.
If you’re concerned about safety, this place is pretty legit with authentic Thai massage therapists. Prices start from RM53 for 60min foot massage and RM62 for Traditional Thai Massage.
So what we did was to call their number, 607-338 2277, and inquire about available timings and slot for massage/spa. We were at City Square and so arranged for the pickup to be from the taxi stand. A van with “Bangkok Spa” advertisement plastered all over arrived and it was a 10-15 mins ride to the venue.
The waiting area for customers where tea was served.
The pathway leading to the toilet.
The main area of Bangkok Spa is made up of reddish coloured wood and furniture, and the lighting is dim. The interior design is very much resort-style with a heavy influence of Thai Buddhism decor.
Foot washing area.
The common foot reflexology area (behind the pillar) which had about 20 chairs maybe? However we opted to have our foot massage in a private couple room for an additional ~SGD3. In the couple room, I was comfortable enough to doze off without having to worry about strangers looking. Plus, the foot massage was relaxing!
From our time there, we observed mainly Singaporean Chinese customers going in and out, arriving and leaving non-stop via the van. There were also a couple of SG-registered cars parked outside, so I guess it’s known to be a safe and reliable place for a nice massage.
Bangkok Spa (Taman Pelangi. JB)
A little OOTD!
We were done at around 5+pm, and had some time to kill while we wait for the van to come drop us off at City Square again. Walked a bit around the neighbourhood, and found some Instagram-worthy spots!
A cute mobile ice cream truck was parked right outside the spa! I wish there were more mobile food trucks in Singapore too, they are just so adorable. :)
Jalan Dhoby, hipster cafe street
For dinner, we decided to take a short walk to Jalan Dhoby from City Square. It was getting dark around 7+pm, and we almost got lost till we stopped in a pharmacy to ask for directions. To get from City Square to Jalan Dhoby, we walked through an area similar to Little India. Hopefully the next time we explore the area, I’ll be able to upload a video with directions as we just got a Xiao Yi action cam! :)
Jalan Dhoby in JB is becoming known for its street of hipster cafe/stores and reminds me of our Haji Lane/Bali Lane. It’s definitely a must-go if you’re looking for cafe food at prices easier on the wallet!
We knew we had arrived at Jalan Dhoby when we saw Kafe Roost – it’s the first restaurant that greeted us. There were so many cafes selling ice cream, yogurt and desserts, but our priority was to look for dinner~.
Here’s how the row of shophouses look like, filled with interesting little cafes and shops.
Not many shops were still open at that timing, but we did see some trendy shops like this one.
IT Roo Cafe Review, Hainanese Chicken Chop
The street was pretty quiet, but we walked a little more and found IT Roo Cafe with so much crowd!
The tagline “The Best Chicken Chop in Town” is not without backing, as the cafe was awarded the “Best Chicken Chop in Malaysia” title by The Star newspaper in 2003.The whole cafe was packed with dinner-goers. Root Beer float!
We ordered the Chicken Chop with 2 eggs (RM18) with choice of mushroom or black pepper sauce. The cafe serves old-school style Hainanese chicken chop with generous portion of sauce. You can opt for grilled or fried chicken chop, and most of us went with fried. Well-marinated, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, the chicken chop is delicious when paired with the eggs and sauce. I have to admit, the egg is a nice touch! IT Roo Cafe serve tze char dishes as well so if you’re not up for chicken chop, there’s something else to try. :)
IT Roo Cafe
Address: 17 Jalan Dhoby, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
GPS: 1.457159, 103.763605
Business Hour: 10am – 9.30pm
IT Roo Cafe Facebook Page
So there, we concluded our first day-trip to JB! Hammy and I have both been very focused on work, and to be able to take this little time away meant a lot to us. Now that we have ‘discovered’ how easy it is to travel across the causeway for new adventures, we would definitely want to head over more often! I’ll be sharing our trips here on the blog so keep a lookout :)