Johor Bahru: Travel on a Budget 

*All photos are mine. Please don’t copy or use without my permission

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7:00AM – We finally arrived in Johor Bahru! 

We had breakfast at the KFC in the train station. The breakfast meal only cost RM 5. I also wanted Teh Tarik (RM 3) so I ordered takeout from the food shop across KFC. I was thrilled to realize that the takeout bag for drinks in that food shop resembled the Piso plastic pouches we used when buying soft drinks. 

A friend I met through Backpackers met us up at the train station. His name is Azim and he offered to tour us around Johor Bahru and even offered to be our host for a night in the city. 

We crossed the street to the nearest mall where he parked his car. 

He then showed us around downtown Johor Bahru but since we were so tired from our trip he offered to have us stay over so we could shower, rest and unpack. We’re so fortunate to have someone to help us around. 

While Azim showed us around his place, I chanced upon their massage bed. He laughed at our excitement and asked us to try it. Of course, I didn’t say no. I looked like a budbod (a Filipino rice cake wrapped tightly in banana leaves) as the blanket was wrapped over me while I had the massage. My cousin took a shower while I enjoyed 30 mins of absolute bliss. 

After Kuya took his shower, I then went right ahead and took mine. After we all got freshly dressed, Azim took us to White Gold Cafe where I managed to try their Hor Fun white curry (RM 12.50). 

Of course, being the annoyingly clever girl that I am, I poked fun at the name “Hor fun”. I’m sorry, that joke just had to be made. 

Azim then told us we could go to the beach after we visit Legoland, but since it’s raining it might not be so fun. I was optimistic. A little rain won’t get in the way of our fun. I’m sure the weather will turn out really nicely in the end.

After lunch, we then set out to go to Legoland because, after all, it is Legoland!

I forgot how long the drive took us. It felt like hours. I realized how fortunate we are that Azim is driving us to Legoland even if we just met. We would be worrying about paying for a VERY EXPENSIVE taxi or would be asking around for buses that go there if that weren’t the case.

As soon as we arrived in Legoland, we paid a parking fee of RM 10. We all chipped in and we went in. We thought it best to not pay for a whole day in Legoland, just see how far along in the theme park we’re allowed to go in for free. It’s a risk but, hey, we took our chances.

As it turns out, you can go far even if you don’t pay for a whole day pass in Legoland. 

Of course, we didn’t expect to get into any rides but we did manage to go inside the Legoland Resort. It’s literally just an elevator ride away. We took our time playing with the Legos in and around the area. 

We could even see the rides in the distance. Really, I’m just happy we managed to get in in the first place. 

After indulging our respective inner child, we then went right ahead and prepped for our trip to the beach!!! 
The beach was hours away from Legoland. Seriously. I forgot how long it took. Maybe two or three hours? I just remember Azim saying the weather might turn out badly but I just exclaimed, “you just wait, the weather will turn out fantastic as soon as I wake up…” Then I dozed off to sleep. 
Luckily, I turned out to be right (what are the odds?!?). The weather was fantastic when we arrived! 
I just felt bad that I only brought a bikini with me and everyone else seems awfully conservative – some even wore head scarves while swimming – but Azim assured me that Tanjung Balau is a public beach and lots of tourists go there wearing swimsuits. It just turned out that my cousin and I were the only foreigners in that area. 

Still, we’re foreigners who look a lot like locals so there were some stares but, overall, it was no problem. They figured out that I’m neither Malaysian nor Muslim so my bikini and tattoos aren’t problematic. 

Working on my #baywatch moves haha #beachin #malaysia

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The beach is lovely! 

I felt like a mermaid swimming in it. 

The view is amazing. 

I just. Sigh.

I wish I could stay there for long. 

It’s too bad we have to leave eventually. 

The beach doesn’t charge for swimming but it does charge RM 3 for using the showers. We don’t mind. We needed to wash off the salt off our skin afterwards anyway. Kuya even bought a shirt featuring Tanjung Balau for only RM 10! We also bought snacks so we’d have something to munch on for the long trip on our way back to downtown Johor Bahru.

We left early since we planned on checking out some shops close by. Also, we wanted to check out a sex shop in a mall haha! I’ve never been to one so I’ve always wanted to see what that’s like. It’s too bad I’m not allowed to take photos. Let’s just say it was definitely VERY INTERESTING haha!

By 6pm, we were famished so we stopped by a quaint restaurant. Azim ordered for us since we wanted to try something new. I forgot the name of the dish but it definitely resembled Nasi Lemak and it cost around RM 5. Of course, I ordered a cup of Teh Tarik (RM 1.30). It will be my last Teh Tarik since we’ll be off to Singapore tomorrow. Gotta make the most of it!
Needless to say, we definitely got full. Azim is a devout Muslim so he doesn’t drink beer but he’s okay with us buying a beer and drinking. We then ended our day by watching a movie in Azim’s place. 

It was definitely a good day.


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