With the Ringgit at such a favourable exchange rate (3.088), there’s no better time to head to Johor for a short getaway. Not that there is much one can do in Johor, other than the obvious eating and shopping. I’ve gone through the list of attractions in Johor over and over again, but could not find much that could fill the time for a family with very young kids. When it comes to kids, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Legoland. Unfortunately my kids are still too young for Legoland, and besides, i think Legoland is only good for 2 or at most 3 visits. One will have to fall back on those attractions that have a natural lure, which, for me, invariably involves food.
The thing about food is, well, it’s everywhere, so that opens up limitless opportunities in terms of places to explore. If you think about it, more than anything else, sampling food connects you with the place where you are visiting. It summarizes the taste preferences of the people, it shows you the typical ingredients available, it forces you to interact with the people, and finally, the food becomes part of you.
For my upcoming trip, since I don’t wish to go far, I am planning to go to some nearby places i have not been to before – Pontian and Gunung Pulai Recreational Forest (depending on the haze situation) and also around Johor Bahru city. Johorkaki is the de-facto guide i rely on for tips on where and what to eat.
As i have said before, there isn’t much to see in Johor, but here is the list of places IMHO that I think are actually worth going to (I have not been to some of them)
- Islands off Mersing – Tioman, Pemanggil, Tinggi
- Desaru – beach that is not very far from Johor Bahru
- Gunung Ledang aka Mount Ophir – for outdoor enthusiasts
- Kluang – if you’re into coffee, the famed Kluang Railway Coffee is found here. There is also the Gunung Lambak Recreational Forest
- Kulai/Skudai/Johor Bahru – for food and shopping. There are also various hotels and resorts for those who just like to “vegetate”.