Kulaijaya – escaping the causeway crawl

It goes without saying that traffic on the causeway slows to a crawl on Sunday evenings, when Singapore shoppers return home from Johor Bahru. I’ve been through the 2 to 3 hours ordeal before and will never want to repeat the experience. Instead of joining the queue, I prefer to stay for the night. Granted, the traffic into Singapore will be heavy in the early parts of Monday morning as well, so you’ll have to plan for the entry to be past 10am, which gives you ample time to enjoy breakfast.

When I’m traveling from KL (or basically anywhere north of JB) to Singapore, I will stay at Kulaijaya (specifically Indahpura). There is a Tesco where you can do grocery shopping, two malls – Aeon and IOI, as well as a handful of eateries and budget accommodations. This gives you enough to do over an evening and morning. The logical order is to go to Tesco, which is just 5 minutes from the North South highway Kulai Toll Plaza. Next, check in to your hotel. Depending on the time, you can either have dinner, then go to the malls, or vice versa. That will pretty much fill up your evening.

Tesco Kulai

I’m not sure why, but Beijing is a popular name for restaurants in JB. There is a “Peking Restoran” (not associated with the popular chain of Restoran Pekin in JB) just opposite Aeon mall that attracts a steady stream of local customers – I highly recommend coming here for dinner. They churn out really nice Tze Char dishes, and of course the price is very reasonable. Address:

Pi Pa Duck, a signature dish
Crayfish, an indulgence i won’t hesitate to enjoy while in Johor
Gu Lao Rou, one of the many Tze Char dishes in the menu
Restoran Peking

For breakfast, we just go to Tea Garden, which is just across the road from Restoran Peking. This is one of those fast food style modern Malaysian coffee shop, the likes of “Old Town”. The Fried Bee Hoon and Mee are made to order, you can’t go wrong with these. The other types of food are mostly the mass-produced type, of which the Dim Sum section is the worst and should be avoided.

Tea Garden

When you are done with breakfast, you can just continue along the main road through which you arrived at Indahpura. This will take you to JB centre in less than half an hour (don’t forget to pump petrol on the way). This main road, the number 1 road, was the way to get to Singapore in those days before the North South Highway was built, so you can soak in a bit of nostalgia. I guarantee you that this is a very happy way of ending your road trip into Malaysia, rather than getting stuck in traffic on the causeway.

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