I was surprised to learn about a train service from Singapore to Johor and its not the conventional train ride one would expect. It's an express train that only brings you across the causeway in 5 mins, starting at Woodlands Train Checkpoint and ending at JB Sentral. Run by Malaysia KTM, tickets cost $5 from Singapore or RM 5 from Johor. The only reason you take it is for the speed, avoiding causeway traffic jams and the resulting Q at customs. Remembering my last trip, I was only too happy to try out the Tebrau Shuttle.
Although bus 170 does go to Woodlands Train Checkpoint, we decided against it and stopped at Woodlands MRT to take one of these buses 856, 903, 911, 913 (avoid 912 as the route is longer). Advised to check that the bus plate says Woodlands Train Checkpoint.
Buy tickets first, then clear both customs at once, before boarding the train. Only 2 carriages are new, the rest have tiny weevils (cockroaches) that gave us quite a fright. I wouldn't recommend this for wheelchair/trolleys/prams as there is a huge gap from platform to train.
From JB Sentral, we took the S1 causewaylink shuttle bus to KSL City, it leaves every 20 mins and costs RM 1.50 per person, per trip. KSL City is a megamall with an attached hotel, Tesco Hypermart and a cineplex with two 3D screens.
MRT ride to Woodlands = $1.73
Bus ride to Checkpoint = $0.88
Tebrau Shuttle = $5.00
S1 bus to KSL City = $0.50
S1 bus to KSL City = $0.50
Total Cost = $8.11
We decided to check out Tesco first as we were not planning a huge grocery haul. Olay facial masks are SGD$10 after discounts (its a good deal) only thing is you need the manager to unlock the shelf for you. We ended up buying chips, biscuits and loofahs.
Tesco housebrand products have attractive packaging and I like the mixed baked beans.
Mom & I had lunch at Kopi Cawan Mas, a Malaysian food cafe that appears to be really popular with the locals.
After that, we went to this specialty Assam Laksa place to try authentic Malaysian Laksa. Malay food is really spicy in general.
Walking around KSL City mall, there's tons to see. The shops and pushcarts are all tightly packed together, even the ground floor atrium was filled with clothes for sale.
My mom was soo happy to find authentic Tupperware in 1 of the shops. She also stocked up on vitamins and such at Watsons/Guardian Pharmacy, coz its cheaper in JB.
We bought these bread magnets and Lego toys for the kiddos.
KSL City is known for its tech gadgets/cables etc, you can also buy IT equipment (e,g, Computers) here. I found a phone clamp and fish eye lens for my phone camera RM 25, there is variety to choose from so everyone can get something different.
Took a break at Baskin Robbins then had our gel pedicures done.
This mall had quite a few of these catcher toy machines around, each operated by a different vendor. Exchange cash for tokens to play and I really haven't done this since I was a kid.
My mom was in the shop looking at clothes so I had a go and won Olaf the Snowman. It says authentic Disney on his foot but the badge is upside down (manufacture reject/treasure).
Later on, we saw another bunch of toy machines and baby Donald Duck in a pink T-shirt was just too cute to pass up.
We won him, but the toy is too big and got stuck in the machine. I spent another RM10 just to get him to come out of there.
A bit further on, it was cute sea creatures and I won the takoyaki octopus. I didn't manage to win any TY beanie babies tho' that was 1 set of toy machines that ate up my money.
Just like the toy catcher machines, these massage chairs are scattered throughout the mall, starting at RM 2 for 6 mins.
We spent the end of the day searching for the elusive pasar malam that occurs every Monday from 5pm. It starts at KSL City Hotel entrance and ends at Grand Paragon Hotel. Coincidentally, KSL City Hotel entrance is near S1 bus service dropoff. So we had Starbucks frappucinos at the hotel lobby while waiting for the hawkers to setup their businesses.
It looks like this on the already tightly packed roads.
Selling everything from kueh to blankets.
Going home, we had to wait for the S1 bus outside KFC (the other side of the mall). I bought Pizza Hut for my dinner RM 15.
At JB Sentral I stopped by this bakery next to KTM ticket counter to get rainbow cake slices. I always tell myself next time I will get a minion cake but I never do.
From Woodlands checkpoint, you have to go home by Taxi as there isn't a bus service to an MRT station.