marcus, hw and i went on a day trip to JB today.
since we lived in the same area, hw and i met up to take the bus together. 170/170a brings you directly to woodlands checkpoint. public transport (buses) is the cheapest way to get to JB.
we reached way early at around 8.30am thanks to smooth traffic (bless) – we originally decided on 9am to meet. to our surprise, there weren’t many people within woodlands checkpoint then as well.
while we waited for marcus to arrive, we observed the crowd picking up quickly after 9am. by the time we reached jb’s checkpoint, the crowd was pretty insane. it was basically bodies against bodies. we couldn’t even find an entry point into the queue because it was just that crowded. when we finally cleared immigration it was already 11am+. suggest to bring a book to read while clearing checkpoint in future.
we got to our first stop at around 12pm (lol). Ya Wang is about 5-10 minutes walking distance from the checkpoint. there was a slight queue and we waited about 10-15 minutes before we were seated. the inside is aircon and a good respite from the deadly afternoon heat.
I personally kind of got a shock at the prices lol they were higher than i had expected. i was also disappointed in the herbal duck. i heard many good reviews so i was really excited to come here, but it just wasn’t what i envisioned it to be? the meat was also quite tough. i’m not sure if it’s because we didn’t get the whole duck version but it shouldn’t make that big of a difference. i might not be heading back soon unless convinced otherwise. good charsiew and roast pork (RM20 for that – ouch), but not the best i’ve had. the best one i had was tucked in penang… that shall be my little secret 🙂 i got soy milk at Ya Wang at the drink, RM1.50 – ok even though slightly watery.
we went to our second stop – Shakespeare Milkshakes for some chill and board games, the next item on our itinerary.
the board games part, by Fullwolves 狼间道桌游 is in collaboration with the cafe. that section is on the second floor. you order your food and drinks on the first floor of the cafe and they deliver it up to you. it was such a photo-friendly location that i ended up snapping a few photos of the place.
the prices run at RM8 / hour per pax, which is honestly fairly reasonable for what you get. if you’re a member, it is RM6 but we didn’t ask how to become a member, haha.
it has a modest selection of games but all the essentials are there. we spotted monopoly, cluedo, cards against humanity, limpeh says, bang, amongst other games.
i enjoyed the avocado milkshake. it wasn’t too sweet. the chocolate banana is too heavy though. overall it’s quite pricey but the portion is decent. we spent about 2 hours in the cafe (till 3pm) before moving on.
our next stop was supposed to be Mid Valley Southkey, the new mall 10 minutes driving distance from JB Sentral. we saw online that there is a shuttle bus (MV2) which brings you from JB Sentral to Mid Valley Southkey at a current promo price of RM1, but we could not find a bus depot (we only saw the depot after walking back from R&F Mall, lol).
we gave up and looked around for R&F Mall, the new mall 8 minutes walk away from CIQ checkpoint that opened recently as well. we had a hard time finding it – tip is to just stay within CIQ to look for it. the walkway is not connected to City Square but CIQ. you need to cross a zebra crossing to get to the bridge.
some photos while trying to find the shuttle bus to mid valley and bridge to R&F mall:
went to watsons to stock up on toiletries and medication as well.
R&F mall was not fully open yet. we chilled at JB’s LiHo for a while before heading back to City Square for dinner.
we booked the 8.15pm train back to SG through EasyBook one month ago. but we missed it as we reached too late and we didn’t know how to get to the train area. however, thankfully, the bus ride back to woodlands checkpoint was really smooth at that timing and i think there’s really no need to take the train back at that timing. the 5/6+pm crowd is insane though so if you plan on going back at that peak time, it would be better to pre-book the KTM train.
in summary, on saturdays, you should either book the KTM train to JB or reach early (before 8.30am). Also, if you plan on going back at peak hour (5/6pm+), you should book the KTM train back. Otherwise, if you head back at around 8.30pm, it’s okay to go via public bus route.
for the next JB trip, i will purchase a SIM card or get a 1 day roaming from my telcom company and head outside of the walkable areas of JB, such as the new mid valley southkey mall which is 10 min by car from JB Sentral, austin heights area, perhaps look out to get new specs and contacts, do my hair!