How To Visit Legoland and Other Places In Johor, Malaysia Without A Car
Click bait title? Perhaps, perhaps… but I’ve blogged about Legoland so many times (this was my 4th time there!), I feel like I should offer some useful tips instead of a look-at-how-much-fun-we-had sort of post. What makes this trip different and MUUUUCH easier even with three kids aged 5, 3 and 1 in tow were that we booked a private charter to take us there right from our doorstep and back.
Each leg of the ride took us about 1.5 hours, a far cry from the 4-hour shuttle bus ride (one way!) I took with Lauren and Georgia back in March. I wrote off going to LEGOLAND after that horrendous bus ride.
Alas, there we were, again and this time with Nick and Will in the picture too.
We left home on Saturday just before lunchtime and arrived at LEGOLAND Hotel around 1pm. We were too early to check into the hotel. Check-in time is 4 pm, later than most hotels but totally understandable – every room has young child/ren. Imagine the mess, the crumbs! So we left our luggage at the concierge and went to Market Restaurant, LEGOLAND Theme Park for lunch.
Surprise, surprise, the food at the restaurant was actually pretty decent!
Not just the usual western fried fare. I polished off the chicken rendang and briyani rice in no time. The ice kacang was humongous but too sweet for my liking.
Tummy filled and off to the rides we went.
I swear Georgia was in the ‘plane’ with me but she was blocked from the camera’s viewl. I didn’t have a deprived childhood.
Proof. But I looked waaaay too happy here.
Will LOVED the toddler playground, simply because there wasn’t a whole lot for one-year-olds to do in Legoland.
The little city replicas made out of Legos were so cool. A few of the mini cars could actually move.
When you see a roving Legoman walking around, you HAVE to take a photo right?
We called it a day at the park around 6pm. We checked into the hotel and freshened up before heading out to dinner. We should have eaten at one of the restaurants in LEGOLAND Hotel but Nick wanted to take us to the restaurant where he always goes to during golf trips. We took a cab all the way from the west side of Johor to the east side and we were lucky that only one child cried half of the way.
Dinner was good, but I’m still not convinced if the drive was worth it. And… we kinda over ordered.
Back to the hotel, the girls were thrilled about their bunk beds, with a TV right next to it. I’m surprised that they actually agreed to go to sleep that night.
The littlest one slept with us, as per usual programming.
We have a lot of LEGO blocks at home. Will shows no interest in those. The ones in the hotel on the other hand…..
Maybe it’s the bucket?
There was also a treasure chest in our room that you need (well, you can choose to ignore it if you’re not the least curious) to break open. And it required the kids looking for clues around the room and the cracking the code. Fun times!
First order of the day… breakfast! There was a queue to get a table when we got there, so the kids got 10 minutes of playtime in the adjourning play area.
They asked to be photographed.
The cafe where buffet breakfast was served was a bit of a madhouse in the morning. Families with kids (mostly young!) at every single table. Can you imagine?
Luckily the number of food choices made it up – everything from western breakfast, varieties of congee (who knew there are so many), freshly made roti prata, egg and noodle stations, dim sums, local fares and many more. My kids are most happy when there’s artisan bread (discerning taste, mostly from Nick!), croissant with butter and cookies are available. I must mention the hashbrown – so crispy!
More food and a bit of playing later…..
A quick snap before we leave Legoland Hotel. Two out of three kids said they didn’t wanna go home. They gave in after I told them, we are going ‘jalan-jalan’, not home. Not straightaway anyway. Ha!
I didn’t lie to them. We did go shopping at Johor Premium Outlets. Our driver, Mr Yee dropped us off and Nick optimistically told him to pick us up in one hour.
50 minutes later and we barely covered a quarter of the shops, we called Mr Yee to delay our pickup time. He didn’t seem surprised. Haha!
I had no idea where to go for lunch. So my instruction to Mr Yee was good local food, somewhere on route to our next destination and he brought us to Tea Garden, barely 10 minutes drive from Johor Premium Outlets.
Perfect because the kids were starving by then. He also thoughtfully chose the place because according to him, “Has air-con. Because you have young children. Cannot go places that are hot and uncomfortable for them”.
Food wise, not bad. But I was craving local prawn mee and they didn’t have it 🙁
Back into our 7 (+3 at the back row) seater and we went to KSL Mall for more shopping. But it was a bit of a let down except for the mooncake market happening at the concourse. I suppose if you go without children, you could get your hair, nails and massage done cheaply and comfortably. Shopping wise – not that great.
From there, we made a final stop at Puteri Harbour before heading back to Singapore.
We bought a property there and haven’t been able to check it out until now. The esplanade is a bit touristy, but it’s also a nice area to bring young children to run around.
It’s also home to Hello Kitty Town and Thomas the Tank Engine Town.
If Indian food is your jam, you have the checkout Spice Grill at Puteri Harbour. It was recommended by Nick’s colleague and we are so glad we went for dinner. Ask the waiter for dishes recommendation – the masalas (there are many types) are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. They have a special room allocated only for Sultan of Johor and the royal family. Clearly, he visits very often.
And the best thing is, the pricing is super reasonable. We had 3 baskets of rotis, a big bowl of biryani rice, 2 meat curries, a dhal, fish and chips and a beer for about RM$150. Please don’t raise your price after this! 😀
With our tummy filled, we headed back to Singapore. The kids were all asleep and tucked straight into bed when we reached home.
Now a bit of info about the private charter we used during our trip:
I booked it via Klook. Look for Singapore to Johor Bahru – DIY Itinerary + Private Driver.
The price is listed at $185 but the total charges came up to $267 to include all toll charges and parking. Technically, you have the car to pick you up from home in Singapore, a local professional Malaysian driver bring you where you want to go in Johor Bahru (and make recommendations when necessary) and send you back home in Singapore, for a duration of 12 hours. What I like about it, is that we didn’t have to lug our bags and kids to pass immigration; we sat comfortably in the car.
Once I made the booking with Klook, I received a confirmation email almost immediately. Then within the next 30 minutes or so, I received another email with the names and contact details of the driver(s) who will be picking me up.
(Note: I had 2 separate drivers because my trip lasted over 2 days, more than the usual 12 hours duration for a day trip. So technically what I had was a one-way ride Singapore to Legoland ($117) and a DIY private charter service, mentioned above.)
I highly recommend the private charter if you’re thinking of a day trip to Johor Bahru. Both drivers were very professional and punctual. You can’t beat the convenience. And imagine all the things you can buy!! I’m not paid to say this, by the way.
What I do have is $20 off your Johor Bahru charters booking promo code from Klook for you. Key in <JBTRIP> when you make the booking via their app or website. Promo code is valid until 31 Dec 2017.