September 24, 2012

Johor Premium Outlets

Bus Trip to Johor Premium Outlets

This was a departure from our weekly walks in Singapore. We decided to take a break to try out the bus routes to the Johor Premium Outlets. We took the Singapore Johor Express bus from Queen Street. The bus terminal is just behind the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. We could have taken the Causeway Link CW2 also. Both express buses will bring us to the Singapore CIQ without stopping along the way. The fare is S$2.40 and we can use our EZLink to pay at the ticket counter beside the road. In return the ticket seller will issue a ticket for us to board the bus. We need to keep this ticket for boarding a continuing bus after clearing Singapore Immigration.

JB Sentral Bus Terminal
When the bus drop us for clearing Singapore Immigration, bring everything with you because we will not re-board the same bus. After clearing Immigration, follow the signs to the same bus service to board the next bus. The bus that brought you here would have picked up the earlier passengers and left. When boarding the driver may want to see the ticket as proof that you are a bona fide passenger. If you had taken Causeway Link CW2, you can board either CW1 or CW2 as both will take you to Malaysian Immigration.

Entrance to Johor Premium Outlets
Again at Malaysian Immigration the bus dropped us off and we proceeded to clear Immigration. As we were planning to take the bus from the JB Sentral (train station) bus terminal, we would not re-board the bus. After clearing immigration, we followed signs leading to JB Sentral. As you leave the CIQ Building, you can see the bus terminal on the road level on the left. Just before entering the JB Sentral Building there is an escalator on the left. Use this to proceed to the road level and the bus terminal. Walk along the bus bays until you see a sign announcing the Causeway Link JP01 destination Johor Premium Outlets. You can check out the time-table on their website Causeway Link..

Johor Premium Outlets Food Court
We took the 11am bus. The cost was RM4.50 and the journey took about an hour. The bus followed the coastal road west of the city.

Burberry Outlet
The Johor Premium Outlets is located near the junction of E3 and the North-South Highway. It was opened only a few months ago. As it was near lunch time we looked for food at the food court.

From the Second Level
After lunch we walked around the place to see the range of brands and compare prices. There are 80 outlet stores. We were told that prices were 25% lower than the mainline shops. For the list of brands see their website Jurong Premium Outlets. As we wandered along the 2nd floor, we found out too late that there was a Thai restaurant here with prices not much higher than the food court offering. Had we known this we would have patronized it for better service instead of self service.

Second Level Shops
We chose to take the 2pm Causeway Link bus JPO2 that would take us to the Second Link Checkpoint and from there switch to CW3 or CW4 that would take us to Jurong East bus terminal. The cost of the ticket all the way to Jurong East was RM7. The bus also stopped at Gelang Patch to pickup/drop passengers. Again we kept the ticket stub to show the driver of the next bus. One of us had thrown the ticket away but managed to find it after some searching.

Waiting for the next Causeway Link bus
We arrived at the Malaysian Checkpoint at 2.45pm and boarded CW3 at 3pm. We arrived at Jurong East at 3.40pm.

It was an eye opening journey. We had a relaxing bus journey and got a chance to see the country for the cost of RM11 from Johor Bahru to Jurong East.

September 5, 2012

Sentosa Jungle Trails and Beach Walks

How to get there
There are 3 low cost ways to get to the island (besides using the taxi and the cablecar):
  1. Take bus no. RWS8 at $2 - the bus is parked right in front of the Vivocity bus stop. It would bring us to the basement of Resorts World Sentosa, or
  2. Stroll across the boardwalk for an entrance fee of $1 or
  3. Take the Sentosa Express, a light rail that will provide 3 stops on the island for a fee of $3.
All internal transport on the island is free as well as returning to Vivocity. So one could walk across for $1, take all the bus and tram rides then take the monorail back at no extra cost.

Sentosa Boardwalk
Our aim for this walk was to explore the jungle trails on the island and traverse the three beaches. We chose to take an easy walk on the Sentosa Boardwalk from Vivocity to the Sentosa Island. It used to be called Belakang Mati or the Island of Death. The Sentosa Boardwalk has canopy-covered two-way travellators to speed up the walk and provide shelter from the hot afternoon sun and rain. It has tropical landscapes and provide a beautiful view of the bay.

Malaysian Food Street
After arriving at Resorts World Sentosa, we looked for the Malaysian Food Hall to try out the food. Not all stalls were open in the afternoon. The stalls were set up to replicate a typical Malaysian street scene with selected popular food. Some of us settled on the nasi lemak because of the fast moving queue. After that we left the Resorts World Sentosa for the Merlion Park. At the Merlion we took the escalator to the top. We followed the signs leading to the Sentosa Luge & Skyride. Just before the entrance to this attraction on the right (beside the road) is the beginning of the Nyatoh Trail. There is a signboard listing all the trails on Sentosa. We planned a route that will cover most of the trails.

Imbiah Loop
Jungle Trails
The trails are short but provide shade from the sun. They generally circle around Mount Imbiah. The coastal trail facing the mainland has totem poles.

Sentosa Coastal Walk
We tracked along the Nyatoh Trail, Nibong Trail, the Imbiah Loop, Nepenthese Trail and finally descended the Tempinis Trail. Along the way we visited the Imbiah Falls, Tempinis Cascade and the Megazip Adventure Park at Mount Imbiah. At the time we visited this, it was closed due to an accident but has since reopened.

After exiting the Tempinis Trail onto Silosa Road, we moved on to the Coastal Trail. Here we could see on the opposite shores on the mainland Labrador Park, Marina at Keppel Bay and the Reflections, a high-end condominium.

Megazip Adventure Park
Beach Walks - Siloso Beach
After finishing with the jungle trails, we accessed the beaches near Rasa Sentosa at Siloso Beach. A road  runs along this beach and the other two i.e. Palawan Beach and Tanjong Beach. For those who do not like to walk you can take the pink beach tram at any of the stops. The tram that runs along Siloso Beach will terminate at the Beach Station. You will then need to change to another beach tram to continue to the other beaches. I also don't know why. Along Siloso Beach are a number of attractions such as recreation halls, f&b and retail outlets, etc. This is also where the Flying Trapeze (an adrenalin filled adventure hanging from a cable) end on an island off the beach. There are 3 resorts along this beach.

Palawan Beach and Palawan Island
Palawan Beach
The next beach is the Palawan Beach. This is where we aim for the Koufu Food Court for rest and food at reasonable prices (for Sentosa). Here is Palawan Island connected to the beach by a rope suspension bridge. My favourite pasttime here is purposely causing the bridge to sway with calculated foot stomping. The island claims to be the southern most point but when I check Google Maps I find that Sentosa Cove is more southerly. I am confused!

Tanjong Beach
The next beach is Tanjong Beach. As it is the furthest east, it is also secluded and there are less people here. So if you want to be away from the crowd, this is the place. The Sentosa Cove, a high end residential development cum marina is not accessible from the beach unless you are a resident. When it was less developed with empty bungalow plots, we managed to access Tanjong Beach from Sentosa Cove at low tide but those days are over. After traversing this beach and back to Palawan Beach we were tired and took the tram to the Beach Station and the monorail back to Vivocity

See Also:
Mount Faber to Berlayer Creek and Bukit Chermin Boardwalk
Southern Ridges 

GPS Track

View Sentosa in a larger map