Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Johor Bahru Chinese Temple Tour and Makan Day Trip by Car

Friends have asked me to suggest an itinerary for a one day Chinese temple tour and makan day trip to Johor Bahru.

This suggested day trip itinerary is based on three Chinese temples in Johor Bahru, namely, Johor Old Temple 柔佛古廟 in downtown JB, Kuan Yin Temple 观音廟 in Taman Perling and Tin Hau Temple 天后廟 in Skudai.

The suggested eateries are conveniently located near these three temples. I have also added a shopping stop at Sutera Mall for the shopaholics.

As always, this is only a suggested itinerary. We are encouraged to freely change and modify it according to our preferences and to use only what we find suitable for our own needs.

Timings are also rough estimates only as time required varies according to the queues at the checkpoint, waiting time for food, and traffic conditions, just to name a few influencing factors.

If you are driving in a convoy, a convenient assembly point is Woodlands Town Garden.

Once cleared immigration, we start the day with a hearty breakfast. There are three suggested breakfast choices.

We can have otak otak, nasi lemak and fried bee hoon at Storia Café. Storia café is famous for their otak otak.

If you like Hainanese coffee and toast, Kin Wah may be the choice for you. Kin Wah is famous for their half boiled kampung chicken eggs. Kin Wah also serves popular nasi lemak, mee siam and mee rebus for breakfast.

Another popular choice is Hua Mui which is an old established, traditional Hainanese coffee shop. Hainanese coffee and toasts are the hot sellers here. Hua Mui's signature dish is their fried chicken chops.

After a hearty breakfast, we visit Johor Old Temple 柔佛古 in downtown Johor Bahru. This is the oldest temple in Johor Bahru. I suggest we take a 10 minutes walk from Kin Wah or Hua Mui to the temple as parking is difficult in downtown JB, except on weekends.

After visiting the Johor Old Temple, we proceed to the Kuan Yin Temple 观音廟 in Taman Perling.

After visiting the Quan Yin Temple, we break for lunch at Kim Ling coffee shop. Kim Ling coffee shop has a wide range of hawker stalls, such as chicken rice, you char kway, pork organ soup, kway teow kia (kway chap), yong tau foo, Penang char kway teow, and more. There is also a vegetarian food stall in Kim Ling.

While at Taman Perling, you may want to pop by Daily Grain Café for their freshly baked, homemade multi grain bread and banana cakes.

Our stomachs filled, we proceed to the Tin Hau Temple 天后廟 in Skudai.

After visiting the Tin Hau temple, we proceed to Taman Sri Skudai for the famous braised duck shops there.

The oldest established braised duck shop is Skudai Duck Mee.

Just across the same street is Sin Hai Cheng which is also another very popular braised duck shop.

After the sumptuous duck meals, we stop over at Sutera Mall for retail therapy and to burn off calories.

After shopping, we shall proceed to Ban Heong Seng for a special dinner of beggar's chicken / duck, country fish, oyster rice and melon soup.

Please call Ban Heong Seng at least one day in advance to make bookings for the dishes as the "beggar style" of cooking needs long cooking times. Ban Heong Seng is in a quiet old bungalow house. It is cool, breezy and laid back. A good place to chill and catch our breath before the drive back to Singapore, after a long day.

I have also worked out a Skudai Highway shopping and makan day trip. It is a good idea to switch items between the two itineraries based on your own preferences. Mix and match as you wish.

Wish you a safe and fruitful trip.

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