Sunday, April 17, 2016

Traveling with Kid(s) to Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, Johor Bahru - Malaysia

Buat yang punya rencana ke Sanrio Hello Kitty Town di Johor Bahru, Malaysia -terutama buat yang bawa anak kecil- gue punya itinerary yang bisa dijadiin contekan.

Kalau ada yang tanya, "Why Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, not Legoland?" Well, I'm not into Lego. And I'm just an ordinary girl who is not love what everyone else love. Anti-maintstream. Dan sebenernya gue pun bukan fans nomor satunya Hello Kitty. Secara gue pink-haters dan Hello Kitty pasti identik dengan warna pink. Tapi gue suka banget sama Sanrio. Jaman gue SD di era akhir 80-an sampai pertengahan 90-an, pernah booming yang namanya koleksi kertas surat dan stiker. Dan Sanrio jadi koleksi gue paling banyak saat itu.

Akhir Januari 2016, gue main ke Sanrio Hello Kitty Town di Johor Bahru. Gue berangkat dengan 2 sahabat gue yang saling menikah dan anak perempuan mereka yang berusia 2,5 tahun. It was such a funtastic trip. Kami 2 hari 1 malam di Johor Bahru dan 3 hari 2 malam di Singapura. Traveling kali ini gue dengan mereka beda pesawat dan penginapan di Singapura. Jadi kita cuma bener-bener barengan pas di Johor Bahru.

So here were my itinerary when I visited Sanrio Hello Kitty Town Johor Bahru and some tips for you who want to go there from Jakarta, especially for those who are #travelingwithkids. Kindly note that the itinerary I shared was only for the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, not my whole trip back then.

Destination: Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Starting Point: Jakarta, Indonesia
Days spent: 2 days 1 night
Route: Jakarta - Singapore - Johor Bahru (1 night) - Singapore

Day 1: Jakarta - Singapore - Johor Bahru

It is better for you to take an early morning flight from Jakarta to Singapore to avoid any delays on your flights and so you can get some proper rest before you explore Johor Bahru.

There is a direct coach from Changi Airport to Johor Bahru. It makes your trip easier. But for the latest schedule of the coach, you better check on this website or you can approach Transtar Travel's counter located at the Arrival Hall of Terminal 2 (if you're arriving at Terminal 2, after Customs clearance, just go left. The Transtar Travel's counter is located fight before the taxi counter). The coach's schedule to Johor Bahru on the Changi's website is not the latest according to my trip. If you're arriving at Terminal 2, the coach is located at Coach Bay Number 10 (at the end of the left side of Arrival Hall of Terminal 2 after the Customs clearance). The price of a single trip ticket from Changi to Johor Bahru is SGD 10 (by cash or SGD 9 by EZ-Link Card).

For this trip you'll past 4 times immigration and customs clearance. First, at Soekarno Hatta Airport, Jakarta before departure. Second, at Changi Airport, Singapore after landing. Third, at Woodlands CIQ (Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complex)
, Singapore. And fourth, at Sultan Iskandar CIQ (in Melayu said Kompleks Kastam, Imigresen, dan Kuarantin), Johor Bahru. Note that if you take a bus, you have to bring all of your bagage and hand carry when you are at Woodlands CIQ. After passing the CIQ at Woodlands (just follow the directions or follow the people surround you), you can find the same coach bus again at the bus bay and continue the journey to Sultan Iskandar CIQ.

In my experience, the final destination of the coach bus from Changi is at Sultan Iskandar CIQ. But you can ask again with the driver about the final destination because on their website, it said that the final destination is Larkin Terminal in Johor.

At that time, our accommodation in Johor Bahru was called Citrus Hotel. We chose that hotel for 2 main reasons: it was located in JB Sentral, near the Sultan Iskandar CIQ (10-15 minutes on foot) and they had a Family Room for 3 adults including breakfast. It was good enough lah for only 1 night.

The hotel location was accross the City Square Shopping Mall and JB Sentral, and in Jalan Wong Ah Fook (the next main street of the hotel) there was a river renovation construction, so it was very crowded and a lil bit noisy. But in front of the hotel, across the Jalan Meldrum, there was a Malaysian food stall which is open for 24 hours. And the taste of its Teh Tarik and the food was quite delicious.

On Day 1, we were going to Johor Premium Outlet: Johor's finest outlet shopping in the afternoon. If you have Uber application, you can use it in Johor. But if you can find a Uber driver near you, the alternative transportations are using a bus from JB Sentral or you can simply get a taxi. But in my experience, there is no taxi that uses the meter in Johor. So you have to bargain the price with the driver. We were charged RM 70 for one way ride from JB Sentral to JPO.

My personal opinion about JPO: (i) the distance from JB Sentral to JPO is far. It took around 20 to 30 minutes by taxi; and (ii) the price on each outlet is still expensive, even for some discounted goods. Well, I prefer eating to shopping. LOL.

From JPO to JB Sentral, there is a free shuttle bus at certain hours. At that time, we took the bus at 08.00 PM. After 08.00 PM, the next bus is at 10.30 or 11.00 PM.

Day 2: Johor Bahru - Singapore

It's Hello Kitty time!

We chose the easier way to go to Puteri Harbour. Using Uber Taxi. We spent RM 21.63 for one-way trip. But the charge may vary.

The Hello Kitty Town is an indoor theme park. The building from outside is just like an ordinary shopping mall. No sign for "Sanrio Hello Kitty Town" nor else. But you can see some pictures of Thomas and Friends, Bob the Builder, and Hello Kitty on the building. If you see Hotel Jen, then the next building after Hotel Jen is the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town.

The theme park is open from 10.00 AM. The price of the ticket is RM 85 per person for only Hello Kitty Town, but it can be cheaper if you buy all parks pass. You can check on this website for the ticket price.
The Entrance Ticket
At the Red Ribbon Cafe, Lower Ground.
Before we go upstairs!

When you enter the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town on the 1st Floor, you will be given a Daily Activity Card. Each person will get 1 activity card and this card is used to collect Hello Kitty Stamp for each activity on the Studio.

On the left side of the entrance, there is a Tea Cup Ride. It was fun though to ride it on :D

Next to the Tea Cup Ride, there is a Gazebo. You can have photo opportunity with Dear Daniel and Hello Kitty or My Melody or Bad Batz Maru at the Gazebo.
Dear Daniel, Auntie, Kakak, and Hello Kitty. Pose!

Time schedule for your reference:
Time Schedule of Sanrio Hello Kitty Town

Right next to the Gazebo, there is the Kitty's House. Inside the House there are living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, dressing room, and study room. All rooms are decorated in Hello Kitty's theme. Very cute!

On the Kitty's House you can take pictures. There is a photographer who will take your pictures and before leaving the theme-park you can buy the printed pictures with some selected package options at the Photo Center in between Tea Cup Ride and Gazebo. But still you can use your own camera or gadget to take pictures. Cheaper! LOL.
Kitty Fairy.
She will welcome you once you enter the Kitty's House.
Hello Kitty's Kitchen

In front of the Kitty's House, there is a Wishful Studio. You can have some fun activities on this studio. Such as decorating cookie, coloring and making a badge, origami (it takes around 2 hours to make, but you can bring it home. Don't forget to take pictures of the How-To-Build's step!), dress up (you can try on some Sanrio's characters'clothes and take pictures with it. The clothes are available on many size, including for the adults), and nail art (unfortunately I didn't have time to do this..). After you finish each of activity, you will get a Kitty Stamp on your Daily Activity Card. Each activity can only be done once.
Daily Activity Card
The Hello Kitty Cookies. Before.
The Hello Kitty Cookies. After.

On the left side of the Wishful Studio there is a stage called Purrfect Stage. You can see the Mini-Show at Purrfect Stage.
Hello Kitty Show.. Show.. Show.. Show..
Hello Kitty Show at Purrfect Stage

After the Purrfect Stage, right next to Kitty's House is Friendship Land. It is an indoor playgym. Quite fun for children age 2-5.

In front of the Friendship Land, there is a Cinnamoroll Cafe. You can buy some snack here. Some are in Hello Kitty shapes.

At the end is Hello Kitty in Oz. It is an adventurous-theme activities. We, the adults, were having a great time here. Because most of the games can be played by us :D LOL.
Hello Kitty in Oz
We finish the Oz Tasks. Yeaaay..!

We spent time only until 02.00 PM because we had to go to Singapore. Over all, Sanrio Hello Kitty Town is quite fun. Especially for girls :D

Tips buat ke Johor Bahru via Singapura: hati-hati dengan barang bawaan, terutama Passport dan uang. Apalagi kalau bawa anak kecil. Biasanya fokus akan terpecah antara barang bawaan dan anak. Bagi tugas yang baik antara Ayah dan Ibu yaaa..