Singapore is a great country with a lot to offer tourists. But what if you’ve already seen all of the sights Singapore offers and are looking for something new?
Singapore is a neighbor to two large countries, Malaysia and Indonesia. In this travel guide, I will share with you some of the best nearby places to visit if you run out of places to travel to in Singapore.
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Malaysia is the closest country to Singapore, located just across the Singapore straits. The country is rich in culture and natural beauty, making it a popular tourist destination.
Some of the must-visit places in Malaysia include Johor Bahru, just a short drive across the Johor–Singapore Causeway.
Johor Bahru is the second largest city in Malaysia, with many shopping malls. You can find many well-known brands in these shopping malls.
For example, City Square Johor Bahru and Komtar JBCC are within walking distance of the custom. Johor Premium Outlets is where designer brands are offered at discounted prices all year round.
Other malls include Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru, and The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey, one of JB’s most prominent integrated shopping malls.
Due to the exchange rates, many Singaporeans love to travel to Johor Bahru to buy and eat. I love going there for their excellent food and to get an hour of Thai-style full-body massage.
For those looking for a luxurious experience, there are also many upscale hotels and resorts in Johor Bahru, and the rates are not expensive compared to Singapore’s hotel rates.
Iskandar Puteri, Malaysia
Iskandar Puteri is a beautiful and vibrant city west of Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Just a short drive from the Tuas Second Link between Singapore and Malaysia, Iskandar Puteri is Johor’s new administrative center and has much to offer tourists.
There are several tourist attractions in Iskandar, including Legoland Malaysia, Hello Kitty Town, X Park, and Puteri Harbour. These attractions are perfect for families with children, as they offer plenty of fun and excitement.
Those seeking a cultural experience can visit the Kota Iskandar Mosque; it has a modern and futuristic design with a stunning sight well worth seeing.
Food-wise, many local foods and restaurants serve both local and international cuisine. So whether you’re looking for Malaysian food or something else entirely, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for in Iskandar Puteri.
Kota Tinggi, Malaysia
Kota Tinggi is a town located in Johor, Malaysia. The town is near the mouth of the Johor River and is famous for its waterfalls.
Kota Tinggi Waterfalls are very well known to even Singaporean, and it is 15km north of the Kota Tinggi town. Located in Lombong at Gunung (Mountain) Muntahak, I recommend visiting in the morning to avoid the crowd.
The journey starts at the Kota Tinggi Waterfalls Resort, where you must purchase an entrance ticket. The resort not only provides a place to stay overnight, and there are also camping sites.
The waterfalls flow from a height of about 40m. They are surrounded by lush greenery, making it a popular spot for picnics. Visitors can also dip in the pools at the base of the waterfalls.
Other attractions around Kota Tinggi include Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm, Kota Tinggi Firefly Valley Leisure Park, and Kota Tinggi Firefly Park.
If you are looking for a place to enjoy some beach time, Desaru in Malaysia is a perfect choice.
Desaru is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. It is also convenient to visit if you are traveling from Singapore.
Located on the east coast of Johor, this resort town offers stunning beaches, luxurious resorts with spas, and various activities.
Some popular activities in Desaru include windsurfing, wakeboarding, and golfing. You can also go to Adventure Waterpark theme park, which has one of the world’s biggest wave pools.
The Desaru Fruit Farm is a great place to visit if you want to learn about tropical fruits and see how they are grown.
The farm offers fruit picking, where you can pick your own mangosteen, rambutan, or durian.
You can hop onto an ATV and tour the famous Desaru Fruit Farm to learn about the different fruits grown in Malaysia.
At this plantation, you can learn about the history while sampling delicious durians, mangosteens, and other tropical fruits.
The Desaru Ostrich Farm is another great place to visit. You can learn about these fascinating animals and even feed them.
Another great place to visit is Tanjung Balau Fishing Village if you are interested in observing how the local fishermen’s kampung life.
Other activities include birdwatching and cruising along the mangroves.
Just a short ferry ride from Singapore, Batam is another popular tourist destination for Singaporeans. I would also recommend any tourists to Singapore to visit Batam if time allows during their trip.
There are many activities like golfing, spa treatments, shopping, or water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and wakeboarding.
There are also many mountains with hiking trails for those who enjoy nature. You can also visit the Mata Kucing Forest and Telaga Bidadari Waterfall. Those that like to cycle can ride the biking trails at Drak Bike Park.
Foodies will be happy to know that Batam is home to some of the best seafood in Indonesia. Many Singaporeans like to visit the island for cheap fresh seafood.
For those looking for a more cultural experience, Batam has some sacred and religious sites like temples, churches, mosques, and museums.
Enjoy the nightlife of Batam, as you can find many bars and clubs with different atmospheres ranging from low-key lounges to large nightclubs. Batam is recognized for having very inexpensive alcohol, especially when compared to Singapore.
Some other attractions include Pa Auk Tawya Vipassana Dhura Hermitage monastery, Sea Forest Adventure, Mega Wisata Ocarina Batam, and Barelang Bridge. The Barelang Bridge is an architectural marvel that connects Batam with several islands to the south.
Bintan Island is a hidden gem in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago. This Indonesian island has a lot to offer visitors, from exquisite beaches and water sports to unique temples and delicious seafood.
Just a short ferry ride from Singapore, Bintan is well-known for its beautiful beaches and resorts. The island is the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Water enthusiasts will love snorkeling, kayaking, and wakeboarding in the clear blue seas it offers. Golf enthusiasts will get to play at one of the island’s numerous world-class courses.
One of the best ways to experience Bintan is to go on a jungle adventure. The Mangrove Discovery Tour takes you through the island’s mangrove forests, where you can see rare animals and plants up close. Gurun Pasir Busung also offers stunning views of sandy dunes and azure skies.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, try your hand at paintball warfare or ATV racing. And don’t forget to relax at the end of the day with a treatment at Aroma River Spa, Bintan’s one and only floating spa.
History buffs will enjoy Grotto Santa Maria, a beautiful Portuguese chapel built in the 16th century. Or explore the MV Doulos Phos boutique hotel, a former cargo ship that’s now been converted into a one-of-a-kind hotel.
And don’t forget to check out the 500 Lohan Temple, home to 500 Lohan statutes. Or enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants along the waterfront.