Any new mall that opens in Johor will instantly become a hit in Singapore. In our tiny country, Johor is always a favourite getaway for shopping and pampering services. Baring the horrendous causeway jam which sometimes take up to 4 hours, getting into JB is usually a direct and easy affair.

When we heard that a huge shopping mall just opened in Skudai, Johor Bahru, we decided to go and check it out. Here are our thoughts on Paradigm Mall and many of our other favourite places to shop.

Paradigm Mall

Address: Jalan Skudai, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor

Conveniently located along the Skudai Highway, however when we tried getting to it, we still managed to get lost and wasted 30 minutes on a long detour.

Finally we arrived at what appears to be a huge shopping mall. It had just opened 2 weeks ago but I noticed it could be a soft launch or a rushed opening as construction works were still going on. About 40% of the mall wasn’t done and the entire basement carpark was completely closed for construction.

Shopping: Paradigm mall consists of over 500 retail shops but only half of these were open. However that is still plenty of shopping to do and still took us a few hours to walk all the six levels. Most of the shops are fashion-related so I recommend coming here if you are looking for Chinese New Year clothing and shoes and accessories.

Groceries: The Village Grocer was highly raved by many of the news media in Singapore. It was a really nice supermarket for Malaysia but we get better ones here in Singapore so I thought it was so-so. I didn’t see anything worth buying so I only went in to take pictures.

Dining: At Paradigm, you also get a large variety of food choices. There is Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Asian food, many cafes and snack shops. For dinner we chose to have grilled fish at Angel.

Aeon Jusco Bukit Indah Shopping Centre

Address: 8 Jalan Indah 15/2, Taman Bukit Indah, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor

We visit this mall the most times, because it is so close to Tuas checkpoint. In addition, this mall provides everything we typically need at home; we love coming here for Daiso, Jusco (groceries), Padini (clothing and fashion) and even the Bali Thai massage. Besides, there are also a lot things to eat at this mall.

If you are sick of walking indoors, there are nearby shophouses which are also fantastic to shop. We like the pharmacies and children toy and accessory shops.

Bukit Indah is always a short drive away for us so we love coming here for just a few hours and returning home stress-free.

Giant Hypermarket Taman Nusa Bestari

Address: No 1 Jalan Bestari 7/2, Taman Nusa Bestari, 81300 Skudai, Johor

What? Giant? Are you sure?

Well yes! If you are looking for good deals, the real cheap things Malaysians buy, then shop like a local! Many malls like Aeon are very Singaporean-orientated and they look nicely renovated but they might not offer the best deals. We usually come here when we are tired of the expensive things at Aeon (above).

Shops I like: The pet store at ground floor (sorry I don’t know the name but I used to get my pet food and supplies from here), Mr DIY, Giant, Food court for fresh Bahulu. I generally like the homely feel of the place. Oh I even bought furniture from here once!

KSL City

Address: 33 Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru

KSL is situated at a very busy and complicated place in Johor Bahru. However if you dare to drive through the narrow and jammed roads to reach this mall, you will find that it is quite worth it.

This mall is rather trendy and filled with small no-brand retailers. I like to come here because you can get a huge variety of things like:

Clothing, Shoes and Accessories: The styles are wide in variety and often very up-to-date. They are also affordable and you can sometimes get very good deals. There are very few “branded” products but I like it this way.

Toys and Novelty items: Anything that is trending among children and young people can be found here. Most of the time the toys are plasticky, cheap, and massed-produced as the turnover rate is very high. What’s fashionable now would not be fashionable one month later and the shops will stop selling it.

Pampering Services for People and Cars(?): There are numerous massage places to choose from! I have to admit, I like going to Malaysia to enjoy a good kneading. (By the way, the mall next door to KSL called Holiday Inn is also great for cheap and good massages.) In addition to massages and spas; you can also get facials, hair styling and manicures.

It is probably a well-known secret that the area around KSL is great for car washes, polishing, waxing and detailing. At very reasonable rates, you can get your car spick-and-span minus the elbow grease. It will thank you for it.

IOI Mall Kulai

Address: IOI Mall, Lebuh Putra Utama,
Bandar Putra, 81000 Kulai,
Johor Darul Takzim

I bet you’d never even heard of this mall because it is a small and run-down shopping center. However I come here for 2 things: cheap clothes from Dees and Mr DIY. Mr DIY here is one of the largest I’d been anywhere and if you have not been into one, you must be living under a rock! Other than these 2 stores, there are also cheap and good school shoes and stationery. It is the perfect Back-to-school place to shop.

Then there is also the amazingly huge children indoor gym called Kids Wonder World where your children can have many hours of fun without disturbing you.

Aeon Mall Kulaijaya

Address: PTD 106273, Persiaran Indahpura Utama, Bandar Indahpura, 81000 Kulaijaya, Johor

You must be thinking, “What the? Not another strange mall? Are you running out of malls to review?”

Nah, actually we have been here many times as I have a relative living in Senai. This is a perfectly functional and practical place to shop. Well, first of all, it has Mr DIY. Yup, I’m addicted to that store, put me in one and you’ll have to drag me out after 3 hours. Then there is a large children playground/gym thing where my daughter can play with her friends for a whole day at very low rates. The mall offers a nice balance of fashion, beauty and groceries so it is pleasant to shop without the crowds like you get at KSL.

Why Did I Not Include on Purpose

Danga City Mall: Yes I have been there and the hairdressing there at Jantzen was good! However I can’t recommend going here due to reports of high crime rates. It makes me jittery to go.

Sutera Mall: I have been here twice and I honestly don’t see why Singaporeans keep coming here. This place holds nothing for me.

I think there are a couple more malls which I have been too but not included here. I will have to remember to take photos while I am there and properly review them next time!