Nestled at the narrow-most point along The Straits of Johor separating Singapore from the Asia continent lies Puteri Harbour – a prestigious waterfront address in Iskandar Puteri. This exciting and breathtaking waterfront development charts a new destination on the world sailing map, and has potential to become a bustling “mini city”.
Last week, Puteri Harbour launched “time.together”, an initiative which leverages Puteri Harbour’s unique and distinctive offering, showcasing the full suite of family-friendly activities in the region. Currently, there are already 16 events lined up for 2016 and it’s only January!
After attending the launch, I was given the opportunity to spend 24 hours at Puteri Harbour to experience its attractions firsthand and dare I say that it opened my eyes to what this hidden gem had to offer.
So much so that I feel like I desperately need to go back again for a weekend getaway sometime soon :)
Sanrio Hello Kitty Town
Hello Kitty fans will not want to miss the opportunity to visit the first Sanrio Hello Kitty Town outside of Japan. Having opened its doors to the public about 3 years ago, the indoor integrated amusement is pretty small but it has since expanded to accommodate new things to do and see such as the Oz-themed attraction. There are also live appearances by Hello Kitty herself, on top of other daily attractions e.g. character parades, photo sessions. Don’t forget to pop the Red Bow Cafe when you’re there, as it is one of the only 2 Hello Kitty-themed cafes in Malaysia, or grab a little something to remember your trip by at the Hello Kitty merchandise outlet. Adult Hello Kitty fans would love it, and kids even more so!
Malaysians love to eat. And with that in mind, Puteri Harbour has got their F&B options down to an art, leaving visitors spoilt for choice and a waterfront ambience that cannot be found anywhere else. From kopitiam-styled joints to street snacks, to casual dining and even right down to world-famous cuisines, you name it, they’ve got it. When the sun goes down, Puteri Harbour transforms into a watering hole, with its many bars and cafes offering a social space for you to have drinks and chill out. And yes, with an amazing night view to boot. Also, every month, Puteri Harbour plays host to “Port of Call”, their signature outdoor carnival featuring pop-up music, arts, and a street market. Don’t just take my word for it. Go see it for yourself!
Let’s not forget that Puteri Harbour is also home to the first Thomas Town in Southeast Asia, where visitors are transported to the fictional Island of Sodor, and the home of Thomas & Friends. The family-centric themed attraction, offering exciting rides and engaging activities that get you up close and personal with none other than Thomas the Tank Engine and all his friends. Choose to take a ride on the Bumping Buffers Steamies & Diesels bumper cars, enjoy Bertie the Bus, Harold’s Helitours, Colin Crane Drop, Windmill Ride or take a tour of Knapford Station aboard Thomas himself. Guests to Thomas Town can also enjoy and spend time together with other famous HIT Entertainment characters – Barney, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder, and Pingu.
Having experienced being out on a yacht for the first time just a couple of months ago, it was something that I was personally looking forward to doing again. The Puteri Harbour Marina is recognised among the global sailing community as one of the “must sail destinations” in the world. In fact, thousand of boats have operated, berthed and sailed to and from this port of call affirming its allure in the world as a yachting circuit. I was formally “introduced” to the kinds of activities that the marina had to offer when I was taken on a night cruise while I was there. The cruise, on a yacht charter named, “Black Pearl“, took us out along the Straits of Johor, towards the Tuas Checkpoint where we lapped up the peace and quiet out at sea while being surrounded by the dazzling night lights of the Tuas Link.
For more information, go here.
The accommodation at Puteri Harbour is definitely worth mentioning! I was put up for a night at Hotel Jen, a hotel chain that’s owned by Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. Whether you’re travelling for fun, for work, for a night, or for a week, I highly recommend it because the rooms are fully equipped with thoughtful details to make your stay as comfortable as possible, from a working desk to ample amounts of plug points, and right down to its fluffy down pillows. As for facilities, Hotel Jen comes fully equipped with everything that a business traveller needs including a working desk (in room), fast WiFi, and meeting rooms, as well as a fitness centre and a sky bar oh you know, if you need to destress after a long and hard day of work. In future, Hotel Jen will also house a few Hello Kitty-themed rooms. You heard it here first ;)
For more information on Hotel Jen, go here.
And now, for the golden question – “How do I get there?”
So glad you asked! Puteri Harbour is really not as far away as you think it is – about 20 minutes’ drive from Johor Bahru town. It’s strategically located near the Senai International Airport and Singapore’s Changi International Airport; as well as 4 international seaports and the Puteri Harbour International Ferry Terminal. It is also accessible via a good network of highways and is just 15 minutes from the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link.
Alternatively, the Puteri Harbour International Ferry Terminal provides a point of entry for the international tourists and currently offers ferry services to Tanjung Balai and Batam, Indonesia.