From cultural dances to local cuisines, immerse yourself in the culture and heritage of Johor at B5 Johor Street Market, a one-stop destination for all things Johor. To my fellow Singaporeans, do check this place out the next time you decide on a road trip across the border!
Address: Jalan Nenas, Pusat Bandar Tampoi, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 10 am to 10 pm
As the name suggests, it is a street-concept market that spreads across 56,475 sq. ft. The area contains numerous Insta-worthy, hipster spots to take pictures and is family-friendly too!
Apart from that, it also serves as a commercial tourism center where tourists are able to learn about Johor’s rich history, and culture and appreciate Johor’s unique traits and features.
This street market was inspired by Queen Victoria Market located in Melbourne, Australia. Why B5 you ask? Well, it was derived from the name of its location, ‘Batu Lima’, which translates to the ‘Fifth milestone’ often referred to by locals in the past.
B5 Johor Street Market is located directly opposite the buzzing Angsana Johor Bahru Mall. Hence, it is very convenient for Singaporeans who are intending on a quick getaway now that the borders have opened.
Nothing screams street market without food! Wander around B5 Johor Street Market and you will be spoilt for choice on the food choices available. Dine at Cupchai, Cendol Kampung Melayu, Murtabak Hj. Suffi, Simple Nasi Lemak & Such, JDM Salai House, JBorn Cafe & Bistro, 3 Budak Gemok and many more popular foods enjoyed by locals.
A few steps away lies a row of food trucks to entice all types of food lovers out there.
If you are a cheese monster like me, you will love the corn dogs from Gunting Gunting Legend. Choose between Original, Potato, and Full Cheese Original which is corndog with just cheese and no sausages in it. All for Rm10 (~$2.27 USD) each. I love a good cheese pull, so definitely eat it while it is hot!
Aside from corndogs, Gunting-Gunting Legend also serves a few different types of Kebabs and Ayam Gunting, crispy fried chicken cut into strips then seasoned with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Available every day from 5.30 pm to 12 am.
One advantage—most, if not all, of the food served there is halal due to Malaysia being a Muslim majority country. Tables and chairs are also available for you to sit while you devour your delicious treats.
Come with an empty stomach!
Image Credit: @sabalangoods on Instagram
The retail bazaar consists of many units and booths lined up along the corridors ranging from clothes to kids' toys and much more.
I do not know about you but I love checking out those small booths run by local entrepreneurs selling unique handmade products. Just like Sabalan Goods, selling authentic honeycomb straight from the Sabalan Mountain Valley in Northwest Iran.
I'm sure many are aware that consuming raw honey brings many health benefits. However, honey produced in the Sabalan Mountain brings about a very unique flavor. It has no artificial sweeteners and is considered more nutritious due to the pollen the Sabalan bees extract from the wildflowers around the mountain. If you ever visit, do give it a try! It can also be a perfect gift for friends and family.
Apart from the booths, the covered bazaar exhibits a wide array of colorful and useful souvenirs reflecting Johor’s identity for visitors to browse around. Note that the products and merchants may vary depending on your time of visit as they are able to rent their space only during the day or only at night.
In the middle of the street market lies a Box Park. An area made of upcycled shipping containers cut and then put together to serve as a retail space.
It is such a smart and interesting way of repurposing.
You may find fashion boutiques, food outlets, and a cool barbershop which the men can head to while waiting for the ladies to complete their shopping rounds.
Wait there’s more! The B5 Johor Street Market brings you four cultural performances daily, exhibitions, and exciting workshops for you to experience.
Enjoy dances at the centre stage from the different cultures (Malay, Chinese and Indian) such as the ‘Joget Lambak’ Dance, Chinese Umbrella Dance, and Bhangra Dance at these times: 11.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30 pm, and 8 pm.
Buskers will also be serenading you with their lovely voices in between show timings.
The B5 Johor Street Market has prepared a year’s worth of exhilarating exhibitions and workshops over at the exhibition area. Activities such as ‘Wayang Kulit & Barongan making’, ‘Zapin Steps Workshop’ and ‘Batik Canting Demonstrations’ among other cultural activities. They also sell local and handmade crafts which you may purchase and take home as a souvenir or as a gift.
Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.
B5 Johor Street Market always has something planned for their visitors, be it their famous night bazaars, Zumba classes or hosting a bike race for kids.
Recently, they organized a huge Ramadan Bazaar during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. There were many shops selling festive goodies, clothes, decorations, and a wide variety of local and street food. Furthermore, visitors need not worry about bad weather because the whole area was sheltered.
Beyond that, there were special performances from local artists, comedians to humor the crowd and dances from popular entertainment groups on the main stage.
If you love the Ramadan Bazaars in Malaysia just as much as I do, you should definitely come to visit the Bazaar next year! Consider coming here next Ramadan if the nearby Angsana Shopping Mall, famous for its Bazaar and Hari Raya goodies, gets too crowded.
A little back story, when planning on a design concept of the street market, Executive Director of Damansara Assets Sdn Bhd, Yusani Haji Sidek wanted to incorporate elements and characteristics of Johor heritage. This can be seen within the big blue sheds.
The shed contains retail units that are lined up like street markets. You may also spot a variety of retail units built within heritage shophouses, railway coaches, and old bus facades. These areas are also popular Instagram spots in the facility.
In the past, many locals have yet to own cars and relied on buses like these as their main mode of transportation. It is truly a unique and clever design.
Additionally, posters and photos are also displayed around the area for visitors to appreciate the history of Johor and the Batu Lima area itself as it may remind the older generation of the previous era.
All-in-all B5 Johor Street Market is really one of a kind!
A new modern upgrade for visitors of all ages to shop, dine, and be entertained without losing the sentimental value of its past.
There is always something for everyone. Occasionally, they will organize lucky draws with lots of attractive prizes to win from. So I would really suggest following them on their social media pages to stay updated with the latest events and news about the area.