UPDATE (Feb 2017): Forest City has confirmed that the swimming pool and water playground will remain FREE for everyone to visit until further notice. Opening times are as follow: 10am - 4pm (Mon, Wed & Fri) and 10am - 5pm (Tues, Thurs, Sat & Sun).
In addition, Forest City Harbor Commercial Street - a new shopping belt - has opened.
On a recent road trip to Johor, we cleared the toll plaza at Malaysia's side after Tuas Checkpoint when a new brown sign along the highway caught my attention. The sign read 'Forest City' and it was more than enough to result in me making a detour.
After approximately 10 minutes later, we - or more specifically, the monkies - found plenty of reasons to be happy about our unplanned journey. And this was definitely one of them.
Count this in too.
Forest City is a brand new city currently under construction and in a bay off the coast of southern Johor. When completed, it will be almost three times the size of Sentosa Island!
Located just across from Singapore’s Tuas, Forest City is envisioned to be the next urban city with residential and hotel developments, together with plenty of recreational facilities.
While the residential and hotel buildings are still under construction, the main centrepiece of Forest City has been completed.
With it, some of its facilities have also opened... AND for everyone to enjoy for FREE! Well, for a limited period of time that is.
For starters, the beach is pretty decent. While the sand is rather coarse, it is clean with ample beach chairs positioned along the beach. Although the sea is not exactly that clear so I would not recommend going for a swim in it.
But no matter, there were plenty of other things to keep the monkies distracted.
Scattered around the beach area are these colourful and huge dioramas in the form of marine animals. I'm sure the kiddos will have a field day running from diorama to diorama for photo opportunities!
But for the monkies, the main highlight of our visit to Forest City was this.
Oh, and one of the largest Jacuzzi pools that we have ever seen too.
Luckily for us, we had our swimming attire in the car so it was actually a no-brainer.
As you can see, we had the entire swimming pool to ourselves!
Then it was off to the adjacent water playground for more splashing good fun.
I think I will feel a little sad the day when the boys outgrow these playgrounds and find them too kiddish.
Fortunately (for me), the day has not arrived.
I think it has something to do with their little sister.
The water playground is pretty big, with enough slides, water guns, water jets, buckets and even slides to keep the kiddos happy. The water playground will definitely be THE highlight of their visit to Forest City. And it's all free to enjoy - for now.
If you are planning to visit down to Forest City, here are some points to take note:
- The facilities at Forest City are currently open to everyone at no charge until further notice. I do not know the expiration date for the free entry period so do check Forest City's Facebook page for updates.
- If you are planning to swim in the pool or let the kids play at the water playground, it is a MUST to wear proper swimwear. And by proper swimwear, that means no jersey tops or sporting shorts kind of material, like FBT shorts. The security staff at Forest City enforce this very very strictly.
- To dip in the pool, you have to head to the information counter inside the main building to obtain a swimming voucher beforehand. No payment is required, but the counter staff needs to check if you have the proper swimming attire with you.
- No voucher is required if you just plan to let the kids enjoy the water playground (Depth is between 0.05m and 0.4m). But again, there are staff stationed around the pool to ensure that the kids are in proper swimwear. Adults are not allowed to enter the water playground.
- There are adequate changing rooms, with shower facilities beside the pool. Remember to bring your own towels!
- No restuarants or cafes are currently opened yet, but there are food and drink kiosks set up beside the main pool area.
- Come weekends, there will also be other fringe activities like beach football, water sports, ATV riding on the beach, beach volleyball, sepak takraw, mini golf, colouring, table football, Some of the activities like the water sports and ATV (RM30 for 20 minutes) are chargeable.
- There are sheltered parking areas at Forest City. Parking is currently free.
- Opening hours is from 10am - 4pm (Mon, Wed & Fri) and 10am - 5pm (Tues, Thurs, Sat & Sun).
- There are currently no accommodation options at Forest City. The nearest accommodation will be at the LEGOLAND Malaysia/Puteri Harbour cluster.
- Harbor Commercial Street @ Forest City, home to major outlets like Secoo, H&M and Royal Selangor, has soft opened since 1 October 2016.
Forest City 森林城市
Address: Jalan Forest City 1, Forest City, Pulau Satu, Johor Bahru
Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (Mon, Wed & Fri) and 10am - 5pm (Tues, Thurs, Sat & Sun)
GPS Coordinates: N01.33398 E103.59174