There’s a new trendy neighbourhood in Johor Bahru — filled with aesthetic cafes and other fun things to do!
Contrary to popular belief, Mount Austin does not have a mountain. It’s instead a neighbourhood district peppered with shophouses and many things to do unrelated to hiking (thankfully).
In fact, it has earned the reputation of being the trendiest area in JB so we had to check it out during our last trip to JB in 2023. We visited aesthetic cafes, put our pain levels to the test and even sped through the jungle on ATVs!
While there are too many things on this list to squeeze into a single day, here are 13 tried and tested things to do in Mount Austin to inspire your next JB getaway 💪
Must-visit Pet Cafes in Mount Austin
1) Chill ‘N Chow Cafe
Chill ‘N Chow Cafe by Ng Kitchen is home to four Chow Chows puppies — aka four adorable walking clouds 🤩
Newly opened in July 2023, the cafe has a separate interaction area you can access for RM15. You get 1 hour of playtime and a cup of coconut ice cream.
The staff were really friendly and shared about the personalities of each pupper. They even gave us handfuls of dog treats for free — to the doggo’s delight.
The owner of the cafe, Angie, shared that she loves Chow Chows so much that she decided to open this cafe to share her love. Plus, she also runs the French bistro Bon Appétit By Ng Kitchen on the ground floor so you can order mains and have it at the cafe.
Psst, they might be welcoming a fifth member to the family soon 🌝
Entrance fee: RM15 (Tue – Thu), RM20 (Fri – Sun)
Opening hours: 11AM – 7PM, closed on Mon
Address: 16-01, Jalan Austin Heights 8/4, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
2) Shi Ba Cafe
A few shophouses away in Mount Austin is Shi Ba Cafe, the first shiba inu dog cafe in JB 🐾.
While the kawaii shiba inus were the stars of the show, we were pleasantly surprised by other breeds like a giant German Shepard, an Alaskan Malamute and a Corgi — dog lovers rejoice!
For RM22, visitors are free to snap pictures and pet the doggos in the play area during their hour-long session. Most of the dogs are trained and will do tricks to earn treats! Dog snacks can be bought at the counter for RM5/box.
Entrance fee: From ~RM22/pax (~S$6.30) for 1hr, incl. a free drink
Opening hours: 10AM – 3PM, 4PM – 8PM (walk-ins are not accepted, reserve in advance)
Address: No 01, Mount Austin, 12, Jalan Austin Heights 8/4, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
3) Meow Me Cat House
Douzi is the sweetest and friendliest resident cat out of the four.
MeowMe Cat House is not a pet cafe, but a cat-friendly cafe! There’s no entrance fee or time limit and guests are encouraged to order drinks or pastries while enjoying the company of these chill kitties.
When we visited, four resident cats were roaming and lounging around. I’m usually hesitant about ‘cat cafes’ as the cats tend to be overstimulated and sick but the cats at MeowMe Cat House were fortunately alert and happy!
Nuobao, the curious British Shorthair!
Visitors are welcome to pet and give them scritches but feeding and carrying is not allowed. Douzi even came over to investigate what we were doing while another snuck into one of our bags. You can also bring your own felines to the cafe to ✨socialise✨
We ordered the Earl Grey Grape Tart (RM15) and the Orni Seinyu Slide (RM14.50) which was a purple yam Swiss roll for tea and they were delightfully tasty!
The cafe also sells pet supplies and doubles as a cat hotel. And if you find yourself especially smitten with a resident cat, you’ll be glad to know that some are up for adoption 😉
*Pro-tip: Avoid visiting in the afternoon as that’s usually their nap time 😴
Cost: Drinks from RM8
Opening hours: 12PM – 9PM (Closed on Wed)
Address: 28-01, Jalan Austin Height 7/7, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
Trendy Cafes in Mount Austin
4) Outline Cafe
Outline Cafe has the camping aesthetic sans the humid weather and mosquitoes!
Not only is it aesthetic and vibey, but the drinks and food were good too. We recommend the Crunchy Caramel Latte (RM16.90) and Hot Yuri Matcha (RM14.90) for drinks and The Ham & Cheese Croissant (RM17.90) if you’re feeling peckish.
Western mains like pasta are also available if you plan on dropping by during lunch.
Cost: Drinks from RM9
Opening hours: 11:30AM – 10PM, closed on Wed
Address: 22, Jalan Austin Height 7/8, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
5) Cafe Eden by Wizards
If you’re looking for an aesthetic and elegant brunch spot, Eden by Wizards should be at the top of your Mount Austin list. Newly opened in 2023, this garden oasis is the epitome of modern resort chic — JB’s newest OOTD photo spot maybe?
The cafe specialises in fusion dishes — specifically Western and Southeast Asian flavours.
They serve standard brunch dishes like toast and pancakes but if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s also Siamese Prawn Spaghettini (RM35) and Green Curry Soft Shell Crab Pasta (RM35) which we tried. We weren’t sure how a Thai-Italian pasta would turn out but it was surprisingly flavourful and balanced!
Cost: Mains from RM28
Opening hours: 10AM – 6PM (Last order 5:30PM)
Address: 19, Jln Tiong Emas, Kawasan Perindustrian Tiong Nam Tebrau 3, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
*Pro-tip: Make a reservation in advance as it gets crowded during the weekends.
6) Cheotnun Mount Austin Korean Dessert Cafe
Looking for a sweet treat to satisfy a sugar craving? Korean bingsus are almost always the solution.
Cheotnun Mount Austin Korean Dessert Cafe serves up iconic Korean desserts like bingsu (shaved ice) and French toast — perfect for sharing with friends while cooling down from the hot weather.
We tried the mango bingsu (RM30.80) which was refreshing and not too sweet. The honey butter toast (RM12.80) and potato-topped corn dogs (RM15) were so tasty, the two of us finished everything and ended up too full for dinner — in hindsight we ordered enough for four 😅
Cost: Desserts from RM14.10
Opening hours: 12PM – 12AM
Address: 31, Jln Austin Height 8/8, Taman Austin Heights, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
7) Dingji Chee Cheong Fun Foodtruck
Dingji Chee Cheong Fun Foodtruck serves up chee cheong fun with a yong tau foo twist.
Drizzled in curry gravy, red sweet and spicy sauce — or both. Their chee cheong fun is a plate of indulgent, savoury goodness that won’t require you to order any side dim sum dishes.
There’s an abundance of both steamed and fried ingredients to choose from — fish cake, yam cake, prawn crackers, chwee kueh and curry puff are our top choices!
The best part — a hearty plate of chee cheong fun and three ingredients only costs RM8 (~S$2.40)!
Opening hours: 12PM – 5PM (Tue – Wed, Sat – Sun), 7AM – 5PM (Thur – Fri), Closed on Mon
Address: Persiaran Austin Heights, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
8) The FOUNDERS Cafe
The Founders Cafe isn’t just aesthetic, it’s got plenty of power outlets scattered throughout the cafe making it a great space for remote working. WiFi is free too and the menu has an extensive selection of all-day breakfast and bagels.
If you’re planning to come here for dinner, we recommend trying the juicy 150g Aussie Beef Bagel (RM38.90) and the Shakshouka Pizza (RM43.50) which has a runny egg yolk in the middle.
Cost: Mains from RM11.50
Opening hours: 9AM – 10PM
Address: Tiong Nam Tebrau, 45, Jln Tiong Emas, Kawasan Perindustrian Tebrau, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
*Pro-tip: Get dining vouchers from Klook at a discounted price and score some freebies like a cup of coffee!
Unique things to do in Mount Austin
9) Tufting at Good Times DIY Tufting
We wanted to get crafty and heard that tufting is a therapeutic way to spend the afternoon so we dropped by Good Times DIY Tufting in Toppen Shopping Centre to make our very own fluffy rug. We were guided by the staff there on how to operate a tufting gun which punches yarn onto a canvas — intimidating but it will make your life easier.
Warning, you’ll need a fair amount of arm muscles for this but the results will be worth it!
PSA: We took 3 hours to complete our rug…but we’re first-timers with no arm strength.
For reference, we did the 40cm x 40cm size but the final product ended up a little smaller. If you’re a beginner like us, we recommend choosing a simple design with a square-shaped background.
*Note: Contact the operator via WhatsApp (+60 11-2660 6208) with your booking ID to confirm your reservation. You’ll also need to send in your 2D image so they can prepare the outline.
Cost: From ~S$39/pax
Activity timings: 10AM, 2PM, 5PM
Opening hours: 11AM – 7PM (Tue – Fri), 9:15AM – 9:30PM (Sat – Sun), closed on Mon
How to get there: 22min taxi ride from JB Sentral, then head to level 2 of Toppen Shopping Centre (Google Maps)
10) Pregnancy Simulator, Rage Room and Escape Room at BangHistory
Did you know you can give birth for RM25 in Mount Austin? Yes, the same cost for men too.
Let me rephrase that — you can try a childbirth simulator at childbirth simulator at BangHistory! You basically get shock pads to your abdomen and there are 10 intensity levels of pain… our boss made it to level 6 before tapping out #epidural.
If you’re thinking of having children or know that one pesky male friend who invalidates the pain of menstrual cramps or active labour — you might want to drop by 😉
There’s also a rage room at BangHistory where you can smash objects till your heart is finally content — you get 30 minutes to unleash your inner hulk. It costs RM40/pax but there’s a package with the childbirth experience for also RM40!
Smiling through the fear.
The horror-themed escape rooms are the scariest thing at BangHistory — thanks to the live scare actors. We tried the Resentment Teacher-Student room (RM78/pax) and half the team was too afraid to leave the corner to explore! Thankfully, we managed to break free within the 1.5-hour time limit with our souls intact.
Cost: From RM25/pax for childbirth experience
Opening hours: Various time slots (reservation required)
Address: 16, Persiaran Austin Heights 8/6, Taman Mount Austin,81100 Johor Bahru.16-01, 12-01, Jalan Austin Heights 8/6, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
11) KTV Hotpot at The Rhythm
Many Singaporeans flock to JB for two things — cheap hotpot and KTV. So why not save some time by doing both?
You need to hit a minimum amount for the hotpot set depending on the number of people to get 3 hours of karaoke free! A set for two to three people starts from RM138 and includes vegetables, meat and seafood. You can also choose from four soup bases: tomato, tom yum, mala and herbal.
Cost: From ~RM20/room (excl. food)
Opening hours: 12PM – 12AM (Sun – Thu), 12PM – 2AM (Fri – Sat)
Address: 55, Jln Austin Height 8/8, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
12) Go-Karting at GT Karting Entertainment
Ever had the fleeting fantasy of becoming an F1 driver? You can now come close to fulfilling that dream at GT Karting Entertainment by drifting around the bends on a go-kart. Challenge your friends to laps around the track for bragging rights and time will pass by faster than the speed of your kart 🚗 💨
Cost: RM55/10mins (~S$15.80)
Opening hours: 4PM – 2AM
Address: Jalan Desa Tebrau, Taman Desa Tebrau, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
13) ATV Riding at ATV Park Johor
It’s easy to forget that a city exists just minutes away when you’re having the time of your life in the Malaysian jungle at ATV Park Johor.
Ride A takes you through an estate trail but if you’re more adventurous, try Ride B! We did the latter and it took us through different offroad trails like a rubber plantation, estates, a swamp and muddy waters. Rubber boots are provided but we recommend wearing clothes and socks that you don’t mind getting muddied!
Bonus: Massage at Mu Spa & Reflexology
No trip to JB is complete without indulging in a massage, especially before heading home to Singapore. We stumbled upon Mu Spa on our way back to Austin Park Hotel and to our delight, it was still open late into the night!
We did the 60-minute head, shoulder and foot massage (RM88) which soothed the aches of traversing around JB earlier in the day. The chairs were so huge and comfy that Shai fell asleep mid-massage 💆
Cost: From RM78/package (~S$22.50)
Opening hours: 4PM – 2AM
Address: 30&32, Jln Austin Heights 8/2, Austin Height, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (Google Maps)
Boutique hotels in Mount Austin
MIICO Hotel @ Mount Austin
MIICO Hotel @ Mount Austin is a budget hotel that’s conveniently located within walking distance from ÆON Mall Tebrau City and Toppen Shopping Centre. It’s also surrounded by cafes and restaurants so you can do a late-night KTV session without worrying about straying too far!
The lobby has tables with built-in power plugs and stable WiFi speeds, great for a remote workation!
Austin Park Hotel
Austin Park Hotel is located in the heart of Austin Heights, which makes it within walking distance to many cafes on this list like Chill ‘N Chow and massage parlours like Mu Spa & Reflexology that’s across the hotel — a good place to base yourself in.
The rooms are spacious and clean, with each stay including a free buffet breakfast.
How to get from Singapore to Mount Austin
Here are 3 ways you can get to JB Sentral from Singapore:
– KTM Train from Woodlands Checkpoint (S$5 to JB and RM5 to SG)
– SBS Transit Bus 160/170 from Opposite Kranji Station, or Bus 170X from Kranji Station (~S$1.90)
– Grab Bus from various locations (From S$3)
If you’re staying in the east, taking a Grab bus might be the most convenient as there are pick-up points like Expo MRT, Our Tampines Hub and Changi Airport to choose from.
Grab from JB Sentral
The most convenient way to get around JB is by booking a car via the Grab app which is a ~40-minute drive from the checkpoint (JB Sentral).
While there’s public transport in JB, it’s not as readily available and fast — especially within the Mount Austin neighbourhood.
One-way car charter from Singapore
It picks you up from any location in Singapore to and passes through Woodlands checkpoint via the bus lane (this moves faster than the car lanes), then to JB Sentral before dropping you off at your first stop in Mount Austin.
Our trip to Mount Austin made us realise that JB is more than its shopping malls and beauty salons. With so many things to do, this vibrant neighbourhood might just become a mandatory stop on our next JB outing — new things are bound to pop up! I guess you don’t have to travel far from Singapore to find a ✨cool✨ neighbourhood.
Planning your JB itinerary? Check out these guides and itineraries in and around JB:
– 3D2N JB Itinerary — Mount Austin, Kulai, JB Sentral
– 12 Best JB Hotels Near Sentral, Mt Austin Other Popular Areas Best for Shopping, Cafe-hopping
– JB Cafe-hopping — 9 New Cafes to Check Out in Johor Bahru
– Here’s Everything to Know About Using E-gates at JB Customs
What else should we check out in JB? Let us know in the comments below!