I took a walk from Grand Paragon Hotel at Jalan Harimau to Plaza Pelangi. It is quite a short walking distance and I passed by rows of 2 storey shop houses and surprisingly most of them are medical clinics. I was not aware that there were so many specialist clinics along Jalan Harimau. As I arrived at the busy main road, I saw a overhead bridge on my left and decided to use it, as traffic was very heavy on the roads. While standing on the overhead bridge, I have a clear view of Plaza Pelangi which was painted in pink. There were rows of shop houses lining up along the main road and it would be interesting to explore them.
I went into this shopping mall through one of the many entrances and the first thing that greeted me was a fast food restaurant followed by Cold Storage supermarket. I was rather surprised to see Cold Storage supermarket at Plaza Pelangi. The supermarket was neat and well stocked up with lots of fresh fruits, groceries and daily necessities. It was quite crowded too, as it took about 10 minutes to pay for my purchase at the cashier counter. I do noticed that prices at Cold Storage supermarket is normally higher than other local supermarkets. But their key strength I think is freshness of products especially fruits, vegetables and meat; and wider variety of merchandise. The MacDonald restaurant that was next to Cold Storage was also crowded and it took a while before I could find a empty seat. This particular outlet seems to be quite cramped up in terms of space and sitting arrangement. I still prefer the MacDonald outlet at Holiday Plaza – it is very spacious.
Many years ago, Plaza Pelangi was a hot spot for many Malaysian and Singaporean shoppers. It was the place to visit if you want to buy the latest fashion and accessories. But now I saw many empty shops especially on the higher floors of this mall. There were only a handful of shoppers but most of the fast food chains seem to be doing quite well. So only a selective retail stores are still drawing in the business. Unless the management of this mall is able to address this issue of attracting more tenants and improve the mall facilities which appears worn out; this mall is unlikely to attract many shoppers. In fact, I could see more shoppers in the older Holiday Plaza mall than Plaza Pelangi.
I spent about 3 hours in this mall before I decided to head back to Customs & Immigration. I wanted to try taking a bus back from Plaza Pelangi to City Square but it was raining. So I went back to where MacDonald was situated; and went out of the entrance to the taxi stand just outside. There were plenty of taxis waiting. Surprisingly quite a number of taxis in Johor are now using the taxi meter to determine the charges, which is the right thing to do. For taxis which do not use the meter, do remember to set a fix price before boarding. If I could remember clearly the cost of the ride to City Square was RM$8/- using meter.
For more information/photos/blogs about Johor Bahru and Malaysia, you can visit my site at the below link:-