We went to Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park in Johor Bahru last year. It…
Admission Is Still FREE At The Forest City Swimming Pool And Water Playground In Johor Bahru
The Forest City swimming pool and water playground has free admission for all. When we asked how long this would be going on for, the receptionist replied that it would continue to be free for at least another year. Excellent marketing, I have to say.
Free admission to several gorgeous swimming pools and a neat water playground for kids, plus a beach. In return, you have to register i.e. give them your details. List building win.
Of course, because it’s free, expect a LOT of people to be there. And, kinda also because it’s free, expect every kind of person to be there, including the less civic-minded. My advice would be to go there early in the morning on a weekday. We went on Christmas Day. It was mayhem.
There are four pools you can access for free
I don’t remember the proper names for them so I’m going to make them up:
- Water playground – shallow pool with a playground, lots of slides, water sprinklers, water guns etc.
- Infinity pool – a pool that looks infinite?
- A tiny circle pool – it was tiny and circular
- A big nice pool – it was big and nice
Then there’s a beach you can walk along and take pictures with cute statues in the sand.
What is Forest City?
Some development in Johor Bahru that a lot of people are angry about. Super premium and expensive. The whole city looks stunning though. Very green, very modern, reminds me of Singapore. Unfortunately, although it looks and feels as beautiful as Singapore, the mentality is 100% Malaysian. But I’ll get to that later.
The showroom looks like a shopping mall
A really fancy shopping mall at that. No, actually it looked like the inside of the spaceship from Wall-E. We didn’t bother exploring so I have no idea what else is in there. We went straight to the pool.
Registering for free admission to the swimming pools
A really good thing about the Forest City swimming pools is that you have to register to get in, and they check everyone’s swimming suits one-by-one to make sure they are actual swimming suits. If you’re planning on jumping in wearing regular clothes, you will be asked to leave. I seriously judge people who mess up swimming pools wearing jeans and t-shirts.
People who wear non-swimming attire to swimming pools:
Cotton and some other materials can hold detergents, germs, and bacteria in them, which can be released into the water. This can cause swimmers to get sick and even affect the water chemistry and clarity. … Finally, cotton breaks down in the water, which clogs the pool filter system
Just don’t, ok? Be considerate to others.
Omg I have to tell you this story. So throughout the day, there are members of staff going around and asking people who are not properly dressed to get out of the pool. The usual suspects: people in trackpants, shorts and t-shirt, regular clothes, just basically your usual non-civic-minded Malaysian that tries to get away with everything and then shouts and gets angry with authority when they tell them that rules are rules and everybody has to follow the rules.
And then, there was this family who swam naked. I was taken aback you know? Nothing wrong with nudity. But at a public pool? Just so odd. A family with 4 boys, looked between the ages of 7 -13. Completely naked. The parents weren’t naked. Just the kids. When they were told they had to wear swimming suits and were asked to leave, they were really angry. And I was like ????
Hmm. It’s ok.
Some crappy pictures of the changing rooms:
The changing rooms started out really nice and clean when we first got there because we were one of the early ones. By the time we went home about 3 hours later, the ladies’ changing room stank of urine. I assume people just pissed all over the floor. There weren’t any toilets in there because the toilets were located next to the changing room.
Also, there wasn’t any running water for some reason. So you couldn’t take a shower. And I guess, for some women, they couldn’t wash away their piss.
It was as nasty as you imagine it to be.
The water playground is fun and crowded
The water is shallow, comes up to below my knee and I’m short. Lots of slides and water guns and buckets that dump water and water sprinklers. The boys enjoyed it a lot. Then eventually there were just too many kids and they couldn’t take it anymore. So we went to the next pool.
The tiny circle pool was small and cute
Ok lol, in my mind it was a circle. But now that I’m looking at the pictures, I realise it’s not. I was thinking of those weird ball things in the middle. It’s a tiny waterfall thing. This was the first pool Aisha went into. She is not a fan of water playgrounds. She hates sprinklers.
We hung out the most at the biggest pool
Mr Ninja bought this tiny camera thing before we went on holiday because he specifically wanted to take videos underwater. He took a ton of videos and says he will soon edit them together to make one video. You can expect that to be ready in about 10 years time.
So this pool was cool. On one end it’s sloped and kinda supposed to be like a beach because there’s sand. I hate that side. Ain’t nobody like sand in a swimming pool. When we first jumped in, the pool was bright blue and gorgeous. By the time we left the water was a greenish yellow. I’m not blaming sand. I’m blaming humans.
The Infinity Pool was closed to be cleaned
I assume this would be the only pool that is deep. The others were so shallow that Ayub’s feet were able to touch the ground at all times. For me it’s a good thing because I have three kids. But I imagine for childless adults it may be kinda boring.
Lots of places to sit and chill and have a picnic
We didn’t know what to expect so we were not prepared with food. There isn’t much food there. One Marrybrown and some fancy looking restaurants that were closed (I assume they are for hotel guests?) Anyway, Aisha was hungry and grumpy and angry so Mr Ninja went looking for food.
He found a guy from China selling Maggi hot cup so bought a bunch and we ate that. So dodgy right? Haha.
Other families came with picnics and it looked really fun. But oh well.
Oh yeah, there was this Forest Bar thing. But I didn’t see them selling any food or drinks. Maybe in the evening? The other side is a bar in the swimming pool with high stools in the water. So you can have a drink in pool. You can pay to do watersports at the beach though.
The beach wasn’t my favourite
It’s not a real beach. The sand is mostly small stones that hurt. There is a lot of junk mixed in with that sand: cigarette butts, bits of plastic, plastic bottles, plastic bags… As you can imagine when it’s open to the public. Do I sound really bitchy in this post? You know what I mean right? When things are free, Malaysians come flocking, and they just love to leave a mess. There are dustbins everywhere, but they choose not to dispose of their garbage. They just dump it in the sand. Ugh. You can do better fellow Malaysians.
And because it was super hot, your feet feel like they’re gonna burn off. Other people on the beach were wearing shoes though. So, maybe I’m just an idiot.
It’s more for pictures and not for playing.
Ninja tips to fully enjoying Forest City
So despite having the share awesome facilities with not-so-awesome people, we still had a lot of fun there. It’s very well done and the staff are helpful, friendly, and all-round cool people.
Here are some tips to make the most out of a trip to Forest City:
- Make sure you bring proper swimwear or they will not let you in the pool
- Bring towels because they don’t provide any
- Try to avoid public holidays and weekends (including Fridays because Johor is off), the crowd is intense
- Go early to enjoy an empty pool
- Pack lots of water, snacks, and lunch (we had to drive out to McDs for lunch because Marrybrown was packed)
- Always wear sunscreen (kids were super sunburnt from our trip to Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park)
Yeah, that’s all I can think of.
Forest City Swimming Pool details:
Location: Forest City Country Garden 碧桂园森林城市, Forest City 1, Pulau Satu, Gelang Patah, 81550 Johor Bahru
Opening times: 9am – 6pm
Contact: 07-505 8888
Get more info from their Facebook page. It’s a property developer though, so it’s not very interesting. Ha.