As the state capital of Johor and just a short hop across its 1000 metre causeway from Singapore Johor Bahru is a bustling city that has become something of a transport and manufacturing hub. But that’s not all it is - there are plenty of museumstemples and mosques for those interested in heritage and culture to explore. Shopping and fine dining are also ever-present in this rapidly developing city whilst for those of you travelling with kids Malaysia’s Legoland is also based nearby.
Areas & Neighborhoods in Johor Bahru
Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru — Built to honour the city’s elevation to city status in 1994 this ceremonial square plays host to many outdoor events and boasts a number of sporting fields along its south and west borders. It also features an impressively imposing clock tower making it the ideal spot to come and hang out with friends kick a ball or throw a frisbee whilst perhaps contemplating the leisurely passage of time.
City Square and KSL City — Two distinct areas but both offering incredible shopping opportunities. The City Square mall is the more central of the two and therefore easiest to get to and features nearly 300 sales outlets including 50 food and beverage outlets a cinema and free Wi-Fi. KSL City on the other hand is a 4-storey shopping-hotel-residential complex the largest in the city with 350 outlets 70 cafes and restaurants and a multiplex cinema. Shoppers are spoilt for choice in Johor Bahru.
Taman Rekreasi Hutan Bandar — This 13 hectare recreational park open to all and easily accessible from the city centre features seven lakes and is enclosed by tropical rainforest. Truly a wonderful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city it’s the ideal place to hit the running and walking trails. And for the kids there is a playground a swimming pool and plenty of outlets to grab something to eat and drink.
Duty Free Zone — Located at the end of Jalan Ibrahim Sultan the Duty Free Complex is a building complex consisting of bars a hotel and assorted other outlets. Whilst duty needs to be paid on any goods that leave the complex the wiliest visitors to the city enjoy a delightful meal at one of the eateries along Jalan Ibrahim Sultan before retiring to the complex for duty-free drinks at the bar - a cheekily affordable night out!
Things to See in Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru is home to a number of historical buildings museums and temples. In keeping with Malaysia’s status as an international crossroads no particular faith dominates. The impressive Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque boasts four minarets and has a 2000-person capacity. There are a number of deities worshipped at the fascinating Roufo Old Chinese Temple. Over at the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Hindu Temple built in 1996 and known as ‘The First Glass Temple in the World’ arrive thousands of pilgrims and visitors daily.
Things to Do in Johor Bahru
As a rapidly developing city there are of course all the shopping and dining opportunities you’d expect from the many malls that are cropping up around the place. But if you want to stretch your legs and work on your handicap you’ll be thrilled to discover Johor Bahru’s five golf courses. You might even be tempted to try out Tropica Leisure Golf Johor Bahru’s first virtual golf course. Or if diving is your thing why not head out to the Sea Gypsy Village Resort and Dive Base in Sibu Island where a range of boat diving and snorkelling trips are available.