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Johor Bahru is the capital of Malaysia’s southernmost state, Johor. It is one of the country’s biggest cities with almost two millions of people staying there. Johor Bahru, or more commonly referred to simply as JB, is located along the Straits of Johor and facing Singapore. The city was founded back in the year 1855 and it was known as Iskandar Puteri. When the Sultanate of Johor brought the administration centre there from Telok Blangah in 1862, the area was renamed to Johor Bahru.
Sultan Abu Bakar had made developments and modernization within the city during his time with the construction of administrative buildings, schools and railways connecting to Singapore. These constructions are still being used today. Johor Bharu also played a great part during the World War II. Japanese forces had occupied the city to capture the British and Allied forces. The Japanese forces invaded Singapore via the causeway that linked Johor Bahru to the neighbouring country. After the World War II ended, Johor became the hotspot for the Malay nationalism. It is the birthplace of UMNO that had help brought Malaya to independence.
Johor Bahru is reachable via several types of transportations. The easiest way would be flying in. Senai International Airport is located just 25 kilometres, less than half an hour away from the city centre of Johor Bahru. The Senai International Airport serves domestics flights from most of the cities in Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kota Bahru, even from Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Miri and Kuching. Internationally, there are flights originating from several neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and even from China.
Travelling from Senai International Airport to the city centre is easy by taking the taxi available. Make sure to buy the coupon first in the east side of the airport to catch the taxi as this is to prevent any illegal taxis that charge exorbitantly from picking up passengers.
There are plenty of car rentals available in Johor Bharu as it is one of the popular destinations in Malaysia. Hotels in the city would usually have shuttle service for their guests so do call ahead to get the details for this.
For those who are not keen on taking flight into Johor Bahru, Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) has train service to JB Sentral. The trip will take around six to eight hours to complete, depending on the type of train chosen.
The easiest way to travel to JB is by taking an express bus. A bus ticket usually cost around MR 30-60, depending on the bus company. All of the express buses will stop at Larkin Sentral, just five minutes away from the city centre. At Larkin Sentral, there are plenty of taxis that would bring passengers to almost everywhere in the city.
Johor Bahru is filled with a lot of things, ranging from historic trips to the museums located inside the old buildings and palaces built during the reign of Sultan Abu Bakar, to enjoying the newly opened theme parks and do a lot of shopping.
Johor Premium Outlets
Premium Outlets is a factory outlet that has been gaining a lot of ground in Malaysia and it is one of the best places to get heavily discounted branded luxurious items in the country. The Johor Premium Outlets, or commonly referred to simply as JPO, is located in Kulai, Johor Bahru. It is just half an hour drive from the city centre. Here, there are many luxury brands selling their goods at much more affordable prices. It is also a great place to get bigger sizes that are not easily available in department stores in Malaysia. The JPO opens every day from 10 AM to 10 PM.
Royal Abu Bakar Museum
The Royal Abu Bakar Museum is one of the oldest buildings in the city of Johor Bahru, built in 1866. The museum was the Grand Palace of the Johor Sultanate and it has turned into a museum since 1982. The museum is filled with rare artefacts and information regarding the Royal Family and the history of Johor. The museum opens every day, except on Friday, and from 9 AM until 5 PM. The museum is just five minutes away from the city centre.
This is the first LEGOLAND opened in the Asia and Malaysia’s first international theme park. It is located in Iskandar Puteri, Nusajaya, some fifteen minutes away. The LEGOLAND Malaysia is one of the best theme parks in the country and since the day it is opened in late 2012, visitors have been flocking it, especially during school holiday. Family vacations in JB are not complete without going to LEGOLAND. There are plenty of adventurous and relaxing rides that can be enjoyed by all age groups. LEGOLAND Malaysia opens every day throughout the year.
Wong Ah Fook Street
The Wong Ah Fook Street is a major one-way road in Johor Bahru. It is located in the middle of the city centre, a part of the central business district. The Wong Ah Fook Street is also one of the busiest streets in Johor Bahru. The Wong Ah Fook Street is filled with shops selling all kinds of things, from shirts to food. There are plenty of street foods available along the road.
Johor Bahru is food heaven, with taste and flavours ranging from traditional Malay, to Chinese and Indian food and also Javanese. A trip to Johor Bahru is not complete without tasting these hidden, delicious gems.
Kerala Curry House
This place not only serves to mean thosais (dosas) in the morning, but it is also popular for its banana leaf rice. The Kerala Curry House is one of JB’s oldest curry house, serving traditional Kerala dishes. The restaurant serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, starting from early morning at 6.30 AM until 7 PM. Have breakfast here to have the best start on that day. It is located at Jalan Storey, just ten minutes away from the city centre.
Kacang Pool Haji Larkin Bomba
Kacang pool is a dish that is heavily influenced by the Middle Eastern taste. It is a dish made up of spiced fava beans, served with fried egg and chopped shallots and tomatoes, together with squirts of calamansi lime and thick slices of toast. Kacang pool is best served during tea time but here at Kacang Pool Haji Larkin Bomba is eaten at any time. This restaurant serves the best Kacang Pool, based on what the locals said. It is located just ten minutes away from the city centre.
Laksa is a noodle dish that is served anywhere in the country and each state has their own version of it. Laksa Johor is one of the unique laksas throughout Malaysia as it has spaghetti as its noodle. It is said that the Sultan’s wife was an English woman and the spaghetti had replaced the rice noodle to make it a fusion. Since then, Laksa Johor has been made with spaghetti. The gravy is heavily spiced and thicker compare to other laksas. Laksa Johor is available everywhere in JB and it is even eaten as breakfast even though it is quite heavy.
Desaru is one of the best places to go for a quick weekend gateway. This town is famous for its pristine beach facing the South China Sea. It used to be very popular back in the 80s but when the hyped went down, the place was abandoned. Desaru has recently gained back its popularity among Malaysians as it has one of the best beaches in the country. It is the place to go and enjoy the beach that is not filled with tourists and excessive developments. Desaru is just an hour and a half away.
With the flight ticket and hotel packages available at Traveloka Malaysia, you can visit Johor Bahru more easily and cheaper. Choose a variety of tour packages that we offer, and modify as you like to get the combination you want.
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