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Almost half of Johor Bahru population is Malay ethnicity, while the rest are Chinese and Indian. Trading plays the biggest role for its economy and followed by the emerging tourism. It is also known as the “Southern Gateway” of Malaysia that receives 60% foreign tourists visiting the country.
Dated back to the 19th century, Johor Bahru, which formerly called Tanjung Puteri, was founded in 1855. Once a fishing village, it had begun to develop significantly after the completion of Johor-Singapore Causeway in 1923 that links Malaysia to Singapore. After the World War II, the town has flourished and continue to develop until it was officially declared a city on 1 January 1994. This event was followed by the construction of Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru (Johor Bahru city square) as a commemoration.
Both international and domestic flights from and to Johor Bahru are available. You will land at Senai International Airport (JHB), Johor Bahru.
There are two official taxi services in the airport:
The fares may vary, starting from 44.00 MYR (price is subject to change)
You can ride the Causeway Link Bus No. 333 with destination point at Terminal Larkin (Larkin Bus Station) located in central Johor Bahru. The bus trip takes around 45 minutes and fare starts from 8.00 MYR (price is subject to change).
You can choose ferry if you’re traveling from Batam and Bintan, Indonesia, and arrive at Johor Bahru International Ferry Terminal, Stulang Laut Harbour. Below are the details:
Via Batam: Ferry ride takes up to 90 minutes.
Via Bintan, Tanjung Pinang
Ferry rides take around three hours. Ticket costs around 85.00 MYR for one way trip and 150 MYR for round trip, excluding tax (around 6.00 MYR). Ferry departs at 7:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 03:30 PM.
Please note that the rides might be dismissed due to weather conditions.
Going to and from Ferry Terminal Johor Bahru
The ferry terminal can be reached by bus from JB Sentral bus bays (facing Jalan Jim Quee), bus stop opposite City Square (Jalan Wong Ah Fook), using bus services below:
JB Sentral Bus Terminal is located at Jalan Jim Quee. Since it is very close to Kotaraya II Terminal, all SBS Transit Bus Service and SMRT Bus Service will alight at this point starting from March 2015.
Bus rides from Kuala Lumpur usually take four to five hours—depending on the traffic—to reach Johor Bahru with fare starts from 35.00 MYR. The departure point is centralized at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) and arrives at Johor Bahru’s Larkin Terminal.
There are numerous bus services operate this route, with the earliest departing time to Johor Bahru at 7 AM to the latest at 12:15 AM.
Johor Bahru is also reachable from Singapore by hopping on Causeway Link CW2 bus departing from Queen Street Terminal, Bugis, and CW5 bus departing from Newton MRT Singapore. These buses will stop at Larkin Terminal. The bus ride takes around 30-40 minutes, and costs 2.5 SGD (price is subject to change).
Another option is by Singapore’s SBS and SMRT public buses:
There are special taxies allowed to operate from Singapore to Johor Bahru and vice versa. Singapore taxis are only allowed to depart from Queen Street Terminal Bugis to JB Sentral Bus Terminal, and Johor Bahru taxis similarly are only allowed to drop off passengers at Queen Street Terminal. The fare starts from 40.00 SGD per car from Singapore and 60.00 MYR per car from Johor Bahru.
The advantage of using taxi services to cross the border is that you do not need to take the luggage and hop off the taxi to pass the immigration; it can be done from inside the taxi, using a special service. Another advantage is the 24-hour taxi service allows you to decide your schedule independently.
JB Sentral railway station is located between Jalan Tun Abdul Razak and Jalan Jin Quee, connected to both City Square and CIQ via a pedestrian bridge.
Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) provides daily train service to Johor Bahru with KL Sentral Station as the starting point. The trip takes around six hours and you may have a good sleep on its sleeper couch. Day trains are Ekspres Rakyat and Eskpres Sinaran, departing at 08:00 AM and 02:35 PM respectively. Meanwhile the night train, Ekspres Senandung Sutra departs at 11 PM. Fare may vary depending on the classes and types of seating or sleeping compartment:
First Class Sleeper Beds:
Second Class Sleeper Beds
All trains departing to and from Singapore stops at Woodlands Train Checkpoint in Singapore for immigration checking procedures. If you depart from Singapore, ticket to JB Sentral can be bought at the checkpoint in the ground floor, at the latest 20 minutes before your desired departure. Go into the waiting area in the second level before going through customs. The advantage to board the train to JB is a special passport control counters for train passengers, which means fewer people and smoother immigration process.
The ticket fare is 11.00 SGD to JB Sentral. (Price is subject to change)
There are several means to get around Johor Bahru:
Buses regularly operate around the city and the last bus travels at around 11 PM. However, there are only fewer busses operating at night-time.
Majorly, buses can be accessed from Larkin Terminal (especially when you have just arrived from Singapore and disembark at this terminal). Bus stops are also available at the opposite of City Square, Jalan Wong Ah Fook. Below are fares from/to opposite City Square bus stop:
For ZON Mall and JUSCO stops, the return bus will not go back to City Square. Instead, the buses will terminate at JB Sentral.
Taxi fare around Johor Bahru is fairly cheap, but make sure to insist on using meters instead of fixed rate proposed by the drivers. There is also no surcharge for bringing luggage. Rates start from 3.00 MYR. Additional charges that you may have to pay are toll, midnight drive for 50% charges (from 00:00 to 6 AM trip), and 2.00 MYR for telephone booking. The four taxi service providers are as below:
Aside of the meter taxi, there are prepaid taxis at Jalan Jim Quee next to Johor Bahru CIQ, operating by coupons bought at the booth, located at the edge of the road. These are a few enlisted fares:
The following are the top must-see destinations in Johor Bahru:
A renowned amusement park famed by every child’s toy Lego, Legoland Malaysia gained its popularity throughout Malaysia and internationally, as this is the first Legoland built in Malaysia. The other Legoland parks can be found only in United States and a number of European countries, such as Denmark, Germany, and United Kingdom.
This amusement park offers many fascinating main attractions, such as Lego Theme Park, Lego Water Park, and Lego Hotel. Lego Theme Park is notably popular for its Miniland area, which features world’s famous landmarks like Petronas Twin Tower, for instance, all built using Lego.
Legoland Malaysia admission ticket is 175.00 MYR for adults and 140.00 MYR for children
Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple is the biggest Hindu temple in Johor Bahru. As its name reflects, the fascinating temple is made of glass and, recorded in 2010, is the only one in the whole country of Malaysia.
The construction of this glass temple was inspired by Guru Bhagawan Sittar’s journey to Bangkok, Thailand, when he was the temple head. During his trip, he found a temple made of glass and immediately visited the temple. It had inspired him to renovate Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman to be a glass temple as it is today to attract many people including tourists.
The temple is located at 22 Lorong 1, Jalan Tebrau, reachable by taxi or bus.
The grand Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque is able to accommodate up to 2,000 worshippers. This mosque is a unique Islamic construction because it was built by two distinguishable architectural styles. Victorian and Moorish style are adapted and mixed with a little influence of Malay style. Constructed in 1892, the mosque is located at Jalan Abu Bakar.
You can reach this mosque by taxi, fare starts from 3.00 MYR
Being the oldest zoo in Malaysia, Johor Zoo was opened in 1928. The zoo is home to more than 100 animal species, including a rare exotic animal like gorilla.
Johor Zoo is located at the heart of Johor Bahru, close to Royal Museum and Johor Bahru Palace Grounds. The zoo is reachable by taxi.
The admission fee to Johor Zoo is 2.00 MYR for adults and 1.00 MYR for children.