Johor Bahru is Malaysia’s second largest city and located at the southern part of Malaysia. While it is not a typical destination as compared to the other states and cities in Malaysia, Johor Bahru remains an important industrial and commercial hub in the country. Johor Bahru is a city that has retained its old world charm and laid back lifestyle, making this a very picturesque and idyllic city. Malay, Tamil, Bangla and Chinese is often spoken but English is understood by almost everyone in Johor Bahru.
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Getting to Johor Bahru
Taxis are considered the most popular mode of transportation going to J.B.. They do, however, charge an additional 50% more between the hours of 12:00AM and 6:00AM. There are also a number of express buses that offer reasonable rates to Johor Bahru. The Malaysian Railways (KTM) services regular routes through Johor Bahru.
Ferries have become the preferred mode of transportation among Singaporeans going to Johor Bahru and Malaysia. These ferries operate on a daily basis between Changi Point located near Singapore’s International Airport and the port of Tanjung Belungkor in Johor. You can also take a trip on a ferry to Batam Island in Indonesia.
Senai International Airport traffics regular local and international flights from major airlines such as MAS and AirAsia Malaysia.
Johor Bahru has many hotels for everyone’s budget. For travelers with a budget try the Crowne Plaza Johor Bahru or the Puteri Pan Pacific Johor Bahru. If your budget is limited you can book a hotel room at the Seri Malaysia Hotel Johor Bahru at the Larkin district.
Main Attractions of Johor Bahru
Endau-Rompin State Park
Straddling in between the Johor and Pahang border, Endau-Rompin is one of two largest national parks in Malaysia, covering an area of about 80,000 hectares. The park is home to a rich variety of exotic flora and fauna, includes the watersheds of the rivers of Endau and Rompin. Nature-lovers can enjoy a wide variety of activities such as camping, hiking, canoeing, cave exploration, mountain climbing and bird watching. Within the park is a rainforest that has been in existence for over 130 million years, which has been home to a number of rare flora and fauna indigenous only to the country. Among these are the Sumatran Rhinoceros, leaf monkeys, elephants, long-tail macaques, white-handed gibbons and tigers just to name a few. To protect this natural beauty, you will need to get first a special permit from the Johor National Park Corporation or at the District Office next to the Police Department in Kuala Rompin. It is not advisable to go to the park during the months between November and March since the park is closed to the public during these months.
State Secretariat Building
Located on Deputy Hill (Bukit Timbalan), the building was built in 1940 and houses the state secretariat and the other departments of the state government of Johor. Its Sarascenic character and the mosaic detail in the Grand Hall have made this building one of the most interesting buildings in Johor.
Royal Abu Bakar Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is sprawled over 53.8 hectares of fine, manicured lawns. The palace is a depiction of the architecture that was present during the Neo-Classical era. It now houses many artifacts of the Johor Royal family, most of these collected by Sultan Abu Bakar and his son, Sultan Ibrahim during their travels. A Japanese garden and replica of a Japanese teahouse is located near the palace, which was a gift presented by the Crown Prince of Japan to the Sultan of Johore.