Johar Bahru, Malaysia, lies between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and is the second-largest city in the country.
While various people prefer it to be called an industrial city, there is another side to it as well. The town is filled with a plethora of attractions and is capable of catering to various types of travelers alike.
In this article, we will give you an insight into reaching Johor Bahru and the top 25 things that you can do once you achieve it.
About Johor Bahru
Before we go any further, let us understand a few basics about this sprawling city.
Johor Bahru is one of those rare places which can be visited throughout the year. The weather is equatorial, and the area receives a similar temperature consistently, i.e., it ranges between 75°F to 90°F. To top it up, if you are visiting between November and February, you may see rainfall due to monsoon.
The best time to visit is between early January to late March or from mid-June to mid-October.
Safety for tourists
Johor Bahru is usually considered safe for tourists. As per a report by Bernama, the crime index has fallen considerably over the last year. For the record, it has dropped by 17.64 percent from January 1 to May 7 when compared on a YOY basis.
Not only that, the registered cases have fallen to 761 from 924 over the same period last year.
How far is Johor Bahru from Singapore?
Geographically speaking, Johor Bahru is Singapore’s neighbor. If you are looking to fly from either of these places to another, the flying distance is 14 miles or 22 kilometers.
For those who are planning to explore by car, the route is a bit longer clocking at 29.08 kilometers. It should not be more than a 30-minute ride unless you drive slower than usual.
Travel options from Singapore
Being so close to each other, you can travel from Singapore to Johor Bahru either by air or by road. For those planning air travel, it is best to take a flight from or to Singapore Changi Airport.
For those planning to take the land route, you can travel by car using the Causeway or the Second Link. The causeway allows you to cross using either a bus, train, car, or a taxi. As for the trains, you can take them from Woodlands, which will take you to JB Central.
Alternatively, you can take the Transtar Cross Border Service TS1 to sway between the checkpoints using the bus service.
How far is Johor Bahru from Kuala Lumpur?
Just like Singapore, there are multiple options to reach Johor Bahru from Kuala Lumpur as well. You can take the aerial route, bus, taxi, or rail, and you will reach there within a maximum of 7 hours and a minimum of 45 minutes. The flying distance stands at 296 kilometers, whereas the driving distance is 334.59 kilometers.
Travel options from KL
As mentioned above, there are multiple options to reach Johor Bahru from KL. If you are a businessman, you can choose to travel by air, which should take around 45 minutes. A bus journey to the same place would take approximately 4.5 hours.
Traveling by taxi or car will take a minimum of 5 hours to complete, and a train journey will be the longest at 6 to 7 hours.
Fun things to do in Johor Bahru
Since you’ve read this far and a trip to Johor Bahru, Malaysia is most likely on your cards, let’s figure out the top fun things to do in Johor Bahru, Malaysia –
1. Visit the Johor Zoo
One of the first zoos to be built in Southeast Asia, Johor Zoo, is home to elephants, lions, flamingos, and many other animals.
The favorite part of the day would be to watch the eating animals and feeding them as well.
2. Visit Johor Bahru old chinese temple
A traditional temple that hails from the 19th Century, Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple is amongst the oldest religious building of its kind. It narrates that story of Chinese people first coming to Johor Bahru.
3. Tour Istana Besar
Home to the Sultan Abu Bakar once, Istana Besar is a beautiful mixture of Malay and Western Architecture. It has the Royal Abu Baker Museum, which houses rare artifacts, royal heirloom, and the history of the royal family.
When you visit, do not forget to appreciate the massive dome and the blue roof.
4. Ride the fun at Legoland Malaysia
If you have come with your children, you cannot give Legoland Malaysia a miss. It was opened in 2012 and contains more than 40 rides for the visitors.
The most famous of them are the laser quest maze, bumper cars, and planes.
5. Explore Johor Bahru Kwong Siew Heritage Gallery
Johor Bahru Kwong Siew Heritage Gallery is a museum that tells you the story of the Kwong Siew clan.
To name a few, you will find traditional costumes, rare artifacts belonging to that clan, weapons, and old coins.
6. Tour the Angry Birds Theme Park in Johor Bahru
A park dedicated to the characters of the legendary Angry Birds, it is a must-watch for fans and users alike. You get amusement arcades and rides and daily shows and performances too.
7. Explore the visual artistry of Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque
Be prepared to go gaga over what you see once you enter Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque.
Its interior is mostly covered in white marble and showcases the brilliance of British and Islamic camaraderie.
You would not want to miss the four minarets on top of the mosque, which resemble traditional clock towers from the British era.
8. Indulge in pastries at the Salahuddin Bakery
A bakery that still reminisces of the good old 1930s, Salahuddin Bakery came to life in 1937 and has been alive ever since.
The bakery is known to be amongst the very few who have kept its original taste alive.
You must try everyone’s favorite curry puffs, which is a traditional Malay snack.
9. Visit the royal Istana Bukit Serene
Even though Istana Bukit Serene is no longer open for the public and has become the official residence of the Sultan of Johor.
Built in an Art Deco style, the exterior consists of several awe-striking carvings and grabs a lot of attention.
10. Visit the Gurudwara Sahib
Johor Bahru in Malaysia claims to be a diverse region, and the presence of Gurudwara Sahib speaks volumes about it.
The yellow window frames, crenelated roof, and the love of the Sikh Community make it a must-visit place.
11. Shimmer with the fireflies at Kota Tinggi
Kota Tinggi, also known as the Firefly Valley Leisure Park, lets you take a boat to wander the sides of a mangrove swamp. Hundreds and thousands of fireflies make for an amazing view through the journey.
12. Swim your way to the Pulai Waterfall
Pulai Waterfall is a perfect destination for the nature lover in you. The water is clean, and you get a thick tropical tree cover around to enjoy the walk. The journey from the foot of the hill to the base of the waterfall should take no more than 2 hours.
13. Watch Puteri Harbour, Johor Bahru
Puteri Harbour is a perfect destination for couples. The sea breeze, rocking yachts, and the horizon view make it a fascinating sight. Do not miss to enjoy the long promenade.
14. Catch the glass at the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple
Diversity again presents itself with a Hindu temple, Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple. It is more of an artwork which consists of 300,000 pieces of colored glass ornament.
15. Enjoy the company of ostriches at Desaru Ostrich Farm
At Desaru Ostrich Farm, you will get more than 200 ostriches and is the largest farm around. If you would like to try, you can take a bite of ostrich meat too.
16. Get a glimpse of crocodiles at Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm
A surprisingly well-maintained place, Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm is home to the reptiles. You can hang around with the caretaker and take a small tour to satisfy the inquisitiveness in you.
17. Devour seafood at Todak Seafood restaurant
JB has one of the best seafood line-ups that you can find in the whole of Malaysia. Amongst the list of restaurants offering it, you must try the Todak Seafood Restaurant. You can try and enjoy the delicious prawns or a sweet and savory dish like the Japanese Snails.
18. Tour Roman Catholic Church
Built in 1883, Roman Catholic Church is one of the oldest standing buildings in the whole of Johor Bahru. Look out for the lone steeple topped with a beautiful spire designed in the British style.
19. Visit the most significant ship and goat farm, Kluang Johor
The biggest sheep and goat farm in Malaysia, Kluang Johor, is a place where the visitors can learn the goat milking process. If interested, you can buy some fresh goat milk and related products too.
20. Delve into the authentic local food at Jalan Wong Ah Fook
The area consists of two bakeries and several local food shops which you will regret missing.
From Kway Teow soup, which is pork-based to the Hainanese Chicken chop, the options are endless and equally mind-blowing.
21. Tour the night market of Bazar Karat in Johor Bahru
Bazar Karat is the home to the knockoffs of several of the biggest fashion brands in JB. There are several stalls and multicultural wares that make its presence felt, and you can find some good food along the lane.
22. Explore the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town
The Sanrio Hello Kitty Town is only 10 minutes away from Legoland and is a delight for the fans of the character. You can enjoy several rides, all of which are based on Hello Kitty and even get a souvenir to end the day on a high.
23. Go horse riding
Horse riding is a pleasant getaway when you are bored with other hefty tasks. The location, Horse Valley Riding Academy, is only a ten-minute drive from Johor Causeway.
24. Go sunbathing on Desaru Beach
Johor Bahru is a genuine visitor’s paradise and the presence of a coastline is like an icing on the cake. Across the Strait of Johor, you would find the Desaru Beach where you can simply enjoy the beautiful weather or go jet skiing and take a fascinating banana boat ride.
25. Explore Pasir Gudang Kite Museum Johor Bahru
Pasir Gudang Kite Museum is the first museum in the whole of Malaysia that boasts of containing the historical and cultural impacts kites have had.
Apart from an annual kite festival, you will find numerous galleries containing a pictorial representation of how kites are made and even videos describing how they are flying.
Summing it up
Although we have listed 25 top things to do in this attractive southeast Asian city, there are several others which you can explore. Plan your holiday in the beautiful town, and it won’t disappoint you.