Johor Bahru (Jawi: جوهر بهرو) (also Johor Baru or Johore Baharu, but universally called JB) is the state capital of Johor in southern peninsular Malaysia, just across the causeway from Singapore. Despite being the second-largest city in Malaysia with 1.4 million inhabitants, Johor Bahru is for the most part suburban and lacks a metropolitan feel. It mostly appeals to Singapore residents who come for cheaper shopping, dining, and outdoor activities such as golf, although those staying temporarily in Singapore might be interested in the city's excellent royal museum and in getting a taste of Malaysia. Note that the highly popular Legoland Malaysia is not in Johor Bahru itself but in nearby Nusajaya, part of Johor Bahru's metro area.
Declared a city only in 1994, Johor Bahru is growing fast. Latest census figures indicate that it is Malaysia's second largest city proper (1.4 mn) and metropolitan area (2 mn). Given its relatively large land space, the city is not as dense as many other Malaysian cities. Johor Bahru is probably better known as an industrial city than as a tourist-friendly town. Many of the world's top electronics manufacturers have at least one plant in Johor Bahru and its harbour is one of the busiest in the region.
Due to its proximity to Singapore, it unavoidably suffers from comparison with its neighbour. Clean-up initiatives like greening the city and covering the open sewers that until a few years ago ran through the centre of the city have made it a more pleasant place to live. However, even up to now, there has been little effort in maintaining buildings and public facilities and even the city centre may seem run-down to some. Though appreciably less organised and much more messy compared to the glitz of Singapore, shopping and eating in the city can be a real adventure, with many shopping complexes and a wide variety of food establishments offering budget to fine dining.
Johor Bahru's metropolitan area can be easily divided into four parts - North, South, East and West.
- South - The main city centre is located on the southern part of the city which has a link to Singapore via the causeway. It is an area with housing estates which have been around for more than three decades. Important estates include Taman Pelangi, Taman Century and Taman Sentosa.
- North - Its main centre is Taman Johor Jaya, and it can be accessed via the trunk road, Jalan Tebrau. There can be a relatively frequent peak hour jam along this road. Recently, the Austin area has been a hive for construction activities with the latest Jusco Tebrau City locating in its vicinity.
- West - Probably one of the largest areas, its hub is Skudai and important housing estates such as Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Taman Skudai Baru, Taman Bukit Indah, Taman Perling and Taman Nusa Bestari are located here.
- East - The main hub here is Pasir Gudang which is both a port city as well as a manufacturing hub.
Senai International Airport
Senai International Airport (IATA: JHB), formally Sultan Ismail International Airport (Malay: Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Sultan Ismail), is located about 35 km north-northwest of the Causeway. It has domestic flights to and from East and West Malaysia, as well as some international flights to Indonesia. The airport is compact with free Wi-Fi.
Domestic flights are provided by:
- Malaysia Airlines with direct flights to and from Kuala Lumpur-KLIA;
- AirAsia, +60 85 9999, 07:00-19:00; with direct flights to/from Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur-KLIA, Kuching, Miri, Penang and Sibu;
- Firefly, ☎ +60 3 7845 4543, daily 08:00-21:00, with direct flights to/from Kuala Lumpur's Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport Subang Skypark terminal (formerly known as Terminal 3). Firefly also offers direct flights between Johor Bahru and Kota Bharu in Kelantan.
- From/to Johor Bahru:
- Causeway Link operates airport express shuttle buses between the airport and JB CIQ. The bus schedule is revised several times a year due to changes in flight schedules. Tickets cost RM8 one-way and the journey time is about 45min.
- There are also non-express buses from and to the airport. Currently, JB Central Line's A1 bus (Larkin: 07:00-20:30) and Causeway Link's 333 (Larkin: 06:00-20:00 about every 1.5-2 hr, one-way fare RM3.50) go between Larkin bus terminal and the airport. The A1 bus terminates at Senai Airport and Permas Jaya, so you can board or disembark from the bus at various points.
- Taxis are available and the ride takes about 30 min Taxis leaving from the airport operate on a voucher system - buy your voucher from the taxi desk inside the terminal (next to the car rental desks). A trip to the city centre is RM45 for up to 4 passengers.
- From/to Singapore:
- If you are planning to go to Senai Airport from Singapore, the cheapest option is to travel from Singapore to JB CIQ (see By bus below) and then transfer to a Causeway Link Airport (CWA) shuttle bus. Alternatively, you can also go from Singapore to the Larkin bus terminal by express or non-express bus and transfer to an airport-bound bus. If you're in a hurry, you can take an ordinary Malaysian taxi for an official rate of RM45 from the taxi rank between JB Sentral and the Johor CIQ, after clearing Malaysian immigration and customs. From JB to Senai takes around 30 min off peak. Buy your coupon from the counter before boarding the taxi.
Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore Changi Airport (IATA: SIN) across the border in Singapore is commonly used by locals due to its better connections. The downside is that you will have to pass through customs and immigration twice, and getting to/from your destination can be a bit of a hassle as normal Singaporean taxis are not allowed to cross the border into Johor Bahru and vice versa. The most convenient way to get from Johor to Singapore Changi Airport is via Transtar Travel's "cross border" coach service between Changi Airport and Johor Bahru's Larkin Bus Terminal. For most visitors, unless you are arriving from Indonesia or elsewhere in Malaysia, this will be the most practical way of getting to Johor Bahru.
As of Dec 2012, Malaysian Immigration has abolished the need for the white Immigration Card at the JB CIQ Checkpoint due to the implementation of the biometric system called the National Enforcement and Registration System (NERS) introduced on 1 Jun 2011. Fingerprints may still be taken upon arrival.
Most visitors to JB arrive from Singapore via one of two land links:
- The Causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore is a very popular and thus often congested entry point connecting directly into the heart of JB. While congestion isn't as bad as it once was, the Causeway is still jam-packed on Friday evenings (towards Malaysia) and Sunday evenings (towards Singapore). The Causeway can be crossed by bus, train, taxi or car.
- A second crossing between Malaysia and Singapore, known as the Second Link, has been built between western Singapore and Malaysia. Much faster and less congested than the Causeway, it is used by some of the luxury bus services to and from Kuala Lumpur and is strongly recommended if you have your own car. Causeway Link public buses (CW3, CW3S, CW4, CW4S and CW6), which get very packed during evening peak hours (going towards JB, 17:45-19:00) and morning peak hours (coming from JB), use this crossing. Only Malaysian "limousine" taxis are allowed to cross (and charge RM150 and up for the privilege). It is very far away from the city centre, surrounded by jungle, compared to the Causeway and there are few facilities on the Malaysian side save for a drink vending machine and toilets. There is no taxi rank on the Malaysian side, but you can board a Causeway Link bus towards Gelang Patah Bus Terminal. Then either get a taxi from the terminal or the driver can let you off earlier opposite the first taxi rank at the shopping strip on Jalan Galang Patah, once off the expressway. Travelling via bus, the incoming immigration and customs are quick, contained in a small building, with miniscule queueing space compared to the spacious Singaporean departing border checkpoint.
Driving a car from Singapore to Malaysia is relatively uncomplicated, although small tolls are charged for both crossing and (for the Second Link) the adjoining expressway. Tolls on the Singapore side can only be paid with a CashCard or Autopass, and on the Malaysian side only with a Touch n Go card. Be sure to have both ready.
Entering Singapore with a foreign-registered car is more complicated and expensive. See Singapore | Get In for details.
Rental agencies will frequently prohibit their cars crossing the border or charge extra in both directions.
From and to other parts of Malaysia
JB is at the southern end of the North South Expressway, the toll highway which runs the length of Peninsular Malaysia. Those accessing or leaving the city can exit or enter at Jalan Skudai, Jalan Adda Utama, the Pasir Gudang Highway or Jalan Tebrau.
JB is also at the southern extremity of the Federal Route One, the main trunk roads which runs the length of Peninsular Malaysia's West Coast states. Federal Route Three or the East Coast Road also links JB with the East Coast towns of Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu via Kota Tinggi and Mersing. The West Coast's coastal road can be accessed from Pontian.
Located some 5 km northwest of the north tip of the Causeway, Larkin Bus & Taxi Terminal serves as the major long-haul bus terminal in the whole of Johor Bahru. Buses between JB and other Malaysian or Thai cities, and those between JB and Singapore will usually start and terminate here, though some buses from Singapore also drop passengers off at JB CIQ.
From and to Singapore
There are three main types of bus transport between JB and Singapore: private buses, Causeway Link buses and SBS Transit/SMRT public buses. All buses except CW3, CW3S, CW4 and CW6 use the Causeway. Other than the immigration checkpoints, all Johor Bahru bound buses can only stop at one or two destinations in Johor Bahru, while Singapore-bound Causeway Link and Singapore-Johore Express buses can only stop at one destination in Singapore. Terminals aside, all buses make one stop each at Singapore immigration checkpoint and at Malaysian immigration checkpoint, which may mean boarding (esp. on those line buses where you can pay with an EZ-link card) a different bus. At both immigration points, you must disembark with all your luggage and pass through passport control and customs, then board the the same or next bus by showing your ticket or using your EZ-link card.
The following private buses run between various stops in Singapore and either JB CIQ or Larkin Bus Terminal in Johor Bahru.
- The Transtar Cross Border Service TS1 minibus (24 passengers) plies between Changi Airport and Johor Bahru. The service calls at coach stands at Terminals 1, 2 and 3, and terminates at Johor Bahru CIQ. The one-way fare from Changi Airport to Johor Bahru is S$9 for adults and S$4.50 for children. From Johor Bahru, adults will pay RM10 whereas children will pay RM5. For boarding at the other points along the route in Singapore, adults pay between S$2 and S$6, whereas child fares are between S$1 and S$3. Payment can be made using EZ-link card or with cash. The first bus leaves Changi Airport for Johor Bahru at 08:15, Johor Bahru for Changi Airport at 05:00 with the last departures at Changi Airport and Larkin scheduled at 23:15 and 21:00 respectively. Frequency is set at every 60 min. The bus calls at 5 stops along its route in Singapore (excluding Woodlands Checkpoint) and uses the Tampines and Seletar Expressways.
- The Transtar Cross Border Service TS8 double-decker bus plies between Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) and Johor Bahru. The bus calls at 6 stops along its route. The service terminates at Larkin Terminal, with drop off at JB CIQ. Fares are set lower, at S$7 for adults from RWS to JB, and S$3.50 for children. From JB, adults will pay RM7 and children, RM3.50. For boarding at the other points along the route in Singapore, adults pay S$2-5. Passengers can choose to pay using their EZ-link cards or with cash. From RWS, the first bus will leave at 08:00 (weekdays) or 09:00 (weekends and PHs) with the last one at 00:15. From Larkin, the first bus departs M-F 06:00; Sa-Su and public holidays 07:00. Last bus at 21:30. Service TS8 runs every hour.
- The Advance Coach AC7 bus service runs between Yishun bus interchange in Singapore and Larkin Terminal. It makes numerous stops enroute between Yishun bus interchange and the Woodlands checkpoint. The frequency is 20 to 30 minutes, 05:45-23.30 (Singapore to Johor Bahru) and 05:00-23:50 (Johor Bahru to Singapore). The bus fare is a flat S$2 (if you board the bus anywhere in Singapore) or RM2 (if you board the bus in Johor Bahru).
- The Singapore-Johore Express (SJE) runs a non-stop service between Queen Street Terminal in Singapore and Larkin Terminal from 06:30-23:00. The fare is S$2.50 in Singapore and RM2.50 in JB. At the terminals, buy tickets from the ticket counter. At Woodlands or JB checkpoints, get the ticket from the driver or the ticket seller standing beside the bus. Change will be given.
SBS Transit and SMRT public (non-express) buses provide non-express services which charge based on distance travelled, and can be paid in cash or by EZ-link card. Exact fare is required without the EZ-Link card; you will not get any change back from the driver.
- Bus 160 from Jurong East Interchange (next to Jurong East MRT Station)
- Bus 170 (with the red plate) from Queen Street Terminal to Larkin Terminal
- Bus 170 (with the blue plate) at Kranji MRT station
- Bus 950 from Woodlands Bus Interchange to Larkin Terminal
Causeway Link buses are bright yellow and hard to miss. Buy tickets from the ticket counter at the terminals. Boarding anywhere else will require payment to the driver with no change given. These are by far the cheapest option to cross the Johor Straits but it also causes mad rushes and queues at the checkpoints. The main CW buses are:
- CW1 from Larkin to Kranji MRT station
- CW2 from Larkin to Queen Street Terminal
- CW5 from Johor Bahru CIQ to Newton Circus
The restriction of Malaysian-operated buses not stopping anywhere within Singapore and conversely, Singapore ones in Johor Bahru could be used to your advantage. 30 min could easily be shaved off the journey time within Singapore alone by boarding express buses CW2, CW5 or SJE when leaving Singapore from the Queen Street terminal or Newton Food Centre's car park. A little more time could be saved on the Johor Bahru side by hopping on to a Singapore-registered non-express bus (e.g. SBS 160/170, SMRT 950) once you clear Malaysian customs and immigration at the Johor Bahru CIQ, but you will have to pay a new fare as you did not start your journey in Singapore on a Singapore-registered non-express bus.
It is possible but more expensive to use the EZ-link card compared to paying in cash in Malaysian ringgit when boarding SBS 160, SBS 170 or SMRT 950 at Larkin bus terminal/Johor Bahru CIQ to go anywhere in Singapore. The percentage price difference becomes greater the further you go into Singapore. For example, it costs S$1.90 using the EZ-link card to go from Larkin bus terminal to Queen Street terminal by SBS 170. This is slightly more than 100% more expensive than by paying in cash (2.20RM) based on exchange rates of S$1 = 2.40 RM. It is also cheaper to pay in ringgit when travelling from the Woodlands Checkpoint to the Johor Bahru CIQ by the Singapore-Johore Express bus. Conversely, it can be cheaper using the EZ-link card for both the bus and MRT train if one has the intention to connect to the MRT train at Kranji, Marsiling or Woodlands MRT stations, due to Singapore's Distance Fare.
West Malaysia and Hat Yai
Direct buses between Johor Bahru and many cities and towns in West Malaysia as well as Hat Yai in Thailand depart from and arrive at Larkin Bus & Taxi Terminal, located some 5 km northwest of the north tip of the Causeway. This L-shaped terminal has coach and bus ticket booths, shops, about a dozen food and beverage outlets, a market, and a left luggage office (2 RM per bag per day, 7AM-10PM).
There is a big, open-air car park in front of the bus terminal - enter from Jalan Garuda. Several dozen bus companies run direct bus services between Larkin and various destinations in West Malaysia with services to Kuala Lumpur typically starting from just after sunrise and ending at slightly past midnight. Except during public holidays (when you should buy the ticket in advance), you can usually purchase your ticket on the day of departure or even less than an hour before the scheduled departure time. Note that you may have to pay a hefty surcharge on top of the normal ticket price for departures on public holidays. You can also buy the bus tickets for some destinations for some of the bus companies from the local travel agencies (there are about half a dozen of them) located on the ground floor of Merlin Tower facing Jalan Tun Abdul Razak and even arrange for a shuttle van (RM4 per person) to send you to Larkin terminal. You can also buy Causeway Link and Plusliner intercity coach tickets from the ticketing counters in City Lounge on the north edge of Kotaraya bus terminal.
There are shared taxis departing from Larkin terminal to various destinations (only as far as Genting Highlands) in West Malaysia. The fare per person for the shared taxis is at least three times the coach fare per person for the further destinations. The shared taxis, unlike the intercity buses, do not depart at set times. They only depart when the shared taxi has reached a maximum of four passengers or if the passenger(s) is or are willing to pay for the remaining seat(s). Shared taxi fares per person in RM: Genting Highlands 120, Kuala Lumpur 95, Kuala Lumpur International Airport 95, Malacca 65, Mersing 40, Senai International Airport 10, Kota Tinggi 10.
There are local buses connecting Larkin bus terminal with various parts of the city. To go from the city centre to Larkin, you can take the Maju bus or Transit Link's orange-red 'City Bus' (all of these do not have bus numbers - they have the word 'Larkin' prominently displayed on the front of the bus; the one-way bus fare is 1.70RM and average frequency of the Maju bus is 5-10 min). These buses stop at the bus stop opposite City Square in Jalan Wong Ah Fook and at the JB Sentral's bus bays facing Jalan Jim Quee.
To go to City Square or JB Sentral from Larkin bus terminal, you can take the Maju bus number 208, 224 and 227 (one-way fare RM1.70) or Transit Link's orange-red 'City Bus'(one-way fare RM1.70). Maju bus number 208, 224 and 227 go from Larkin bus terminal to City Square/JB Sentral en route to Masai, Pasir Gudang and Kota Tinggi respectively.
Only specially licensed taxis are allowed to operate across the border. The rules seem baffling at first, but boil down to this: Malaysian taxis are only allowed to go to the designated terminal in Singapore, and Singaporean taxis are only allowed to go to their terminal in JB.
The "basic" direct taxi service from the Singapore Taxi Terminal at Queen Street (in Bugis) to the Larkin Terminal costs S$15 per person or S$60 per car departing from Singapore, and RM15/60 from Johor Bahru. The main advantage of a taxi is that you don't need to lug your stuff (or yourself) through Customs at both ends; you can just sit in the car. This service is also available 24 hours a day.
If you want to take a taxi from Queen Street to somewhere other than the terminal in Johor Bahru, you have to use a Malaysian (yellow) taxi, and the price will be at least S$45 (depending on distance). Likewise, if you want to take a taxi from Larkin to anywhere in Singapore, you need to use a Singaporean taxi and pay at least RM70 for the service.
Taxis can also be booked to bring you from anywhere in Singapore to Larkin, or from anywhere in JB to Queen St. ☎ +65 6296 7054 (Singapore) or ☎ +60 7 224-6986 (Johor Bahru), and be sure to get the taxi's number, driver's name and his phone number.
If you need to get directly from point A in Singapore to point B in JB or vice versa, there are two options. The more expensive option is to take a limousine taxi licensed to take passengers from any point to any destination, but only a few are available and they charge a steep RM150 per trip. However, unlike normal cabs, they can also use the Second Link, which makes them by far the fastest way of getting to western parts of Johor. Advance booking is highly recommended, ☎ +60 7 5991622. Alternatively, you can arrange a 2-taxi ride through the call centre, whereby once across the Causeway, you swap taxis.
Johor Bahru has a spanking new JB Sentral railway station along Jalan Tun Abdul Razak and Jalan Jim Quee. It is connected to both the CIQ and City Square by pedestrian overhead bridges. There are retail outlets (including a 24-hr 7-Eleven store), food and beverage outlets and money exchange offices (the one at street level is open 24 hr) in the new station. There are coin-operated (2 x 50 sen), small left luggage lockers, a Muslim prayer room, male/female toilets (both free of charge), a police post and a tourist information booth in here as well.
KTM long-distance intercity trains no longer serve Singapore, all trains now start and end at JB Sentral. The Johor Bahru-Singapore stretch is now served by the Shuttle Tebrau shuttle train. The train station in Singapore is at Woodlands Train Checkpoint, which is just 700 m from the start of the causeway. There are 10 departures per day from Woodlands and 12 per day from JB Sentral. Shuttle trains will leave Woodlands for JB Sentral at 08:00, 10:00, 13:30, 16:30, 18:00, 18:45, 20:00, 20:45, 22:00, 23:15 and leave JB Sentral for Woodlands at 05:30, 06:00, 06:30, 07:00, 08:30, 09:00, 12:30, 15:30, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00, 22:15. When you depart from Singapore by train, you get stamped out by Singapore immigration first inside the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, and just across the hallway, Malaysian immigration stamps you in before you board the KTM train. In the reverse direction, Malaysia immigration stamps you out before boarding the train at JB Sentral, and upon the train reaching Woodlands Train Checkpoint, you disembark and Singapore immigration stamps you in.
Tickets from JB to Singapore are MYR5 and tickets from Singapore to JB are SGD5. Buy them at the counter at least 30 minutes before departure time. Although the train fare between Woodlands Train Checkpoint and JB Sentral is at least three times the bus fare between Woodlands Checkpoint and Johor Bahru CIQ, it does have the advantage of avoiding potential jams on the Causeway. Go to KTM's website to buy on-line train tickets. Online ticket purchases can only be made within 30 days of the departure date but not less than 48 hr before the departure time. NB: shuttle tickets are now perpetually bought up 30 days before the actual ticketed date.
The nearest MRT station (1.5 km or 15 min walk) to the KTM Woodlands Train Checkpoint is Marsiling MRT station on the North-South Line. SMRT bus number 856 goes from Marsiling MRT station to Woodlands Train Checkpoint, while SMRT bus number 950 serves the reverse direction. Note that the last full-service southbound train leaves Marsiling MRT station for Marina Bay at 23:12, though there are later MRT services that end at Toa Payoh or Ang Mo Kio. In the other direction, the last train leaves for Jurong East MRT station at 00:38. Although Marsiling MRT station is the nearest, more buses go between Woodlands MRT station and Woodlands Train Checkpoint. From Woodlands MRT station, take SMRT buses 911, 912 (longer route), 913 or 856 to Woodlands Train Checkpoint. In the reverse direction, take SMRT buses 911, 912 (longer route), 913, 903 (longer route) or 178.
The ZON Ferry Terminal, ☎ +60 7 221-1677 is located in the east wing of "The ZON" duty free complex (locally referred to as "Duty Free"), which is 1.8 km northeast of the Causeway. Ferries go to Batam and Bintan in the Riau Islands of Indonesia. The east wing of the complex is mostly three-storey and also comprises a big KTV club and several bars. To reach the ferry terminal's arrival/departure halls on the second level, you can go to the second level of the ZON shopping and hotel complex building, walk past the Restoran Hameed's (which is on your right) and then follow the signs to the halls. Alternatively, you can go right to the ground level of the east end of the main building (comprising the hotel, the shopping mall and the department store) of the complex. There, you will see a ticket counter beside a minimart. You can go up to the arrival/departure hall using the elevator or the staircase. There is a money changer and a small restaurant in the ferry terminal. Another ticket counter is located right inside the terminal's arrival/departure hall.
You can take the orange and red-colored Transit Link City Bus number 123/S & S yellow-red-blue S2 bus/JB Central Line bus number 727/Maju bus number 10/Causeway Link CT1 bus from the JB Sentral's bus bays facing Jalan Jim Quee (starting point) or from the bus stop opposite City Square at Jalan Wong Ah Fook. For the return leg, the buses do not go past City Square; they all terminate at JB Sentral's bus bays. The one-way fare is RM 1.30. Note: the Causeway Link CTI bus does not pass by ZON on its return leg. Causeway Link's no. 22 goes between JB Sentral and the ZON complex en route to Kampung Bakar Batu. It does not go past City Square on both legs of the journey.
From and to Batam: Ferries depart hourly on the half hour 07:30-18:30 to Batam Centre. The ferries from Batam Centre depart hourly on the half hour 07:30-15:30, and at 16:15, 17:00 and 17:45 (Indonesian time). Fares: RM69/110 one-way/return for adults, RM46/69 one-way/return for children, plus international departure tax of 10RM per passenger for all passengers. Journey time: 90 min.
From and to Bintan: Only 3 ferries (09:30, 13:00 and 17:00) daily to Tanjung Pinang. The ferries from Tanjung Pinang leave at 07:00, 12.30 and 15:00 (Indonesian time). Fares: RM86/144 one-way/return for adults, RM54/86 one-way/return for children, plus international departure tax of 10RM per passenger for all passengers. Journey time: 150 min.
Note: All children 3 years old and below do not require tickets but are subject to an international departure tax of RM10. Passengers must be at the ferry terminal at least 30 min before the ferry's departure.
Walking across the Causeway from either side is forbidden. You have to take any of the public or private buses waiting at the bus bays downstairs to cross the Causeway. There is always a Singapore police officer stationed at the staircase entrance to the Causeway to prevent anyone from crossing on foot.
JB's public transport is currently limited to a bus network run by several operators. There are plans to build a light rail transit network in the near future.
Travelling by taxi is a fairly cheap alternative, although the drivers occasionally refuse to use the meter so you must be firm with them and insist that they use it. Taxi drivers are required by law to use their meters and issue a receipt upon request. If the driver has a meter and does not switch it on, remind them to do so. If you get into a taxi not fitted with a meter, it might be best to get out again immediately to avoid being ripped off or later becoming engaged in arguments about the fare. Drivers will often claim there is no meter fitted to a taxi, but they have just hidden it, often with a rudimentary device such as a piece of cloth or cardboard in front of the faceplate of the meter. Travellers need to be vigilant when dealing with such taxi drivers, especially if the driver blatantly refuses to use his meter and negotiates a fare with you. A local person or someone more familiar with these tricks will not be fooled by this, as the driver is seeking to deceive the unwary with dishonesty and deception. Look for another taxi or insist that the driver use the meter and stop playing games. Taxi drivers will also often attempt to raise their fares after agreeing with the passengers on the amount to be paid during the initial negotiation. They will tend to get belligerent and aggressive and may even threaten passengers when passengers try to reason with them. Ride at your own risk. Some drivers demand extra money as a 'bonus' or for some fictitious 'extra' charge on top of the metered fare. Do not pay more than the amount shown on the meter or for any extra charges other than those detailed below. Do not travel in a taxi when the meter is not used. Moving taxis rarely decline to use their meters, occasionally taxis hanging around tourist areas, do.
The starting fare is RM3 (previously RM2) for the first 2 km and the fare increases by 10 sen for every subsequent 115 m (previously 150 m). You will only be charged for waiting time in excess of 3 min during the journey - the rate is 10 sen for every 21 seconds (previously 45 seconds). Additional charges include: actual road toll charges; RM2 for telephone bookings; a 50% surcharge is levied between midnight and 6AM. The additional RM1 charged on the 3rd adult passenger and RM1 charged for every piece of baggage kept in the trunk were both abolished effective 1 Aug 2009.
There is a taxi rank at Jalan Jim Quee - it is right next to the Johor Bahru CIQ. You can see it below as you cross the overhead bridge from the CIQ to JB Sentral. The taxis operate on a prepaid coupon system - buy your coupon from the booth on the edge of the road. Official fixed rates for prepaid taxi coupons from the CIQ to : AEON Tebrau City Shopping Centre RM21.50, Danga Bay RM14, Larkin bus station 10.90 RM, Senai International Airport RM45. If you do your math, you will find that it is almost two times more expensive to go to any destination using the prepaid coupons compared to using the meter, excluding charges for waiting time and other additional charges mentioned above.
You can opt for a bus to move around the city. Sometimes there are no clear indications of the bus stops. Just follow the crowds and wait alongside the locals for the buses. Look at the destination boards on the bus and do not hesitate to ask the bus driver directly. There are major bus stops opposite City Square at Jalan Wong Ah Fook. This is where you can take buses to many parts of the city and its suburbs, and also as far as Kota Tinggi (41 km away) and Kulai. All public buses no longer stop in front of JB Sentral at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak. Some buses stop at JB Sentral's bus bays (opened in May 2011) facing Jalan Jim Quee. The last buses leave City Square or JB Sentral for their respective destinations at about 23:00 or earlier; the last buses returning to City Square or JB Sentral leave their starting points at about 22:00 or earlier.
Fares (for the onward journey and return journey respectively) for selected destinations from/to the bus stop opposite City Square at Jalan Wong Ah Fook: Kota Tinggi RM4.80, Kulai RM4.00, AEON Bukit Indah RM2.70, #JUSCO Permas Jaya Shopping Centre RM2.60, AEON Tebrau City RM2.40-2.50, Carrefour RM2.20-2.30, Danga Bay RM1.60-1.70/1.60-1.70, Larkin Bus Terminal RM1.70/1.70, Jalan Kebun Teh/Jalan Tebrau junction RM1.60-1.70/1.60-1.70, #ZON Mall and Department Store RM1.30/1.30, Plaza Pelangi or Taman Sentosa RM1.20-1.30/1.20-1.30, junction of Jalan Abu Bakar/Jalan Sungai Chat (within 200 m of both the Straits View Hotel and Tepian Tebrau hawker centre) RM1.00/1.00, Hospital Sultanah Aminah (5 minutes walk from or to Mawar Complex) RM1.00/1.00, Johor Bahru Zoo RM1.00/1.00
Note: The return bus does not return to City Square but terminates at JB Sentral - all passengers must disembark there.
The frequency of the buses is not consistent, especially for the buses that do not leave from the Bus Terminals. There are generally more buses in the morning and there are fewer buses as it gets later into the day. Keep a look out for suspicious persons who wait at the bus stop and pay more attention to the people waiting at the bus stop rather than the buses on the road. Walk into a nearby shop if you feel that something is amiss.
JB CIQ to Larkin
Coming from Singapore and if you are planning to go on immediately to Larkin bus terminal, you may take any of the frequent, non-stop buses that terminate at Larkin. After clearing Malaysian immigration, walk about 50 meters past the tourist office and go down the escalator. The buses are all waiting at the departure bus bays (part of the CIQ) downstairs. These bus bays are also accessible by walking along the slip road that links the CIQ with Jalan Lingkaran Dalam. Fares from Johor Bahru CIQ to Larkin: CW1, CW2 and CWL 1.20 RM, SBS 170 1.50 RM (payable by EZ-link card - S$1.11), Singapore-Johore Express 1.00 RM. These fares are payable only under the following circumstances - a. You fail to board the SBS 170 bus within 45 minutes of alighting from the SBS 160, SBS 170 or SMRT 950 bus. b. You did not buy a valid, through ticket to Larkin while in Singapore. c. You had travelled on a bus of a different bus company from Singapore to Johor Bahru CIQ (e.g. Woodland Checkpoint to JB CIQ by CW1 or CW2, then JB CIQ to Larkin by Singapore-Johore Express or SBS 170, or vice versa. The trip should take about 8-10 min in the absence of heavy traffic.
However, you can consider taking the Maju bus or Transit Link's orange-red 'City Bus' (all of these do not have bus numbers - they have the word 'Larkin' displayed on the front of the bus; the one-way bus fare is RM1.70) to Larkin bus terminal from either JB Sentral's bus bays (facing Jalan Jim Quee) or from the bus stop opposite City Square at Jalan Wong Ah Fook. City Square is less than 5 min walk from the JB passport control booths - turn left just before the tourist office and walk along the passageway until you reach the lobby of the CIQ. You then cross two overhead bridges - one linking the CIQ to JB Sentral and the other linking JB Sentral to City Square. Note that you are not allowed to walk to the CIQ departure bus bays from City Square or JB Sentral - there is a sign forbidding entry to the passageway from the lobby.
In the other direction, upon entering the Johor Bahru CIQ, follow the signs for "Woodlands" to get to the immigration booths and then to the Singapore-bound buses one floor below.
There's little point to renting a car for touring JB alone, but if you come from Singapore, it can make more sense to rent a car here to explore the rest of Malaysia as car rental rates here are much lower than those of Singapore and fuel costs here are about half of those of Singapore.
- Hawk Rent A Car, No. 50C, Bangunan KPMNJ, Jalan Segget (two blocks west of the Causeway), ☎ +60 7 224-2849 /54 email@example.com, . A basic manual Proton Wira starts from RM140/day, offices throughout the country for easy drop off (extra charges apply).
- Pacific Rent-A-Car, Lot PTB No.20708, Sultan Ismail Airport City Lounge, Terminal Bas Central Kotaraya, Jalan Trus, ☎ +60 7 224 3951, +60 7 224 3952, fax: +60 7224 3953
- Mayflower Car Rental, Level 2A, Plaza Seni, Jl Trus/Jalan Wong Ah Fook, ☎ +60 7 2241357, +60 7 2271739, firstname.lastname@example.org, .
If you planning to walk from City Square to any of the hotels just southeast of the Johor Bahru CIQ in the JL Tanjung Puteri are or beyond, you have two possible routes to choose from: a. Walk down JL Tun Abdul Razak (Jalan TAR) as far as the police station (it has white walls with blue columns). Walk underneath the newly constructed flyover and then walk along its left edge until you see a metal staircase abutting the flyover. Climb up this staircase to the flyover. Without crossing the road, walk along the sidewalk of this flyover towards the Johor Bahru CIQ (it is a massive structure and is clearly visible) or away from the Causeway for about 200 m and you will find yourself at the intersection of this flyover, Jl Tanjung Puteri and Jalan Lumba Kuda, about 300 m from the ultra-modern Grand BlueWave Hotel. b. Walk to JB Sentral by crossing the overhead bridge linking JB Sentral with City Square. Just before you reach the overhead bridge linking JB Sentral with the CIQ, you will find escalators on your right. Go down the escalator, exit JB Sentral into Jalan Jim Quee. Walk past the bus bays on your right for 400-500 m and you will reach the intersection of JL Jim Quee and JL Tanjung Puteri.
Historical and modern landmarks
- Sultan Abu Bakar Royal Palace Museum, located along Jalan Tun Doktor Ismail, 1.3 km west of the Causeway. The official entrance to the palace museum grounds is through a gateway facing the High Court building on Jalan Air Molek. You can also exit/enter the palace museum grounds by walking down/up the grassy slope to/from the main road - Jalan Tun Doktor Ismail. Open Sa-Th 09:00-21:00, closed when there are official functions and ceremonies. Entry US$7/3 (payable in ringgit at a poor exchange rate) for foreign adults/children, RM5 for Malaysian and Singaporeans, and only RM1 for Malaysian children. Last ticket sale is at 16:00. Definitely Johor Bahru's top attraction, this is the opulent former residence (Istana Besar or Grand Palace) of the Sultan of Johor. It is still used for royal and state ceremonies and functions. 53-hectare garden (free admission). The adjoining Zaharah Botanical Garden (Kebun Bunga Zaharah in Malay) lies about 300 m northwest of the palace museum complex centred about a roundabout. The palace complex was first completed in 1866 but has been extended and refurbished many times since. It was built in the neoclassical style by local artisans under the supervision of a European architect. The original furniture of the palace was made in England and ordered by Sultan Abu Bakar in 1866. The museum is housed in two of the three white buildings (all with blue-tile pitched roofs) in the complex and consists of 4 parts: the Dewan (in the west building); the Throne Room, the Treasure Rooms and the Hunting Room (in the central building). The east building is not open to the public. The scale of the palace is suitably grandiose. Photography inside the museum is forbidden.
- Istana Bukit Serene, sandwiched between Jl Kolam Air and Jl Straits View, 7 km northwest of the Causeway. This green-roof, stone building is the official residence of the Sultan of Johor. The palace has a huge sprawling garden which is a common site for many royal gatherings and celebrations. It was built in 1933 in the Art Deco style. Part of the palace building can be seen afar from Jalan Skudai. The palace walls have fantastic and exquisite carvings. The main tower is 35 m tall. The Istana is guarded by the personal military force of the Sultan of Johor. Neither the building nor its gardens are open to the general public.
- Sultan Ibrahim Building. Built in 1940, this grey-bricked building is located on top of Bukit Timbalan. It used to house the State Secretariat, the Menteri Besar's (Chief Minister) office, State Assembly Hall and the offices of the state government. The building is an architectural blend of British colonial, Malay and Saracenic elements. It has a distinctive, 64m-high Mughal-style tower. During World War II, Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita occupied the tower in order to have a bird's eye view of Singapore to plan his invasion, which eventually resulted in the defeat of the British in Singapore. Visiting hours: Mo-Th 08:00-12:45, 14:00-17:00; Fri 09:00-12:15, 14:45P-17:00; closed Sa Su and public holidays.
- Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru, Jalan Datuk, 3 km west of the Causeway. Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru is the city square (not to be confused with the City Square shopping mall in the heart of downtown) that was constructed in conjunction with Johor Bahru being granted city status on January 1994. A yellow coloured building with a gigantic, yellow clock tower built stands on the north edge of the square. The square is surrounded by two sports fields on the south side and three sports fields on the west side. Many outdoor events are held here. To get there from the city centre, take any of the very frequent buses (one-way fare 1RM) that go to Bukit Indah/Kulai/Selesa Jaya from opposite City Square (starting point) at Jalan Wong Ah Fook or from the bus stop in front of the old railway station at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.
- War Memorial (Tugu Peperangan), Jl Abu Bakar, (about 2 km west of the causeway, across the road from the brown-colored Jabatan Kehakiman Syariah Negeri Johor Islamic court building of Johor state and the white-colored Pusat Islam Iskandar Johor-Iskandar Islamic Centre). The twin obelisks commemorate martyred servicemen of the First and Second World Wars, and the Emergency (the confrontation with Indonesia in 1962). It was completed in 1962 and unveiled by Colonel H.H. Sir Ismail, the then Sultan of Johor on 1 Jul 1962. It was erected by the ex-servicemen association of Malaya Johor Branch. The erection was funded from donations by the government of Johor, ex-servicemen association of Malaya and members of the public. Seldom visited by more than a few persons at any one time, it is a clean, quiet spot with vantage views of the Straits of Johor.
- Makam Diraja (Royal Mausoleum), (in a large Muslim cemetery enclosed by three roads - Jl Mahmoodiah, Jl Petri and Jl Mariamah, about 2 km northwest of the CIQ). This is a royal mausoleum of Johor state. It is a grey coloured building with two domes. The first sultan of Johor laid to rest here was Sultan Abu Bakar in 1895, as are the three sultans that reigned after him - Ibrahim, Ismail and Iskandar. Other persons interred here include: sultanahs (wives of the sultans) - Sultanah Fatimah, Sultanah Ungku Maimunah Ungku Abdul Aziz, Sultanah Rogaiyah, Sultanah Tun Aminah; other royal family members; notable politicians like Dato' Jaafar Muhammad, Dato' Onn Jaafar, Tan Sri Othman Saat and Dato' Muhamad Salleh bin Perang. The mausoleum is not open to the public.
- Tanjung Kupang Memorial, Jalan Kebun Teh (4km north of the CIQ; its gate entrance is 30 m north-east of the junction of this road and Jalan Serunai; the site is opposite Foon Yew 1 School). This memorial was erected by the Johor state government in memory of the 100 passengers and crew members killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 (MH653) Boeing 737 crashed at Tanjung Kupang (about 20 km west of Johor Bahru) on the evening of 4 Dec 1977. The names and nationalities of all the 100 victims are inscribed on a less-than-two-meter high wall clad with shiny, black stone.
- Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, sandwiched between Jalan Abu Bakar/Jalan Masjid Abu Bakar/Jalan Gertak Merah, 1.8 km west of the Causeway. Located on top of a small hill and overlooking the Straits of Johor, this state mosque took eight years to construct (1892-1900). It has four minarets that resemble British clock towers. It was inaugurated by the then Sultan Ibrahim. It is made of white marble and is a combination of Moorish and Victorian architecture. It can accommodate 2,000 worshippers. Visiting hours are Sa-Th 10:00-18:00 except during congregational prayers. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque building. To get there from the city centre, take any of the very frequent buses (1-way fare RM1) that go to Bukit Indah/Kulai/Selesa Jaya from opposite City Square (starting point) at Jl Wong Ah Fook or from the bus stop in front of the old railway station at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.
- Masjid India, at the junction of Jalan Dhoby and Jalan Duke. This mosque with two different minarets located in the heart of the city was founded by the city's Indian Muslim community. It is a modern-looking mosque with white walls, blue-tinted glass cladding on both its minarets and a blue and silver dome.
- Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, 9 Jl Gereja (700 m northwest of the CIQ). Beige building with a single steeple (with spire) is one of the main Roman Catholic churches in Johor Bahru. Built in 1883 in the British colonial style, it is one of the oldest structures still standing in Johor Bahru. Try to get here for the Tamil feast of Pongal in mid-January, when an intriguingly colorful harvest festival service is held within the church.
- Roufo Old Chinese Temple, (Roufo Gumiao in Mandarin Hanyu Pinyin), Jl Trus, is a Chinese temple believed to be built in 1870 by a group of Chinese community leaders led by Tan Hiok Nee, a famous, local Teochew businessman. This is where five different Chinese dialect groups - Cantonese, Hainanese, Hakka, Hokkien and Teochew - worshipped their respective deities and their effigies are all found inside the prayer hall. The Goddess of Mercy and the Weather God are also worshipped here; their effigies are found outside the prayer hall. The prayer hall is straight ahead as you enter the wooden gate entrance from Jalan Trus. There is a small museum behind the prayer hall which have illustrated descriptions of the five deities and the history of the temple, as well as giant photos showing the Parade of Deities (see below). Photography is forbidden in the museum and captions are mostly in Chinese only. Admission to the museum is free. The temple organizes an annual 4-day Chingay parade known as the Parade of Deities. The climax of the parade occurs on the night of the 3rd day when the deities are paraded around the city centre. Open daily 07:30-17:30.
- Gurdwara Sahib Johor Bahru, (Johor Bahru Sikh temple), 1B Jl Trus, (across the road from Plaza Kotaraya in the heart of the city), Sikh temple built on the site of the smaller and older Sikh temple and was inaugurated on the 28 Aug 1992. 2-storey white building with yellow window frames and an all-round, crenellated roof parapet. The Darbar Sahib is located on the second level. The Granthi quarters and two rooms for Sikh visitors are located at an annex on the second level. The Guru Ka Langgar hall, kitchen and office are located on the first level. There are about 250 Sikh families who participate in the religious activities in this Gurdwara Sahib. The normal weekly prayers are held Su 9:30-11:30.
- Sri Raja Mariamman Hindu Temple, 4 Jl Ungku Puan (right in the heart of downtown Johor Bahru). It underwent an 18-month renovation in 2010. It was reopened to the public on 12 Jun 2011, with a consecration ceremony on the same day. Free admission for visitors. Everyone has their shoes in the racks beside the gate entrance.
- Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Hindu Temple, No. 22, Susur 1, Jl Tebrau (less than 50 m west of Tebrau Highway and 400 m north of Tropical Inn/Landmark Shopping Centre and beside the railway track). Inaugurated in 1996 and touted as "The First Glass Temple in the World". The inner surface of the walls and the columns inside the temple are clad with imported glass, hence the name. The floor is paved with granite. There's a canteen at the back of the temple building and sells only Indian vegetarian food. Thousands of tourists and pilgrims coming here everyday. There are food and drink stalls lining both sides of the driveway in the front of the temple. Temple prayer hours 07:30-12:00 daily; Temple closure Tu-Su 12:00-13:00 & M 12:00-19:00; Temple visiting hours daily except Mon (closed to visitors) 13:00-18:00. Chitra Pournami Paal Kudam Festival held every Wed and Glass Chariot Procession held every Thurs at the temple. RM10/5 for adults/children (5-12 years old), still photography/video fee RM3/5, leaving shoes with the guardian RM0.50.
Museums and galleries
- Johor Bahru Art Gallery, (Galeri Seni Johor in Malay), 144 Jl Petrie (about 700 m northeast of the Thistle Hotel, on the north edge of a major highway - the Inner Ring Road, also called Jalan Lingkaran Dalam). Housed in a 2-storey white building built in 1910, it displays mostly Malaysian modern paintings. Other exhibits include Islamic calligraphy, ceramics, ornate wooden window frames, traditional clothing, weapons, currency, etc. There is a cart with a thatched roof and a giant drum displayed outside the building. Free admission. Open daily except on public holidays 09:00-16:30. (website, in Malay only - )
- Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum, (Malay: Muzium Warisan Tiong-Hua Johor Bahru), 42 Jalan Ibrahim 80000 (200 m south east of the main post office in downtown JB), ☎ +60 7 224-9633, fax:+60 7 224-9635, . Housed in a restored 4-storey building. Learn about the history and culture of the Chinese community in Johor Bahru. The displays are spread out over four storeys. There are numerous captioned photos on display, several TV screens showing video clips, objects/artefacts on display, mannequins dressed in traditional Chinese wedding clothes, a replica of the entrance door and sedan chair of the Roufo Chinese Taoist Temple in Jalan Trus, etc. Open Tu-Su 09:00-17:00 (last admission 16:00), closed on Mondays. Adults RM3, children/senior citizens/students 1 RM.
- Johor Bahru Kwong Siew Heritage Gallery (Malay: Galeri Warisan Kwong Siew Johor Bahru), 24 Jl Siu Nam, ☎ +60 7 223 3682. Museum opened on 30 Oct 2010. It occupies 2 units of adjoining 2-storey shop houses that were completed in 1907. They used to be the headquarters of the Kwong Siew Clan Association established in 1878 by Wong Ah Fook, a China-born, successful and influential entrepreneur who developed close links with the Johor Sultanate. The exhibits are all the second level (A/C). Here you can find the illustrated biographies of the 13 past and present presidents of the Kwong Siew Wai Kuan (Clan Association), other prominent Kwong Siew Wai Kuan figures, Wong Ah Fook and three of his sons. The history of Kampung Ah Fook, which was established by Wong Ah Fook and corresponds to the very heart of the city, is described here. Some of the exhibits in this museum are: Cantonese opera costumes, weapons used in Chinese martial arts, lion dance troupe equipment and costumes, old Chinese musical instruments, jewellery, opium pipes, and Cantonese opera scripts. Open Tu-Su 09:00-17:00, closed on Mondays. Admission - adults RM5, children and students RM2. Photography is forbidden.
- Mawar Complex (Kompleks Mawar; Mawar is the Malay acronym for Majlis Wanita Johor), 888 Jl Sungai Chat (50 m west of the Thistle Hotel on the same side of the road), ☎ +60 7 221-4100. Mon-Fri 10:00-16:00.. Complex consists of several buildings, among them a handicrafts workshop (closed to the public) and 'Rumah Mawar' (also known as 'Galeri Mawar'). The latter is housed in a pretty 2-storey white building. It has photos of members (especially female) of the Johor royal family and various famous women of Johor. There are also displays of clothes worn by Sultanah Zanariah on the first level and mannequins wearing wedding clothes and traditional Malay clothes on the second level. The admission of RM5 includes a mandatory guided tour of the 'Rumah Mawar'. You have to get one of the staff from the administration building to open the door to the 'Rumah Mawar'. He or she will act as a guide. Photography is forbidden except for the mannequin display on the second level. There is a small canteen selling Malay food at the entrance to the complex. To get there from the city centre, take any of the very frequent buses (one-way fare RM1) that go to Bukit Indah/Kulai/Selesa Jaya from opposite City Square (starting point) at Jl Wong Ah Fook or from the bus stop in front of the old railway station at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak. Alight at the bus stop in front of the red-colored Sultanah Aminah Hospital on Jalan Abu Bakar. It is about 5 min walk from here.
- Kraftangan Malaysia Cawangan Negeri Johor (Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation of Johore State), Lot. PBT 20002, Jl Cenderasari (off Jalan Datin Halimah, 1.5 km northwest of Larkin bus terminal and opposite Foon Yew 4 school), ☎ +60 7 235-0433, +60 7 235-0431, fax: +60 7 235-0432. Contains a so-called Treasured Possession Gallery (open M-F 09:00-17:00) exhibits batik, embroidery and beads. It also hosts a handicrafts fair on its premises once a year.
Danga Bay (Teluk Danga in Malay), (7 km northwest of the Causeway). Set to be the premier waterfront development in Johor Bahru, with residential properties, commercial buildings and recreational facilities. Among the attractions that have opened so far are: Danga World Theme Park, Danga World Petting Zoo and Rumah Limas. To get there from the city centre, take any of the very frequent buses (one-way fare RM1.60 or 1.70) that go to Bukit Indah/Kulai/Selesa Jaya from opposite City Square (starting point) at Jl Wong Ah Fook or from the bus stop in front of the old railway station at Jl Tun Abdul Razak. You can take a tourist tram from the Danga Convention Centre to the Festive Street Mall and back (RM5 per person, free for children below 3 years old).
- Rumah Limas Here, Johor State's eight districts are represented by uniquely-designed traditional wooden Malay houses named as Rumah Kluang, Rumah Mersing, Rumah Segamat, Rumah Johor Bahru, Rumah Pontian, Rumah Kota Tinggi, Rumah Muar and Rumah Batu Pahat. In addition, there are two other traditional wooden Malay houses - Rumah Utama and Rumah Spa. All of these buildings surround a lawn, situated right at the edge of the Skudai Highway. Cultural shows unique to each district are performed in the Rumah Utama. Johor cuisine is served inside and outside some of the houses. There is an orchid garden beside the Rumah Segamat. Massage and spa therapy are offered in the Rumah Spa. Rumah Mersing offers wedding planning services. Rumah Johor Bahru has a gift shop. Rumah Kota Tinggi has a Malay arts and crafts exhibition whereas Rumah Kluang has traditional Malay games and cash crops exhibitions.
- Danga World Petting Zoo is open daily 15:00-23:59. There is an animal show at 20:30 and 22:00. RM10 RM (RM5 for children) is very steep considering that this zoo is substantially smaller than the Johor Bahru Zoo at Jl Gertak Merah. No video filming is allowed.
- Danga World Theme Park. An amusement park more suitable for children. Among the 20 rides are (price per person per ride, minimum RM4): Zamperla pirate ship (RM10), tea cups (RM4), 2-level merry-go-round (RM4), balloon ferris wheel (RM4), flying elephant, bumper car, 15:00-23:59.
Flora and fauna
- Taman Merdeka, (2 km south of the Larkin Bus Station and 1.5 km east of the Istana Bukit Serene at JL Kolam Ayer). Public park surrounding a large lake with pavilions, an open-air theatre, rock sculptures, an independence monument, 2 bridges, two twin 2-storey white buildings, cannons and a clock tower. Free admission.
- Taman Rekreasi Hutan Bandar, (Recreational Park City Forest in English), Jl Tasek Utara, (Ulu Air Molek, 1.5 km southeast of the Larkin bus terminal). 13 hectare recreational park. Maintained by the municipality and lying within easy reach of the city centre (the CIQ is only 3 km away), this gem of a public recreational park contains seven lakes surrounded by tropical rain forest. There is a big fountain at the north end of the southernmost lake. Within the park are jogging/hiking tracks, wooden bridges and platforms, a children's playground and an open-air swimming pool (open Fridays to Sundays only). There is also an orchid park with many different species of orchids. Anglers can fish by the lakes. There is a car park just beyond the park's entrance on Jalan Tasek Utara. There are food and beverage outlets beside the car park.
- Johor Bahru Zoo, Jl Gertak Merah, (across the street from the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque). This is one of the oldest zoos in Malaysia. The zoo was built by Sultan Ibrahim in 1928 and became the private menagerie of the royal family. It was opened to the public in 1962. 5 hectare, run-down zoo that provides a dismal diversion to locals and Western tourists. It only has birds and mammals on display. There is a pond inside the zoo where you can rent boats as well as a children's playground. RM2 for adults, RM1 (for 3-12 year olds), free for children under 3 years old. Open daily 9AM-6PM. To get there from the city centre, take any of the very frequent buses (one-way fare 1RM) that go to Bukit Indah/Kulai/Selesa Jaya from opposite City Square (starting point) at Jalan Wong Ah Fook or from the bus stop in front of the old railway station at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.
- Saleng Zoo, Kulai (along the way from Jalan Skudai all the way past Senai town). Reasonably well-maintained private zoo. To get there, take any of buses that go to Kulai from opposite City Square (starting point) at Jl Wong Ah Fook or from the bus stop in front of the old railway station at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.
- Orchid Valley Located in the Pulai area along the Skudai-Pontian highway. A large orchard plantation, but relatively run down.
- Royal Johor Country Club probably the most expensive club in Johor Bahru. It is also the first course in this city.
- Tanjung Puteri Resort one of the largest courses in Johor Bahru and boasts of many awards. Very well-designed courses and attracts a fair number of visitors.
- Leisure Farm easily accessible by Singaporeans via the second link.
- Pulai Spring Resort Partly-owned by a Singapore company and popular with Singaporeans.
- Austin Hills Country Club located within the Tebrau Corridor and close to AEON Tebrau City. Nestled amidst the lush greens of the 27-hole golf course, the resort clubhouse boasts 66 exclusive suites, free-form swimming pool, tennis courts, 8-lane bowling alley, sauna, jacuzzi, karaoke and banqueting facilities all under one roof.
- Tropica Leisure Golf, No:37-01 & 39-01, Jl Setia Tropika 1/15, Setia Tropika, Kempas, ☎ +60 7 234-1004. The first simulated golf course in Johor Bahru. Play simulated golf at RM30 or 40 per hour (1-2 persons)/RM60 or 70 per hr (3-4 persons) and choose from 40 golf courses worldwide.
There are four major cineplexes in Johor Bahru - Tanjung Golden Village at AEON Tebrau City, Golden Screen Cinemas at Pelangi Leisure Mall, MBO Cinemas at KSL City and Cathay Cinemas at City Square. Minimum/maximum adult ticket prices for 2D movies (minimum prices on one or more weekdays, in particular Wednesdays; maximum prices during weekends and public holidays) - Tanjung Golden Village RM8/13, Golden Screen RM6/9, MBO RM10/11 and Cathay RM6/12. 3D movies command higher ticket prices. There is an old movie theater ('Pawagam Broadway') in the city centre, about 100 m southeast of the Sri Raja Mariamman Hindu temple, that shows only Tamil-language movies.
- The Johor Society for the Performing Arts, ☎ +60 19-713 9900. (JSPA). A non-commercial Society dedicated to the advancement, promotion and development of the performing arts in JB. It organises the annual Johor Bahru Arts Festival in September every year. The festival, which began in 2004, is Malaysia's longest-running arts festival that covers all disciplines of performing arts.
- Cruise from and to Danga Bay. There are two types of cruises available. The speedboat cruise (daily every hour; adult - 10RM, child under 12 years old - 5RM; duration of cruise 20-25 min) goes from the pier beside the Marina Club building (this is where you will find the International Restaurants) to the Causeway and back. The Danga Cruise 8 (a triple-deck cruise ship) also sails the Straits of Johor (from Danga Bay to the Causeway and back). The pier for this ship is located off Danga Beach. The Danga Cruise 8 starts F-Su 20:00 and costs RM50 net, inclusive of buffet dinner on board the ship.
JB is full of shopping malls catering mostly to local and Singaporean shoppers. The goods sold here are somewhat limited but prices are often lower than Singapore's malls.
- City Square, 106-108 Jl Wong Ah Fook (across Jl Tun Abdul Razak from the JB Sentral train station), ☎ +60 7 226-3668. Open daily 10:00-22:00.. JB's most accessible shopping mall, a mere 5 min walk from the CIQ. A pedestrian bridge connects the mall to JB Sentral, which is itself connected to the CIQ by a pedestrian bridge. It hs 270 sales outlets, including 50 food and beverage outlets. There is a Singapore-run Cathay Cineplex on levels 5 and 7, and beside it (on level 5) is a food court run by Singapore-based Food Junction. There is free Wi-Fi in all public areas.
- Komtar JBCC, Johor Bahru City Centre, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, ☎ +60 7 267 9900. Komtar JBCC is a three-level shopping mall in Johor Bahru. It opened in November 2014 and is next to the popular Johor Bahru City Square. It is located next to the original Komtar building, being a recent extension of the original building. The Angry Birds Activity Park is located at the 3rd level of the shopping mall.
- Danga City Mall (formerly known as Best World), Jl Tun Abdul Razak Susur 1 (just north of the intersection of Jl Tun Abdul Razak and Jl Lingkaran Dalam, abutting both of these highways), ☎ +60 7 221-5008, fax: +60 7 221-7008. Open daily 10:00-22:00. Free parking in the huge open-air car park south of the mall. Level 3 specializes in computers and related accessories, hand phones and cameras. The giant Metrojaya department store is the main tenant, occupying levels 1-4. There are about 20 food and beverage outlets, a supermarket, pharmacy, fitness centre and spa and a bowling centre. KTM trains stop at the mall's station only two times a day in each direction.
- Landmark IT Mall, 12 Jl Ngee Heng, (600 m northwest of the CIQ). 6-level shopping mall is housed within the 10-storey podium of the twin-tower 35-storey Menara Landmark building. It only deals in IT products - computers and accessories, and mobile phones and accessories. There is a small food court at the basement.
- Jalan Segget Bazaar, Jl Segget, a street that runs between Jl Ibrahim and Jl Wong Ah Fook. Daily open-air bazaar in the heart of JB with business from 6PM-2AM. This is a bazaar that sells mostly clothes, and also a wide range of other products - bags, belts, electric fans, food and drinks, footwear, handphone (mobile phone) accessories, perfumes, sunglasses, toys, wallets and watches.
Pelangi and Sentosa
- KSL City, ☎ +60 7 288-2888. Sandwiched between Jalan Seladang(east), Jalan Kijang(north), Jalan Serigala(west) and Jalan Beruang(south) in Taman Centuri, 500 m west of the Jalan Dato' Sulaiman/Tebrau Highway junction. 4-storey shopping mall that is part of a shopping-residential-hotel complex is the biggest in the city. It has 350 sales outlets, including 70 food and beverage outlets and a eight-screen cineplex. It is open daily 10:00-22:00. A metered taxi from City Square at Jl Wong Ah Fook to here costs about RM4 (excluding waiting time), and there are many buses (one-way fare from City Square RM1.20 or RM1.30) that go past the Jalan Datok Sulaiman/Tebrau Highway junction. Maju bus number IM17 (one-way fare RM1.50) travels between Holiday Plaza (final stop) and City Square, passing by KSL City. Causeway Link S1 bus (one-way fare RM1.50) travels between City Square and KSL City every 20 min in both directions 08:30-23:00, with decreasing frequencies 08.30-10:00 and 20:00-23:00.
- Holiday Plaza, Jl Dato' Sulaiman, Taman Centuri (600 m west of the Jl Datok Sulaiman/Tebrau Highway junction). A very long shopping mall, notorious for selling pirated movies, music and software. The Parkson department store here occupies 4 levels. It has food outlets. A metered taxi from City Square at Jalan Wong Ah Fook to here costs about RM4 (excluding waiting time), and there are many buses (one-way fare from City Square RM1.20 or RM1.30) that go past the Jalan Datok Sulaiman/Tebrau Highway junction. Maju bus number IM17 (one-way fare RM1.50) travels between Holiday Plaza (final stop) and City Square.
- Plaza Sentosa (formerly Kompleks Lien Hoe), Jl Sutera, Taman Sentosa. Shopping centre, 3.5 km north of the CIQ. The main tenant here is The Store department store, which occupies 4 levels. Causeway Link's CT1 bus (runs between Kotaraya bus terminal and Bayu Puteri, via City Square) passes by Plaza Sentosa.
- ZON Mall and Department Store, at the end of Jalan Ibrahim Sultan, 1.8km north-east of the Causeway, in the ZON duty-free complex . The Mall has several duty-free (chocolate, alcohol and tobacco) speciality outlets among its 60 sales outlets. It also has a supermarket and food court in the basement. The ZON Mall, the 5-level ZON Department Store and the ZON Regency Hotel by the Sea are all housed in the same building. You have to declare all dutiable goods purchased in the complex and which you intend to bring out of the complex at the customs checkpoint upon leaving the complex. You can take Transit Link City Bus number 123/S & S S2 bus/JB Central Line bus number 727/Maju bus number 10/Causeway Link CT1 bus from the JB Sentral's bus bays facing Jalan Jim Quee (starting point) or from the bus stop opposite City Square at Jalan Wong Ah Fook. For the return leg, the buses do not go past City Square; they all terminate at JB Sentral's bus bays. The one-way fare is RM1.30. The Causeway Link CT1 bus does not pass by here on its return leg. Causeway Link's No. 22 goes between JB Sentral and the ZON complex en route to Kampung Bakar Batu but does not go past City Square on both legs of the journey.
- Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation (JARO) Handicrafts Centre. The JARO Handicrafts Centre sells hand-made products such as rattan baskets, customised book-binds, batik handbags, denim shopping bags, patchwork bed linen, soft toys, etc. all produced by the physically-disabled people. JARO is a charitable organisation that provides vocational training and paid jobs for the physically-disabled.
- AEON Tebrau City, No 1, Jalan Desa Tebrau, Taman Desa Tebrau, ☎ +60 7 352-2220. Open daily 09:30-23:00. The 2nd largest shopping mall in the city after KSL City. Almost half of the mall's three-level floor area is occupied by the JUSCO hypermarket (situated on all the 3 levels). There are numerous international fashion shops like Giordano, MNG, Esprit, Dorothy Perkins. A full range of dining options is available. It is at the junction of Tebrau Highway (also known as Jalan Pandan) and Jalan Desa Tebrau, about 12.5 km north of the CIQ. There are many buses going there from the bus stop opposite City Square at Jalan Wong Ah Fook. Take any bus that goes to Kota Tinggi or Ulu Tiram, e.g Maju 227, Causeway Link 6B. The one-way bus fare is RM2.40 or RM2.50. A metered taxi fare will cost you about RM16 (Do not take the blue taxis waiting at the Jusco taxi rank- they have turbo meters that jump very fast and will charge you an outrageous sum eg RM30 to go to City Square - when the fare shouldn't be more than RM20, even if it is raining. You'll be better trying to flag down a passing taxi at the main road)
- Plaza Larkin, Jl Geruda, (opposite the Larkin Bus Terminal). This is a place for those interested in the latest fashions, with its number of clothing boutiques. There is an Internet cafe, a computer shop and a money changer on the first level. Also in the same building on the first level is food court (Selera Johor 'Johore delights'; see 'Eat, budget, hawker centres' section) that serves mostly Johorian cuisine.
- Sutera Mall, 1 Jl Sutera Tanjung 8/4, Taman Sutera Utama, Skudai. 3-level shopping mall 12 km from the city centre. The main tenant here is the Carrefour hypermarket. Open daily 10.30-22:30. Free parking. There is a bus interchange adjacent to the mall (bus numbers: IM03 from/to Jl Tampoi in Johor Bahru and CW3S/CW4S from/to Jurong East Interchange in Singapore).
JB is a popular destination for budget-conscious visitors from Singapore, as most dishes are half price at this side of the border. Most of the food stalls and dining spots come alive when night falls over the city. Common dishes include seafood and some Johor specialities like laksa and mee rebus. The adventurous can head for the stalls at Lido Beach and Stulang Laut to try the local favourites and hawker fare.
Do beware of menus without prices, especially when ordering seafood, or you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
There are quite a number of pusat penjaja or hawker centres across Johor Bahru. Hawker centres are basically a collection of pushcart, van or fixed stall vendors selling food or drinks in one particular area. Food and drinks are sold cheaply in these areas. Among the more well-known hawker centres are as follow:
- Tepian Tebrau (intersection of Jl Mohammad Amin and Jalan Sungai Chat, about 500 m southwest of the Thistle Hotel and 3.5 km west of the Causeway). Stalls open daily 12:00-17:00 - most of them open at or after 15:00 - and close 21:00-23:59.. 32 fixed stalls underneath a long and narrow open-air shed serving a catch-all of Malaysian food. It is famous for its seafood, especially ikan bakar (grilled fish).
- Selera Johor Johore delights Food Court, Jl Geruda (beside Plaza Larkin, across the road from the Larkin bus terminal). 22 fixed food and drink stalls serving, as the name suggests, mostly Johorian cuisine.
- Medan Steamboat Luton Van Dataran Bandaraya, Jalan Abdul Samad. It is located just beside the Dataran Bandaraya (3km west of the Causeway) - the building with the distinctive yellow clock tower. This is an open-air hawker centre with almost 20 van stalls, with tables and chairs under plastic shelters. It specializes in 'steamboat', which is actually pieces of meat, seafood or vegetables on wooden skewers cooked in boiling water and then eaten with sauces. Daily typically 18:00-02:00.
- Medan Selera Sungai Chat, intersection of Jl Abu Bakar and Jl Sungai Chat (about 500 m southwest of the Thistle Hotel and 3.5 km west of the Causeway). 8 fixed stalls, some of them specialising in ikan bakar (grilled fish). Open-air seating underneath plastic shelters.
- Medan Selera Meldrum Walk, (along Meldrum Walk, a pedestrianised street between Jl Siu Koon and Jl Stesyen, runs parallel to Jl Meldrum and Jl Wong Ah Fook). 90 food and drinks pushcart stalls to choose from, all serving Malaysian (Chinese, Malay, Indian) cuisine. The disadvantage is that the tables and chairs are all in the open air. Stalls open from the late afternoon onwards.
- Pusat Penjaja Taman Sri Tebrau, (on the south side of Jalan Keris, 200-300 m east of the Tebrau Highway-Jl Keris junction and Crystal Crown Hotel respectively. 3km north of the CIQ). Hawker centre with 118 fixed stalls.
- Pusat Penjaja Jalan Perang Taman Pelangi, (at the junction of Jl Perang and Jl Sri Pelangi, just opposite a big mosque - Masjid Jamek Taqwa Taman Pelangi - with a golden, onion-shaped dome). Hawker centre with 20 pushcart stalls, 300-400 m southwest of the Pelangi Leisure Mall. One of the hawkers sells satay sticks for RM0.60 each, peanut sauce and cucumbers included. There is another stall serving clay pot chicken rice for RM6.50 each.
- Restoran ZZ, 20B Jalan Sungai Chat, ☎ +60 7 224-0417. It is at the end of this road, and just before the start of Jalan Mahmoodiah, behind the Sultanah Aminah Hospital, only 200m east of the Thistle Hotel. Popular low-key eatery serving Malay and Thai dishes, with a total of 60 items on its menu. Besides ordering full-plate or full-bowl dishes (different menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner), you can also get servings from the more than 20 dishes on the buffet counters (self-service) - you will be charged accordingly for each of these servings. There is no government tax or service charge. No air-con, seating capacity for about 100 persons. M-F 06:30-23:00, Sa-Su 06:30-16:00.
- Mee Rebus Stulang. k21 Selera Johor Johore Delights Food Court, beside Plaza Larkin (since late 2010) and across the road from the Larkin bus terminal at Jalan Geruda. This Malay-operated mee rebus outlet used to operate out of a van, with tables and chairs underneath a large shade, at the car park behind the grey Open University (Universiti Terbuka Malaysia) building. It costs RM3.50 for the normal ('biasa') plate, RM4.00 for the large ('besar') plate and RM5.00 for the special plate which has toppings of boiled prawns and mushrooms. Daily 08:00-22:00.
- Nasi Lemak Senibong. Located in Kampung Senibong, it has been serving one of the best Nasi Lemak in Johor Bahru. Costing RM4 per plate, it consists of coconut-flavoured rice, chicken (comes in three flavours), an egg and sambal (traditional Malay chili sauce).
- Restoran Mustika Zamzam, Jalan Datuk Abdullah Tahir (between the Restoran Carabao and the New York Hotel). This restaurant serves mostly local cuisine such as mee goreng, chicken/beef/mutton murtabak, naan, capati, nasi beriani ayam/daging/ikan/kambing (chicken/beef/fish/mutton), nasi campur, nasi goreng, nasi kandar, nasi lemak, roti (23 types), chicken/beef/mutton soup, tandoori chicken, tosai (7 types), etc. The restaurant has 2 flat-screen cable TVs and a bigger white screen with cable TV projector. Open 24 hrs and no air-con.
- Restoran E & Y, 1 Jalan Maju, Taman Pelangi, ☎ +60 7-3322786. This restaurant serves cheap Malay and Mamak food. There is no government tax or service charge. No air-con. Free Wi-Fi Internet access. Open 24hr. There is another outlet (also open 24 hrs and no air-con) at the junction of Jalan Lingkaran Dalam and Jalan Ah Siang, right beside the Menara MSC Cyberport skycraper. This outlet has a more extensive menu than the one at Taman Pelangi, and some of its dishes have different prices compared to similar dishes at Taman Pelangi.
- Restoran Seri Madina, at the junction of Jalan Siu Nam and Jalan Meldrum. Mamak, halal restaurant in the heart of the city, serving Mamak and Malay cuisine such as biryani, murtabak, mee goreng, nasi goreng, roti etc. There is no government tax or service tax. Open daily 24hr and no air-con.
- Restoran Yasin, 4, Jalan Sungai Chat (Wisma M.T.P. Abdul Kadir, just opposite and east of the Thistle Hotel). This restaurant serves cheap Malay and Mamak food. There is no government tax or service charge. It has an air-con and a non air-con section. The air-con section is open from 10AM to 10PM daily. There is a flat-screen cable TV in the non air-con section. The non air-con section is open 24 hrs daily.
- Kedai Makanan Mee Hoon Kueh, 56 JL Sutera (on the south side of this street), 600 m east of the Jl Sutera-Tebrau Highway junction. 4 different varieties of the mee hoon kueh dish. It also serves curry mee . There is no government tax or service charge. air-con. Tu-Su 12:30-22:00 .
- Restoran Yi Bao, 5 Jl Maju, (across the street from Plaza Pelangi). 'Mee hoon kueh' is the only dish served here, it is a popular Chinese delicacy where pieces of flour cake, meatballs, mincemeat, vegetables, fragrantly deep-fried anchovies and eggs are cooked in a thick soup. A noodle version is also available. Expect large crowds of office-going workers during lunch hours and it can get very crowded on weekends. Non-halal. Open M-W, F-Su 09:30-22:00, closed Th.
- Restoran Shang Ji, JL Lumba Kuda. 4 main stalls, two of which (Cathay laksa and duck noodles). Cathay laksa (small/big serving RM4/5); beef noodles (RM7); duck noodles (small/big serving RM4/5); fish ball soup RM5/fish slice soup RM6-8. There is no government tax or service charge. No air-con. Open Tu-Su 07:30-16:00. Any of the main stalls can close as early as 13:00 if all their food has been sold out. The very famous beef noodle stall vendor who used to operate under the name of Kedai Makanan dan Minuman Ang Kim Chwee in the adjacent building on the same side of the road for almost four decades and for a few months in this restaurant retired and closed his stall permanently in the first half of 2011.
- Woon Kiang Restaurant, Jl Stulang Darat (150 m southwest of the T junction comprising this road, Jl Stulang Laut and Jl Pasir Pelangi). Johor Bahru style kuay teow kia, boiled in a herbal-like soup and served with pig offal, braised duck meat, preserved salted vegetables, braised half-boiled eggs and various types of beancurd. Closed Su.
- W.W. Laksa House, 36A and 36A1, Jalan Kolam Ayer (beside the 7-Eleven store and 300-400m north of the Kolam Ayer mosque). Tel: +60 12 799 0979/727 3755. As the name suggests, it specializes in laksa. It also serves 'dry mee' and 'mee soup' for the same prices. There is no government tax or service charge. No air-con. Open daily 07:00-16:00, closed on alternate Tuesdays.
- Restoran Yew Swee, 64, Jalan Harimau Tarum (located in a very long row of shophouses on the west edge of the Tebrau Highway), opposite the vast, empty field (Taman Tebrau Jaya) that just abuts the north side of Plaza Pelangi. Laksa, mee hoon kuih, dry mee or mee soup. There is no government tax or service charge. No air-con. Open M-Sa 08:00-17:00.
If you can get up early in the morning there are 2 different types of roti canai that you may try out in Johor that should not be available in other states. 'Roti canai' is a flat piece of fried dough that is served with different types of curries depending on your mood. One is located near the new CIQ building near Kim Teng Park. This version is very thick and extra crispy and the chili paste that comes with it is to die for. It is advisable to ask for directions first as it is only accessible by car. The other 'roti canai' is located at Century Garden near the Honda showroom in front of the MAA building. These are tiny, light and fluffy versions of the original 'roti canai' and it comes with a small bowl of savoury sardine-mixture to go with it. Both are reasonably priced and you should not miss them.
There are three relatively large chains of Mamak restaurants across Johor Bahru, namely Ayub, Sri Alam and Habib. They all serve similar food like roti canai, nasi lemak and mee goreng. In general they are located all across town. Just ask a local person, and they will gladly point you to the right direction.
- Restoran Nilla, No.3, Jalan Ungku Puan, ☎ +60 7 227-5722. main branch (no air-con) daily 24 hr, other branches daily 07:00-22:00. Restaurant with 5 branches (self-proclaimed as "the best banana-leaf food in town") offering South Indian meals. Excellent and friendly service. The menu (140 items) is displayed on one of the walls inside the restaurant. Indian sweets are also sold here, on a per piece basis. There is no government tax or service charge. There is another branch (no air-con) at 109 Jalan Trus just around the corner - it is 30 m southwest of the main branch at Jalan Ungku Puan.
- Restoran Hameed's, level 2 ZON Mall, at the end of Jalan Ibrahim Sultan. This is a Mamak restaurant serving local Malay/Indian dishes. There is no government tax or service charge. Open daily 8AM to 8PM.
- Madam Chang's Nyonya Cafe, No.10G Jalan Bestari 6/2, Taman Nusa Bestari (right opposite of Tesco Bukit Indah), ☎ +60 12 758 7932. Tu-F 11:00-15:00, 17:00-21:00; Sa Su 09:00-15:00, 17:00-22:00. Nyonya food.
- Dann's Cafe. at Taman Daya. A popular place for good Johor laksa, Hyderabad biryani rice, mee siam Kuah.
- Dewi's Moghul Biryani and Penang Assam laksa. (located at Taman Molek near Standard Chartered Bank). It serves tasty biryani and asam laksa.
- Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory, 13 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee (at the junction of Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and Jalan Trus), ☎ +60 7 223-1703. This traditional bakery located in the heart of the city is more than 80 years old. The bread has been baked the same way since it was founded in 1928, in a firewood oven which dominates the little shop. The business is now run by the founder's children and grandchildren. Breads and cakes are ready piping-hot from the oven at around 1230pm and 230pm respectively. There are no additives added to any of the breads and cakes. The products must be consumed within three days of purchase because no preservatives are used. Preparation of the breads and cakes for baking start at around 8AM. The shop is only open (Monday to Saturday) for business from 12:30PM to 6PM. Closed on Sundays.
- Restoran Bamboo, 1 Jl Sutera 1, Taman Sentosa (3 km north of the CIQ), ☎ +60 7 331-3180. 2-storey, air-con, non-halal Chinese restaurant well-known for its "emperor's paper wrapped chicken"-a whole, spring chicken wrapped in both aluminium foil (outside) and paper (inside), baked in the oven for hours. Economical set lunch (daily 11:00-17:00). It has two other outlets in the city: 47 Jl Bayu Puteri 1/3, Taman Bayu Puteri; 70 Jl Sutera Tanjung 8/3 Taman Sutera Utama (Skudai). Prices at the Taman Sentosa outlet are not subject to government tax or service charge but prices at the other two outlets are subject only to a 6% government tax.
- Restaurant Teck Sing, 3 and 5, Jl Sutera 1, Taman Sentosa, ☎ +60 7 334-7025. It has signature dishes: Teck sing paper baked chicken and curry fish head. There is no government tax or service charge. air-con. Daily 11:00-21:00
- Restoran Sing Kee, 124-126, Jl Cengai, Taman Melodies, (at the junction of this road and Jl Meranti, 3.5 km north of the CIQ). Serving the local community for nearly 20 years. Its signature dish is the curry fish head. air-con, Tu-Su 11:30-15:00, 17.30-21.30.
- Master Yong Abalone, 39, Jl Molek 2/1, Taman Molek, ☎ +60 12 708-9069, +60 7 352-6448. The first and only restaurant in Malaysia to serve whole abalones with 'kuay teow' soup dishes. A unique dish specially prepared by chef 'Master Yong' chef is 'Abalone Cube Medley in Volcano Stone Pot'. Other Chinese dishes are available too. There is no government tax or service charge. air-con. Daily 10:00-22:00.
- San Low Seafood Restaurant, Jl Biru,Taman Pelangi (less than 200 m from the southeastern end of this street), ☎ +60 7 332-3869, +60 7 334-3623, . Its specialties are: assam fish and steamed fish, chili and black pepper crab, fried clams, dry fried mee hoon and a unique dessert called teow chew yam (RM16, medium only). There is no government tax or service charge. Tables and chairs underneath a giant shed, no air-con. Daily 16:30-01:00.
- Restoran Pekin, 38, Jalan Baldu 5, Taman Sentosa. Tel: +60 7-333 2928, +60 7-332 0902. This is a Chinese restaurant that has been around for more than 20 years. It still serves up piping hot Chinese food favored by both locals and Singaporeans. It specializes in seafood as well as soups and desserts. Supreme abalone 98RM per person. All prices are subject to 6% government tax. Open daily 11AM to 11PM. It has another branch at: Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4, Sutera Utamabiz Centre, Taman Sutera Utama 81300 Skudai
- AK Noodles House, Lot J2-12, Level 2 City Square, ☎ +60 7-221 1843, fax: +60 7-221 1843. This a well-known fish ball noodle specialist established in Johor Bahru whose specially made pure fish balls contain no preservatives. There is no government tax or service charge at the City Square outlet, which is open daily from 10AM to 9PM. The main branch ('Ah Koong Restaurant') at 266, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa also serves steamboat. There is another outlet at 42 & 44, Jalan Jati 1, Tmn Nusa Bestari Jaya, Skudai.
- Restoran Amma, 164-A/B Jalan Ngee Heng (opposite Tropical Inn and Landmark IT Mall), ☎ +60 7-2211909, fax: +60 7-2244909. Indian restaurant right in the heart of the city. It serves biryani, tandoori, tosai, roti dishes, etc. There is no government tax or service charge. Open daily 730am to 1030pm. Halal and air-con.
- IT ROO Cafe, ☎ +60 7 222 7780. 17 Jalan Dhoby (at the junction of this street and Jalan Pahang, and occupies a 2-storey corner shophouse). Established in 1961. Rated as serving "the best chicken chop in town" in 2003 by Malaysia's The Star newspaper. Takeaway surcharge 0.50 RM per item. There is no government tax or service charge. Open daily 12PM to 10PM (last order 9:30PM), including on some public holidays. Air-con inside and there is outdoor seating available.
- Teh Sarabat, Unit J3-05 and 05A, City Square Level 3, 106-108 Jalan Wong Ah Fook. It serves a large range of Malaysian (especially Malay and Mamak) dishes. There are 77 food items and 26 beverage items to choose from the partly illustrated cardboard menu. In addition, there are other special dishes written under 'today's special' on the white board at the restaurant's entrance. Its house specialties include Sarabat laksa, Sarabat rojak, Sarabat Nasi Lemak set and kari kepala ikan. Note that roti canai, tosai and murtabak are only available until 11:30AM and from 3PM onwards. All items are subject only to a 5 percent service charge. Open 10AM to 10PM daily. Free Wi-Fi Internet access in the restaurant.
- D'Terrace BBQ Steamboat, 9 Jalan Kolam Ayer 80100 (at the junction of this road and Jalan Mohd Amin), ☎ +60 12-756 5693, +60 12-710 7251, +60 12-715 5223, +60 17-779 7251. This BBQ steamboat restaurant (next to the Restoran Malay Village) opened on 1 Jan, 2010 and is 1.1km or about 10 minutes' walk northwest of the Thistle Hotel, 100m south of the Kolam Ayer Mosque. It only serves all-you-can-eat BBQ steamboat buffet meals. Outdoor and indoor (air-con) seating are both available. The steamboat menu (about 60 items). Besides, you can help yourself to unlimited servings of cooked white rice, porridge, cold drinks and cut fruits. 1 free ice-cream stick per diner. Halal; Open daily 5PM to 12 midnite.
- Restoran Anjung Warisan, Taman Seni Budaya Negeri Johor (beside the Yayasan Warisan building), 296-A Jalan Petri (Kampung Tarum), 200m east of the Jalan Petri/Jalan Abdul Samad junction and 1.3km north of the Thistle Hotel. E-mail email@example.com. A popular and unique restaurant serving Malay and Western cuisine. Diners can either remove their shoes and sit cross-legged on the floor for a traditional Malay style meal, or sit at Western-style tables with normal chairs. The Western-style tables are at ground level while cross-legged seating is found in the upper-level and ground-level wooden platforms surrounding bare tree trunks. There is even a nightly angklung (musical instruments consisting of bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame) performance by a solo performer every night, starting from 7:30PM. You should book in advance to get a seat in the upper-level platforms. There is a car park (free parking) beside the restaurant.
- Anna's Kitchen, No.18K Jalan Abdul Samad. It is right across the street from the Villa de la Rose service apartment building, about 500m north of the Thistle Hotel and 350m northwest of the Jalan Abdul Samad/Jalan Lingkaran Dalam junction. The entrance is inconspicuous (look to your right as you walk northwest along Jalan Abdul Samad from the Thistle Hotel) and the restaurant is actually about 2.5m below street level at the basement of a row of shop houses. Established in 2005. The restaurant serves a variety of Oriental delicacies and Western staples. It also offers fusion delights. Among the restaurant's best dish is the deep-fried Cordon Bleu squid (RM29.90++). Open Mon to Sat 1330 to midnite, closed on Sundays. Tel +60 7-2242168.
- Selasih Rrestaurant, Persada Johor International Convention Centre, Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim, ☎ +60 7-219 8888. (ext 7389). Upmarket restaurant specializing in Johorean cuisine; it also serves specialties from other parts of Malaysia. Open 1130am to 1030pm daily. Daily executive set lunch 35RM++ per person. There is a steamboat buffet dinner (8.30 to 10:30PM) only on Thu, Fri and Sat for 45RM++ per person.
- Chakra Restaurant, No. 1, Jalan Yusof Taha (150m southwest of the junction of Jalan Lingkaran Dalam and Jalan Yahya Awal), fax: +60 7 223 9991. Open daily 11AM to 3:30PM, 6 to 10:30PM. email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Housed in a converted 2-storey, colonial bungalow built about 120 years ago, it has been in operation for more than 60 years. It serves cuisine from all parts of the Indian subcontinent. It also offers catering services.
- Chez Papa French Bistro and Wine Room, 38 and 40 Jalan Jaya, Taman Maju Jaya (100m north of Plaza Pelangi), ☎ +60 7-3334988, fax: +60 7-2373888, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Authentic French cuisine and a fine selection of wines. Established in 1999 by Dominique Muller. The restaurant also offers a cosy and intimate wine bar with music. Dinner from 6PM to 10:30PM (last order), closed on Sundays. Wine, cocktails and tapas from 5PM to 12AM, closed on Sundays. The Wine Room has a wine list of more than 80 wines, over 20 different types of imported beer, serves cocktails and tapas.
- Gianni's Trattoria, 110 Jalan Serampang Taman Pelangi (mid-way between the Tebrau Highway and Pelangi Leisure Mall), ☎ +60 7 331 2230, fax: +60 7 331 7230, e-mail: email@example.com. Fantastic Italian Cuisine. Pizzas (each of these are of one size only), pastas, soups, meat and fish dishes, appetizers. Daily set lunch consisting of soup, main course and iced lemon tea at 25RM++ (weekends) and 22RM++ (weekdays). Open daily 11AM to 11PM.
- Il Giardino, 65A Jalan Perang (200m south of Pelangi Leisure Mall). Italian cuisine, the cheapest of the five Italian restaurants in Johor Bahru; pasta 12.90-17.90 RM, pizza 12.90-18.90 RM, fish and meat dishes 13.90-32.90 RM. All prices are subject to 10% service charge. Open 12PM to 10PM Mon and Wed-Fri, 12PM to 10:30PM Sat-Sun, closed Tue. Free Wi-Fi Internet access.
- Rosmarino, 123 Jalan Damai, tel +60 7-222 7123 (located on the ground floor of a unit of a row of three-storey white-colored shophouses, approximately 400m northeast of the junction of Jalan Lingkaran Dalam and Jalan Setulang Darat). Authentic Italian dishes like ossobuco. 18-30 RM++. Open Tue to Fri and Sun 1200-1430, 1800-2230; Sat 1800-2230; closed on Mon.
- Meisan Szechuan Restaurant, Located on the second level of the Mutiara Hotel, along Jalan Dato' Sulaiman. It has been in business for over 20 years. The restaurant is well known for its popular spicy Szechuan cuisine. This charming restaurant has a very unique setting. Its rich, dark wood-paneled wall and latticed screens are subtly detailed in gold to project the charm of old-world China. 5-course individual set meals at 35, 45 or 55 RM++ per person. Open daily: lunch from 11:30AM to 2:30PM, dinner from 6:30PM to 10:30PM
- Restoran New Hong Kong, Located at 69-A Jalan Ibrahim Sultan (next to the orange-colored Heritage Hotel) and housed in a green two-storey building, about 20m east of the T-junction consisting of Jalan Ibrahim Sultan, Jalan Tanjung Puteri and Jalan Lingkaran Dalam. It was established in 1954. Probably one of the best Chinese restaurants in Johor Bahru. Their hot sweet yam paste dessert with pumpkin is highly recommended, albeit a little steep (RM8++ per bowl). Their appetizer (RM 2.60++), a cucumber dish in sauce, is also very good. There are lao po bing (wife cakes) available for takeaway here. The traditional flavour costs 90 sen and the red bean flavour costs RM 1.10. The traditional flavour is recommended over the red bean flavour. Open daily 11AM-2:45PM (Sun 9AM-2:45PM), 6PM-9:45PM; Visa/MasterCard accepted.
- Grand Straits Garden Seafood Restaurant, No.3, Jalan Persiaran Danga, Danga Bay, ☎ +60 7-2388118, fax: +60 7-2375799, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-seafood dishes are also served here. The complete a la carte menu is listed in the restaurant website. 'Super value Menus' (for 8-10 persons) - set menu A 398RM++ and set menu B 498RM++ per table. Wedding meal packages can be booked with the restaurant. Indoors and outdoors seating available. Open daily 11:30AM to 12AM.
- Kong Inn Seafood Restaurant, 155&155A/157&157A, Jalan Sutera (at the junction of this road and Jalan Songkit 5), Taman Sentosa, tel: +07-334 3232 fax: +07-333 1566, , email: email@example.com. Besides seafood, this 2-storey restaurant also serves noodle dishes, vegetables dishes, bean curd dishes, chicken dishes, pork dishes, etc. Meal packages (10 persons) for Chinese New Year, weddings, birthdays, etc. are available. All prices are subject to a 6% government tax and a 6% service charge. Aircon and open daily 1130am to 3PM and 530pm to 11PM. There are two other outlets at Danga Bay and at 23, Jalan Kampung Jawa, Masai (tel: +07-387 7330).
- Bert's Keller, 23 Jalan Pelanduk, Taman Century, ☎ +60 7 335-8788. Few pubs in the city can boast of being around for more than 20 years. Since 1986, Bert’s has been the favourite watering hole for regulars who know how to enjoy a few laughs in good company. A cosy and intimate, no-nonsense pub. Bert’s Keller has a small menu that is big on quality and portions, serving chicken chop, lamb chop, oxtail stew, stir-fried noodles, etc. Its signature oxtail stew comes with a side of toast. This special stew is served a day after the meat has been steeped in its sauces and is so tender that it is ready to fall off the bones. Live music on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Open daily 16:00-01:00.
- Duty Free Zone, Stulang Laut at the end of Jalan Ibrahim Sultan. Kill two birds with one stone by having cheap local food in numerous eateries along Jalan Ibrahim Sultan (all less than 400m from the Duty Free Complex) and an alcoholic drink within the Duty Free Complex at the end of this road. Locals and foreigners are allowed to buy as much alcohol as they want, but must pay duty at the customs office for any alcohol that is brought out of the complex. You can savour alcohol in the various pubs or in the Palm Lounge hotel bar (level 5) at the ZON Regency Hotel by the Sea (formerly Eden Garden Hotel), all of them located in the Duty Free Zone building complex. Alcoholic drinks in pubs and restaurants in the ZON are scarcely cheaper than outside (July 2015).The only way to drink cheaply is to buy cheap drinks at the duty free shop (about a third of the price in 7/11) and sit outside on the hotel steps drinking. Cheap it may be, atmospheric it is not.
- T.G.I. Friday's, Wisma JOTIC, Jalan Ayer Molek, ☎ +60 7 221-3380. American restaurant chain focusing on casual dining. It is conveniently located in the same building as the tourist office and 400 m east of the Abu Bakar Museum. It serves various alcoholic drinks, and various American, Italian and Mexican dishes in cheerful, air-con surroundings.
There is plenty of accommodation in Johor Bahru to suit all budgets. The cost of a double room in a budget hotel right in the city centre (i.e. around Jalan Meldrum, between Jalan Tun Abdul Razak and Jalan Wong Ah Fook near City Square) starts from RM50 net per room per night. In general, the budget hotels outside the city centre are cheaper. Backpacker hostels with dormitories (dorms) are not as commonly found in Johor Bahru as in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown.
- Cosy Inn, 38-ABC, Jl Jaya, Taman Maju Jaya, ☎ +60 7-3353388. Single room/double room with air-con, TV, attached shower but shared toilets - 40/45 RM net per room per night. Double room with air-con, TV and attached bathroom - 55 RM net per room per night. There is no Wi-Fi or wired Internet access. No breakfast is provided. Cash payment only.
- Dragon Inn Hotel, 12-12D Jl Meldrum, ☎ +60 7-2244950. All 37 rooms are air-conditioned, have satellite TV and attached bathrooms. Laundry service, free Wi-Fi Internet access throughout and 24-hr CCTV security system. No breakfast is provided. Cash payment only. Double/triple/quadruple room - 98/108/128 RM net per room per night.
- Hotel 193, 193 Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Century, ☎ +60 7-331 2333. 2-storey hotel less than 500m east of Holiday Plaza. All rooms with attached bathroom, TV and aircon. There is no wired Internet access but guests are entitled to free Wi-Fi Internet access. No breakfast is provided. RM50-75.
- Hotel CIQ, 54 Jalan Lumba Kuda, ☎ +60 7-222 2211, fax: +60 7-223 3211, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 25-room, 4-storey budget hotel that opened in July 2010. Single/superior double/deluxe double or triple room 68/88/108 RM net per room per night. Long-term rates per 30 nights and 3-hour rates are available. All rooms with air-con, 32-inch color LCD TV and attached bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi Internet access for guests. No breakfast is provided. Credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted.
- Hotel Kelana, 22 Jln Besi 1, Skudai, ☎ +60 7556-2050, fax: +60 7-5581488. One of the popular budget hotels near the Malaysian University of Technology (UTM). Rooms start from RM 45, with hot water shower, AC and in-room TV. Some 15km from the Johor Bahru city centre but buses to/from the city are aplenty.
- Johor Bahru Guest House, 14, Jalan Songkit 1, Taman Sentosa, ☎ +60 12-713 8930. 2-storey guesthouse with 5 private rooms for rent, located 3.5 km north of the CIQ. All rooms with queen-sized bed, private bathroom with hot shower, ceiling fan, air conditioner and free Wi-Fi. Fresh linen and towels are provided. Facilities (free of charge): fully equipped common kitchen, washing machine with free detergent, iron and hair dryer, use of desktop computer with Internet and printer. No breakfast is provided. Cash payment only. RM40-60.
- Jomi Homestay, 2H Jalan Inche Besar Zubaidah (at the junction of this street/Lorong 4 Jalan Yahya Awal/Jalan Mariamah, 1km southwest of Danga City Mall), ☎ +60 7-226 7188, e-mail: email@example.com. Breakfast not included in the room rates. Free Wi-Fi Internet access. All rooms with fans and shared bathrooms (hot and cold showers). It has a kitchen. Laundry Facilities (RM 5). Cash payment only. Dorm RM15, private rooms RM25-40.
- Meldrum Hotel, 1 Jalan Siu Nam (junction of Jalan Siu Nam & Jalan Meldrum), ☎ +60 7-227-8988. Private rooms all come with air-con, attached shower/toilet (except the cheapest double room - only attached shower), telephone and color 20" TV with remote control. This is currently the only hotel in the Jalan Meldrum area with a dormitory (8 persons, double-decked beds, bathroom outside the dormitory). Complimentary mineral water. Free Wi-Fi only for the superior double rooms that cost 100 RM net per night. All guests must pay a refundable deposit of 30 RM per room (for private rooms) or 30 RM per person (for the dormitory) upon check in. Dorms RM40, private rooms RM70 and up.
- Neverland Hotel, 2 Jalan Abiad, Taman Pelangi (300m northeast of Plaza Pelangi), ☎ +60 7-333 8223. All rooms with attached bathrooms (hair dryers inside), air-con, minibar, electronic safe, writing table, complimentary coffee and tea making facilities, LCD cable TV and telephone. No breakfast is served. Facilities: free Wi-Fi and there are three PCs in the lobby with free, wired Internet access; iron and ironing board (upon request), laundry, and 24-hr CCTV. Credit cards are accepted. Double rooms RM90.
- T-Hotel, 94 Jalan Wong Ah Fook, ☎ +60 7 221 1972, fax: +60 7 221 1462, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. All rooms with attached bathroom, TV with selected Astro satellite channels, air-con, free Wi-Fi, IDD telephone, coffee and tea making facilities, daily newspaper, hairdryer and iron. There is a hot and cold water dispenser on each floor corridor. Daily housekeeping, laundry service, concierge, elevator and 24-hr CCTV surveillance. No breakfast is provided. Credit cards are accepted. Singles RM85-115, doubles RM100-150.
- Tune Hotel, Lot PTB 22819, Jalan Skudai, Danga Bay. 6-storey, 218-room, no-frills, chain hotel. All rooms are double-occupancy and have attached bathrooms, with either 1 queen-sized bed or 2 single beds. The basic room rate will get you: ensuite bathrooms with heated showers, a ceiling fan and an electronic key card. The following are optional, chargeable add-ons: air-con, in-room Wi-Fi, TV with satellite channels, towel/bath essentials. There are 24h CCTV security, a car park and reception staff on duty 24 hours. Luggage storage RM2 per piece per day. No breakfast is provided. Credit cards are accepted. RM45-60.
- Aman Sari Hotel City Centre, 49 Jl Wong Ah Fook, ☎ +60 7 219 7777. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 12noon. 263-room hotel opened in 2012. All rooms with air-con, coffee/tea maker, television LCD/plasma screen with satellite/cable TV, refrigerator, attached bathrooms, safe deposit box, and Wi-Fi. Facilities: spa, cafe, pub/lounge, meeting rooms, car park. From RM 160 nett per room per night.
- Bliss Boutique Hotel, 50 Jalan Jaya, Taman Maju Jaya (250m north of Plaza Pelangi), ☎ +60 7 3327188. Buffet breakfast and unlimited free Wi-Fi (in the lobby and all the rooms) are included in the rates. There are two computers (with free Internet access) in the lobby for the guests to use. Hotel facilities: restaurant, wine and cigar bar, business centre, meeting area, indoor mini-garden with skylight. All major credit cards are accepted. Single room 98RM++, double room 128/148/168RM++.
- Citrus Hotel Johor Bahru, 16 Jln Station (Opposite City Square shopping mall), ☎ +60 7 222 2888, fax: +60 7 221 2411, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 1400, check-out: 1200. All rooms have air-con, TV with cable and satellite TV channels, IDD telephone, free Wi-Fi and ensuite, fully-equipped bathrooms, personal electronic safe and wardrobe. Walking distance to the famous pedestrian street, Meldrum Walk, and within easy reach of the CIQ (Customs Immigration Quarantine) Complex as well as Singapore bound and local taxi stands. Price start from RM 120.
- Tropical Inn, 15 Jalan Gereja (next to Landmark IT Mall), ☎ +60 7 224 7888, fax: +60 7 224 1544, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Buffet breakfast is included, but only for 2 persons per room. Extra bed 45 RM net. All rooms have air-con, attached bathroom, color TV, mini refrigerator, daily newspaper. Facilities: bar, restaurant, 6 conference rooms, ballroom for 550 persons, spa, sauna, beauty parlor, shops. Wi-Fi in the rooms is chargeable at 25RM net per 24 hr. Free Wi-Fi available in the lobby and restaurant and conference rooms. RM130-220.
- Straits View Hotel, 1-D Jalan Skudai (3.5km west of the Causeway), ☎ +60 7224 1400, fax: +60 7224 2698, e-mail: email@example.com. Non-buffet continental breakfast included. All rooms have cable TV, air conditioning, direct dial telephone, refrigerator, attached bathrooms and free Wi-Fi. Facilities: conference/function room, banquet hall/ball room, laundry service, car park. This hotel has two restaurants - Furusato Japanese Restaurant and Marina Seafood Restaurant - both on the first level. Superior room at 138RM net, deluxe room at 158RM net per room per night.
- Hotel Seri Malaysia, Jalan Langkasuka, Larkin (500 meters east of the Larkin bus terminal), ☎ +60 7-221 1002. All rooms with air-con, attached bathroom and cable TV. Free Wi-Fi but available only in the lobby. Buffet breakfast included. It has a restaurant that serves a la carte meals, and sometimes buffet lunch (12PM to 1:30PM) when there is sufficient demand for 20RM net. Other facilities: multi-function rooms, meeting roooms, courtyard, terrace garden, laundry service, convenience store, prayer room and free parking. Double/triple rooms at RM120-140/140-160.
- Hotel Selesa Johor Bahru, Junction of Jalan Datok Abdullah Tahir and Tebrau Highway. All rooms with attached bathroom, air-con, IDD telephone, color cable/satellite television, refrigerator, minibar, coffee/tea-making facilities. Amenities include gymnasium, sauna, outdoor swimming pool (on top), two restaurants, and cocktail/karaoke lounge. Wi-Fi Internet: 10.50RM net for 1 hr or 21RM net for 24 hrs. High tea buffet (only on Saturday, 2-5PM) RM 30++/15++ adult/child. RM135-150.
- New York Hotel, 22 Jalan Dato Abdullah Tahir, ☎ +60 7 331 1588. A high-rise, tranquil, business-class, 3-star hotel with 413 rooms. Facilities: indoor car park, indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, two ballrooms, two meeting rooms, Palm Garden Cafe, karaoke lounge, bistro and pub, hair salon, spa centre, reflexology centre, convenience store. All rooms have attached bathrooms with hair dryer, colour television (Astro satellite in deluxe and suite rooms), air-con, stocked mini-bar and refrigerator, daily newspaper and coffee/tea-making facilities. Wi-Fi - free only for deluxe premier rooms, otherwise chargeable at RM10 net for 2 hrs or RM20 net for 24 hrs. Complimentary parking for all deluxe rooms only. Superior room RM190, deluxe room RM230.
- Suria City Hotel, 10 Jalan Bukit Meldrum, ☎ +60 7 2231791. This hotel, 500m northeast of the Causeway, actually has two wings - South Wing and North Wing. The South Wing is a three-star, 162-room hotel. All rooms have air-con, attached bathroom, TV with Astro, wired Internet access, coffee/tea maker. Buffet breakfast is included. South Wing facilities: outdoor swimming pool, eight function rooms, business centre, restaurant, laundry service. The smaller and less expensive North Wing is located right across the road at Jalan Tenteram. All rooms with attached bathroom, air-con and TV. There is no breakfast provided and no Internet access. The only facility here is a swimming pool. South Wing RM168++, North Wing RM88++.
- Grand BlueWave Hotel, 9R, Jalan Bukit Meldrum, ☎ +60 7 221 6666. A grand and stately 20-storey (184 rooms and suites) 5-star hotel in the city centre. Free, twice-daily bus service to and from Senai International Airport only for guests. Free and unlimited wired high-speed broadband Internet access in all rooms. Free Wi-Fi in the lobby area. The hotel has the usual 5-star hotel amenities, including swimming pool, ballroom, business centre, spa, a bar and two restaurants. Normal rates start at RM190++ per room per night incl. buffet breakfast.
- M Suites Hotel, 16 Jalan Skudai (1.5km south of Danga Bay), ☎ +60 7 2211000. This is an all-suites, 5-star hotel, with 128 suites (for 2, 4 or 5 persons) ranging from 513 to 1117 square feet. The hotel is equipped with the usual 5-star facilities. Fixed-line, broadband Internet connection is available in the suites, and free Wi-Fi is available in the public areas on the ground floor. There are occasional discounts on the hotel's website offering the cheapest suites at only RM 200 per suite per night. RM310++.
- Grand Paragon Hotel, 18 Jalan Harimau (500m from the Tebrau Highway), ☎ +60 7-268 5222, fax: +60 7-268 5333, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This hotel has two restaurants: Cafe Para Para (international and local cuisine) and Kishin-Tei (Japanese cuisine). Free and unlimited Wi-Fi in all areas, and free and unlimited wired Internet access in the hotel's business centre. Standard double/deluxe double rooms cost RM280/320.
- Crystal Crown Hotel, 117 Jalan Tebrau, ☎ +60 7-333 4422, fax: +60 7-334 5505, e-mail: email@example.com. This hotel opened in 1993 has pretty decent, large rooms. Facilities: business center, massage and spa center, 24-hour coffee house, cocktail lounge, Kirishima Shuzou Japanese restaurant (daily 12PM-2:30PM, 6PM-10:30PM. All rooms have en-suite bathroom with hairdryer, air-con, color TV, coffee/tea-making facilities. Buffet breakfast is included. Internet access 10 RM net for 1 hr or 30 RM net for 24 hr. Double rooms RM200-295.
- Mutiara Hotel, Jalan Datok Sulaiman, Taman Centuri (next to Holiday Plaza), ☎ +60 7 330 0300. Though the hotel is probably the first luxury hotel in this city, it has stood the test of time and is reasonably well maintained. Extra bed 70RM++ per night per room. Buffet breakfast is included. Wired or Wi-Fi Internet access - 10 RM net per hr or 25 RM net per 24hrs. Facilities: business centre, hair salon, bistro, lounge, bar and three restaurants: Capri the Continental Restaurant, Seri Mutiara Restaurant (local and international cuisine, a la carte and buffet meals) and Meisan Szechuan Restaurant. Superior rooms RM228 per night.
- Puteri Pacific, Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim, ☎ +60 7 219 9999. Buffet breakfast is included. Wired internet access available in the rooms. Those staying in the Princess Deluxe rooms have to pay 57 RM net for 24 hours (in excess of 30 min) or 1.90 RM net per minute (30 min or less). Facilities: ballroom, business centre, swimming pool & 4 restaurants. 230RM++.
- Le Grandeur Palm Resort Johor, Jalan Persiaran Golf, off Jalan Jumbo, Senai (some 35km northwest of the city), ☎ +60 7 599 6000, fax: +60 7 599 6301, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. There are only two reasons to stay here: It is a part of the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club, and it is only three minutes drive away from Senai International Airport. 330 rooms and suites. Facilities: six food and beverage outlets, 30 function rooms, spa, souvenir shop, 8-lane bowling alley, children's playground, squash courts, outdoor tennis courts, Olympic-sized swimming pool, gymnasium, jacuzzi, sauna. RM250-1200.
- Thistle Johor Bahru, Jalan Sungai Chat, ☎ +60 7 222 1234. Rooms are large and very well maintained and it has one of the best views for hotel chains in Johor Bahru. It has two restaurants, two bars, one outdoor swimming pool and two tennis courts. Other facilities: ballroom, meeting and function rooms, banquet hall, spa. Wired Internet access available at 57RM net per 24 hrs (min. charge of 57RM). Hive Nightclub has live bands every night. Location is awkward if using public transport, with very limited selection of shops or restaurants nearby. Room rates start from RM190++ per room per night (buffet breakfast extra 20RM net per person).
- Berjaya Waterfront Hotel, 88 Jalan Ibrahim Sultan, Stulang Laut, ☎ +60 7-221 9999, fax: +60 7-221 5303. It is located within a duty free zone and shares the same building as the ZON Mall and ZON Shopping Centre. The hotel has the usual 5-star hotel amenities: spa, business centre, grand ballroom, convention and exhibition center, 6 function rooms, 2 auditoriums, shops, bar, three restaurants. Free and unlimited Wi-Fi for guests. RM240++ with buffet breakfast.
Tourists should practise some common sense when walking around.
Singaporeans like to tell horror stories of crimes in the "wild, wild North" and its former Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew once claimed that Johor Bahru is crime-ridden. As a result of the high crime rate, the number of tourists from Singapore has dropped drastically over the past few years. This could partly be due to the high profile that the Singaporean press gives to crime committed in Johor Bahru against its citizens. Even Johor Bahru citizens took to the streets in September 2007, asking for the city to take action against crime. Although the crime rate in Johor Bahru is still higher than in Singapore and elsewhere in Malaysia, things have become better since the Johor Bahru administration took action to increase the police presence and initiate several anti-crime measures - including the creation of a hotline for tourists to call should they require urgent police assistance. The number is +60 7 221-2999.
- Do not carry a handbag when walking around town. Snatch thieves have been known to snatch handbags away while their victims are walking on the street, using a motorcycle. If they do manage to grab your handbag, let them have it as some snatch thieves are known to drag their victims along the road with their motorbikes until they release their grip, almost certainly resulting in a painful and unpleasant death.
- Keep your passport safe and close to you because it is a highly prized valuable to robbers.
- Lock the car door immediately or as soon as you get into the car.
- Avoid walking around the city alone. You should walk around the city in groups of preferably 3 or more for safety.
- Stay home at night or only go to areas with good security such as malls and private clubs.
- Using restrooms in petrol kiosks after sunset is not advised. There are cases of armed robbers hiding within the restroom waiting for victims.
In the event that you DO get robbed, it is likely that the robber would be armed with a parang, a long Malay sword. You are advised to give up most, if not all, of your valuables to avoid putting your personal safety in jeopardy.
Tap water should be boiled before drinking. As a rule of thumb, the general hawker food scene in Johor Bahru is hygienic though certain areas are less so. So keep an eye out for those dirty hawkers who pay very little attention to hygiene.
- Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia. Address - No. 46, Jalan Taat (less than 20m from the junction of this street and Jalan Tun Abdul Razak).
- Consular Office of Japan. Address - Suite 15B, Level 15, Menara Ansar, 65 Jalan Trus. Telephone - +60 7 221-7621
- Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore. Address - Suite 35.02, Level 35 Johor Bahru City Square Office Tower 106-108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook. Telephone - +60 7 226-5012. Email - email@example.com.
- The official Johor Tourism Information Centre (JOTIC) at Jalan Ayer Molek (opposite the High Court building and about 1 km southwest of JB Sentral) is a tiny office on the 3rd level in a sprawling yellow building of the same name, a 10 min walk from City Square; M-F 08:00-17:00. There are three other tourist offices located at:
- Johor Bahru CIQ ('Tourist Information Centre' open daily 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00). To get there coming from Singapore, walk about 50m after clearing Malaysian immigration
- South end of Jalan Wong Ah Fook ( M-F 08:00-19:00; Sa-Su and public holidays M-F 08:00-22:30)
- JB Sentral ('Tourist Information Centre', next to the passenger waiting area on level 2 daily 09:00-18:00). You can get free brochures and maps on various destinations in West Malaysia, including free maps of JB.
- WAVES Lifestyle Magazine is a free monthly lifestyle magazine for young adults and tourists in Johor Bahru who are on the look out for fresh and trendy stuff covering topics ranging from health, fashion, food reviews, ‘Things to do in JB’, entertainment, technology, finance, community. WAVES Lifestyle Magazine can be picked up at most Information Counters at shopping malls across Johor Bahru, selected office towers, Tourism Malaysia Information Counters at JOTIC, JB Sentral, CIQ, Senai Airport.
Internet cafés in Johor Bahru are thin on the ground.
- East Point (IT products and accessories shop), 04-06A (4th level), City Square, 106-108 Jalan Wong Ah Fook. Open daily 10:30-21:30. There are 16 PC terminals. 3.50 RM per hour.
- Internet café on the first level of the Hanyasatu Hotel, 29 Jalan Meldrum. Located just beside the hotel lobby, it is open 24 hrs. 33 PC terminals, 3 RM per hour.
- Meeting Point Internet Café, No. 59 Jalan Meldrum (beside Gateway Hotel). Open daily 10:00-21:00. There are 10 PC terminals. 3 RM per hour. There is a minimum charge of 2 RM if the usage is 40 min or less; after 40 min, it is 50 sen for every 10 min.
- Pusat Komputer Surflink, 31A Jalan Wong Ah Fook (beside the overhead bridge to City Square). It is open 24 hrs and there are 14 PC terminals. 3 RM per hour. There is a minimum charge of 2 RM if the usage is 40 min or less; after 40 min, it is 10 sen for every 2 min.
- Obizcom, on the ground level of Plaza Larkin, opposite the Larkin Bus Terminal on Jalan Geruda. 2RM per hour. Open daily 10:00-22:00.
- Main post office. Jalan Datuk Onn, 800m south-west of the CIQ or about 10 minutes walk from it. Open M-Sa 08:30-17:00, closed on Sundays and the first Saturday of the month. Besides the usual postal services, it sells first day covers and sets of stamps for collection ('Presentation Packs').
- Desaru - sleepy seaside resort town located on the eastern part of Johor, about 2 hours away by car
- Nusajaya - for Legoland Malaysia
- Endau Rompin National Park
- Gunung Ledang - 1276m high mountain near the border of Johor and Malacca states, popular with trekkers, campers and students on field trips
- Gunung Pulai
- Kota Tinggi - Waterfall Park
- Kukup - a seaside town along the western part of Johor, well known for its water village which can be rented relatively cheap, and its good and reasonably priced seafood
- Mersing - in the north eastern part of Johor, about 2.5 hours drive from Johor Bahru, and the gateway to the beautiful island of Tioman
- Sibu Island - dive resort about two hours away
- Singapore - right across the Causeway
|Routes through Johor Bahru|
|Malacca (Ayer Keroh) ← Yong Peng ←||NW S||→ Singapore|
|Desaru ← Kota Tinggi ←||NE S||→ Singapore|
|Batu Pahat ← Pontian ←||W E||→ END|