Monday, August 22, 2011


Johor is peninsular Malaysia’s Southernmost state and is linked to SINGAPORE by a causeway and a bridge. The state  capital Johor Bahru, is home to world-renowned golf courses and shopping establishment. JB, as it is more popularly known is famous for its historical buildings and impressive architecture. Johor’s vast landscape is characterized  by plantations of pineapple, rubber, coconut and oil palm on the fringes of which nestle tranquil kampongs and quaint fishing  villages. Retaining much of its natural  splendors, the state has miles of golden sandy beaches and beautiful offshore islands as well as lush dipterocarp forests.

Via the North-South  Expressway, Johor Bahru is 220 km or a 4 hours drive  from Kuala Lumpur. It is  also accessible from Kuala Lumpur and several other states  such as Sabah and Sarawak by air. Bus services from  major cities and towns in the peninsula  run several times a day to Johor Bahru. The 1,038 m Singapore-Johor Causeway, is the most frequently used mode for commuting between  the two cities besides ferry, rail and alternative bridge.

The Grand Palace and royal Sultan Abu Bakar Museum:

     In 1866, Sultan Abu Bakar the father of modern Johor built the magnificent Istana Besar (grand palace) as his official residence. The North Wing today houses the Royal Sultan Abu Bakar Museum, showcasing rare and beautiful treasures from all over the world.

Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque

      On top of the hill overlooking the  straits of Johor not far from the Istana Besar, stands the magnificent Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, one of the most beautiful old mosques in Malaysia.

Gunung Ledang 

      In the north, Gungung Ledang or Mount Ophir at 1,276m provides a challenging two-day return trek passing through waterfalls and forests. At the relatively flat summit, a panoramic view of the Straits of Malacca and Sumatra coastline  can be seen on a clear day. Also, a popular picnic spot is the Gunung Ledang Waterfall, at the base of the mountain.

Endau-Rompin National Park

       Explore  the vast wilderness rainforest in  this park, one of the peninsula’s largest virgin lowland forests. It is  a major conservation area to the diversity of flora and fauna found within. There are some 26 km of jungle trails within the park, the most well-trodden path being the grueling 16km trail from Kula Jasin to Batu Hampar and Buaya Sangkut, with numerous rapids crossings, At Buaya Sangkut, be enchanted by the beautiful sight of a waterfall.


Near the peninsula’s  Southeastern tip is a 25 km beach resort destination for Johor folk and neighboring Singapore. The waters here are often conductive for swimming, waterskiing, canoeing and catamaran sailing. Enjoy recreational activities such as go-karting, golfing and ultra-light aircraft flying. The Desaru Fruit Farm is also located here and offers interesting agro-tours. Nearby is Lebam river where visitors have the opportunity to see fireflies at night. About 8 km north of Desaru is the Fishermen’s Museum at Tanjung  Balau which displays fish traps and equipment used by the local fishermen and various artifacts of the trade.

Kota Tinggi Waterfalls

       The  water cascades from a height of 36m down a steep precipice into a pool deep  enough for swimming. At the base of the fall, there are changing rooms, Camping grounds and restaurants.

Danga Bay

      Situated along the popular Lido Beach, Danga Bay is a great places to unwind, relax and just watch the city go by, Sample the delicious  fare available from the number of restaurants seving both local and international cuisine.

Johor Area Rehabilitation Organization (JARO) 

       The  Johor Area Rehabilitation Organization or JARO is located along Jalan Sungai Chat where visitors can purchase baskets, bedspreads, furniture, soft toys and various other products made by the disabled community.

Tanjung piai

       This environmental  sanctuary is also the  southernmost tip of  mainland Asia. It is made up of coastal mangroves and is home to  many species of birds. There is a park and visitor’s  complex where one can learn more about this wetland.

Nasoha Spices and Herbs Paradise

        A few kilometers from Pagoh town in the district of Muar, lies the Nasoha Spices and herbs Paradises. This 1,000 ha spice and herb  farm is home to hundreds of medicinal plants. There is also accommodation and a restaurant at the farm.

Island off Mersing

      The state’s  beautiful offshore islands, Sibu Besar, Sibu Hujung, Sibu Tengah, Sibu Kukus, Rawa, Aur, Pemanggil and Tinggi are accessible from both the Mersing and Tanjung Leman jetties, Aur Island, along with Dayang Island, Lang Island and  Pinang Island, are rated among the best diving destinations within the Johor marine Park Area. The deeper waters around the area ensure good visibility and variety of marine life. Dive rips can be booked at most dive shops on any of the Islands. Simple resorts are the order of the day on these idyllic secluded getaways, all boasting beautiful beaches with shady cool trees and clear waters.


       Johor is a delightful place to shop. There is an immense variety of goods and the state is noted for ceramics and handicrafts as well. Bazaars and open-air night markets are found thought the city. The Johor Bahru Duty Free Zone is located at Johor Bahru’s eastern waterfront area and is the largest duty free complex in Malaysia. It has a hotel and convention centre and a five-level shopping podium. There are also ferry lings to Singapore and Indonesia from here; and immigration and customs facilities.

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