Kuala Lumpur

Things to do & see

Shopping 

Johor is well known for its batik, songket, Malay garments, local paintings, pewter ware, ceramic ware, copper wares, traditional herbal products and traditional Malay musical instruments. With such diversity one will never run out of things to acquire in Johor. 

Souvenir outlets are often known to stage cultural performances and the opportunity for hands-on experience at making local handicraft. The Plaza Seni Johor Bahru for example, revels in a fiesta of art exhibitions and cultural performances. It also provides a great choice of sensational and variegated food, clothes, fashion accessories, gift shops, and a variety of exotic goods. At the Mawar House Handicraft Centre, housed in a lavishly restored house, which preserves the rich architectural heritage of Johor, you can observe how batik printing is done and get yourself some hand-drawn and dyed batik cloths, batik paintings, straw mats and other goods. The Air Hitam area is known for its pottery ware and you can also see how the pieces are produced. 

The Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation (JARO) is another location which you should check out. Here is where you can find baskets, bedspreads, furniture, soft toys and other products produced by the disabled community. 

The Johor Bahru Duty Free Zone at the waterfront area is the largest duty free complex in Malaysia. It has a hotel and convention centre; a floating restaurant with a popular nightclub; and a five-level shopping podium. There are also ferry links to Singapore and Indonesia from here; and immigration and customs facilities. You could spend the whole day here and never be bored. 

Shopping Centers and Areas 

City Square

ZON Shopping Complex

AEON Tebrau City 

Nightlife 

You won’t necessarily get your clubbing fix in Johor Bahru, but there are other “fixes” you might find. If you enjoy karaoke, this is your place to hang out. Here, there are a number of karaoke clubs along the downtown corridor and commercial area of Taman Sentosa. Most of the clubs are open officially until 1 a.m., but you can often stay later if you wish. Many who enjoy karaoke also enjoy the public aspect of being onstage, but if you want to sing in privacy, rent a private room and party til the wee hours with friends. Most patrons of the karaoke bars prefer hard liquor and beer to drink, and you are expected to consume at least something beyond the rental of the room, but if you head to the karaoke bars in the off-hours (such as the late afternoon or very early evening) you can often bring your own food to save a few dollars. 

The night markets in Asia are a draw for many tourists, and Johor Bahru offers its own version. The markets move nightly, so you’ll have to ask around to discover where to find the night market each night. Head to the night market with a stash of cash and you can eat, drink and be merry all night. Beyond food, you can purchase handcrafts, clothing, and household items. 

Sports & Recreation 

There are a variety of sports that are played in Johor with water sports being particularly popular. Other sporting events include bird watching, horse rising, jungle trekking, golfing, mountain climbing, kite flying and off-road driving. Johor Bharu offers nearby beaches, islands & theme parks. 

Johor Racing Circuit Speedsters will enjoy off-road motor sports on the grand prix tracks or off-road mud. The world-class Johor Racing Circuit frequently hosts world-class racing events. This 3.86km Johor Racing circuit in Pasir Gudang is built on undulating terrain with twelve challenging corners which will test the skills of the drivers. It is the venue for international racing events including the World Superbike, World Endurance, and the Johor Race Series for cars and bikes. This circuit is also open to all motorsport enthusiasts to sample the thrill and spill of high-speed adventure. 

Golf Golfers have lots of choices in Johor with around 30 golf courses available all across the state, 13 of which are in Johor Bahru. Whether you or a novice or a professional, these greens which range from your average 9-hole courses to the unrivalled 54-hole courses, will give you the challenge you want. Among the popular courses is Pulai Springs Resort, a member of the prestigious 50 Finest Golf Resorts in the World. The multi award winning resort is also home to the Pulai Springs Malaysian Masters, Johor State’s largest international sports and golf event which attracts top golfers from the region. The Pulai Springs Resort also offers a Spa and full M.I.C.E. facilities. Other golf resorts include Desaru Golf and Country Resort at Tanjung Penawar, 88km northeast of Johor Bahru; The Royal Johor Country Club at Taman Tasik and Palm Resort Golf & Country Club, right next to the airport in Senai. Night golfing is available at selected courses. Some of the clubhouses feature cosy dining areas, pools and ambience perfect for weddings, tournaments or meetings. Golfers are also availed with luxurious accommodation choices, making Johor a favoured golfing destination for many. 

Gunung Ledang (Ledang Mountain) Also known as Mount Ophir, Gunung Ledang is the highest mountain in Johor. According to folklore, it was the home of Puteri Gunung Ledang, a princess who captivated the heart of the Sultan of Malacca during the 15th century but turned down his proposal for marriage by setting impossible demands. Among her demands were for a golden bridge linking the Sultan’s palace in Malacca to the mountain, jars of women’s tears, seven trays of mosquitoes’ hearts and seven bowls of blood from the Sultan’s prince. 

A popular spot for avid mountain climbers, there are several trails that lead to the summit of the mountain. At its base is the Sagil Waterfall, a popular spot for picnickers. Other activities are night trekking, archery and mountain biking. Camping is also very popular with campsites made available along the trail uphill. Visitors can also visit the Gunung Ledang Recreation Forest, an eight-hectare forest reserved as a sanctuary and a water-catchment area with four waterfalls. A popular spot for picnics, this park is also a favourite venue for seminars and work camps. The adventurous can trek up to Gunung Pulai, which is about 700 metres above sea level. With all its attractions Gunung Ledang is the perfect place for nature lovers, bird watchers, jungle trekkers and picnickers. 

National Parks 

Johor has several sites which have been declared national parks. These include the lowland forest of Endau Rompin National Park (Mersing district), the legendary Gunung Ledang (Muar) and the swampy wetland sanctuary of Pulau Kukup (Pontian). Other recreational forests in Johor are Soga Perdana (Batu Pahat), about 131 km from Johor Bahru and five kilometres from Batu Pahat town; Sungai Bantang (Segamat), 80 km from Segamat town; Gunung Arong (Mersing), about 17 km from Mersing and 22 km from Endau along the Mersing-Endau road; Gunung Lambak (Kluang), about five kilometres from Kluang and 115 km from Johor Bahru; Gunung Belumut (Kluang) about 32 km from Kluang and 139 km from Johor Bahru, to name a few. 

Endau-Rompin National Park Reputedly one of the oldest rainforests in the world the Endau-Rompin national park spans across the borders of two states - Johor and Pahang - and covers an approximate area of 92,000 ha. Here a world of unique natural wonders awaits you, with fan palms which stand taller than a man, over 200mil year old rock formations, the legendary 120 metre high Buaya Sangkut waterfalls and the Endau and Rompin rivers. It is also home to the rare Sumatran Rhinos. To visit the park you need to obtain a permit from the Johor National Park Corporation or the District Office. You will also be guided by forest rangers at all times within the park. 

Tanjung Piai The southernmost tip of the Asian Continent is found at the humble Tanjung Piai site set amidst an extensive natural mangrove forest. Visit the spot and you will be issued a certificate by the Johor National Park Corporation to attest to your visit there!. In Tanjung Piai you can enjoy watching the antics of its varied and interesting inhabitants which include the multi coloured mangrove crabs, bug-eyed mud skippers and crab eating macaques. You could opt for a traditional kampong experience via the Homestay and Agrotourism projects and also indulge in the exceptional seafood in Kukup. 

Kota Tinggi Kota Tinggi along the banks of the Johor river is a popular haunt of one of nature’s amazing wonders, the firefly colonies which glow like a thousand stars on the boughs of the Berembang trees. The riverbanks are also a popular haunt for prawn fishing which you could experience by hiring a boat to take you to choice spots along the river. 

Agro-Tourism 

Agro-tourism in Johor showcases some of the more popular agricultural products in the state which includes the world’s largest Arowana aquaculture farm, the second biggest orchid farm, a unique hybrid of pineapples and a rare species of the mixed breed wild ox and domestic cow called Selembu. Other agro-tourism attractions here are herb and spice farms such as the Nasoha Spices and Herbs Paradise in Pagoh, lowland tea plantations, ostrich farms and numerous fruit orchards. The government diary farm is also a one-stop recreational spot where you can indulge in horse back riding, canoeing, boating and fishing. Other activities include Animal Farming, Veterinary Museum, Equine, Water Sports, BBQ and Farm Stay. There are several agro-tourism spots in Johor where you can get the chance to tap rubber trees, pluck mushrooms and cast fishing nets into ponds or enjoy delicious fruits! 

Orchid Valley Orchid Valley is a 40-ha. Orchid plantation located at the foot of Gunung Pulai (Mount Pulai) in the village of Kangkar Pulai Reputedly the largest tropical orchid farm in the world it has beautiful and exotic orchids from over 80 varieties. Visitors can buy cut flowers or potted plants of exotic orchid breeds while enjoying the cool, fresh air and the scenic views. Besides the orchid plantation there is also an educational corridor, research laboratory, restaurant and viewing terraces and waterfalls, lakes and fountains creating a soothing ambience. Tram rides are available for those who wish to enjoy the sights in comfort. 

Beaches in Johor state 

If you love the beach for whatever activity, Johor has a wonderful string of beaches and islands to choose from. Surrounded by water on 3 sides Johor is blessed with a beautiful coastline and these mainland beaches are easily accessible either by bus or taxi. Most of these beaches are well equipped with facilities such as car parks, restaurants, rest areas, benches, restrooms and accommodation. Equipment for boating, kayaking, jet skiing and wind surfing is also available for rent at selected beaches. 

Desaru Beach Desaru Beach, dubbed as the ‘Last Unspoiled Corner of Southeast Asia’ lies in the east coast of the Kota Tinggi district. Desaru which literally means ‘Village of Casuarinas’, offers a 26km stretch of pristine sandy beach fringed by casuarina trees and is ideal for a wide variety of activities. The stretch of beach, developed as a tourist resort by the Johor Tenggara Development Authority (Kejora), is linked to Kota Tinggi by a modern highway and has an international standard golf course and other facilities for sports such as tennis and canoeing. During weekends hawker stalls cater for an influx of day-trippers. Other nearby attractions include historical relics, a fishermen’s museum, firefly colony and fresh seafood. 

Other beautiful beaches in Kota Tinggi and their distance from Kota Tinggi town are: Teluk Mahkota Beach (Jason Bay, about 38 km); Teluk Endau Beach (about 49 km); Tanjung Balay Beach (about 62 km); Batu Layar Beach (about 71 km) and Teluk Ramunia beach (about 76km).

Apart from Kota Tinggi, Mersing also boasts some of the finest beaches. Among them are Penyabong Beach, Air Papan Beach, Teluk Buih Beach, Tenglu Beach and Tanjung Leman Beach. Mersing is also the jumping-off point for the famous Tioman Island. 

Other beaches in Johor are Stulang Laut Beach and Lido Beach (Johor Bahru), Rambah Beach (Pontian), Punggor and Minyak Beku Beaches (Batu Pahat). Lido Beach is a city beach for city dwellers to spend their evenings. Both the Punggor and Minyak Beku beaches are not suitable for swimming but ideal for enjoying the sea breeze. 

Islands nearby 

Off the coast of Johor numerous enchanting islands offer golden idyllic beaches. More than 50 islands, many of which are located in the north-eastern district of Mersing offer a variety of activities. These beautiful islands feature crystal clear waters and a diversity of marine life and magnificent coral reefs. Many have been gazetted as marine parks and are perfect for diving, snorkelling and swimming. Visitors can also indulge in jungle trekking, island hopping or watching leatherback turtles lay their eggs on the beach. 

Pulau Besar Pulau Besar, literally "Big Island" is a secluded island with beautifully private stretches of soft beaches, clear blue waters and splendid coral reefs and forested regions. Believed to be the location of Malaysia's earliest civilisation, tales of mermaids and princesses as well as sacred graves and shrines abound here. Pulau Sibu Tengah, located further south along the coast is a delightful rustic resort destination. Two other Johor islands, lying further from the coast, are Pulau Pemanggil and Pulau Aur. Pulau Pemanggil is a large and popular resort destination, noted for its abundant marine life and clear waters. Pulau Aur, on the other hand, is a small island with three nearby islands – Pulau Dayang, Pulau Lang and Pulau Pinang which are rated among the best diving destinations within the Johor Marine Park Area. Interesting formations around the island include Rayner’s Rock, a solitary large boulder that breaks surface at about 4 metres, and the Pinnacles, a submerged reef. 

Pulau Tinggi Pulau Tinggi lies further south along the Peninsula rising 667m above sea level has a coastline dotted with intimate coves and vividly hued coral reefs offshore. The mountainous and largely uninhabited island is naturally endowed with fresh water, a sheltered harbor, fruits, rattan and timber, as well as some very fine beaches. 

Pulau Sibu Pulau Sibu is a refreshing hideaway, which is awash with lush tropical vegetation and endless stretches of golden beaches. Numerous sea caves carved out of rocks can be found around the island. Its waters also hide marvelous coral reefs and mysterious shipwrecks of Chinese junks and pirate boats. The unspoiled mangrove swamps are an enticement to spend some time away from the beach. You can also visit the kelongs or the village to see how the villagers on this beautiful island spend their time. 

Pulau Tengah Pulau Tengah and Pulau Upeh offer you the seldom found opportunity to watch the great leatherback turtles and Hawksbill turtles come ashore to lay their eggs every year. 

Pulau Rawa Pulau Rawa is a really beautiful island wonderfully covered with white sand, coves, and superb clear waters and shaded by tall palm trees. The island has many fascinating caves and divine offshore coral reefs inhabited by the many neon-coloured fishes and unusual marine life. The breathtaking Rawa Island Resort, set amid all these, makes Pulau Rawa a haven for fishing, scuba-diving, shell-collecting, lobster-hunting and underwater photography. Throughout these years, the Rawa Safaris Island Resort has grown into an idyllic international class resort. The resort has rooms of varying standards and sizes with the units built on either the hill side, a few metres from the beach or directly fronting the ocean. The rooms are well equipped with modern amenities. The restaurant in the resort also serves sumptuous seafood. The wooden chalets nestled among coconut groves complement the island's reputation as a quaint hideaway. 

Closer to shore you can visit Pulau Kukup which is one of the largest uninhabited mangrove islands in the world. There are lots to explore on this island but the interior is not easily accessible. The boardwalk, which takes you around the eastern part of the island, lets you observe the mangrove life and different vegetation on the forest floor. At the end of the boardwalk scale up a six story high tower for an excellent bird’s eye view of the island. 

Theme parks, Playgrounds & Zoo 

LEGOLAND Malaysia LEGOLAND Malaysia is packed full of family fun with more than 40 rides, shows and attractions. Almost everything is hands-on, so you can push, pedal and program, or steer, squirt and splash, your way through a truly interactive experience – and of course there’s building too. LEGOLAND Malaysia has seven themed areas of attractions for all ages such as The Beginning, LEGO® Technic, LEGO Kingdoms, Imagination, LEGO City, Land of Adventure and MINILAND. It’s an inspirational land where the children are the heroes. From LEGO experiment centres to rollercoasters, the park is a day-long voyage of discovery for all the family. The centrepiece is MINILAND, where Asian landmarks have been recreated using more than 30 million LEGO bricks. It’s an interactive world on a scale of 1:20, where people, trains and aeroplanes come to life at the touch of a button. 

Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park The Little Big Club and The Hello Kitty Town are both located in the same building. Together, they are called Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park. The whole floor at The Little Big Club are themed accordingly (6 themes altogether). Angelina Ballerina, Barney, Thomas the Train, Bob the builder etc.... Angeline's a dancing floor, Barney's a playground more suitable for toddlers, Thomas-themed indoor playgrounds etc etc... There is one arcade game centre as well, for the young ones and adults! The selection of games is limited, but it was somehow fun too. Another level up is an amusement park, a wonderland for the kids. All in all, it is truly a wonderland for the children. They will definitely enjoy themselves. 

Johor Bahru Zoo ( across the street (Jalan Gertak Merah) 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 was opened to the public in 1962. A 5-hectare, run-down zoo that provides a dismal diversion to local and Western tourists. It only has birds and mammals on display. They also have bird shows and animal feeding time. The bird show is a must watch. There is a pond inside the zoo where you can rent peddle boats as well as a children's playground. There are eateries where food is reasonably priced. The elephants are being trained and can been seem moving outside their enclosures. 

Museums and Landmarks in Johor State 

Royal Abu Bakar Museum (The Grand Palace Johor) Royal Abu Bakar Museum is one of the finest museums in the world with its ambience and magnificent collection of cultural treasures. Occupying the Istana Besar, or Grand Palace, built by Sultan Abu Bakar in 1866, it was founded in 1990. The museum has a grand collection of Royal Family treasures. In addition to an extensive art collection, the museum displays ceremonial regalia, personal memorabilia, furniture and cultural artefacts accumulated by the Royal Family over the course of its reign. 

Kota Tinggi Museum The Kota Tinggi Museum located in the historical town of Kota Tinggi is managed by the Johor Heritage Foundation. It is home to artefacts, relics, historical facts and anecdotes on past Johor sultanates, capitals and early encounters with the Portuguese, Dutch, Achehnese and other regional powers from the 16th to the 18th centuries. 

The Bugis Museum The Bugis Museum, situated in Pontian, exposes you to the life of the Bugis community. The Bugis are among one of many Malay sub-groups that came from Celebes in Sulawesi and settled here in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Artifacts on display include various household items used by the community. 

Sungai Joor ( Johor River) - Archaelogical Findings Heritage from the historical Johor Malay Sultanate can be seen along Sungai Johor which commences from Bandar Kota Tinggi and ends at Teluk Sengat. Ongoing excavations, conservation and other archaeological research works are being executed along the banks. There are many royal mausoleums and also old historical sites from Johor Lama here. With a river boat ride down Sungai Johor one can see changes wrought through the passage of time.

Royal Mausoleum The royal burial grounds, the Royal Mausoleum, is situated along Jalan Mahmodiah a short distance from Mahmodiah Village. The architecture is aesthetically pleasing and of a unique design while the surroundings are peaceful and serene. 

Pineapple Museum The Pineapple Museum depicts the growth and development of the pineapple industry in Malaysia. It also has exhibits of the biology of the plant, its cultivation and processing. A special section exhibits the varieties of pineapple found in Malaysia. 

Pasir Gudang Kite Museum The Pasir Gudang Kite Museum displays a collection of traditional kites (also called the ‘wau’) as well as modern kites. It showcases the intricate art of traditional kite-making. Pasir Gudang is where kite enthusiast flock every year for the annual International Kite Festival. 

Istana Bukit Serene The Sultan of Johor’s Palace is perched on high ground with a 350m tower. The Palace is a landmark to travelers coming from the north. It contains one of the most beautiful gardens in Johor and a private zoo. 

Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque The Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque is regarded as one of the most beautiful mosques in Malaysia with its amazing combination of Western neo-classical and Islamic architecture. This mosque can accommodate about 2,000 worshippers at any one time. Strategically located on top of a hill along Jalan Abu Bakar, overlooking the Straits of Tebrau, it was named after the late Sultan Abu Bakar, the "Father of Modern Johor", who laid the foundation stone in 1892. Construction of the mosque was completed in 1900, a few years after his death. Today, the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque is listed as a protected heritage monument by the Department of Museums and Antiquities. 

Sultan Ibrahim Building Constructed in the 1940s, the Sultan Ibrahim Building located on Bukit Timbalan dominates the Johor Bahru skyline. The Japanese army used it during World War II in their final assault on Singapore. Today, the building serves as the main office building of the State and houses the State Secretariat. The Saracenic character and the mosaic detail make this one of the most interesting buildings in Johor Bahru. 

Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple All forms of religion and gods has been displayed.Its more like a Museum rather then devotional place.The structure and location of the temple is easy accessible. No.22 Lorong Satu Tebrau, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. 

Tourist and Travel Info 

Tourist Information Centre Tanjung Puteri, Johor Tel : 07-2223592