From Halal Food & Travel
Johor Bahru (Jawi: جوهر بهرو, Chinese:新山) (also Johor Baru or Johore Baharu, informally called JB) is a city and the state capital of Johor in Malaysia. It is located in the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia.
Johor Bahru's metropolitan area can be easily divided into four parts - North, South, East and West.
- North - Its main centers are Taman Daya, Taman Mount Austin, Taman Desa Tebrau and Ulu Tiram, which can be accessed via the trunk road, Jalan Tebrau. There can be a relatively frequent peak hour jam along this road. The area has been a hive for construction activities with the latest AEON Tebrau and IKEA Tebrau located in its vicinity.
- South - The main city centre (IIBD) and Larkin is located on the southern part of the city, in which many of the old town areas are located, including its Chinatown and Little India areas. 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.
- East - The main suburbs here are Plentong and Permas Jaya, a housing suburb; other parts remain undeveloped and house Sultan Iskandar Reservoir.
- West - The main suburbs here are Bandar Baru UDA, Tampoi and Kempas.
Johor Bahru Halal Explorer
Johor Bahru was declared a city in 1994 and is growing fast. The city has about 500,000 inhabitants, and its metropolitan area has about 1.4 million. Johor Bahru is for the most part suburban and lacks a metropolitan feel. It is the third largest city in Malaysia. Given its relatively large land space, the city is not as dense as many other Malaysian cities. 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, there has been little effort in maintaining buildings and public facilities, and the city centre may seem run-down to some. Shopping and eating in the city can be a real adventure, with many shopping complexes and a wide variety of food establishments offering from street food to fine dining. There are also plenty of spas and resort hotels in the city.
Johor Bahru has a good mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures, with racial harmony actively promoted by the Sultan of Johor. The city has been receiving lots of investments, particular from Chinese property developers, as part of the Iskandar Malaysia project. As result, there is massive construction all over the city. While mostly residential properties are being built, some are aiming to create man-made tourist attractions such as Danga Bay, although few are in a finished state. Johor Bahru is a sprawling city; its city center is rather small for a metropolis of its size, and many of the city's best shopping areas and restaurants are in the suburbs rather than in the city centre. While the public transportation leaves much to be desired, local e-hailing app Grab makes the task of exploring the city much easier.
Fly to Johor Bahru
Senai International Airport
- Senai International Airport IATA Code: JHB}}; Malay: Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Senai - It has domestic flights to and from major airports around Malaysia, including connecting flights to Malaysia's main airport Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Selangor. It also has some international flights to other Asian cities. The airport is compact and has 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. JB Central Line's A1 bus (Larkin: 07:00-20:30) and Causeway Link's 333 (Larkin: 06:00-20:00 about every 1½-2 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. 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 Code: 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 to Johor Bahru from Singapore Changi Airport is via Transtar Travel's "cross border" coach service between Changi Airport Terminals 2 and 4, and JB CIQ. 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.
From/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.
Malaysian Immigration has implementated a biometric system called the National Enforcement and Registration System (NERS). Fingerprints may still be taken upon arrival.
Most visitors to JB arrive from Singapore via the Causeway GPS 1.453354,103.769013 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.
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.
Larkin Bus and Taxi Terminal GPS 1.4957,103.7424 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.
West Malaysia and Thailand
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. 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 (RM2 per bag per day, 07:00-22:00).
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. You may have to pay a hefty extra charge 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 passengers are willing to pay for the remaining seats. 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 RM1.70 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.
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 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 Monday to Friday 06:00; Saturday to Sunday 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 (RM2.20) based on exchange rates of S$1 = RM2.40. 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.
From/to other parts of Malaysia
Johor Bahru can be easily accessed from other parts of Johor Bahru District, such as the neighboring Iskandar Puteri or Pasir Gudang with a relatively affordable price. If coming from other states in Peninsular Malaysia, it is still usually acceptable although the price will be much more expensive.
For any transportation between Johor and Singapore, 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 quickest 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.
Travel by train to Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru houses the JB Sentral GPS 1.4629,103.7645 and Kempas Baru railway stations.
JB Sentral station is located 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). There are coin-operated (2 x 50 sen), small left luggage lockers, a Muslim prayer room, toilets, a police post and a tourist information booth in here as well.
There are three pairs of shuttle trains a day to Gemas to connect to the ETS network north of Gemas all the way to Padang Besar in Perlis. Tickets for each train are sold separately; for example, when going to Kuala Lumpur from Johor Bahru, tickets are sold as JB Sentral-Gemas on the shuttle and Gemas-KL Sentral on the ETS. There is also a nightly express train that runs through the East Coast Jungle Line to Tumpat.
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 700 m from the start of the causeway. There are 14 departures per day from Woodlands and 17 per day from JB Sentral. Shuttle trains will leave Woodlands for JB Sentral at 07:20, 08:30, 09:40, 10:50, 12:20, 13:50, 15:20, 16:30, 17:40, 18:50, 20:00, 21:10, 22:20, 23:30 and leave JB Sentral for Woodlands at 05:00, 05:25, 05:55, 06:20, 07:30, 08:40, 09:50, 11:20, 12:50, 14:20, 15:30, 16:40, 17:50, 19:00, 20:10, 21:20, 22:30. 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. Gate opens 30 minutes before departure and closes 10 minutes before departure.
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 or Easybook.com to buy online train tickets. Ticket purchases can only be made within 30 days of the departure date, up to 15 minutes before departure if still available.
For JB Sentral-Woodlands, at JB Sentral there are turnstiles installed at the departure gate (Gate A); scan the barcode or QR code on your ticket (can be one stored on a mobile device) to activate the turnstile. For Woodlands-JB Sentral, tickets bought online must be exchanged at the KTMB ticket counter before departure.
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. 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 Monday 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 GPS 1.4712,103.7845, ☎ +6072211677 is located in the east wing of "The ZON" duty free complex. 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 side 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. 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 every 45 minutes or hour on 07:30-18:30 to Batam Centre. The ferries from Batam Centre depart every 45 minutes or hour on 06:30-17:45 (Western Indonesian time). Fares: RM69/110 one-way/return for adults, RM46/69 one-way/return for children, plus international departure tax of RM10 per passenger for all passengers. Journey time: 90 min.
From and to Bintan: 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 (Western Indonesian time). Fares: RM86/144 one-way/return for adults, RM54/86 one-way/return for children, plus international departure tax of 1RM10 per passenger for all passengers. Journey time: 150 min.
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.
The city has many suburbs or areas with concentrated tourist objects or facilities. Within those areas, it is easy to walk around to enjoy what the city can offer. In Johor Bahru City Center, it is possible to enjoy by foot to the Chinatown, old town, night market and some major shopping centers (Galleria @ Kotaraya, Johor Bahru City Square and Komtar JBCC), including access to JB Sentral train station and immigration checkpoint. In Danga Bay area, visitors can walk and explore the seaside area with theme park, convention center, restaurants and also the nearby Serene Square in front of Sultan Johor's palace. In Taman Century and Taman Pelangi areas, visitors can walk and explore some shopping centers (Holiday Plaza, KSL City and Plaza Pelangi), roadside restaurants as well as a night market every Monday evening. In Taman Mount Austin, every shop, restaurant, cafe, karaoke, nightclub and even the Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park are all within walking distance to each other. Taman Desa Tebrau houses the AEON Tebrau City, IKEA Tebrau and Tesco Tebrau which are all within walking distance to each other, including nearby shop lots which house many restaurants and cafes. In Larkin area, especially around the Larkin Sentral bus and taxi terminal, visitors can easily explore the nearby attractions by foot such as Larkin Public Market, Plaza Larkin, Dato Onn Village Recreational Area, Johor Craft Complex, Tan Sri Dato' Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium sport complex and the Bulat Bulat Corner food court. Stulang Laut is a waterfront area which offers view of Johor Strait by walking along the shoreline with various restaurants are located along the way up until The Zon Duty Free shopping mall.
Taxi prices is Johor Bahru is fairly cheap. However, always use taxis only with meters. The starting fare is RM3 for the first 2 km and the fare increases by 10 sen for every subsequent 115 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. Additional charges include: actual road toll charges; RM2 for telephone bookings; a 50% extra charge is levied between midnight and 18:00. There are no additional charges for a 3rd adult passenger or baggage kept in the trunk. Almost all of major shopping malls and high-star hotels in Johor Bahru feature taxi stands in front or around them.
Two major bus stops or terminals are Larkin Sentral and JB Sentral. From these two terminals, buses going to almost major suburbs of Johor Bahru as well as Iskandar Puteri and Pasir Gudang can be found. The destination also serves up until Pontian Kechil, Ayer Hitam and Kota Tinggi in the neighboring districts. The last buses leave JB Sentral for their respective destinations at about 11:00 p.m. or earlier; the last buses returning to JB Sentral leave their starting points at about 10:00 p.m. or earlier. Before boarding any bus, look at the destination boards on the bus and do not hesitate to ask the bus driver directly.
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, #AEON Permas Jaya Shopping Centre RM2.60, AEON Tebrau City RM2.40-2.50,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. 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
Arriving at JB CIQ 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 RM1.20, SBS 170 RM1.50 (payable by EZ-link card - S$1.11), Singapore-Johore Express RM1.00. 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. 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.
Rent a Car or Limousine in Johor Bahru
Car can be rented here in the city for exploring Johor Bahru.
What to see in Johor Bahru
Historical and modern landmarks
- Bukit Serene Palace (Istana Bukit Serene), sandwiched between Jl Kolam Air and Jl Straits View. 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. In front of the palace gate, there is the Laman Serene public square.
- War Memorial (Tugu Peperangan), Jl Abu Bakar, (across the road from Johor State Syariah Court and Iskandar Johor Islamic Center). 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, Sultan of Johor, on 1 July 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.
- Grand Palace - Istana Besar | The palace consists of the Royal Abu Bakar Museum. 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. The museum is 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 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.
- Johor Bahru City Square - Johor Bahru City Square is a public square 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 RM1) 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.
- Mahmoodiah Royal Mausoleum - Makam Diraja Mahmoodiah | This is a royal mausoleum of Johor state. It is a white colored 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.
- Persada Johor International Convention Centre - Pusat Konvensyen Antarabangsa Persada Johor - Convention center.
- Serene Square - Laman Serene | This is a public square located in front of Serene Palace. Built on a 433 square meter of land, it costed MYR6.8 million to built. It features a 12-meter high of star and crescent statue. The ground features a double 5-corner star, which makes it in total of 10, representing the total numbers of districts in Johor.
- Sultan Ibrahim Building - Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim | 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.
- Tanjung Kupang Tragedy Memorial - Memorial Peringatan Tragedi Tanjung Kupang | 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 December 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.
- Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Temple - Free admission for visitors. Everyone has their shoes in the racks beside the gate entrance.
- Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple - 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 Tuesday - Su 12:00-13:00 & Monday 12:00-19:00; Temple visiting hours daily except Monday (closed to visitors) 13:00-18:00. Chitra Pournami Paal Kudam Festival held every Wednesday and Glass Chariot Procession held every Thurs at the temple.
- Gurdwara Sahib Johor Bahru - Johor Bahru Sikh Temple | 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 Sunday 09:30-11:30.
- India Mosque - Masjid India | 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.
- Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple - 柔佛古廟 | It 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. The temple organizes an annual 4-day Chin 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.
- Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque - Masjid Negeri Sultan Abu Bakar | 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 Sultan Ibrahim. It is made of white marble and is a combination of Moorish and Victorian architecture. It can accommodate 2,000 worshippers. 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.
- Sultan Iskandar Mosque - Masjid Sultan Iskandar | Mosque.
Museums and galleries
- Figure Museum - Muzium Tokoh | The museum is housed in a building constructed in 1893 which was once used as the official residence of the first Chief Minister of Johor.
- Glulam Gallery - Galeri Glulam | It is a gallery which was opened on 22 May 2012.
- Johor Art Gallery - Galeri Seni Johor | 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.
- Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum - Muzium Warisan Tionghua Johor Bahru | 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
- Johor Bahru Kwong Siew Heritage Gallery - Galeri Warisan Kwong Siew Johor Bahru | Museum 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. Photography is forbidden.
- Johor Craft Complex - Kompleks Kraf Johor - Contains a so-called Treasured Possession Gallery exhibits batik, embroidery and beads. It also hosts a handicrafts fair on its premises once a year.
- KTM Museum - Muzium KTM | The museum used to be the main railway station of Johor Bahru.
- Malay Cultural Village | Cultural center
- Mawar Gallery - Galeri Mawar; Mawar is the Malay acronym for Majlis Wanita Johor | 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.
- Danga Bay - Teluk Danga | It is a waterfront development with residential properties, commercial buildings and recreational facilities. The area features the Danga World Theme Park and Danga Bay Convention Centre. 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 JB Sentral Terminal. You can take a tourist tram along the coastline area (RM5 per person, free for children below 3 years old).
- Johor Zoo - Zoo Johor | 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. There is a pond inside the zoo where you can rent boats as well as a children's playground. 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 Jalan Wong Ah Fook or from the bus stop in front of the old railway station at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.
- MBJB City Forest - Hutan Bandar MBJB | 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.
- Merdeka Park - Taman Merdeka | 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.
What to do in Johor Bahru
Visit a Theme Park in Johor Bahru
- Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park - Water Park Big Splash, Adventure Park, Jump Street Austin Heights, Drift in Austin, Skating Rink Austin Heights.
- Danga World Theme Park - An amusement park suitable for adult and 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.
- Dinosaur Alive Water Theme Park - Water park.
- La Stella Water Theme Park - Water park.
- Tiram Indoor Water Park - Indoor water park.
- Drift Culture Enterprise - Mini 4WD and radio-controlled drifting.
- Lost in JB - The Haunted House - Haunted house.
- Permas Go-Kart Club - Go-kart track.
- Petit Climbing Center - Wall climbing center.
- Rockworld | Indoor wall climbing.
- Austin Heights Golf and Hotel Resort - 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, private secluded sauna, jacuzzi, karaoke and banqueting facilities all under one roof.
- Daiman 18 Golf Club - Golf course.
- Daiman Bowl - Bowling center.
- Daiman Johor Jaya Sports Complex - Sports complex with facilities such as swimming pool, badminton court, gymnasium, table tennis and sauna.
- Danga Futsal Centre - Indoor futsal court.
- Johor Bahru City Council Swimming Pool Complex - Swimming pool.
- Johor Golf and Country Club | Golf.
- Ponderosa Golf and Country Club - Golf course.
- Permas Jaya Golf Club - Golf course.
- Sports Prima - Sports center.
- Starhill Golf and Country Club - Golf.
- Tan Sri Dato' Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium - Football stadium. It also consists of the Johor Japan Football Gallery.
There are four major cineplexes in Johor Bahru - Tanjung Golden Village, Golden Screen Cinemas, MBO Cinemas and Cathay Cinemas. 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.
Arts and cultural festivals
Organized by The Johor Society for the Performing Arts, Johor Bahru (and Iskandar Puteri) holds various annual entertainment and cultural festivals, such as Johor Bahru Arts Festival, Johor Bahru Film Festival, Johor Bahru Classical Music Festival, Johor Bahru Indigenous Festival and Johor Bahru Writers and Readers Festival since 2004, making it Malaysia's longest-running arts festival that covers all disciplines of performing arts.
- Petrosains PlaySmart Johor Bahru - Science center.
- Johor Strait Boat Ride - Water Taxi | Explore the Johor Strait from a boat departing from Danga Bay to Johor Bahru City Square. The boat carries maximum 15 people per ride with minimum departure of 13 people.
Muslim Friendly Shopping in Johor Bahru
- AEON Mall Bandar Dato' Onn - Shopping mall.
- AEON Permas Jaya - Shopping mall.
- AEON Tebrau 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. It is at the junction of Tebrau Highway (also known as Jalan Pandan) and Jalan Desa Tebrau. 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.
- Angsana Johor Bahru Mall - Shopping mall.
- Capital City Mall - Shopping mall.
- Holiday Plaza - A very long shopping mall. The Parkson department store here occupies 4 levels. It has food outlets.
- Johor Bahru City Square - A pedestrian bridge connects the mall to JB Sentral, which is connected to the CIQ by a pedestrian bridge. It has 270 sales outlets, including 50 food and beverage outlets. There is a Cathay Cineplex on levels 5 and 7, and beside it (on level 5) is a food court run by Food Junction. There is free Wi-Fi in all public areas.
- Galleria @ Kotaraya - Shopping mall.
- Komtar JBCC - Komtar JBCC is a three-level shopping mall in Johor Bahru. It s 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.
- KSL City - The 4-storey shopping mall that is part of a shopping-residential-hotel complex. It has 350 sales outlets, including 70 food and beverage outlets and a eight-screen cineplex. 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.
- IKEA Tebrau | Shopping mall.
- Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru - The largest shopping mall in Johor.
- Plaza Larkin - 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.
- Plaza Pelangi Shopping mall
- Plaza Sentosa - 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.
- Stellar Walk | Shopping mall.
- The Zone Duty Free - The Zone Duty Free is a shopping mall which has several duty-free (chocolate, and tobacco) specialty outlets among its 60 sales outlets. It also has a supermarket and food court in the basement. The Berjaya Waterfront Hotel is also 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.
- @mart Kempas - Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- EconSave Cash & Carry - Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- Econsave Permas Jaya - Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- Giant Plentong - Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- Giant Tampoi | Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- KiP Mart Tampoi | Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- Maslee Setia Indah - Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- Midas Mart - Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- Mydin Mall Pelangi Indah - Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- Southern City Supermarket with Giant as the main anchor.
- Tesco Desa Tebrau | Supermarket with selected Halal food.
- Tesco Extra Plentong |Supermarket with selected Halal food
- Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation Handicrafts Centre - 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.
- 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 18:00-02:00. This is a bazaar that sells mostly clothes, and also a wide range of other products - bags, belts, electric fans, food and fruit drinks, footwear, handphone (mobile phone) accessories, perfumes, sunglasses, toys, wallets and watches.
Muslim Friendly Food & Restaurants in Johor Bahru
Most of the food stalls and dining spots in the city 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.
- Bulat Bulat Corner Food courts serving Malay foods.
- Kilang Bateri - Food courts serving Malay foods with various shops.
- Pandan City Mall - Malay foods.
- Restoran ZZ - It is at the end of this road, and just before the start of Jalan Mahmoodiah, behind the Sultanah Aminah Hospital, 200 m 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. Monday to Friday 06:30-23:00, Saturday to Sunday 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 - This restaurant serves affordable Malay and Mamak food. There is no government tax or service charge. No air-con. Free Wi-Fi Internet access. Open 24 hr. There is another outlet (also open 24 hr 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, and roti. There is no government tax or service tax. Open daily 24 hr 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 affordable 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 10:00-22:00 daily. There is a flat-screen cable TV in the non air-con section. The non air-con section is open 24 hrs daily.
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 | 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 08:00-20:00.
Muslim Friendly Hotels in Johor Bahru
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.
- Meldrum Hotel - Hotel Meldrium - 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 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 RM100 net per night. All guests must pay a refundable deposit of RM30 per room (for private rooms) or RM30 per person (for the dormitory) upon check in.
- Newland Hotel - All rooms with attached bathrooms (hair dryers inside), air-con, Minibar with alcohol removed, 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. Reviewed by eHalal
- Tune Hotel | 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. Reviewed by eHalal
- Bliss Boutique Hotel - 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, and cigar bar, business centre, meeting area, indoor mini-garden with skylight. All major credit cards are accepted.
- Citrus Hotel Johor Bahru - 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 local taxi stands. Reviewed by eHalal
- New York Hotel - 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 Minibar with alcohol removed 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. Reviewed by eHalal
- Tropical Inn - Buffet breakfast is included, but only for 2 persons per room. Extra bed RM45 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, private secluded sauna, beauty parlor, shops. Wi-Fi in the rooms is chargeable at RM25 net per 24 hr. Free Wi-Fi available in the lobby and restaurant and conference rooms. Reviewed by eHalal
- Hotel Seri Malaysia - 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 (12:00 to 13:30) when there is sufficient demand for RM20 net. Other facilities: multi-function rooms, meeting roooms, courtyard, terrace garden, laundry service, convenience store, prayer room and free parking. Reviewed by eHalal
- TROVE Johor Bahru - All rooms with attached bathroom, air-con, IDD telephone, color cable/satellite television, refrigerator, Minibar with alcohol removed, coffee/tea-making facilities. Amenities include gymnasium, private secluded sauna, outdoor swimming pool (on top), two restaurants, and cocktail/karaoke lounge. Wi-Fi Internet: RM10.50 net for 1 hr or RM21 net for 24 hrs. High tea buffet (only on Saturday, 14:00-17:00) from RM30/15 adult/child. Reviewed by eHalal
- Suria City Hotel - This hotel, 500 m northeast of the Causeway, 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. Halal 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. Reviewed by eHalal - Great Hotel for Muslims to stay in JB.
- Bayu Marina Resort Reviewed by eHalal
- Berjaya Waterfront Hotel | It is located within a duty free zone and shares the same building as The ZON Duty Free shopping centre. The hotel has the usual 5-star hotel amenities: spa, business center, grand ballroom, convention and exhibition center, 6 function rooms, 2 auditoriums, shops, bar and three restaurants. Free and unlimited Wi-Fi for guests. Reviewed by eHalal
- Crystal Crown Hotel - Pretty decent, large rooms. Facilities: business center, private massage and spa center, 24-hour coffee house, cocktail lounge, Kirishima Shuzou Japanese restaurant (daily 12:00-14:30, 18:00-22:30. All rooms have en-suite bathroom with hairdryer, air-con, color TV, coffee/tea-making facilities. Buffet breakfast is included. Internet access RM10 net for 1 hr or RM30 net for 24 hr. Reviewed by eHalal
- Grand BlueWave Hotel - 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. Reviewed by eHalal
- Grand Paragon Hotel - 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. Reviewed by eHalal
- Monday Suites Hotel - This is an all-suites, 4-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 RM200 per suite per night. Reviewed by eHalal
- Mutiara Hotel - 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 RM70RM per night per room. Buffet breakfast is included. Wired or Wi-Fi Internet access - RM10 net per hour or RM25 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. Reviewed by eHalal
- Puteri Pacific Johor Bahru - Facilities: ballroom, business centre, swimming pool & 4 restaurants. Reviewed by eHalal - Not to be recommended if your Muslim wife not use a Hijab. Stay at the Mutiara or Thistle JB if you want a stress free travel to JB.
- Thistle Johor Bahru | 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 RM57). Hive Nightclub has live bands every night. Location is awkward if using public transport, with very limited selection of shops or restaurants nearby. Reviewed by eHalal
Stay safe in Johor Bahru
Although Johor Bahru's crime rate is indeed higher than Singapore and elsewhere in Malaysia, by taking appropriate safety precautions, you can ensure your stay, like those of the vast majority of visitors, will be an incident-free one.
- 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 at night.
If you are 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.
Explore more Halal Friendly Destinations from Johor Bahru
- Desaru - sleepy seaside resort city located on the eastern part of Johor, about 2 hours away by car
- Iskandar Puteri - the administrative capital of the Johor, containing the Legoland Malaysia and Sanrio Hello Kitty Town theme parks, and the Kota Iskandar complex of administrative buildings
- 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
- 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 2½ 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 you will have to cross the border
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