Johor is the southern most state of Peninsular Malaysia, with a long coastline flanked by the Straits of Melaka on its west and the South China Sea on the east. Johor Bharu, the state capital, sits at the southern tip.
Its vast landscape is characterised by plantations of pineapple, rubber, coconut and palm oil, punctuated by spectacular national parks, quaint fishing villages, and 5-star sea-side resorts.
Retaining much of its natural splendour, the state has miles of golden sandy beaches, and beautiful offshore islands with clear waters which are excellent for diving, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing. The state is also endowed with several internationally-acclaimed forest reserves. Nature lovers will find the Endau-Rompin National Park located on the Johor-Pahang border, an unforgettable experience.
This lush, virgin lowland dipterocarp forest is home to several rare and endangered species, including the two-horned Sumatran rhinoceros.
Johor also has some of the best golf courses and luxury resorts in the country.
Via the North-South Expressway, Johor Bahru is 220km or a 4-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. It is also accessible from Kuala Lumpur and several other states such as Sabah and Sarawak by air. Bus services from major cities and towns in the peninsula run several times a day to Johor Bahru. The 1,038m Singapore-Johor Causeway, is the most frequently-used mode for commuting between the two cities besides ferry, rail and an alternative bridge.
In 1866, Sultan Abu Bakar the father of modern Johor built the magnificent Istana Besar (Grand Palace) as his official residence. The North Wing today houses the Royal Sultan Abu Bakar Museum, showcasing rare and beautiful treasures from all over the world.
Visiting hours: Everyday except Fridays, 9.00 am till 5.00 pm. Ticket counter closes at 4.00 pm.
On top of the hill overlooking the Straits of Johor not far from the Istana Besar, stands the magnificent Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, one of the most beautiful old mosques in Malaysia. Sultan Ibrahim Building Dominating the Johor Bahru skyline, the building houses the state secretariat and the offices of the state government. The building reflects both local and colonial architecture.
You are welcome to visit the mosque and even walk around its grounds, but visitors are asked to dress modestly. Also, you should try to avoid visiting on Fridays as this it is busy with worshippers on this day.
How to get there
By Foot or Taxi: The Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque lies in the centre of Johor Bahru, it is on Jalan Sri Blukar (off Jalan Ibrahim).
Explore the vast wilderness rainforest in this park, one of the peninsula’s largest virgin lowland forests. It is a major conservation area to the diversity of flora and fauna found within. There are some 26km of jungle trails within the park, the most well-trodden path being the gruelling 16km trail from Kuala Jasin to Batu Hampar and Buaya Sangkut, with numerous rapids crossings. At Buaya Sangkut, be enchanted by the beautiful sight of a waterfall.
The park is closed during the rainy season (November to March). Please read the park regulations before you enter the park.
How to get there
By Road: Drive from Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru, using the North-South Expressway. Once at Kluang, take a detour to Kahang town. There, a four-wheel drive vehicle will take you on a 56km jungle track to Kampung Peta, which is the point of entry to the National Park.
By River: It is also possible to reach the park by boat along the Endau River, taking about three hours starting from Felda Nitar II. There are camping facilities, catering for up to 300 visitors. These are located at Kuala Jasin, Batu Hampar, Upeh Guling and Kuala Marong.
Johor is a delightful place to shop. There is an immense variety of goods and the state is noted for ceramics and handicrafts as well. Bazaars and open-air night markets are found throughout the city. The Johor Bahru Duty Free Zone is located at Johor Bahru's eastern waterfront area and is the largest duty free complex in Malaysia. It has a hotel and convention centre; and a five-level shopping podium. There are also ferry links to Singapore and Indonesia from here; and immigration and customs facilities.
Food & Beverages
Food of Johor includes quite a few exclusive dishes that you'll not find in any other part of Malaysia. On Johor Malaysia tours, tourists are perpetually on the lookout for restaurants serving special cuisine of Johor.
One of the major foods of Johor is the Laksa Johor. Despite resembling Laksa Penang, a primary food of Penang, it is different as in Johor, Laksa is made using coconut oil for cooking.
Another well-known dish in Johor is Mee Bandung. Mee Rebus is a noodle dish made of Mee and served with brown sauce. Mee is a mixture of flour, eggs and salt.
Click to view the schedule.