Although by no means a tourist destination, there’s more than enough to keep visitors to Johor Bahru entertained for a few days. The city is these days a manufacturing hub with factories owned by most of the world’s leading companies, but it also has a historic side plus offshore islands and national parks to explore. And its only a short trip by bus to Tanjung Leman and the delightful paradise island of Pulau Sibu.
Johor Bahru attractions
Istana Besar/Museum Di Raja
This Victorian colonial mansion is the former home of the Johor royal family and set amongst manicured gardens overlooking the Johor Straits towards Singapore. It is packed full of gifts from dignitaries such as stuffed crocodiles and tigers.
Johor Bahru Art Gallery
Housed in a two-storey white building dating from 1910, this art gallery in Johor Bahru displays mainly modern paintings from noted Malaysian artists.
Sri Raja Mariamman Hindu Temple
This temple is the focalpoint of the local Indian community and celebrates its centenary in 2011. There are bright murals and statues and admission is free for visitors.
Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque
Overlooking the Straits of Johor, this state mosque dates from 1900 and has four towering minarets. It features a combination of Victorian and Moorish architecture and can accommodate 2,000 worshipers. Tourists can visit from 10:00-18:00 except Friday.
Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum
This four-storey gallery teaches visitors about the culture and history of Johor Bahru’s Chinese community. There are captioned photos, TV screens, mannequins dressed in traditional Oriental wedding clothes and numerous artefacts such as a replica of a sedan chair from the Roufo Chinese Taoist Temple.
Activities in Johor Bahru
Danga World Theme Park
This kids amusement park in Johor Bahru provides mild entertainment for younger visitors with a classic range of 20 different rides. There’s a Zamperla pirate ship, tea cups, dual-level merry-go-round, balloon ferris wheel, flying elephants, bumper car and more. website: www.dangabay.com.
Golf in Johor Bahru
There are a few decent golf courses in Johor Bahru where visitors can swing a club. Royal Johor Country Club (website: www.johorgolfandcountryclub.com) is probably the most expensive club while the award-winning Tanjung Puteri Resort (website: www.tpgr.com) has one of the largest courses in the area.
Austin Hills Golf Resort has an 18-hole, as well as a nine-hole, golf course along with hotel accommodation, tennis courts, a sauna, bowling alley and swimming pool.
Shopping in Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru is teeming with cheap places to shop, mainly catering to Singaporeans hopping across the border in search of bargains. JARO Handicrafts Centre (website: www.jaro.org.my) sells soft toys, cane furniture, rattan baskets and souvenirs produced by the physically disabled.
AEON Tebrau City (website: www.jusco.com.my) boasts numerous international fashion franchises, and lots of restaurants and electronics stores.