Johor has much to offer travellers such as its rich history, colourful culture, shopping and entertainment attractions with a large number located in Johor Bahru city such as the Sultan Abu Bakar mosque, Johor Art Gallery and Pasir Gudang Racing Circuit.
Johor is a heaven for nature lovers as they move through thick tropical rainforest, unspoilt wilderness and its spectacular flora and fauna. Visitors can try out the Endau-Rompin Park, forest reserves and famous waterfalls.
Apart from its appeal as a shopping destination, Johor Bahru offers the visitor several interesting heritage building and historical sites. The Royal Sultan Abu Bakar Museum and Grand Palace is sited amidst beautiful and immaculate gardens. The Royal Sultan Abu Bakar with its extraordinary European design influenced dome is an ideal for photography. The Johor Art Gallery boasts a wide array of historical and traditional artifacts. The Mawar Gift Shop and Johor Tourism Information Centre (JOTIC) offers a selection of dainty souvenirs.
State Secretariat Building (Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim)
Located on a hill called Bukit Timbalan, this building was built in 1940. As it is on a hill, the square tower of the massive building still dominates the Johor Bahru skyline despite the appearance of many high rise buildings in the recent years. It houses the state secretariat as well as the other departments of the state government. Visitors may find the grand hall of particular interest.
Royal Abu Bakar Museum (Grand Palace)
Built by the late Sultan Abu Bakar, this imposing palace along Jalan Tun Dr Ismail has been converted into a museum showcasing many rare and beautiful treasures from all over the world. Open daily except on Fridays.
Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque
This mosque, said to be the most beautiful in Malaysia, was completed in 1900, a few years after the death of the Sultan. Taking 8 years to construct, the mosque can accommodate 2,000 worshippers. It is located on spacious grounds not far from the Istana Besar overlooking the Tebrau Straits.
Built to commemorate the declaration of Johor Bahru as a city on 31 December 1993, Dataran Bandaraya or City Square is much sought after for public events like parades and stage shows. This popular tourist attraction comprises a large stage, a minaret, a fountain and a clock tower reputed to be the biggest in the region. It also boasts of the tallest flag staff in the state and a mega video screen has been installed for visitors to view live transmissions.
The Royal Mousoleum has been the final place for Rayalty of Johor. The mousoleum is situated along Jalan Mahmoodiah. An area where one canıt help but appreciate the serene and tranquil atmosphere befitting a resting place for eternity. The mousoleumıs architecture is one of a fine, unique and aesthetic design of yesterday.
Situated on the sprawling grounds at Jalan Gertak Merah, the zoo houses some of the most fascinating collection of animals. Visitors will find the zoo a most interesting place to visit. Open daily.
This sun-drenched beach of Johor Bahru, stretching over 7km provide city tourist a variety of water adventures from canoeing to sailing or cruising.
Mawar Gift Shop
Located in Jalan Sungai Chat, just 5 minutes walk from Hyatt Regency Hotel. Souvenir shop where visitors may purchase a variety of items as momentoes. Visitor can take a bus no.8 and 9 from town centre bus stop at Komtar Complex.
The Orchid Valley
The world largest orchid farm garden spreading over 100 acres land area with 1.5 million tropical plants of more than 80 breeds.
Pasir Gudang Racing Circuit
The Federation international Motorcycle (FIM) has given the honour to this circuit to host one of the legs of World Motorcycle Championship in 1998. It is one of only two legs to be held in Asia. Despite its international status, this circuit is open to any motorsport enthusiasts to sample the thrill and spill of high speed adventure.
Other City – Muar
Muar also known as Bandar Maharani is popular for its delicious and inexpensive foods served by food stalls and restaurants. A picturesque town located strategically on the Muar River, its natural means of transportation from the hinterland originally helped in its growth.
Visitors can enjoy a drive or stroll along tree-lined Jalan Tanjung, which follows the river mouth on the south side. Along this road, you will see mosques, old colonial houses, government buildings and a beautiful park.
Entry Formalities to Johor
Visitors entering Malaysia must have a valid passport or other internationally recognised document endorsed for travel in Malaysia. All Certificate of Identity (I.C) holders must obtain a visa before entering Malaysia.
Permitted Currency Limit All travellers must complete “Travellers Declaration Form” , regardless of the amout of currency notes they carry and have to presented to Immigration Officer upon arrival in/departure from Malaysia. A resident and non-resident is permitted to carry into and out of Malaysia, Ringgit notes not exceeding RM 1,000 per person.
VISA Commonwealth citizens (except Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka nationality), British protected persons or citizens of the Republic of Ireland and citizens of Switzerland, Netherlands, San Merino and Liechtenstein do not need a visa to enter Malaysia. Citizens of other countries do not require a visa for social or business visits not exceeding three months.
One-month Visa Free Visit Citizens of ASEAN countries do not require visa for a Social and Business visit not exceeding one month. Fourteen-day Visa Free Visit Transit and non-transit tourists are eligible for the fourteen-day visa free visit to Malaysia except those from peoplešs Republic of China, India, Israel, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Republic of Transkei, South Africa, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Seven-day Visa Free Visit Citizens of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia and Yugoslavia are allowed to enter Malaysia for a period of up to seven days for social or business visits only. (The above regulations are subject to changes.) Health Vaccination is required in respect of yellow fever under certain conditions. Customs Visitors bringing in dutiable goods may have to pay a deposit for temporary importation, refundable on departure. Please carry receipts of purchase and please obtain an official receipt for any tax or deposit paid.
Weather in Johor
The weather in Malaysia is that of an equatorial country, with lots of sun and rainfall. The daily temperature is 30’C.
Economy of the State of Johor
Johor is one of the most developed states in the country and its economy is based on a mix of agriculture, manufacturing, commerce and tourism.
Its population of approximately 2.1 million comprises an ethnic mix of Malays, Chinese, Indians and others, contributing to a colourful and multi-faceted culture.
Malaysia is a country of multi-faceted culture with an ethnic mix of Malays, Chinese, Indians and others. This rich mix of cultures is evidently reflected in the various places of worship – the magnificent mosques, temples and churches existing side by side. It is also evident in the various foods and local delicacies, the colourful and enchanting costumes, festivals, ceremonies and rituals.
Most festivals are based on the various religion practiced although some are culturally derived. A common trait practiced by all during celebrations or festivals is the concept of “open house”. People from all walks of life and religion are invited to join in the celebration at the host’s home.
The Malays or Bumiputra are a close knit community with emphasis on family values. The Malays make up the largest ethnic group in Malaysia and can be found everywhere. Most are working in the cities while there are still some who are still living in “kampungs” or villages with agriculture as their livehood. Islam is their common faith and it binds them together in unity as foreigners are apt to comment. A Malay with islamic faith is also known as a Muslim.
The two main celebrations of the Malay community will have to be Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji. Hari Raya Puasa is when they celebrate after one month of fasting during Ramadan. The tradition of ‘balik kampung’ or going back to the village is a ritual most Malays go through during this time as most of them work in the cities.
It is a time of feasting and also forging closer ties with their neighbours and friends. Children go from house to house to collect ‘green packets’. These packets contain a token sum of money. On the other hand, Hari Raya Haji is celebrated to commemorate Muslims who have performed their ‘haj’ in the Holy Land. The celebrations include a ‘kenduri’ or feast for the kampung folks and also prayer and thanksgiving.
The Chinese in Malaysia are descended from the labourers and traders from China who came to Malaya then to seek a better livelihood. The Chinese make up only 35 percent of the population and most of them are into business. The majority of Chinese are Taoist Buddhists and their faith is evident from the numerous temples around the country.
The Chinese are well known for their festivals as it is part of their culture. The four main celebrations of the Chinese include Chinese New Year, “Cheng Beng”, Dumpling Festival and Moon Cake Festival. Chinese New Year is the celebration of the new year according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The highlight of this celebration will be the reunion dinner on the eve of the celebration where every member of the family sits down at the same table to have dinner.
Those working or staying elsewhere will make it a point to come home for dinner on that day. The Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year on a grand scale. During this time you can get to see lion dance and dragon dance troupes performing to the delight of children. The Chinese give out ‘red packets’ to children as a sign of prosperity. The colour red is believed to bring prosperity.
The Indians in Malaysia make up only 10 percent of the total population but their sense of culture is deeply rooted in tradition. A large number of them are Hindus and Tamils while there are also a number of Sikhs, Malayees, Telugus and Parsis. The Indian muslims are known in the restaurant and textile business.
The Hindus celebrate Deepavali as a sign of remembrance of the battle of light over darkness. That is why it is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’. Most will decorate their houses with coloured lights and also flower garlands. The Hindus wake up early in the morning and offer their prayers at the temples.
The festivities include having ‘open house’ for friends and relatives alike. Thaipusam is another celebration altogether. On this day, Hindus whose prayers have been answered by their gods have to make good their promise of penance. Devotees let their bodies be pierced and carry a ‘kavadi’, a metal contraption to evoke pain, up the steps into the temple of Batu Caves in Selangor.
Other cultures and festivals
The other races in Malaysia are made up of Orang Asli (Aborigines), non-Malay bumiputera, Eurasians, Portugese and other races. The Orang Asli live in the interiors of the jungle of Malaysia while the non-Malay bumiputeras are found in Sabah and Sarawak. The other races are scattered across Malaysia and have assimilated into other cultures as inter-cultural marriages have taken place over the years.
There are many celebrations for the other races in Malaysia with the most significant one being Christmas. Christmas in Malaysia is celebrated by Christians but is slowly becoming more commercialised. The non-Malay bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak also celebrate the Harvest Festival with a week long celebration.
Health Care in Johor
There are hospitals located at mojor towns offering low rates as it is subsidised by the Government. Alternatively, there are also many private specialst centres and clinics availbale.
Transportation in Johor
Johor has an airport located in Senai, called the Sultan Ismail International Airport.
Malaysia Airlines Office and Reservation Contact No:
Taxis can easily be found in the state and are popular and affordable. Johor is also served by buses playing major routes.
Rail services offered by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) offers visitors a chance to enjoy the scenic countryside views.
This fairly new service provides travel between Singapore and Malaysia with the advantage that vehicles can be driven on board.
Ferry Service :
Johor Bahru – Batam Island
SS Holidays Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 2511577
Tel : 607 3344190
Adult RM 30 ( oneway )
Adult RM 50 ( return )
Child RM 15 ( oneway )
Child RM 25 ( return )
Departure From Pasir Gudang
10.30 a.m – (M.V INDOMAS 1)
11.39 a.m – (M.V INDOMAS 2)
02.30 p.m – (M.V INDOMAS 1)
04.30 p.m – (M.V INDOMAS 2)
Departure From Batam Island
09.00 a.m – (M.V INDOMAS 1)
12.45 a.m – (M.V INDOMAS 2)
03.00 p.m – (M.V INDOMAS 1)
04.30 p.m – (M.V INDOMAS 2)
Johor Bahru – Singapore
Tel : 607 2517408
Tel : 602 5453600
Adult RM 32 / S$ 18 ( oneway )
Adult RM 60 / S$ 28 ( return )
Child RM 20 / S$ 11 ( oneway )
Child RM 35 / S$ 18 ( return )
Departure From Tanjung Belungkor
09.45 a.m – (M1)
12.45 a.m – (M2)
03.45 p.m – (M3)
06.45 p.m – (M4)
Departure From Changi
08.15 a.m – (S1)
11.15 a.m – (S2)
02.15 p.m – (S3)
05.15 p.m – (S4)
Passengers with reservation must check-in 1 hours before departure
All booking are subject to our standard term & condition Travel Agency :
Air-Tour Express Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 3336500
Mado’s Tours & Travel Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 3344001
Deluxe Tours (J) Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 3310718
East Coast Adverture Travel & Tours Sdn.Bhd.
Tel : 607 2244546
Top-One travel Services Corporations (M) Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 3343388
Hock Sang Express (M) Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 2233888
ICSS Travel Agency Sdn.Bhd.
Tel : 607 2222961
Overseas Coach Tour (M) Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 2244222
Reliance (Johore)Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 3311388
Sin Thai Mah Travel & Express Sdn.Bhd.
Tel : 607 2238427
Sinair Travel Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 3325522
Huxton Travel & Tours Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 2249281
Jamilah Travel & Tours Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 8838653
Jenshen Tours & Travel Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 5571533
Kaiho Travel Coach Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 2364208
PPNJ Tours & Travel Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 234 2000
Top Budget Travel Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 3544130
Triways Travel & Tours Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 607 2241715
Hong Yi Holidays Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 8822998
Lim Cheng Boon Tourist Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 4315004
Passage Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 4310171
Shahid Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 4333066
Anda Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
Tel : 606 9512828
Muar Holiday Tours & Express Transport Sdn Bhd
Tel : 606 9856229
Pelancongan Madinab Sdn Bhd
Tel : 606 9518588
Mandrin Tours & Travel Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : 606 9512902
City Holiday Express Sdn Bhd
Tel : 606 9866890
Renggam Luxury Touring Coach Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 7535710
Pelancongan Sri Rindu Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 7531246
Chia sin Travel Service Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 7725115
Ezz Travel Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 9316601
Hwee Siang Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 9312173
Giamso Safari (Johor) Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 7992253
Island Connestion Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 7992535
Mersing Sea Sport Holidays Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 7994631
Multi Nirwana Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 7995979
Spring Travel Service Sdn Bhd
Tel : 607 7794531
History of Johor
The word Johor is taken from the Arabic word, ‘Jauhar’, which literally means ‘Precious Stones’. This illustrates the influence of the early Arab traders who traded spices in Johor. To the Siamese, Johor is ‘Gangganu’ or ‘Treasured Stones’. One can trace the multifaceted culture and ethnic mix evident today back through the centuries when it was fought over by the Malays, Portugese, Achinese, Dutch, Bugis and British sometimes on grounds of religion but more often because of trade.
The history of modern Johor began with Dato’ Temenggong Daing Ibrahim, the son of Temenggong Abdul Rahman who was a descendant of Sultan Abdul Jalil IV of Johor. In 1855, under the terms of a treaty between the British in Singapore and Sultan Ali of Johor, the control of Johor was formally cede to Dato’ Temenggong Daing Ibrahim. Sultan Ali retained control over Kesang until shortly before his death in 1877 when the territory was ceded to Dato’ Temenggong Abu Bakar.
Dato’ Temenggong Daing Ibrahim maintained the seat of government at Teluk Belanga in Singapore but also begs to develop Tanjung Puteri in Johor. His reign saw the opening of land to Chinese settlers from Singapore for the cultivation of pepper, a move that boosted the economy of the state. The Temenggong was succeeded by his son, Dato’ Temenggong Abu Bakar who later took the title Seri Maharaja Johor. Temenggong Abu Bakar continued his father’s efforts in cultivating friendly relations with the British.
In 1866, he was formally crowned Sultan of Johor, a feat that earned him the title of ‘Father of Modern Johor’. He gave Johor its constitution and developed an efficient system of administration. The moving of the seat of government from Teluk Belanga to Tanjung Puteri (renamed Johor Bahru) in 1841 led to the rapid development of the town as government offices, police stations, mosques and court houses were built. The Istana Besar constructed during his reign became the official residence of the Sultan.
His successor, Sultan Ibrahim, continued to maintain close relations with the British and in 1910, requested for the services of a British advisor to counsel him on matters of state. Under the able administration of Sultan Ibrahim and his successors, Johor continued to thrive and prosper. Sultan Abu bakar. In 1941, the peninsula fell under Japanese occupation and joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948. After independence in 1957, Malaysia has evolved into a combination of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. Johor is now a prosperous state with an expanding economy, fueled by agriculture, manufacturing, commerce and tourism.
Rainfall in Johor
The average rainfall in Johor is between 2030mm to 3050mm yearly. Rain falls throughout the year with the occassional dry spell.
Flora & Fauna
Johor has large tracts of mangrove swamps which is important to the sustanance of the ecosystem. Johor is also covered by large areas of tropical rain forest teeming with wildlife and various flora and fauna.
Monsoon in the states of Johor
There are three monsoon seasons in Malaysia and they are:
– Season between monsoon (April-May & September-october)
The winds blow without direction and bring light rain that fall constantly
– North-West Monsoon (June-August)
– South-East Monsoon (October – March)
The north-west monsoon wind brings moderate rainfall to the west coast of Malaysia.
Temperature in Johor
The climate in Malaysia is hot and humid with annual min temperature of between 26°C-27°C.
Terrain in the state
The terrain in Malaysia is generally mountainous and Johor has undulating terrain.
Transport System in Johor
All the basic transportation system is well developed in Malaysia and visitors can get around with ease using the following:
Road system in Johor
Malaysia has a comprehensive road network with highways and trunk roads for accessibility. Taxis and buses are also popular modes of transportation.
Rail & Stations in Johor
The rail service is a good way to see many rural parts of the country as it passes through most states.
Johor by Air
There are many domestic flights servicing the country. Johor has a
newly upgraded airport to cater for the increase in passenger volume.
Ferry to and from Johor
A new way to travel from Singapore and Indonesia is by ferry. Visitors are advised to check the schedule for departure and arrival times.
Accommodations in Johor
There are many types of accommodation available in Johor to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. From budget inns to 5-star hotels, the visitor can choose and plan their holidays accordingly.
Islands in Johor
Johor is home to rich marine life, mesmerising coral reefs and spectacular sceneries. These islands offer a host of aqua activities to better appreciate the wonders of nature. The islands are accessible by boat via Mersing (138km from Johor Bahru), Tanjung Sedili and Tanjung Leman.
Visitors to these places will be spoilt for choice. Fresh lobsters, prawns and crabs make the menu of the day. The freshest seafood grilled over an open fire will leave you with unforgettable memories. The more established resorts also have buffet spreads and western food to cater to tourists.
The island is famous among Singaporeans and tourists alike. Accommodation is available in comfortable chalets set amidst idyllic surroundings. Visitors are advised to call for advanced bookings. Some of the popular sea sports include snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing.
You can get to Rawa from Mersing. There is only one resort on the island and the boat comes from the resort. Round-trip boat trips are available upon request.
This beautiful island is acclaimed for its rich and colourful marine life among the colourful coral reefs. Accommodation is available in charming rural style chalets. Visitors can enjoy organised fishing, island hopping, excursions, snorkelling and scuba diving.
You can get to Pulau Besar from Mersing. It is about an hour away by boat. Or you can take a fast boat and be there in 30 minutes. Boats can be chartered from 8.30am to 8pm at the jetty, depending on tide conditions.
Its clean white beaches, clear blue waters and offshore coral reefs beckons visitors to this island. Famous for its lush vegetation and scenery, visitors can expect an ambience of relaxation. Activities include snorkelling, scuba diving, wind surfing, sailing and angling.
There are two ways to get to Sibu. One is to leave from Mersing, the other from Tanjung Leman. However, most leave from Tanjung Leman now. Most resorts can arrange to pick you up from Tanjung Leman, saving you the hassle of hiring your own boat. The boat ride is 20 minutes by fast boat.
Rising 2,000 ft above sea level, Pulau Tinggi is endowed with fresh waters, a sheltered harbour and coral reefs abound with prolific marine life. Recommended activities include swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving.
Similar to Pulau Sibu, you can get there from Mersing or Tanjung Leman. You are advised to check with your resort for transport from Mersing.
This remote island is famous for its beauty and abundance of marine life within its clear emerald waters. Fishing and diving is excellent here.
From Mersing you can catch a boat to Pemanggil. As the journey takes five hours, you have ample time to plan your journey ahead.
Pulau Aur has secluded lagoons and offshore ponds and it’s famous for its natural scenic beauty. Pulau Aur is perfect for water-based activities especially diving and fishing. Visitors are advised to arrange their own transport with the resorts or dive shop about four hours.
Desaru located on the eastern tip of the peninsula has clean sandy white beaches and is popular with tourists as well as locals. The numerous resorts and hotels here cater to the budget traveler as well as families seeking fun in the sun. Among some of the many activities include golfing, horseback riding, tennis, canoeing, swimming, boating, fishing, snorkelling, jungle trekking and other sea sports.
Easily accessible from Singapore and the northern areas by road via Kota Tinggi and by ferry services from Changi Point, Singapore. The beaches are lined with casuarina trees dotted by rustic fishing village. To make your visit more memoriable, visit Tanjung Pengelih to see the relics of World War Two and the historical relic of the Malay Johor Riau Empire at Johor Lama
Sports & Recreational activities
Johor is well known for its sports and recreation facilities around the state. From Malay “Kampungs” to the city, Johorean of all walks of life enjoy sports. On the other hand modern recreation in Johor is fast becoming popular.
Golfing in Johor
Johor is known for its nemerous golf courses available. In fact, the state has the highest number of golf courses in Malaysia. Most of the courses are of international standards with some being designed by world champions. The panaroma of rolling hills, serene ambience and natural landscape that’s breathtaking with its blend of waterways lake and greenery are at once inspiring and soothing for the avid golfer.
Johor is the only state other than Selangor to have a race track of international standards. The Pasir Gudang Race Circuit is where the World 500 Motorbike Series and Formula 3 Race Series will be held this year. At other times of the year, the track is a buzz with the local racing scene as well as the regional races. Located just 30 minutes from Johor Bahru, the race track is also open at night on weekends for a fee, for the local population to have a go at the track.
Johor is a popular spot for anglers as it offers a myriad of choices for fishing, be it cool rivers, lakes or the countless miles of open sea surrounding Johor. Depending on individual taste, anglers can try out freshwater fishing or sea water fishing. There is a wide variety of fish offering different challenges to the avid angler. For a fee, anglers can engage a boat to take them out to the open sea to try their luck. The East Coast offers anglers a more exciting time as one can go for the big game fish here.
As Johor is blessed with a beautiful beaches along the East Coast, there are many water sports facilities available. Speed boats, jet skis and wind surfers are often seen along the seafront. Most facilities can be rented but quite a number are privately owned. Alternatively, the islands off the coast offer unprecedented snorkeling and scuba diving activities. Experience the mesmerising marine life and colour below the sea.
With most parts of Johor still covered by jungle, this rugged activity is mostly favoured by foreign tourists. There are numerous trails available in Johor but trekkers are advised to register with the forest rangers first for security reasons. The rain forests of Malaysia are just teeming with wildlife, flora and fauna, serene waterfalls and mountain ranges that can only be experienced up close.
Leisure Activities in Johor
For leisure activities, there is much that can be done. With the progress of Johor, many modern leisure facilities have begun sprouting up in the state. From fishing spots, go-carting, video games arcade, bowling, cineplexes and a host of other leisure activities are available, limited only by your stamina and budget. There are also numerous pubs, discos, karaokes and nightclubs for those more inclined to the night scene. Visitors are well advised to choose their own leisure activities.