At the southern end of the Malaysian peninsula lies the state of Johor, home to the country’s biggest financial center and a state filled with a number of tourist attractions to discover.
Johor, Malaysia’s southern gateway, is only separated from the hustle and bustle of Singapore by a causeway. Most tourists rule out Johor from their itinerary but those who give this state a go get their reward of breathtaking rainforests, pristine beaches, majestic waterfalls, and a taste not only of Johor’s complex dishes but their rich culture and unique history as well.
The Senbai International Airport, 35 kilometres north of the causeway, has scheduled domestic flights to and from Western and Eastern Malaysia from Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Firefly, and Malindu Air.
If you are coming from Singapore, you can access Johor via bus or a private car which you can hire at rates ranging from SD 490 to 1,300 (USD 361 to 958). You can then drive via the Causeway Link (which can sometimes get congested) or the Second Link, which is the route recommended for private vehicles. Another option is to take the causeway buses in the terminal located opposite Kranji MRT and Queenstreet Terminal, that stop at various points in Johor Bahru. Bus schedules start as early as 04:30. Each has different fare rates ranging from SD 1.50 to 4.30 (USD 1 to 3.20).
If you are coming from Kuala Lumpur, you can go to Johor via plane, bus, train, or taxi. Buses charge MR 10 (USD 2.40) for the 4-hour ride, the train fare is MR 17 (USD 4.09) for the 7-hour travel, while the taxi’s rate plays around MR 450 to 990 (USD 108.21 to 238) for a 5-hour journey.
The main currency accepted by establishments in Johor is the Malaysian Ringgit which has denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. You can avail of ATM and foreign exchange services in banks that are widely available in Johor Bahru. Tourists can also exchange US dollars and Singaporean dollars inside malls and several authorized money changers.
Despite the occasional rain showers, the temperature around Johor has consistently remained stable. Johor’s sunny days and the humid weather starts around April to October while the monsoon season begins in November up to February. The best time to visit Johor is between April and May since these months are already free from monsoon rains.
If you think the sights are already a big revelation of Johor, line up at the famous Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory and have a big bite of their traditionally baked banana cake and you will find out why this century-old restaurant is still a big hit in Johor. Visit Tapai Tang and try their salt baked chicken, made with Chinese herbs that burst with flavours in your mouth, and their wat tan hor, a dish made of rice noodles coated in rich, flavourful gravy that you can sip to your heart’s delight. Of course, do not forget to head over the little kiosks lined up at Bandar, Johor Bahru and fill up your tummies with their unique street food choices.
Get a chance to discover Malaysia’s natural sights, yummy food, and cultural sights all in one place – Johor.