Just over the causeway
from Singapore, Johor Bahru is an important manufacturing and business hub for Malaysia. The city’s top attraction, the Istana Besar boasts a distinct Anglo-Malay architecture and houses the museum where priceless treasures of the Royal Collection are showcased. The perfectly manicured gardens are a favorite for family outings, joggers, leisure walk or games of badminton. There are also a large number of beautiful shop-houses in the area, built in the 1920s, when traders from Arabia, India and China once came to trade spices and tobacco.
Hotels in Johor City Center offer convenient access to the area’s shopping bargains. As an important manufacturing hub for the region, shops can offer goods much cheaper than can neighboring Singapore and there are several large malls. The City Center is navigable on foot via a series of underpasses and walkways. Taxis operate on a voucher-and-meter system, and vouchers are bought from booths on the edge of the road.
The annual Chingay Procession (Feb/Mar) sees five deities representing the five major Chinese communities paraded through the city centre. The parade features 130-year old traditional lion, dragon and tiger dances, Chinese clowns, beautifully decorated floats and martial arts troupes.