City spotlight: Johor
Located in the southernmost tip of Johor, Johor Bahru is a colourful and chaotic city caught up in fast-paced development. Sammi Lim explores JB (as the locals call it) and provides suggestions on how to get the most out of a one-day trip
Johor Bahru is Malaysia’s second largest city and, as with every rapidly growing modern metropolis, is still coming to terms with its touristic value. There are heritage walks and food trails to follow, mostly centred in and around the streets of Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and Jalan Dhoby where a burgeoning hipster café scene is very much in evidence. It may not have the cultural overload of Penang or the buzz of the capital, but it’s well worth a couple of days of exploration.
There’s no better way to get acquainted with a city than to discover its history, so begin your day at the Grand Palace (Jalan Sri Belukar, Kebun
Merah). Once the ‘humble’ abode of Johor’s royal family, the blue and white building is a stunning example of Anglo Malay architecture. No longer in
use except for grand functions, the palace also houses the Royal Abu Bakar Museum.
Tour the palace grounds and feast your eyes on ancient artefacts and royal heirlooms.
When you’re done, head
to the nearby Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque (Jalan
Gertak Merah). This beloved landmark perched on top of a hill provides a sweeping view of the Straits of Johor and the surrounding area.
Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque