A sprawling city, Johor Bahru has cramped streets in it's centre and modern buildings in its western seafront.
At Jalan Terus is the Johor Temple, the city's oldest temple. The Johor Old Chinese Temple and the Sri Mariamman Temple in downtown Johor Bahru stand as colourful testaments to the transformation of a small, quiet Malay fishing village to the bustling city seen today.
The Sri Mariamman Temple at Jalan Wong Ah Fook displays deities from the Hindu pantheon. The
magnificent Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, perched atop a hill at Jalan Masjid, overlooks the Tebrau Straits.
The Tebrau Straits of Johore Strait is an arm of the Singapore Strait, c.40 mi (60 km) long and from 1 to 3 mi (1.6–4.8 km)
wide, between Singapore Island and the Malay Peninsula. The eastern part of the
strait has a deep channel leading to a port on North Singapore. A causeway (3,443 ft/1,049 m long; opened 1924).
The causeway links two cities: Johor Baru, Malaysia, and Woodland, Singapore.
The Moorish-styled mosque has a
strategically position on top of a hill. The 8 year construction of the mosque was
completed in 1900. It's one of the most beautiful mosque in Malaysia. It was built to accommodate 2000 worshippers at any one time.
Masjid Abu Bakar
Near the mosque is the Johor Zoo.
The zoo is situated at Jalan Gertak Merah near Jalan Tun Dr Ismail. It is a medium sized zoo with a number of interesting Malaysian animals as well as a few
from other countries and provides family day-out activities. Opening hours are from 8 am to 6 pm daily.
The grey-bricked Sultan Ibrahim Building at Jalan Abdul Rahim, once a Japanese warehouse during World War II, was built in 1942. It now houses the state government offices.
Further east at Jalan Tun Dr. Ismail is the majestic Istana Besar with it's white walls and blue roof. The former residence of the Johor Royal family, it is
now open for public. This beautiful palace was commissioned by Sultan Abu Bakar who laid the foundation stone in 1864. One of
the oldest buildings in Johor Bahru, The Grand Palace has a cosmopolitan architecture with clear Anglo-Malay influence. Today, the palace assumes an
additional role as the Royal Abu Bakar Museum, displaying treasures of the royal collection. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Built in 1910, the Johor Art Gallery at Jalan Mariamah exhibits
historical costumes, weapons, currency, manuscripts, ceramics, and object of fine art.
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Dataran Bandaraya (City Square) comprises a large stage, a minaret, a fountain, and a clock tower. The
square is a popular venue for public events like parades. A popular place to watch sunsets or evening strolls is Tebrau Beach,
where ample car-parking bays and hawker stalls can be found here.
At Jalan Strulang Laut one finds Johor Bahru Duty Free Zone (aka Zon), the largest duty-free complex in Malaysia.
Here, visitors can indulge in a shopping orgy in its five-level podium. The complex also houses a hotel and convention centre, a spa, a car
park, immigration facilities and ferry links to Singapore and Indonesia.
The shopping scene is extremely lively in Johor Bahru. Plaza
Best World, located at Jalan Tun Razak, consists of nine-storeys housing over 500 retail outlets. An indoor theme park, a food court, and a supermarket
are also found. Opened recently, Plaza Angsana, which spread over more than one million sq. ft of space, features a roofed open-air dining area on the outside. Pelangi Leisure Mall, Holiday Plaza, and Lien Hoe Complex are sited close to each other near the Jalan Tebrau area. Canny shoppers on the
look-out for economical buys should check out Plaza Kota Raya next to the Puteri Pan Pacific, Perling Mall, Tun Abdul Razak Complex (aka
KOMTAR) at Jalan Wong Ah Food and JOTIC at Jalan Ayer Molek. Hypermarkets offering discounted products are Carrefour, Makro and Giant.
Outside Johor Bahru, a notable Shopping centre is Komplex Pusat Bandar Pasir Gudang in the port of Pasir Gudang.
Johor Bahru Duty Free Complex (ZON is one of the largest duty free complexes in the world. Just 2km away from
the Singapore Causeway, ZON is easily accessible via daily international ferry services from Tanah Merah in Singapore, and Batam and Bintan in Indonesia.
Pasir Gudang, just 20 km east of Johor Bahru, is synonymous with the Johor Racing Circuit. Built on undulating terrain with twelve challenging
corners, the 3.86 km circuit is host to the yearly World Super bike, World Endurance, and the Johor Race Series for cars and motorbikes.
Pasir Gudang has also a Passenger Terminal (RM9mil).
The building offers international standard facilities and is aimed at attracting more ships and ferries to call at Pasir Gudang. The terminal has
been operating for six months, catering for passengers travelling to the Indonesian islands of Batam, Bintan and on other cruise trips.
Close to 30,000 passengers embark and disembark to the cruise ships while Batam and Bintan has 10,000 pax.
Most of the passengers comprise leisure travellers and Indonesian workers. Five ferries sail to Batam and one sails to Bintan daily while the cruise ship offers four services daily.
The terminal is also strategically located within an industrial area. Operating hours are between 8am and 11.30pm
Pasir Gudang Kite Museum is located here, on top of Kite Hill. It is the first kite museum in Malaysia and has a unique working windmill
whose mechanism works to generate enough electricity to supply the daily needs of the museum. It also hosts the annual Pasir Gudang International Kite Festival.