Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru

Rich history, delicious food

Johor Bahru, or JB, lies just across the Johor Strait from Singapore and has long been regarded as that bright and shiny metropolis’ ugly step sister. But while JB has long had a reputation as a hotbed of sleaze, crime and pirated DVDs, change is afoot.

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Much of the questionable activity has relocated these days, and this emerging Cinderella is in the wings getting dolled up in her ball gown, well on the way to saving her somewhat sullied name. As well as the ever increasing high-rise developments, local NGO Think City has been working with the local government and communities to transform JB into a more liveable city, as is evident in JB’s revamped heritage district.

At the Glass Temple. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
At the Glass Temple. Photo: Sally Arnold

Other than day-trippers from Singapore drawn by cheap shopping and excellent food, or folks heading to Malaysia’s Legoland, most travellers hang around just long enough to hop on the next bus, train or boat out. But the hipster-ised heritage district, a handful of worthwhile sights including mosques, temples and museums, plus great eats, are good reasons to linger longer. If you’re travelling towards Singapore, you have even more cause to consider spending the night in JB, where you’ll get more bang for your ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,300 words.)

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