Do-it-yourself walking tour of Johor Bahru

Do-it-yourself walking tour of Johor Bahru

Walk and absorb some history

More on Johor Bahru

Most of Johor Bahru’s places of interest are clustered in the downtown heritage area, easily explored on foot. Two must-visit landmarks, Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque and Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Glass Temple, lay a few kilometres away in different directions. We’d suggest taking a taxi to either to start our self-designed heritage trail.

Travelfish says:
The unusual British Victorian- and Moorish-influenced Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
The unusual British Victorian- and Moorish-influenced Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque. Photo: Sally Arnold

Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, Johor’s state mosque, is not only a beautiful example of Victorian fusion architecture, it’s perched atop a hill with sweeping views of the Johor Strait and across to Singapore. It was built under the direction of Sultan Abu Bakar, the founding father of modern Johor and a committed anglophile. Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales, Prince Edward, are said to have been close friends. He modelled his leadership on British ideals and commissioned several state buildings influenced by British Victorian and Moorish architectural styles, including this mosque. The foundation stone was laid in 1892, and the completed mosque opened for worship in 1900. The unusual style (for a mosque) resembles a typical British town hall and the minarets are more akin to clock or bell towers. At the time of our research in March 2017 it was closed for renovation, but we were still able to enter the grounds, walk around the mosque and enjoy the outlook over the Istana Gardens, Johor Zoo and Johor Strait.

From the mosque, head to the seafront road, Jalan Abu Bakar, and walk east for one kilometre as it continues to Jalan Tun Dr Ismail to Istana Besar Abu Bakar. Be careful, as sections of this road are not particularly pedestrian friendly. Note the Victorian-style lampposts (blocking the footpath) and fence with decorative floral elements. The design is based on the leaves of the gambier and pepper plants, important in Johor’s early economy. From the path you can check the time from a large clock embedded in the hillside of the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 2,100 words.)

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Reviewed by

Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.

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Our top 1 other sights and activities in and around Johor Bahru

Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Glass Temple
Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Glass Temple

The blingiest bling in JB