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Johor Bahru

An Introduction

Located at the southern tip of the Peninsula, Johor Bahru is the state capital of Johor Darul Takzim. JB, in short, was established in 1855 by the late Sultan Abu Bakar (the Father of Modern Johor) and now serves as the administrative and commercial center of the state.

Connected to Singapore by road and rail via a modern causeway, JB is also the Peninsula's southern gateway. Consisting of a diverse ethnic mix of races, JB offers the visitor heritage attractions, colorful culture, delectable local cuisine, and exciting recreational activities.

Popular with Singaporeans, JB boasts of myriad landmarks, such as The Grand Palace with its distinct Anglo-Malay architecture, which houses the museum where priceless treasures of the Royal Collection are showcased.

The "Ghazal" music, which is unique to Johor, is usually performed during cultural shows and weddings. Another famous performance distinctly Johorean is the "Kuda Kepang" dance, which is spun from tales of Islamic heroes. Dancers imitate the movement of horses to the music of a traditional orchestra.

Shopping opportunities abound in JB. Modern malls, arcades, handicraft centers, bazaars and markets offering international and local products all vie for attention. Local craftwork is sure to catch the eye and they do make lovely souvenirs of a trip here. Furthermore, there is the JB Duty Free Complex located at the JB International Ferry Terminal. Known as "ZON", it is a large duty free department store and supermarket encompassing 163 retail outlets, a hypermarket, and 30,000 feet of shopping area. The complex offers a variety of goods such as branded designer wear from London, Paris, New York and the likes. Glassware, confectionery, and other items are also offered.

Another interesting side of JB can be experienced when night falls over the city. A sumptuous array of food stalls and vendors appear (as if by magic) and the adventurous tourist should delight in trying out the taste of popular local dishes such as the famous Laksa Johor, flake fish and gravy cooked with coconut milk and served with noodles and vegetables.

Getting There & Moving Around

By Air :Regulars flights from Johor Bahru's Senai Airport connects the state capital with Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Kuching, and Kuala Lumpur.

By Road :Taxis are a popular and cheap mode of transportation. All urban taxis are fitted with meters. An additional 50% is charged between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. It is also possible to hire an outstation taxi on a shared or individual basis to travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Kuantan, and Kota Bahru. Johor Bahru is also well served by express buses offering comfortable rides at reasonable fares from all major cities and towns in Peninsular Malaysia.

By Rail :Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) offers numerous train services connecting Singapore and other states through the Johor Bahru Railway Station.

By Sea :A ferry link provides a new way to travel between Singapore and Malaysia. It operates daily between Changi Point near the Singapore International Airport and Tanjung Belungkor in Johor.

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