Johor Bahru is the capital of state Johor, located in southern peninsular Malaysia. It is an immediate neighbor of splendid Singapore. If anyone is planning a visit to Singapore, visiting Johor Bahru is must. This city is home to numerous places of tourist interest including historical buildings and modern tourism avenues.
Tourists ought to visit numerous interesting places here including museums, art galleries, historical monuments, recreational parks, zoos etc. Prominent museums here include Sultan Abu Bakar Royal Palace Museum, Johor Bahru Art Gallery, Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum, Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum and Makam Diraja (Royal Mausoleum).
Sultan Abu Bakar Royal Palace Museum is the erstwhile grand palace of Sultan of Johor. This palace was built in mid nineteenth century and was converted into museum in 1990. Tourists can catch a glimpse of reception rooms, royal bedrooms, banquet hall, exotic wooden furniture and other personal belongings of the sultan. The palace complex also houses a vast botanical garden and a 53 hectare garden which has been maintained pretty well.
Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum is another interesting museum where exhibits relating to history and culture of Chinese community in the region are displayed. This is a four storey building and houses numerous photographs, clips being displayed on several TV screens, traditionally dressed mannequins etc.
Johor Bahru Art Gallery is a prominent art gallery. It can be visited to view modern Malaysian art, Islamic calligraphy, window frames with intricate artwork, weapons, clothes and currency of bygone era. Johor Bahru Kwong Siew Heritage Gallery is another interesting place to view artwork and catch a glimpse of traditional life of the past in the region. This gallery has a pretty wide collection and is worth a visit.
There are a number of religious buildings that are popular among pilgrims and tourists alike. Prominent ones such as Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, Sri Raja Mariamman Hindu Temple, Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Hindu Temple, Roufo Old Chinese Temple, Johor Bahru Sikh temple and a number of popular mosques. It must be noted that most mosques are open only for Muslim devotees.
All these buildings of religious importance are known for their interesting architecture and equally interesting religious ceremonies. For instance, Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception is a late nineteenth century church built in British colonial style of architecture. It even hosts a regional harvest festival, Pongal, every mid-January, whose festivities can be enjoyed by tourists as well.
Danga Bay or Teluk Bay in local language is a waterfront development and houses a number of recreational facilities such as Danga World Petting Zoo, Danga World Theme Park, Rumah Limas etc. Expect a good time while visiting this place. Johor Bahru Zoo, Taman Rekreasi Hutan Bandar (recreational park) and Saleng Zoo are other places of tourist interest in the city.
Adrenaline enthusiasts can check out numerous places where they can enjoy water sports. Prominent places of interest for them include Stulang Laut for windsurfing, Pulau Sibu PADI Dive Centre and Dan's Nasty Frogmen Dive Base for scuba diving.
Johor Bahru can be explored pretty well using a taxi, but make sure to agree upon the fare first. Stay away from trouble by walking in groups, avoiding late night roaming around and flashing cash or wallets.