Asia Pacific Guides™
A day trip to Johor Bahru Singapore, one of Asia's most vivid and cosmopolitan cities, is frequented by millions of visitors every year, and while it boasts enough attractions and sightseeing spots to keep a traveler busy for more than a week, it is also advisable to spare one day to visit neighboring Johor Bahru, just across the straights, where the ambience is different and there is a lot to see and shop... This mini-guide will take you on a day trip to the city of Johor Bahru. Getting from Singapore to Johor is as easy as pie: You can take SBS bus No. 170, or Causeway Link (routes CW1 / CW2), or the Singapore-Johor Express bus (SJE) from either the city centre (Queen Street Terminus), or from Kranji MRT Station. Another option is to share a taxi from Queen Street, or from Rochor Road, not far from the city centre (Please note: Only the Malaysian taxis can drive all the way to Johor Bahru). Visiting Singapore ? Although the city's public-transport system is one of the best on earth, taking a guided tour is strongly recommended, for two reasons: I) J)
A guide can show you all sorts of "hidden gems" you may have never found on your own, and tell you the untold stories behind each of the sites… Guided tours take you directly from one spot to the other, saving you the hassle of waiting to public transport, and leaving you with more precious holiday time in your hands…
Places of interest and sightseeing spots in Johor Bahru 1) Sultan Ibrahim Building (Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim), one of the city's most prominent landmarks, was constructed in the late 1930s and features a mixed colonial and Malay architecture. It is an impressive building alright, but there is not much to do here see other than to see the building itself... 2) Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque (Masjid Sultan Abu Bakar) sits atop of a prominent hill, west of the city centre and overlooks the Straits of Johor and the island of Singapore. Built towards the end of the 19th century by Sultan Abu Bakar, this architecturally fascinating structure, which can accommodate up to two thousand prayers, combines both Western neo-classical and Islamic motifs and is regarded as one of the most beautiful mosques in Malaysia, which makes it a place well worth visiting.
3) Sultan Abu Bakar Royal Museum (Muzium Diraja Abu Bakar) is housed within the Istana Besar, a magnificent palace that was built in the 1860s by Sultan Abu Bakar, right above the straits of Johor, and incorporates both English and Malay architectural motifs. The museum displays some of the most enchanting treasures of the sultanate's royal family, including works of art, antiquities, silverware, gold and silver jewelry, furniture, traditional Malay weapons and more... Highly recommended. 4) In Rumah MAWAR Crafts Centre, on Jalan Sungai Chat, you can watch local craftsmen at work and buy traditional souvenirs like hand-painted batik fabrics and rattan-woven basketry.
Shopping and food in Johor Bahru A few of Johor Bahru's leading shopping malls can be found around the centre of town, just a short distance from the bus terminus, while others are located in the suburbs and require a short taxi ride (metered taxis here are very reasonable). Generally speaking, Johor's shopping malls are slightly less glitzy than their counterparts in Singapore, but the prices they offer are usually better, especially for Malaysian produced goods, which can sometimes be 50% cheaper than across the straights. City Square, the tallest building in Johor Bahru, is home to one of the city's most popular shopping malls, with a very good choice of both retail shops, food outlets and a cinema complex. Plaza Kotaraya, also in town and just a short walk from the bus terminus, is a fairly colossal mall which seems to be popular among weekend shoppers from Singapore. You can find here a choice of household appliances, clothes, toys, luggage and the likes... Landmark IT Mall, still around the city centre, is the right place to shop for IT products, including computers and accessories, mobile phones and all sorts of gadgets at fairly god prices. KSL City is Johor's largest and newest shopping mall, boasting a floor area of almost one million square feet, with more than 400 retail shops, 50 food outlets, and a colossal Cineplex. Holiday Plaza, just five minutes' walk from there, is home to many shops that specialize in DVDs and CDs (both movies and computer games), but many of them are pirated (which is, probably, why they are so cheap). To know more about touring in Singapore, including suggestions for different day tour itineraries, visit the Singapore Tours and Attractions Guide, at metropolasia.com You can also read and download or range of FREE Singapore online-guides here ! Traveling to Singapore? Click here to get some of the best rates for accommodation in Asia's most cosmopolitan city.
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