FlyKLIA Travelling Guide: Johor, the Abode of Dignity
Johor is the southernmost state of Malaysia, with Singapore as its neighbour. Because of its proximity to Singapore, it has a number of interesting attractions to draw overseas tourists. Of course, locals are not neglected too as they have some interesting places to visit and foods to eat. Here are some of the best things about Johor.
Malaysians would be quite familiar with the story of Puteri Gunung Ledang, an old Malay legend about a princess who was said to have lived atop Gunung Ledang, and the attempts by the Sultan of Malacca to court her. You won’t have to fulfil seven impossible tasks to hike up Gunung Ledang, but the half-day hike to the top is no easy feat either. However, what makes it worthwhile to visit Gunung Ledang is the abundance of interesting flora and fauna there, including Paku Lagu which is a plant species found only in Gunung Ledang, and barking deers and helmeted hornbills.
- Fees: Please refer to the Johor National Parks website for package fees.
- Opening times: 8 AM–7 PM daily
- Contact: 06-963 1030
Angry Birds Activity Park
The Angry Birds mobile game craze began in 2010. By 2011, over 10 million Angry Birds toys have been sold. To this day, close to 30 different video games have been developed under the Angry Birds franchise, and two movie adaptations have been released. The surging popularity of this franchise made the opening of an Angry Birds theme park a no-brainer, and thus a number of Angry Birds Land theme parks began to appear. One was built in Malaysia in 2014 but has since been renamed Angry Birds Activity Park to distinguish its scale from outdoor theme parks. Despite the size, Angry Birds Activity Park features close to 30 fun activities for young children. If you’re a fan of Angry Birds, this is one place you’ll not want to miss!
- Entrance Fee:
- Kids: RM35
- Adults: RM25
- Family (5 tickets for kids or adults): RM140
- Annual Pass: RM230; RM180 for MyKad holders
- Family Annual Pass (5 tickets for kids or adults): RM850; RM700 for MyKad holders
- Opening times: 11 AM–7 PM, closed Mondays
- Contact: 07-266 9924/5
We’ve covered LEGOLAND several times before, once for their special Halloween event, and most recently how they’re one of the best options for family hotels. Featuring LEGOLAND Park, LEGOLAND Water Park and SEA LIFE Aquarium, LEGOLAND Malaysia provides various activities for all ages to enjoy.
- Entrance Fee:
- 1-Day Double Park: RM150 for adults; RM120 for kids
- 1-Day Triple Park: RM188 for adults; RM156 for kids
- Annual Pass: Kindly refer to the LEGOLAND website for annual pass pricing.
- Opening times: 10 AM–5 PM daily; closed on certain Wednesdays. Refer to website for schedule.
- Contact: 07-597 8888
Johor Premium Outlets
If you have not visited Johor Premium Outlets before, you should reconsider and plan a visit sometime soon. They feature 150 designer and name-brand outlet stores with huge savings thanks to factory-direct pricing. It is one of the first premium outlets in Malaysia and was built by a joint venture between The Genting Group and Simon, an American real estate investment trust and also the largest shopping mall operator in the US.
- Opening times: 10 AM–10 PM daily
- Contact: 07-661 8888
For those who appreciate textiles and fabrics, there is no better place than the humble town of Tangkak. A visit there would easily let you know why Tangkak has been nicknamed “Syurga Kain” (Cloth Heaven) and “Fabric Town”, given that it has a vast array of textile shops. The Tangkak District Council website even maintains a list of textile businesses in the town so you can plan ahead for hunting down the cheapest textiles imported from all around the world.
Food in Johor have very familiar names, but there are significant differences. You hear of laksa, otak-otak and toast throughout Malaysia, but the ones in Johor have a twist to them that you can hardly find elsewhere.
Kluang Rail Coffee
In the town of Kluang, the coffeeshop known as Kluang Rail Coffee is a well-known breakfast spot. As befits its name, it is located at the KTM station in Kluang. They have the Malaysian coffeeshop staple of roti kahwin—toasted sandwiches of kaya and butter—in your choice of wholemeal bread, white bread, and buns, the last of which is so popular that they are usually the first to run out. What makes their toast special is that they use charcoal to toast their bread, so when you get a charcoal toast, it’s not like in most other places where you get bread made with bamboo charcoal to turn its appearance black, but you get bread that has been properly roasted by a charcoal fire, which imparts a unique fragrance to the toast. Kluang Rail Coffee has branches across Malaysia by the name of Kluang Station, but unfortunately, their bread is not toasted using charcoal fire. For an authentic experience of Kluang, you need to try the original charcoal toast at Kluang Rail Coffee.
- Address: KTM, Jalan Station, 86000 Kluang, Johor
- Opening times: 7 AM–6 PM daily; closed from 12 PM–2:30 PM on Fridays for Friday prayers.
- Contact: 07-773 8391
Otak-Otak Cheng Boi
Otak-otak Muar is a widely-known regional variant of otak-otak. How Muar does it differently is that instead of using banana leaves to wrap the fish paste, leaves from the mangrove palm are used to wrap the fish paste together with a unique blend of spices before grilling them. The combined fragrances from the leaves, fish and spices become the signature for otak-otak Muar, which is why people from all across Malaysia and even Singapore would buy otak-otak Muar by the dozens whenever they pass by this town. Otak-Otak Cheng Boi has been in operation for about 20 years. They also have other variants such as prawn otak-otak and cuttlefish otak-otak, which provides a difference in not only flavour but also texture.
- Address: No 28 4, Jalan Bentayan, Taman Sri Emas, 84000 Muar, Johor
- Opening times: 8 AM–6 PM Thursdays to Tuesdays; 8 AM–12 PM Wednesdays
- Contact: 016-644 9119
Salahuddin Bakery is legendary in the city of Johor Bahru for being one of the oldest bakeries in the state, dating back all the way to 1937. To this day, they still use a wood-fired oven the size of a room to bake their goods. They even preserve the way the goods are displayed, all laid out on a table in the open instead of being meticulously placed behind plastic enclosures. All of their baked goods are made the old-fashioned way, but the most highly recommended things to try there are their curry puffs, which are made in a unique triangular shape better known as Indian curry puffs or karipap bai. These are packed with various fillings, including potatoes, chicken, or even lamb, and cost only RM2 each.
- Address: 26, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening times: 9 AM–6 PM Saturdays to Thursdays; closed on Fridays
- Contact: 012-766 8380
You can fly to Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru.
Taking the bus to Johor from anywhere in West Malaysia is affordable, but expect long hours on the road and even being stuck in traffic for hours, especially during peak seasons such as school holidays.
If you’re looking for places to stay in Johor, the aforementioned LEGOLAND Resort has a hotel that we highly recommend families to stay at. Not only would you be in close proximity to the LEGOLAND attractions, you would also have a unique experience in their rooms. Apart from LEGOLAND Hotel, accommodations in the vicinity of Gunung Ledang are recommended to those seeking to hike up the mountain.
So there you have it, some of the best places to visit in the state of Johor, the Abode of Dignity! Do you have any other recommendations when it comes to visiting Johor? Do let us know in the comments down below!
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