Johor Bahru / Malaysia


Johor Bahru

The port-town Johor Bahru lies at the southernmost tip of the Malay Peninsula. Due to a massive growth in the second half of the 20th century the place grew considerably big. The city is now home for at least 500,000 people, while the whole urbanized complex surrounding it houses roughly estimated another 200,000 inhabitants. Johor Bahru is linked with the island of Singapore by a causeway.

'Johor Bahru' by Asienreisender

Downtown Johor Bahru after sunset. Image by Asienreisender, 9/2010

Johor Bahru is an important commercial center of peninsular Malaysia.

While Singapore was founded in 1819, Johor Bahru followed in 1855. There has been a small Malay fishing village before at the place with the name Tanjung Puteri. The immigration of Chinese and Javanese helped to develop the place in the following decades.

The railway connection from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru was completed in 1909, followed by an extension via the causeway to Singapore in 1923.

In the Battle of Malaya, the place served for a short time as the headquarter of the Japanese Army who was going to capture Singapore. It was occupied, as whole Malaysia, from 1942 to 1945.

Due to a massive growth in the 1990s, Johor Bahru gained city status. It's still among the fastest growing cities in Malaysia.

Causeway to Singapore
'Causeway from Johor Bahru to Singapore' by Asienreisender

Individualized traffic is extremely inefficient. The masses of vehicles who come and go to Singapore choke the traffic flow on the causeway, which is a far too small bottleneck. Border traffic between both states is anyway massive, every day. Image by Asienreisender, 12/2012

As a trade and financial center, Johor Bahru is closely interconnected with Singapore. There is also a producing, industrial belt around the city.

Apart from the secularian judiciary there is a Sharia law court active here. One of the sights is the Grand Palace of the Sultan of Johor.

Many Singaporeans have chosen to live rather in Johor Bahru than in Singapore, where prices are considerably higher than here. It's no nice place, though, for it's not clean and the whole atmosphere in the inner city is unfriendly and things appear neglected. I dont' think it's very safe here, neither.

The bus station Larkin Sentral is about 5km outside of the city center. There are frequent buses to other regions in peninsular Malaysia, to south Thailand and to Singapore. Besides, the place has a railway station, a very large industrial port and an airport. There are passenger-boat connections to Sumatra.

The Skyline of Johor Bahru
'Skyline of Johor Bahru' by Asienreisender

The modern business center of Johor Bahru around the Sultan's Palace. Image by Asienreisender, 9/2010

Singapore Island
'View from Johor Bahru to Singapore' by Asienreisender

At the pier for the ferry to Singapore. Image by Asienreisender, 9/2010