Lifestyle Johor

2021-05-10 21:08:13

After Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru the southernmost city in the peninsula, has re-branded itself from a small border town to a sophisticated, rising star in tourism and business. The city is connected to Singapore via a causeway and is steadily shaping into an extremely modern city.

Lifestyle Johor

Jalan Tun Abdul Razak

Jalan Tun Abdul Razak is a busy highway in Johor Bahru. It links the Skudai Highway to the Johor Bahru city centre. It is the southernmost portion of the Federal Route 1 but was renamed in honour of the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak.

Most of the commercial and office complexes, hotels as Johor Bahru Sentral are centred around this highway.

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Komtar JBCC

Komtar JBCC (Johor Bahru City Centre) is a shopping mall at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak. It is actually a redevelopment project of the old Komtar building.  The building was transformed to incorporate a shopping mall, a hotel and an office complex. Komtar JBCC was opened to the public at the end of 2014.

The shopping mall is easily accessible from Johor Bahru Sentral, which now houses the railway station. The shopping mall occupies a total floor area of almost 58,000 square metres, covering four floors.

There is also an attraction called Skyscape@Menara Jland at Komtar JBCC.  Visitors to Skyscape will get to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Johor Bahru.

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Metrojaya Johor

Metrojaya Johor is the Johor branch of a popular retail company in Malaysia. Known as Metrojaya, the company offers medium to high range products. Metrojaya is mainly engaged in the operation of departmental stores and the group has several departmental stores throughout the country.

There are several Metrojaya outlets in Johor.  They are in Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Jalan Kuning in Taman Pelangi and at the EcoWorld Sales Gallery at Jalan Kota Masai.

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Jalan Wong Ah Fook Night Market, Johor

Jalan Wong Ah Fook is a major road in Johor Bahru.  It is one of the busiest roads in the city as there are numerous businesses including retail outlets, museums, cafes, restaurants, hotels and other commercial activities.

Locals and tourists alike come to this area for shopping and food, including street food.  However, what distinguishes this place from the other places in Johor Bahru is its night market.

The night market is actually located at Jalan Karat.  Also known as Bazar Karat, the night market is where locals go for drinks, snacks, clothes and costume jewellery. You can also chance upon people selling pre-loved goods such as branded clothes, bags and shoes.

The road is named after a Chinese immigrant, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Wong Ah Fook went to Singapore in 1854 and established himself in several businesses, including construction. He was involved in the construction of some of Johor’s heritage buildings, including the Grand Palace or Istana Besar.

Besides the road, there used to be a village that was named after him. The main road at Kampung Wong Ah Fook is the present Jalan Wong Ah Fook.  Three other roads in Johor - Jalan Siu Nam, Jalan Siu Koon and Jalan Siu Chin are named after his sons.

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Culture Street

The Culture Street of Johor, also known as Jalan Tan Hiok Nee is located in the old part of Johor Bahru. There are many historical buildings along this road.

The road is named after Tan Hiok Nee, an influential Teochew businessman in Johor and Singapore in the 19th century. He accumulated his wealth through opium and spirit farming.  He also played an important role in the development of Johor.

There is a red arch at the entrance of this street with Chinese characters on the apex as well as the columns of the arch. The road is lined with colonial-style shophouses that have been converted into eating outlets and souvenir shops.

Along the street are old-fashioned coffee shops selling street food, cafes and bakeries.  In fact, it is a popular place for a food trail.

There is a corner building, called the Red House because it is painted red.  The house was originally owned by an Indian family but is now used for cultural and arts events.

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Legoland Johor

The Legoland Malaysia Resort in Johor is the first international theme park in the country. It is also the first Legoland theme park in Southeast Asia and the sixth in the world. The theme park is located in Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

Opened in September 2012, the theme park offers more than 70 hands-on rides, slides, shows and attractions for children and families. The theme park encompasses several sections, each with attractions on a common theme.

In addition to the theme park, there is also a water park that was opened in 2013, a hotel that was opened in the first half of 2014 and an aquarium called Sea Life that showcases 13,000 sea creatures from 120 species.  All these attractions are Lego-themed. The Lego-themed hotel is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. In 2017, the park launched the world’s first Lego virtual reality roller coaster.

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Puteri Harbour

Puteri Harbour is located in Iskandar Puteri (formerly known as Nusajaya), to the southwest of Johor Bahru in between the Johor-Singapore Causeway and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link. 

Puteri Harbour was developed by a private company, UEM Sunrise to be an international-class location for dining, entertainment and holiday. The development of Puteri Harbour includes an international ferry terminal, which serves as a gateway that welcomes visitors from Indonesia.

As a holiday destination, Puteri Harbour is equipped with several attractions, which include shopping outlets and hotels. Visitors go there for its natural environment as well as to relax and enjoy the sea view.

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Forest City, Johor

Forest City is located in Gelang Patah, southwest of Nusajaya.  It is a special economic zone within the Iskandar special economic zone.  

Forest City is a 30-square kilometre futuristic city.  It comprises four man-made islands, covering about 20 square kilometres and a proposed industrial park of about 10 square kilometres.

The proposed industrial park will focus on eight key sectors, namely regional headquarters, e-commerce, near-shore financial services, education & training, healthcare, emerging technologies, green & smart technology and tourism & MICE.

Forest City will also be promoted as a tourist destination with its hotels, golf courses and commercial units.

Forest City is unique and is unlike other cities in Johor because it is a green, low-carbon city that incorporates a system of energy-efficient building to support a sustainable community and to meet green standards.

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Zoo Johor

The Zoo Johor is located at Jalan Gertak Merah, near to the Grand Palace or the Royal Abu Bakar Museum.  The zoo was opened by the Sultan of Johor in 1928. It is believed to be the earliest zoo in Southeast Asia. However, it was not called a zoo then. It was known as the Animal Garden or Kebun Binatang.

On April 1, 1962, the zoo was handed over to the Johor State Government and was opened to the public for the first time. It spans an area of 12.5 acres and is located near to the Johor Bahru city centre. There are more than 100 species of animals in this zoo.

In 2016, the government approved the relocation of the zoo to a 50 -acre plot in Iskandar Puteri.

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Johor Bahru Sentral

Johor Bahru Sentral is an integrated transport hub located along Jalan Tun Abdul Razak at Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru. The hub was opened in October 2020 to replace the old Johor Bahru railway station nearby.

JB Sentral is also the southern integrated gateway and is connected to the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex. As such, it also serves as the Malaysian immigration checkpoint for southbound rail passengers toward Singapore. As for the northbound rail passengers from Singapore, they are checked at the Woodlands checkpoint prior to boarding.

JB Sentral is connected to the Johor Bahru City Square Shopping Centre by overhead pedestrian bridges. Presently, travellers can access the KTM intercity train services here. In the near future, JB Sentral will serve as the hub for rail as well as bus transportation within Johor Bahru.

The hub occupies an area of 9,500 square meters and has ample parking space - altogether 2,000 spaces. It is designed to operate six rail lines with four island platforms.

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Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, Johor

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town was an indoor Hello Kitty-theme park in Johor.  The park was opened in 2012 and was the first Hello Kitty-theme park outside of Japan. However, the park had to be closed for good in January 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The theme park was located at Puteri Harbour in Iskandar Puteri / Nusajaya. It used to house several attractions, which included interactive activities and rides. There used to have a life-size Hello Kitty house with room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. There also used to be a live performance of Hello Kitty and her friends.

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