Johor Bahru Landmarks and Monuments
(Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia)
Johor Bahru has a handful of semi-interesting landmarks and monuments, but you wouldn't drive here from Kuala Lumpur
or boat across from Singapore
to see them. Among these sights are Malay and British style colonial buildings, as well as the odd Chinese temple and church.
The Sultan Ibrahim Building is perhaps the most interesting of Johor's landmarks, as is the Mawar Complex. Other significant sights include the Istana Bukit Serene and the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
Sultan Ibrahim Building / State Secretariat Building (Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim)
Address: Bukit Timbalan, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 07 223 5502
The top landmark in Johor houses offices of the state, including the State Assembly Hall. Constructed in the late 1930s and officially opened in 1942, the building was actually the city's tallest for some 30 years, until the arrival of the Merlin Tower. The architecture is both British colonial and Malay in style, and is especially noted for its lofty Mughal-style tower. Ironically, the Japanese used the building as a fortress to attack Singapore.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 16:30
Istana Bukit Serene
Address: Jalan Skudai / Jalan Straits View, Bukit Serene, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 07 223 4935
Off to the west of Selat Johor is the royal palace and the official home of the Sultan of Johor. Dating back to the early 1930s, this palace has fine gardens and a tall tower measuring in at some 35 metres / 115 feet in height, although is not open to tourists, being guarded by the Sultan's private army. However, the views of the Istana Bukit Serene from the waterfront really are quite special and well worth a look.
Open hours: view from exterior only
Mawar Complex (Kompleks Mawar)
Address: 888 Jalan Sungai Chat, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 07 221 4100
Located near the Thistle Hotel, beyond Danga Bay, is the Mawar Complex, which displays a collection of intriguing Malay buildings. A handicrafts workshop and photographs of the Johor royal family in the onsite Galeri Mawar are key highlights. Guided tours can be had and there is a food vendor out front to boot.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 16:00
Church of the Immaculate Conception
Address: 9 Jalan Gereja, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 07 224 3034
This Catholic haven offers relief from the heat and bustle of the streets of Johor, while also being of interest to architectural buffs, historians and religious folk. The design is mostly Western, although does incorporate some visible elements of Malay, Chinese and Indian styles. The church is best visited during the Tamil Feast of Pongal in January, when the popular harvest festival service draws large crowds.
Open hours: daily
Roufo Gumiao (Old Chinese Taoist Temple)
Address: Jalan Trus, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
The Roufo Gumiao, otherwise known as the Old Chinese Taoist Temple, is located close to the city centre and dedicated to the Hongxian Dadi, Weitian Dadi, and Yuantian Shangdi deities. All three effigies reside in the prayer hall. The best time to visit the temple is during Chinese New Year.
Open hours: daily
Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Hindu Temple
Address: Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
The 'First Glass Temple in the World' is clad with glass and is especially photogenic. This popular location attracts a wealth of pilgrims and tourists daily. Good on a rainy day, the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Hindu Temple also comes with a café and stalls out front. The temple stages a couple of events every Wednesday and Thursday, and is to be found not far from the Landmark Shopping Centre.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 13:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discount for children under 13 years, children under five years free