Sunday, 13 November 2011

Malaysia Info - Johor

At the Southern tip of Asia lies a precious stone.
Johor, Malaysia, has it all

Johor, the southern gateway to Malaysia, has all to make your holiday an exciting and enjoyable adventure. Watch the kuda kepang, a dance steeped in mythology. Visit the Sultan Ibrahim Building, the only living Royal Museum and the palace into a time zone of century of exquisite culture and tradition. Johor's ceramics and handicrafts are some of the most artistic and creative. Dine at the most exotic places for seafood and the laksa, Johor's popular dish. Kukup, a town famous for its mouth-watering seafood, has restaurants on stilts by the sea.
Bask in the tranquility and the serenity of the countryside, on the casuarinas-lined beaches of Desaru or in the crystal clear waters of the islands for jet skiing, scuba diving or even fishing. Or walk through a million years of flora and fauna at the Endau-Rompin National Park. Then while in Johor Bahru city, stroll though the dozen shopping malls for the best bargains in designer fashion. You may also try your best handicap at the many challenging designer golf courses around the city, and in some major town, by the beach.
Lots of fond memories to bring home to.
JOHOR-The Southern Gateway to Malaysia
The transformation of modem Johor took place in the 19th century under the reign of HRH Sultan Abu Bakar. He gave Johor the first constitution for a Malay state and introduced a proper system of administrative government and began Johor's drive toward stability and prosperity. In 1885 he was given official recognition as the Sultan of Johor by Queen Victoria and earned the title as 'the Father of Modern Johor'.
By virtue of its geographic position, Johor holds the inimitable distinction, logistically as being at the southernmost tip of the Asian continent. Strategically significant, Johor is also at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsular surrounded on three sides: to the west by the Straits of Malacca, to the east by the South China Sea and to the south by the Straits of Johor. The word Johor itself literally means 'precious jewel' and is taken from the Arabic word "Jauhar" showing the influence of the early Arab traders.
Johor has much to offer travelers such as its rich history, colorful culture, shopping and entertainment attractions, with a large number located in Johor Bahru city such as the Royal Museum, the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, the Sultan Ibrahim Building and the lstana Bukit Serene.
   Under the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Growth Triangle Johor plays a major role. As the state capital, of Johor Bahru is linked to Singapore by causeway. With the high demand and rapid development, the government has built the Second Link to Singapore from Gelang Patah to Tuas, which provides better facilities for travelers. At present, Johor Bahru has also become a shopping haven for travellers especially from Singapore.
  Outside the Klang Valley, Johor has the largest number of golf courses. Until 1992, there were barely 10 courses and most of them are 9 hole courses. Today, Johor have nearly 30 courses - 3 of the golf courses have [ 54 holes while another 3 golf courses also offer night golfing. Compared to the neighboring countries, the Green Fees are definitely cheap.
Agro tourism comes quite naturally to the state. You can visit the rubber and palm oil plantations, and local fruit farms for day visits or long stays with a local family in the Homestay programmer where you can participate in harvesting or pickings, and watch the processes involved. Alternatively, sampling the fruits can be just as fun.
Compared to other tea plantations, Johor Tea is very unique as it is the only lowland tea plantation in this country. Orchid Valley, the largest tropical orchid attraction in the world has been very well received by the public since opening on 3 February 1996. Set in a beautiful exotic garden setting. Orchid Valley offers visitors an opportunity to experience oceans of exotic tropical orchids.
  Johor Lama, historically holds many secrets of the past, particularly since it was once the capital of the Johor Sultanate. The capital was later moved to what is now known as Johor Bahru. Historical sites can be found along the Johor River such as Panchor, Kampung Johor Lama, Batu Sawar, Kampung Makam and Kota Seberang. There are also kelongs which are made of wooden poles topped by small shacks located near the river mouth.
   Kota Tinggi is truly at the crossroads to Johor's beautiful East Coast, great beaches along The South China Sea, magical islands, quaint fishing villages, the captivating mangrove swamps, tropical wonderland of rainforests, waterfalls, refreshing streams and cool rivers teeming with vast amount of flora and fauna in all its abundance. Aside from its strategic location, Kota Tinggi itself has some very interesting tourist attractions to offer in terms of beauty, history and place to visit. The Kota Tinggi Waterfalls for years have been renowned, not only for its continuous rush of cascading cool waters that run down the slopes originating from Gunung Panti, but also for its beautiful, tropical surroundings of flora and fauna.
   South East Johor offers nature in majestic abundance where there are about 40km of tropical, golden sandy beaches that stretch from the eastern tip of the peninsular to Teluk Ramunia passing through Desaru, Sedili Besar and Sedili Kecil. Desaru, which comprises of 26 kilometers of beach front is considered the best in terms of sand, surf and sea. Desaru offers almost every type of accommodation to travelers, from low-budget campsites for the more adventurous travelers, chalets for families to luxurious hotel rooms. For those who love fishing, Pengerang is a paradise with its picturesque fishing villages.
   Destined to be Asia's foremost international yachting, golfing 6 holiday destination, Sebana Cove's claims are fast becoming a reality in the heart of the region's fastest growing tourism belt. Sebana Cc is sprawled on 1,200 acres amidst the emerald panorama of tropical rainforests and mangrove. This total resort concept is the o development that parcels an international standard residential marina, a 27 hole membership golf course, luxurious waterfront properties and a 300 room resort hotel.
 Mersing is currently the main staging point to the off-shore islands Johor Of all the islands, the foremost are Pulau Rawa, Pulau Sibu, Pulau Tinggi, Pulau Besar, Pulau Hujung, Pulau Tengah, Pulau Pemanggil and Pulau Aur. These islands have stretches of beautiful beaches, surrounded by crystal clear waters teeming with coral reefs and marine life. Some of the islands have been gazetted as marine parks to protect and preserve the productive ecosystem support some of the most active aquatic life in the world.
   Mersing also offers travelers great scenic variety in its rural, natural and agricultural landscapes, picturesque fishing activities and attractive beaches. Gunung Arong situated l7 kilometers from Mersing, is a forest reserve well endowed with Meranti trees and a river that meanders through this area makes it suitable for picnic activities. About 15 kilometers to the north of Mersing town is Air Papan, an attractive interesting village. Its beach is surrounded by hills with a variety of trees and palms.
   There are plenty to do and see in Kluang,. At nearby Gunung Lambak, rain forest, waterfalls is a recreational park within the mountain there rain forest, waterfalls, and hiking trails. At the right time of the year, you might be able to witness the migration of the fruit bats to the mountain. The forest reserve located at Gunung Belumut in Kluang is a place with unique flora and fauna. Along the course of its rivers are several waterfalls with pools at its bottom.
   Endau-Rompin National Park which is made up of pristine tropical rainforest, is the second largest national park in Peninsular Malaysia covering an area of 48 905 hectares. Here, the rock formation dating back to 248 million years.
   The Endau-Rompin National Park, which is mostly hilly with some prominent sandstone plateau, is the watershed of several rivers including the Sungai Endau, Sungai Selai and Sungai Jasin. Among places of interest which can be found here are the Orang Asli settlement in Kampung Peta and the waterfalls in Upih Guling and Buaya Sangkut. Endau-Rompin National Park is also special as it is the home and sanctuary to the largest Malaysian population of rare Sumatran rhinocerous, which are endangered species.
   Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir) at 1276 meters is the highest mountain in Johor and also the best known mountain in Peninsular Malaysia. Situated 38km from Bandar Maharani and close to the border with Malacca, is very accessible. There are 2 trails to the peak either the Malacca, it Asahan trail from the north-west or the Sagil trail from the south. If the weather is good, the outline of Sumatra can be seen from the summit. Gunung Ledang is in fact, part of an ecological rainforest considered to have one of the richest flora species in the world.
   Tanjung Piai, which is situated in Mukim Serkat, Pontian, is geographically the southernmost tip of the Asian mainland. It offers a very scenic view of the Straits of Malacca. Fishing is still the livelihood for many of its inhabitants and the area is surrounded by one of the largest mangrove swamplands in Asia, home to the fascinating tree climbing and scavenging macaque monkeys. Tanjung Piai is also home to one of nature's seldom seen spectacular phenomena, the fireflies. When certain conditions prevail, these fireflies will swarm and transform the mangrove swamp into a twinkling wonderland.
   Over the years, millions of visitors from all over the globe have visited Johor. As the southern gateway to Malaysia, Johor has everything to make your holiday worthwhile and a memorable adventure. Naturally, with all the above wonders, our food, culture and fascinating people reflect Malaysia's diversity.

The word Johor is taken from the Arabic word, 'Jauhar', which literally means 'Precious Stones'. This illustrates the influence of the early Arab traders who traded spices in Johor. To the Siamese, Johor is 'Gangganu' or 'Treasured Stones'. One can trace the multifaceted culture and ethnic mix evident today back through the centuries when it was fought over by the Malays, Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch and British sometimes on grounds of religion but more often because of trade.
The history of modern Johor began with Dato' Temenggong Daing Ibrahim, the son of Temenggong Abdul Rahman who was a descendant of Sultan Abdul Jalil IV of Johor. In 1855, under the terms of a treaty between the British in Singapore and Sultan Ali of Johor, the control of Johor was formally cede to Dato' Temenggong Daing Ibrahim. Sultan Ali retained control over Kesang until shortly before his death in 1877 when the territory was ceded to Dato' Temenggong Abu Bakar. Dato' Temenggong Daing Ibrahim maintained the seat of government at Teluk Belanga in Singapore but also begs to develop Tanjung Puteri in Johor. His reign saw the opening of land to Chinese settlers from Singapore for the cultivation of pepper, a move that boosted the economy of the state.
The Temenggong was succeeded by his son, Dato' Temenggong Abu Bakar who later took the title Seri Maharaja Johor. Temenggong Abu Bakar continued his father's efforts in cultivating friendly relations with the British. In 1866, he was formally crowned Sultan of Johor, a feat that earned him the title of 'Father of Modern Johor'. He gave Johor its constitution and developed an efficient system of administration. The moving of the seat of government from Teluk Belanga to Tanjung Puteri (renamed Johor Bahru) in 1841 led to the rapid development of the town as government offices, police stations, mosques and court houses were built. The Istana Besar constructed during his reign became the official residence of the Sultan.
His successor, Sultan Ibrahim, continued to maintain close relations with the British and in 1910, requested for the services of a British advisor to counsel him on matters of state. Under the able administration of Sultan Ibrahim and his successors, Johor continued to thrive and prosper. In 1941, the peninsula fell under Japanese occupation and joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948. After independence in 1957, Malaysia has evolved into a combination of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. Johor is now a prosperous state with an expanding economy, fueled by agriculture, manufacturing, commerce and tourism.

International visitors can fly in via Kuala Lumpur, or Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in East Malaysia, to Sultan Ismail International Airport Johor Bahru. The Airport also connects Johou Bahru to Bayan Lepas International Airport in Penang.
Johor Bahru is accessible via the North-South Expressway from the north passing through major towns including the capital city Kuala Lumpur. Visitors from Singapore can enter Johor by road and rail via the causeway and through the Second Link from Tuas passing through Gelang Patah.
Ferry services are available for visitors from Singapore, disembarking either at Tanjung Belungkor near Desaru, at the Stulang Duty Free Trade Zone Ferry Terminal near the Johor Bahru city center or Kukup Ferry Terminal.

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