1. Tiong Hua Chinese Heritage Museum (新山华人历史文物馆)
Tiong Hua Chinese Heritage Museum is a newly-renovated museum that boasts 4-storey and stands prominently in the middle of the row of the shophouse. Before converting into a museum, it was previously owned by JB Tiong Hua Association as their base.
The first, second and third floors display the lives of Chinese immigrants in Johor in 17th century while the fourth floor devotes to Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the founder and the first president of the Republic of China.
Also read: Top 31 Things To Do In Johor Bahru (JB)
Basically, it showcases artifacts, records, pictures, and cash from the past. The exhibition was complemented by the audio tour to help in the understanding of the history.
2. The Red House Johor Bahru (新山红楼)
Primary possessed by an Indian family, The Red House was a pre-war shophouse with hundreds of years of history.
Later while the street was nominated as a heritage street, the facade was repainted in bright red and white and served as a prominent heritage building along the street.
Due to the eye-catching furnishing, it eventually turned into the landmark of the area and hosted many cultural events.
The nostalgic ambiance offered in every single corner is truly the highlight of The Red House. This attracts tourists the most and many suggest that the elegant environment is suitable for filming movie too.
3. Sri Raja Mariamman Temple Johor Bahru (新山翁固本街的斯里拉惹马里安曼兴都庙)
Immerse in the rich culture of Hindu at Sri Raja Mariamman Temple that sandwiched between Kota Raya Plaza shopping complex and the busy Jalan Wong Ah Fook.
With over 100 years of history, the impressive Hindu temple was a huge contrast to nearby hotels and shopping malls.
The Hindu temple pays homage to the goddess Mariamman, the deity of fertility and rain and she was believed to cure disease and illness of her believers.
There’re lots of gatekeepers at the entrance of building guarding and protecting the temple. Before entering, visitors are required to take off their shoes.
On the pavement outside, it lines with peddlers selling Hindu handicrafts, spices and flowers. The flowers sold are dedicated to the Hindu deities. During Hindu festivals, especially Deepavali, the area is extremely crowded with believers and visitors.
4. Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple (柔佛古庙)
Built in 19th century, Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple is said to be the only survived worship place despite the cruel bombing in World War 2. Old statues, signage, and antiques add more historical values to the facade.
The temple hosts 5 deities namely Hong Xian Da Di, Gan Tian Da Di, Zhao Da Yuan Shuai, Xuan Tian Shang Di and Hua Guang Da Di.
Each is respectively worshipped by 5 different Chinese dialect groups such as Hokkien, Cantonese, Hainan, Teochew, and Hakka. It symbolizes the unity of these dialects group too.
The temple holds an annual event, Chingay (Parade of Deities) that lasts for 4 days. Parading with the deities around the Town Centre of JB on the third night is the climax and highlight of this parade. The event has successfully attracted over 300k people in the past few years.
5. Masjid India Johor Bahru @ India Muslim Mosque (印度穆斯林清真寺)
Located right at the junction of Jalan Duke and Jalan Dhoby, Masjid India serves as the main worship place of Indian Muslim in Johor Bahru.
Featuring a silver and blue dome with 2 minarets aside, the mosque comes with white walls with blue-tinted glass, offering a modern ambiance and convenient.
Up until now, the history of the mosque is still a mystery. We only found out that the mosque was constructed by the local Indian Muslims. Or maybe you can ask the Indian Muslims around for more information.
6. Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple Johor Bahru (新山锡克庙)
The most unique and exotic heritage of Sikh in Johor is treasured in Sikh Gurdwara Sahib. In ancient time, most of the Sikhs was appointed to work as policemen and the bodyguards of royalty. This temple was built by them after receiving the approval from the government.
After the renovation, the temple boasts 2-storey with crenellate walls on top and plenty of window frames in yellow. It is also a complex temple with kitchen, hall, dining room, office inside. On the second floor, there’re prayers rooms provided to Sikh visitors.
Currently, the Gurdwara is under the management of Sikh religious leaders comprising president and other committee members. Every time when they hold religious activities, over 250 Sikh families will participate in these activities.
7. Sultan Ibrahim Building Johor Bahru (苏丹依布拉欣大厦[旧州政府大厦])
Overlooking the city centre of JB, Sultan Ibrahim Building was one of the most majestic buildings in JB that blend well with Malay and colonial architecture.
The construction was started in 1936 was completed in 1940, costing 2 million ringgit in overall. In those days, it served as the tallest building in JB.
During World War II while Johor was under Japanese rule, the Japanese Army used the building as a fortress, spying the actions of British Army around.
The building was formally served as the state secretariat building, state assembly hall and Chief Minister’s office until 2009. Recently, it turned into historical landmarks and visitors are required to ask for permission from the security guards before entering the compound.
8. Johor Bahru Old Railway Station (新山旧火车站)
Johor Bahru Old Railway Station was once an intercity railway station that boasts western architecture in a very unique way. The building was launched in 1932 but it was closed in 2010. This is partly due to the replacement of the services by the new railway station in JB.
Nevertheless, it will be transforming into the very first train museum in Malaysia, bringing pride and excitement to Johoreans. The opening of the train museum is estimated to fall on 16 Sept 2016.
9. Holy Light Church Johor Bahru (基督教长老会圣光堂)
Founded by Rev John Angus Bethune Cook, a missionary from England in 1886, Holy Light Church serves as one of the oldest church in JB.
In old times, workers built the church building from timber but they didn’t expect that building was attacked by termites years after years.
So, the leaders of the church decided to renovate the building and build a new sanctuary. The renovation and construction were completed in 2012 and the old building was used as Youth Hall recently.
10. SK Ayer Molek Johor Bahru (亚逸摩力国小)
The unique school lies at the small hill behind the Wisma Persekutuan Johor Bahru. It was established in 1883 and before the construction, the area was used for coffee plantation so the hill was also known as “coffee hill” by locals.
In 1942, the area was used by the Japanese army as their hospital until World War II ended. Later in 1946, the school was reopened and since then, SK Ayer Molek had produced lots of talented and high achieving students who were now working for the government.
11. Bazar Karat JB (新山市区跳蚤市场[新山市集])
Recently, Bazar Karat is officially known as “JB Bazar”. It is a good place to buy cheap and rare items such as clothes, accessories, food, pets, antics and music products. At most of the stalls, you can even bargain for cheaper prices.
The place is always crowded and it becomes extremely havoc especially during weekends. Be there early as it’s always hard to get a parking spot.
The flea market has a history of over 10 years and many tourists come over to get close to local culture. Definitely a must-go at night!
12. Johor Bahru High Court (新山高等法庭)
In the late 1800s when Johor was under the reign of Sultan Abu Bakar, the court of Johor was built together with headquarter of polis station at Jalan Ayer Molek.
Later In 1928, it was moved to Jalan Dato’ Onn, the exact location of where Johor Bahru High Court stands nowadays. The high court holds session court and magistrates court too.
Take a closer look at the building and you’ll notice that it shows the features of Italian Renaissance architecture. The influence is because Johor was brought under British control when the court was built.
13. Johor Bahru Post Office (新山邮政局)
Painted in white, Johor Bahru Post Office is a 3-storey building located next to the Johor Bahru City Hall. The post office is within walking distance from the Johor Bahru High Court.
In August 25, 1963, Johor Bahru post office was opened with the opening ceremony performed by the late king of Johor – Sultan Ismail. Before that, the building was a hotel which had been serving guests for years.
14. Johor Bahru Central Police Station (新山中央警署)
Set across 1 acre of land, the construction of Johor Bahru Central Police Station was started in 1925 and was completed in 1927. A year later the police station was opened to public, until now.
In old times, Johor Sultan was forced to appoint a British advisor to help in ruling the country. The police station was built during that time and hence, it serves as one of the British colonial buildings in Malaysia.
The noticeable blue and white furnishing were greatly influenced by the architecture from England.
15. Johor Bahru Prison (新山亚逸摩力监狱)
Built in 1883, Johor Bahru Prison is the third prison established in Peninsular Malaysia. After visiting the prisons in Osaka and Shanghai, Sultan Abu Bakar (King of Johor) came out an idea to build a prison in Johor. From the door to the cell, the design has many similarities to those in Shanghai and Osaka.
When Johor was still under the colonisation of British, this prison was used to imprison the criminals and people who rebelled against the British officials. However, in 2005, the prison was moved to Kluang due to small spaces and this prison was kept as detention site.
16. Bank Negara Malaysia Johor Bahru (马来西亚中央银行柔佛分行大厦)
Bank Negara Malaysia is the central bank of Malaysia which acts as the advisor to Malaysia’s government. Since its establishment in 1959, it built branches in every capital states of Peninsular Malaysia and the headquarter was located at Kuala Lumpur.
While in the late 1900s, their bank services were taken over by the newly established retail banks. This results in the closing of their branches in most of the states, leaving only 3 in Peninsular Malaysia. Hence, Bank Negara Malaysia in JB serves as one of their maintained branches in Malaysia.
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