(Using the E2 North – South Highway, 331km, Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours 15 mins)
Why Go To Johor Bahru?
Johor Bahru acts as Malaysia’s land-based gateway into and out of Singapore. It also contains several entrancing attractions along the way for individuals who want to explore the Southern end of Peninsular Malaysia or its neighbour. This being Malaysia, Johor of course has its own famous foods, exciting holiday island destinations, a rapidly growing metropolis in the form of Johor Bahru, and various other natural and national treasures.
Additional information on things to do in Johor Bahru:
What to See & Do along the Way
There are quite a number of things to do and see whilst traversing the E2 North – South Highway, making your way from KL to JB. The first notable stop motorists can hit up on the way to JB is the town of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan’s state capital. The local dishes famous throughout the country from this town are its oven baked pork buns (siew pau) and beef noodles. Travellers should be familiar once they spend enough time in Malaysia that most places are famous for certain foods and dishes that are considered a ‘must-try’ throughout the nation. The best place to get these delectable goodies are at Kee Mei Siew Pau, which offers the original version as well as a curried version for extra flavour, and the Yee Kee Seremban Beef Noodles respectively, located in town or at the second floor of the Seremban Wet Market. Another popular culinary joint in Seremban is the Top Curry House, which is often considered the best Indian banana leaf restaurant in town.
Moving on past Seremban down the highway, about an hour to an hour and the half’s drive after leaving the town, motorists will soon find themselves arriving at the Melaka borders, which is a city filled with historic landmarks and more delicious food. A possible pit stop for lovers of history and tasty food, modern day Melaka city is a UNESCO world heritage site with a diverse mix of Portuguese, Dutch, British, and even Chinese influences. This is further reflected in their unique architectural feats littering the city landscapes, their culinary cuisine, and their desserts that are considered famous nationwide. Buildings that attract attention are the Portuguese settlements that still house Portuguese descendants near the coast of Melaka, the Portuguese fortress A Famosa, the Dutch Stadhuys, and the Taming Sari Revolving Tower to name a few. Famous foods include chicken rice balls, Nyonya (Chinese-Indo-Malay) cuisine, and desserts such as Cendol, which consists of shaved a fusion of shaved ice, local famous palm sugar (a.k.a Gula Melaka), pandan jelly, and red beans. The most common place to enjoy these local delicacies is Jonker Street and Jonker Dessert 88.
Leaving Melaka to head back on the highway towards Johor Bahru about 45 mins to an hour after leaving the coastal city, drivers will reach the small quaint town of Ayer Hitam (Black Water). Located shortly outside of Johor, it is a lively minute town famous for its crafts, potteries, and street snacks such as ‘otak-otak’ – a soft savoury fish cake consisting of fish meat and spices grilled in a banana leaf to seal the flavours in. There is also the Tropical Village Mini-World Theme Park. The theme park features 30 famous miniaturized landmarks from around the world, from the Sphinx to the Pyramids, to the Great Wall of China to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and should be a novelty trip for those willing to take the time out of their itinerary to visit this unusual theme park.
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