Johor is the Southern Gateway to Malaysia. Located in the southern part of Peninsula Malaysia, Johor is one of the most fascinating states to visit in Malaysia. Take your journey to Johor to experience it yourself. Its rich culture and diversity in food has something for everyone to enjoy. From famous cuisines like Mi Bandung and Laksa Johor to Zapin or Kuda Kepang performances, or even the mysteriously alluring Princess of Gunung Ledang (known as Mount Ophir) visitors always look forward to come back. Johor owes its diverse in food and culture to the visitors and traders throughout history.
Johor was named after Arabic word “Jauhar” which means precious gems. Arab influence in Johor has been significant due to Arab traders who used to come to trade spices a long time ago. Visitors and traders from Siam used to call Johor “Gangganu” which also means gems.
Food lovers would enjoy the palette of traditional food Johor has to offer. The creamy Laksa Johor is a unique Johorian, using spaghetti instead of the typical rice noodles used in other types of laksa. Mi bandung, Briyani Gam, Roti Kirai are among other must try food.
Johor's culture, especially its traditional dances owe their existence to Arabs mostly. The musical instruments used in Zapin and the movements can be traced back to the Arabs’ Hadramaut. The Javanese also had heavy influence on Johor’s culture. Kuda Kepang, a dance which uses horse-shaped plaited mats as props, originated from Java. The dance is mystical and some performances involve the witch doctor, as the dancers sometimes ended up being possessed by what they believe is spirit of the horses.
Johor’s biodiversity is best exemplified by its five national parks. One of them is Pulau Kukup, an uninhabited island in the south-west region of Johor. Located about 1km offshore from the 150 year old fishing village of Kukup in Pontian, the island is home to 50% of the world true mangrove species, 12 species of fauna and also 76 species of birds.
Johor is indeed precious. Seeking adventure or leisure, shopping or excitement, Johor offers them all. Golf lovers would appreciate Johor’s finest golf courses. Adventure seekers would enjoy Johor’s vast rainforest of Endau Rompin, which is one of the Peninsula’s biggest virgin lowland forests. Lovers of water sports and beaches would love the white powdery sandy beaches and consists of several unique islands in Johor waters. Not many are aware that Johor is the only state in Malaysia that has a beach that stretches 400 km on both the East and West Coast. The west coast of Johor fronts the Straits of Malacca while the east coast of the state provides access to its beautiful beaches and islands. It also has coral-fringed islands which makes Johor the perfect sandy getaway. These islands are accessible through Mersing Jetty or Tanjung Leman Jetty.