Johor Bahru is the state capital of Johor in southern peninsular Malaysia, just across the causeway from Singapore. A bustling city but one with little of interest for the casual tourist, it is a significant regional transport and manufacturing hub.
Declared a city only in 1994, Johor Bahru is a rapidly growing city. Latest census figures indicates that it is fast becoming Malaysia's second largest city, with a population of over one million. Given its relatively large land space, the town is not as dense as other cities around Malaysia.
Due to its proximity to Singapore, it unavoidably suffers from comparison with its neighbour. Recent clean-up initiatives like greening the city and covering the open sewers that until a few years ago ran through the center of the city have made it a more pleasant place to live. Though appreciably less organised and more messy compared to the glitz of Singapore, shopping and eating in the city can be a real adventure, with many shopping complexes and a wide variety of food establishments offering budget to fine dining.
Johor Bahru is probably more well known as an industrial city rather than a tourist-friendly town. Many of the world's top electronics manufacturers have at least one plant in Johor Bahru, and after the tough times after the 1997 economic crisis the town is stirring to life again.