The West Coast of Malaysia


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Most travelers pass through this place and visit the bus station only. So did I. Indeed, it is an expensive place to stay and its development makes it rather unattractive, if compared to Singapore or Melaka. On the positive side, it has a great food market and the former palace of the Johor royal family (Istana Besar), reconverted into a museum, is certainly worth a visit.
The bus station is equipped with lots of tickets offices and lots of food shops, restaurants and money changers. And, for a change, buses do not park inside so there aren't too much asphyxia. 

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Backpacker's Tips : Aurelien Reys, France (June 04)
The cheapest place to take a flight to borneo (really cheaper than Kuala Lumpur or Singapour), make some shopping in one of the numerous commercial center, walking on the wharf, in parks, and take his dinner in the local night market

What you may not like ? a city very modern,in some streets the hassle of prostitutes very rare in malaysia (except if you like it of course!), many
people, many noise, almost no hightlight in reality...
Where to stay ? 
Footloose Homestay, 15 RM in dormitory, the only "cheap option" in the city! ok, clean, nice owner, but 20 minutes away from the center by walk...
Where to eat ?  the night market taking place behind the hindi temple, is the best stuff to do in this city!
Transportation ?
To : jerantut / singapour / melaka / airport
Price : 14 RM / 5 RM / 12 RM / 4 RM
Type : train / bus / bus / bus
Duration trip : 7h / 30 min / 3h30 / 40 min
Frequency : 1 or 2 per day / probably every 10 min! / aproximatly every 2 hours / few every day
Additional comments on transportation ? To go to the bus station from the center, take the bus n10 on the bus stop situated nearly 200 meters on the left after the postborder

Bus Schedules ? 

To  Price Class Duration Time Nb Freq.
Singapore 1.2/2.4 ordi/ac 1.5/1 6:30 to 24 a lot 15mn
Melaka 10 ac 3.5 8:30 to 21 a few hour
Seremban 13.9 ac 4 8:30,12:30,14:30,17,18:30,22:30 6 na
KL 17/22 ac / svip 5 8:30 to 17, 22:30 to 24 a lot 30-60mn
Ipoh 26/38 ac/svip 7.5 23/10,13,16 1/3 na
Penang 40 svip   21:30,22 a few na
Hat Yai 75 svip 14 11,13,15,18,23,24 6 na
Kota Tinggi 4.5 ac 1.5 4:50 to 23:45 a lot 10mn
Mersing 7.4/16 ordi/ac 3 8:30,14/10,11,22:30,23 2/4 na

Notes : Also to Butterworth at 8pm (R33.6, ac) / To KL, a lot of companies / To Kota Tinggi, Bus No41 then onward to Mersing

The trip to Singapore : SS / L&R / R2.1 / 1hrs / AC Bus
Buses to Singapore leave every 15mn or so. Ordinary bus No170 cost R1.2 but takes 1.5-2 hours and gets usually packed after the immigration procedures. The aircond SJE (Singapore Johor Express) may therefore be a better choice at R2.4.
We reached the immigration office within 10mn : you get off the bus with your bags (you may board a different bus later), get your passport stamped and get in the bus. Got it ?
5mn later, after crossing the border, the operation start again on Singapore's side. But a few more games were added this time : you have to fill an arrival card and show the skeleton of your bags before boarding the bus for the final 30mn journey.
All together, it took us one hour from Johor Bahru to Queen St Station in the middle of Little India (10mn walk to the GH) but there was no queue and no traffic jams. Showing up at the border at the beginning of the day will probably prove more time consuming...

The trip to Melaka : SS / L / R10 / 3.5 hrs / AC Bus
With a bus every hour, getting in is usually no problem. The Johora Express Bus proved very comfortable : great reclining seats with legs supports, no blasting radio and a bad western movie without a too loud soundtrack (if the movie is good, you might request to hear it).
The only drawback was the 30mn stop at 10:30 by a restaurant surrounded by toilets and food shops. The scenery was mostly of the causeway-side type, making the curtain a good option if the sun play it too strong on the right side. 

See also the trip from Mersing / Singapore