The largest city in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur and southernmost city on the Eurasian mainland, Johor Bahru is known locally as "The Southern City". With a population approaching one and a half million people, it is a center of industry, commerce and history. And despite being only founded in 1855, expats living in Johor Bahru can find the story of Malaysia written into the city. Chinese and Indian temples happily sit beside Malay mosques and no expatriate living in Johor Bahru can fail to notice the fascinating blend of architecture – the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, for example, is a lovely combination of Moorish and Victorian styles. While expats in Johor Bahru will enjoy discovering this blend of cultures, the city also has a vibrant modern side and its shopping, nightlife and local facilities are all excellent.
Get trustworthy advice and local insights from fellow members in our Malaysia expat forums.
As it is the continent's southernmost mainland city, expatriates moving to Johor Bahru have a variety of options for travelling there. The Johor-Singapore Causeway is a main road into the city, elegantly entering the center across the water and connecting it to the main Malaysia-Singapore road. The nearby Port of Tanjung Pelepas is also very significant. Similarly, a little over twenty miles from the city, expats moving to Johor Bahru can fly into the Senai International Airport. You may like to get in touch with other expatriates in Johor Bahru through the forums and private communications on the InterNations website ahead of your arrival to socialize or get information on the city. Or, you might like to read a few general accounts of expatriation on our website, which are written by other InterNations members and often provide valuable insights, tips and information on what to expect early on as an expat in Johor Bahru or elsewhere.
As an expatriate working in Johor Bahru, you'll no doubt want to settle into working life and then get out to enjoy the city. There is a buzzing local economic mood and the hardworking mentality of modern, urban Malaysia is balanced with a great sense of fun. Expats in Johor Bahru can enjoy a huge range of cultural sights, the city's museums and temples, and malls like the Sultan Iskandar Complex. There are often plenty of imaginative amusements on the streets and in the malls, and the food scene is indulgent and fun, like a crossover between American and Asian food cultures. And, of course, you can get in touch with global minds and expats working in Johor Bahru through the InterNations website. Alongside opportunities to network and organize meet-ups, you will find our Expat Magazine a great resource for articles on expatriation topics ranging from cross-cultural communication to working abroad and expat finance. And with InterNations, an international expat community, you'll soon find yourself settling in this vibrant city.