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Where should I live in Johor? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 September 2010 04:27

Where should I live in Johor?

There’s the Johor Baru side, near the Woodlands causeway, and the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), after the Second Link causeway, and the many suburbs and further out towns along the highway that eventually leads to KL; towns towards the east coast and the glorious islands off Johor – Tioman, Rawa and the others - on the way to Pahang.

Johor is divided into eight districts: Johor Baru – the capital and largest city with all its suburbs, Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Mersing, Muar, Batu Pahat, Pontian and Segamat.

Tuas side after the Second Link

This is where a classmate told me to look when moving countries wasn’t even on my mind. Our house is just 10 minutes from Immigration and Customs, 45 minutes from Raffles Place without jams, 35 minutes at 3.30 am to SGH in an emergency.

You will go directly into the Iskandar Development Region (turn off at 312C, immediately after the Gelang Patah turnoff at 312D) and be truly astounded at the scale and magnificence of the vast area that is 3x the whole of Singapore. These are just thumbnail sketches of the developments: access the websites for details.

East Ledang is situated on a very large plot and is currently a Very Hot area to buy a semi-D or bungalow. The rise in price is the highest in Iskandar, and re-sales have astonished even the original buyers. The security is high tech and there have been no reports at all of any breach of security since the handover of keys late last year. Amenities have suddenly come online with a Mydin supermarket and Anjung shops and food court exactly adjoining the police station. Very nice Urban Retreat clubhouse.

Ledang Heights is a ‘small’ estate of 262 lots on 360 acres, all bungalow plots, closest to the second link. The oldest development in Iskandar, and the only one with solely bungalows permitted. Hilly, sharing a fence with Leisure Farm on one side, East Ledang on another and the North-South Highway along the other side. Land is selling at RM$70 a square foot, which is more than double what it was four years ago, and some readymade bungalows are still available from RM$1.8 million and up directly from the developer UEM Land. Plots vary from 9000 – 25,000 square feet, but only private re-sales of land are now available.

The town of Gelang Patah

Once a tiny nowhere town you might cautiously stop at for good food on your way to a golf game, it is now the closest town to the Second Link with a bustling night scene for food.

Little shops sell almost all you need of the basics. Long enough established so there are two money changers, petrol stations, dobis [laundry shops], internet café, aquarium, tyre and repair shops etc.

An authentic Pasar Malam takes place on Tuesday evenings from about 5 pm till 10 pm: a good scene for fruit, fish, vegetables, cheap clothes, toys, household stuff and many little food stalls.

The chai tow kuay man must hold the world’s record for speed in wrapping the order in waxed paper – needs to be seen to be believed. Sometimes the bee man will turn up to sell his honey and honeycomb. And sometimes you will be able to buy exotica like the nearly extinct jambu susu also known as jambu tetek.

There are many terraces and houses available for rent and sale, but no gated communities.

Leisure Farm

Drive off the Highway and turn into Gelang Patah [312D] , go straight till you hit the giant metal sphere and turn left through the town till you hit the T junction and turn left. Another 10 minutes and you can turn into this estate which has plots and houses to suit your budget, from waterside semi-Ds to mansions on acres. Popular with expats from all over, with golf course, horse riding and lots of space.


This large suburb has been popular with Singaporeans for a long while. Fifteen minutes from the Second Link or twenty minutes from the Causeway to Woodlands.

Lots of facilities in terms of banks, money changers, wet markets, restaurants of all sizes – lots of food, shops for most things [the largest fabric shop, Jeckal, is in Perling], with its own Perling Mall, with a Giant supermarket.

There are two areas of development, left and right of the highway, with an overhead U-turn one way and an underpass U-turn the other way. It is close to the Straits and a big river. A famous Orang Asli seafood restaurant is a feature.

Very little high rise, so there are lots of trees and householders have planted their own trees and flowers. Better, there are many forty foot trees still left on the periphery.

Nusa Idaman Not generally available to foreign buyers yet, as the qualifying price is still at a minimum of RM$500,000. Popular with Malaysians.

Bukit Indah is the newer suburb that connects with Perling. There is a huge Aeon mall achored by Jusco, with another Giant and Tesco's. It has been developing for ten years and has taken off in a very popular way with Singaporeans. New apartments and condos are springing up and selling quickly. Malaysians have long bought here, and with the childcare centres abounding, families have found it a good place to roost. Many businesses.

Taman Laguna is another popular development that was once sold at RM$330,000 for a double-storey terrace three years ago, now selling for RM$500,000+.

Horizon Hills is a very popular development with Singaporeans and Europeans/Australians and well writen up on the net. Part of Bukit Indah and maturing amenities. It has a highly praised golf course that non-residents can try out. Very tight security which is appreciated. Reselling at very high prices.

Nusa Duta is well located near Perling, Bukit Indah and Nusa Bestari.  There appears to be two developments, one of terraces and one of double-storied semi-detached houses. There is enough information on the net, and although only completing this year and in a couple of years, respectively, the projects say they are sold out.

Setia Tropika  Another development popular with Singaporeans, some amenities already established. The new Malaysian Immigration building is nearby, and the new railway connection at Kempas will be close enough by.

Adda Heights The development has received praise for its designs and has its fans. Of particular interest is its location, which is off the North-South Highway, and has close proximity to the new highway system soon to come online.

Bestari Heights at Nusa Bestari Costing from RM$600,000 and up, these cluster homes are in a gated/guarded community, 15 km from JB town and off the Skudai Highway. Praised for the size-for-money, generous finishes and extras. Nearby to the amenities of Bukit Indah.

Austin Hills is on the way to Kota Tinggi. Good reputation for construction, planning and maintenance. Less expensive to purchase. Good amenities, new schools, college and an international school.

Johor Baru

Long time residents of JB have one characteristic I find strange: they think nothing of driving to KL and back in one day, but to drive over to Gelang Patah, a mere 25 minute drive, is “so far away!”.

True JB folk have become very happy with the conveniences so close by, whether post office or familiar supermarket, restaurant or shopping centre. For them to budge out of the main town area to more space in a suburb close by is almost unthinkable. Also, the Second Link makes no sense for them to take, as the original Causeway is right there, and a lot cheaper to use.

On the way to KL: Let me know and if enough people request it I’ll explore Yong Peng, Batu Pahat and other places in the state. Meanwhile, the popular place people from Singapore seem to congregate is the ancient city of Muar, still going strong and ever renewing itself.

Kluang About an hour's drive from Johor, so popular with Malaysians with Singapore PR - apparently the commute is worth it. An established town with many good eating places, much cheaper living than JB


Malay people from Muar are proud of their rich history and the part played in Malaysia’s history by their city and its surrounds– sometimes bloody and violent. It is older than Malacca’s founding, being already an outpost of the Majapahit Empire in 1361.

Much more is available on the internet, and you might do well to begin at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muar_town

I shall be adding much more to this section as you indicate to me where your interests lie. Please Contact Me and Subscribe and Vote?


Last Updated on Monday, 15 August 2011 16:55