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Inside Johor Bahru: Malaysia’s Once Dodgy, Now Rapidly Developing Border Town With Singapore

There is a reason why I like this place.

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I recently spent a month in Johor Bahru. This is the last stop in Peninsular Malaysia before arriving in Singapore. It was … an interesting time. I like the place: a border town in the genuine sense — just markets, cafes, and an fascinating underbelly that all exists for people from the other side of the line.

I spent my days here just walking through the old city, talking with people, and drinking in cafes. I was surprised by how much I like the place. I came here just for work and to try to find an apartment in Singapore — total fail — but ended up having a really good time.

The below video shows what exactly I liked about Johor.

Filed under: Malaysia, Travel Diary, Vlog

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3703 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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