The best thing about experiencing a new city, state, or country by the outdoors is that you get to fully immerse in the place from new and wild perspectives.
Forget shopping and eating trips; get adventurous on your next vacation, although you still deserve all the desserts after a full day of working your limbs. The best thing about experiencing a new city, state, or country by the outdoors is that you get to fully immerse in the place from new and wild perspectives. Here’s a round-up of the best adventure travel to-dos for you to experience Johor like never before.
Stand Up Paddle (SUP)
Try something thrilling but relaxing at the same time by exploring the coastlines and waterways of Johor on a SUP board. Unlike traditional surfing, waves are not needed for SUP boarders. The rider must maintain an upright stance on the surfboard and use a paddle to glide on the water.
Coastal Paddle at Pasir Gudang offers SUP experience that takes you round the Kim Kim River with a detour to Pulau Nenas, and then back to Coastal Paddle. The tour takes about 4 hours and you get to explore the mangroves up close whilst surrounded by tranquil sceneries. Coastal Paddle SUP is perfect for all ages and level of experiences.
Gunung Ledang National Park
Popularly known for the legend of Puteri Gunung Ledang, the tallest mountain in Johor is situated within the Gunung Ledang National Park and its summit lies between the border of Muar and Malacca at 1276m above sea level. Gunung Ledang, also known as Mount Ophir, takes about 5 to 6 hours of energetic hike to conquer the peak, featuring some challenging and steep rocky faces to scale with the aid of ropes. Among the trails available are the Asahan Trail, Lagenda Trail, Ayer Panas Trail and Jementah Trail.
It is compulsory to engage a guide from the Ranger's office in the park for safety reasons. You can opt to stay the night before and after the hike at the Ledang Resort or set a tent at the camping site. If you’re looking for an easier nature adventure, take the short 20 minute trek along stone pathways and steps to the spectacular cascades of Puteri Waterfalls. Remember to pack some food for a pleasant picnic and dip in the pool!
Why hassle and haggle with buses and taxis when you can ride a bicycle around Johor? Downtown Ride pairs your rented bicycle with specially designed cycling routes so you can experience Johor Bahru downtown the ‘local way’. The routes take you along a mix of moderate uphill climbs, downhills and snaking roads, passing heritage sites nostalgic of the British colonial influence!
If you feel a little adventurous, you can customise your own routes. There are no limitations where you want to travel as long as you return the bicycle within the stipulated time. You can even cycle to Singapore. Renting a bicycle with Downtown Ride includes a helmet and a cycling route map. Their bicycles are equipped with multi-speed gears, comfortable leather seats, and excellent handle grip for the long ride.
Diving & Snorkeling
1. Pulau Aur
Pulau Aur is a small and pristine island situated 65 km off Mersing Jetty. Home to numerous unique sea creatures and coral reefs, the island is the go-to for divers and snorkelers. There are no roads with just a few shops and a traditional village, giving the island a rustic and simplistic ambiance. There are over 20 diving spot around Pulau Aur. The most famous spots include Rayners Rock, Turtle Bay and Pinnacles with depth ranging from 7m to 67m and visibility ranging from 15m to 25m.
2. Pulau Dayang
With 65km off the east coast of Johor, Pulau Dayang is the furthest island from Mersing Jetty. However, many still brave the seas for one reason. Home to Black Marlin, the fastest fish in the world, Pulau Dayang attracts divers and sport fishermen for a chance of encounter as this fish is native around the waters of the island. The island is also blessed with beautiful coral reefs offshore for non-divers to go for snorkelling.
3. Pulau Tinggi
Nicknamed the ‘General’s Hat Island’ by Chinese seamen hundreds of years ago, Pulau Tinggi is located 30km off the east coast and a 45-minute boat ride from Mersing Jetty. Its name came from Gunung Semudu, which is an extinct volcano that peaks at 600m above sea level and is the tallest hill among the surrounding islands. For sea lovers, there are an abundance of marine life and enchanting coral reefs to explore. For beach lovers, there are stretches of white sandy beaches to enjoy stunning views of the dazzling South China Sea.