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Tag Archives: Kota Iskandar

If your children want to visit Legoland Malaysia, take your bike

Puteri Harbour is a marina development that spans 2.8km2 (687 acres) in the new regional city of Iskandar Puteri.  The harbour opens into the Johor Strait, which separates peninsular Malaysia from the island of Singapore.

Iskandar Puteri Location

Iskandar Puteri used to be known as Nusajaya.  To add to the potential confusion, Kota Iskandar is the name of the administrative centre for the state government of Johor, which within Iskandar Puteri.

I spent a few days at Puteri Harbour.  I wasn’t there to visit Legoland Malaysia, though it is the main attraction in Iskandar Puteri.

I was there to keep Biker Chick company in the evenings.  On the first day, while she was at work, I went exploring on my bicycle.

The Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour looks out onto the marina.

Iskandar Puteri Marina

This was my favourite among the boats and yachts moored there.

Iskandar Puteri Ycht

The grounds of the marina are decorated with, among other things, a series of bamboo sculptures.

Iskandar Puteri Sculpture

There is also the beginnings of a bike-share scheme.  This was the only station I saw.  More may appear as the residential and office buildings in the area are completed and opened.

Iskandar Puteri Bike Share

Medini City, to the west of Puteri Harbour, recently announced a 22km / 14mi cycling path from north to south of the development.


Many of the buildings around Puteri Harbour and Medini are still either being constructed or being fitted out.  I saw a large lorry delivering air-conditioning units to one apartment block.  Other towers still have cranes alongside them.

Iskandar Puteri Panorama

Because of the ongoing building work, many of the roads in the area are closed to traffic.

Iskandar Puteri Blocked Road

The roads themselves are finished and are in excellent condition.  Perfect for a bike ride.  The entire area where I rode was almost devoid of traffic.  I avoided Lebuh Kota Iskandar, which is a major road.  Even that road had very few vehicles on it each time I rode across it.

It is probably busier on weekends and holidays.  Legoland Malaysia does not disclose attendance figures.  It did exceed its target of 1 million visitors by the end of its first year of operation in 2013.  The number of visitors must have increased since then.

Iskandar Puteri Route

The main attraction in Iskandar Puteri.

Iskandar Puteri Legoland

Lots of apartment blocks with sea views are going up.

If you don’t want to moor your boat at the marina, you can buy a property with its own pier.

Iskandar Puteri Emerald Cove

Kota Iskandar rubs shoulders with Puteri Harbour.

Iskandar Puteri Kota Iskandar Sign

This is the front of the State Secretariat building.

Iskandar Puteri State Secretariat Building

The Kota Iskandar State Mosque is not far from the State Secretariat.

Iskandar Puteri State Mosque

The Iskandar Botanical Gardens is worth a visit.  And not just for wedding album photographs.

Iskandar Puteri Botanic Gardens 1Iskandar Puteri Botanic Gardens 3

There are several PublikArt spaces in Medini.  This sculpture of three manatees is titled I Too Am Iskandar Puteri.

Iskandar Puteri Manatees

There is a lot to see as you cycle along.  Next time you take your children to Legoland Malaysia, bring your bicycle as well.




Iskandar Johor Mega Ride 2013

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Team 165 drove to Johor, the southernmost state in peninsular Malaysia, for the Iskandar Johor Mega Ride.  A 120 km / 75 mi loop that started and ended at Kota Iskandar, the new administrative center for the state government of Johor.

I had never been to Kota Iskandar, which is part of the larger Nusajaya development.  The arch at the entrance to the complex gives visitors some hint of what is to come.

Iskandar Johor Gate

Photo courtesy of Johor Real Estate

This is the Dato’ Jaafar Muhammad building.  Named after the first Chief Minister of Johor, this building houses the Office of the Chief Minister and State Secretariat.

Iskandar Main Building

Photo courtesy of syza aljufri

The Sultan Ismail building is the home of the State Parliament.

The ride started at 7.45am, a little behind schedule.  This is the young and fast group at the line, eager to get going.  Iskandar Start

Keat, Hans and I took our customary positions towards the back of the peloton.  As it turned out the first 30 km / 19 mi or so were at a controlled speed behind a group of police motorbikes.  The route started through the relative quiet of Nusajaya.  We rode past Malaysia’s first international theme park.  Legoland Malaysia opened less than a year ago.

Legoland Malaysia

Photo courtesy of Amin Khairuddin

Then it was along the Lebuhraya Pesisir Pantai (Coast Highway) and through the west edge of Johor Bahru, the capital city of Johor.  Johor Bahru is the third-largest city in Malaysia, and it has the morning rush hour traffic to prove it.

Iskandar Johor Route

The motorbike police stopped traffic from entering the highway as we rode past.  Despite having the police marshals we had to do some defensive riding, especially along Jalan Skudai, where the traffic was particularly heavy.

Once we got through Skudai there was a lot less traffic on the road with us.  Unbeknownst to us there were fewer cyclists as well.  A group of about thirty riders, including Keat, fell behind the marshals and got lost.  They ended up being directed back to the start and having their ride cut short.

The rest of us were pleasantly surprised to come upon a water stop after 40 km / 25 mi.  The route map showed the first water stop at 65 km / 40 mi.  Even better was the fact that the water being handed out was chilled.

I put my revised hyperthermia control strategy into action.  I poured a couple of bottles of cold water over my head, soaking my hair, jersey and arm coolers.  I did the same at the next water stop at the 80 km / 50 mi point.  That worked so well at keeping my core body temperature down that I didn’t bother to stop at petrol stations to buy ice cream.

It helped that there wasn’t much climbing on this ride.  There was a lump to get over between 30 km / 19 mi and 46 km / 29 mi but the gradients were gentle.  The steepest bits were on the bridges and overpasses along the Pesisir Pantai Highway.


When Hans and I got back to the Lebuhraya Pesisir Pantai for the second time we realised that the route had been changed.  About 20 km / 12 mi had been taken out of the early stages of the route.  That explained why we got to the first water stop so quickly.  We hit the finish line after just under 100 km / 62 mi of riding.

Hans and I rode the course at a reasonably fast pace (for us oldies anyway).  We averaged 30.8 kph / 19.2 mph for the ride.  So we didn’t complain that the route had been shortened.  Our relief was short-lived though.

Iskandar Medal

After we were given our medals I saw the message on my mobile phone from Keat saying that he got lost and had to truncate his ride.  Just after I sent him a reply asking him where he was, my mobile phone battery died.

Keat wasn’t at the finish area.  Hans and I rode to where we had parked.  No sign of Keat or his truck.  So we kept riding toward our hotel.

15 km / 9 mi of the route back to our hotel in Bukit Indah was along the 2nd Link Malaysia – Singapore Highway.  Where bicycles are not allowed.  Of course a pair of highway patrolmen pulled up behind us on that section.  Fortunately they bought my woeful tale of being abandoned in Kota Iskandar, and let us ride the last 5 km / 3 mi along the highway to our exit.  Hans and I covered 120 km / 75 mi and a bit more on the day after all.

Keat had driven back to the finish area to look for us.  He caught up with us on the road just after our encounter with the highway patrol, and escorted us back to the hotel.

Photo courtesy of Wai Leng Mann

Photo courtesy of Wai Leng Mann

More Team 165 adventures to come in August and September.