My favourite weekend is here again!!!!!!!!! This time round, I headed to Muar, Johor, Malaysia for a weekend road trip. Muar is about a 2 hour drive from JB Sentral. The first stop I made was at Elephant Bean, Malaysia Kopi 434 Muar. This place serves aromatic Malaysian Kopi O and very good Italian espresso. Their food speciality is the “Mee Bandung” which tasted like mee rebus minus the peanut taste and add some soup taste. The dried mee siam was rubbery and a horrible pick as compared to the delicious slimy soft one I had at Kluang Rail Coffee a few weeks ago.
Food aside, Elephant bean has a nice vintage decor. It has both indoor air-conditioned seats for the comfort of customers and outdoor non air-conditioned seats where smoking is allowed. Nice coffee place to stop by for a short simple meal.
Elephant Bean Cafe, Sai Kee Kopi 434 Muar
121, Jalan Maharani, 84000 Muar, Johor.
(Opposite Bentayan Bus Station).
TEL: (606) 951 3046
Business Hours: Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 5.30pm and Sunday 9.00am to 4.30pm
My highlight of the trip is once again my current favourite kind of accommodation, HOMESTAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I chose Bakri Inn Homestay which gave me the luxury of a spacious home. Its exterior is like a huge bungalow and I can park the car directly outside my doorstep. A home away from home, I loved it!
Once you open the door, you will be greeted by a long corridor as the living room. This L shape walkway then leads to the toilet. The toilet is not that clean though, but still passable. For the price of RM110 for a night’s stay, I think this quality not bad already. However, service needs a major improvement. Half the time no one’s available and there’s no proper lounge or reception area to at least let guests feel welcomed.
The air-con is only available in the room. The bedsheets are those flowery types and I thought that adds a homely style and vibe well. The bed is soft, and the blanket is miffy material!
BAKRI INN HOMESTAY
Lot 2047 Batu 2 1/2 Jalan Bakri,
84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia
Contact Number: 016382795
After settling down, it’s time for a visit to the Jurassic Park in Muar!!!!!!!!!!!! This place is also known as the Don Hu Jurassic Park Garden. It’s very small in scale, but enough to fascinate the kids, and even me! Typically takes about 45 minutes to immense yourselves with all the dinos, big and small, all around you.
The dinosaurs are animated and there are also “sounds” coming from everywhere, to make everything surreal.
One tip though, please drink loads of water as the sun can be really scorching and burning you, thus dehydrating you! Sadly, some of the dinosaurs are fenced up, making them unreachable and untouchable by our bare hands.
Dinosaur souvenirs are also available inside a sheltered area. They sell some dinosaur toys, souvenir T-shirts (my kind of thing), ice creams and drinks. I wanted to try the “Mee Siput”, a kind of snack, but too bad the ready fried ones were all sold out so I didn’t manage to try.
The best news everyone would love about Donhu Jurassic Garden is that it is absolutely free of all admission charges!
Don Hu Jurassic Park Garden, Muar
2700, 224, Kampung Sabak Aur
84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia
Contact Number: 017 624 9899
As for the iconic Muar Clock Tower, you could detour and drive past or stop to snap a picture and that’s about it. Unable to take the stairs up to the top as it’s all closed. Dang!
Muar Clock Tower
Jalan Yahya, Pekan Muar, 84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia
I find Muar quite a quiet and small town, and there’s almost no more than ten people walking about the streets, and in fact, most shops seem permanently closed. Certain parts look very historical, with no signs of plans of operations or improvement works.
The best photo taking spot in Muar would be…………………
Sultan Ibrahim Jamek Mosque
(Masjid Jamek Sultan Ibrahim)
This mosque was built between 1925 and 1930 and is the oldest mosque in Muar with a mixture of East and West architecture. With traditional Malay elements, vintage European design and classic Roman columns, their mimbar is of Turkish influence with an old sundial within the premises to indicate prayer times.
This historical mosque in the town of Bandar Maharani, Muar, is situated along Jalan Petri, close to the mouth of Muar River. I was there in the evening when the sun’s not so warm and the lightings are good! The main colours are blue and white, an indication of a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
It’s so pretty like a palace. There are so many Muslim couples taking wedding photos here! It’s probably their most grand place!
A short walking distance away from the beautiful mosque is a park, where you will see many families with their kids. The kids can enjoy running around, play bubbles, or sit in movable “sports car” with their parents controlling it using remotes. You may even catch a sunset, if possible!
My night time was extremely well spent with good food. Firstly, Muar Soup House serves thick and heavy duty mutton soup. They even provide a straw for you to suck it all up! The satays were however, a bit sour-ish and the sauce was too watery.
So, moral of the lesson is, get nothing else except your mutton soup and bread to dip it in!
The best steal I got from this mini night shopping is my 7.8kg stitch for only RM199.90 that I spotted inside a random shophouse that I passed by, the kind where nobody would even notice it exists. Got those Timberland slippers along the night streets for RM20 each (after negotiation). Less is more!
Secondly, I visited the R E A D Cafe. Just in case you’re wondering, R E A D stands for Relax, Eat, And Drink. Please compliment me for attempted poses! LOL!
Nice ambience, not too sure about the food, as I only had an extremely sweet bowl of mango ice with strawberries. The fruit juice was refreshing! This place is actually quite quiet even on a weekend night.
Thirdly, I ended my night in a relaxing small light brown themed Cafe 1988. I like the motivational and meaningful quotes all around the cafe. The one that’s most applicable in my life now is definitely in sync with “Stop worrying, give your life a chance to flow on its own way”!
I ordered the teddy bear shaped chocolate lava cake with cute chocolate paws. Even as I look at it now, I still find it super damn cute. I still remember that heavenly thick and warm chocolate liquid flowing out as I dissect the bear. I know I sound like a murderer here, but really, IT’S A GOOD SURPRISE and perfect dessert to complete my day.
I did slept a bit over the night’s stay with Bakri Inn Homestay, so I still was quite energetic the next morning to hunt for a local lontong breakfast. The taste was very sweet and homely. I loved it!
Kheng Ping Kopitiam
84000, 29, Jalan Sulaiman
84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia
No road trip is complete without some confectionery to bring back home for the elderly and I decided to settle for some tau sa piahs from Sin Nam Hiang and almond biscuits from Yong Sheng Gift Shop. Muar is famous for their otah and you know what, I actually did not eat any at all on this road trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My justification is that I ate them before ages ago, so I thought I’d just skip the hassle of buying back these frozen ones. Anyway, I think Singapore also got sell.
The eating spree continued on with an unforgettable bottle of 70% ginseng and 30% chrysanthemum tea. Nothing too great about Cheong Heng wanton noodles, but I like their roasted pork………………..
No. 13 Jalan Sayang
Muar, Johor, Malaysia 84000
Contact Number: 60 6951 3607
I especially loved the curry rice, curry chicken, and curry vegetables I had at Wang Lye Kopitiam, kindly recommended by one of the Muar locals who sat at the same table with me while I was slurping my lontong breakfast earlier in the morning. Sweet curry, not too spicy, soft boiled potatoes, tender drumstick, well-soaked vegetables, what more can I ask for?! I WANT MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GIVE ME MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wang Lye Kopitiam
Jalan Meriam, Taman Sri Tanjung
84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia
While on the drive back, I passed by a church and went in to be a KPO for a few minutes. It happened to be a Chinese service.
God is good, and as I returned to Sutera Mall for last minute shopping, I was greeted with Hokkaido baked cheese tart, with no queue one. It makes me drool over and over, even now……
My food vibes continued on to experiencing a cold cup of premium raspberry tea with pink pops at Chaiwalla & Co. Container Cafe back in JB area. The pink pops (like bubble tea pearls) will have strawberry syrup burst out in your mouths! Very sweet.
Lot 2810, Tan Hiok Nee Street, Johor Bahru, 80000 Malaysia
Contact Number: 60 12 735 3572
A stone’s throw away is an attractive sweet pink painted “Kone” or “Koone” cafe which serves soft serve ice cream. Try the chocolate one, it’s thick!
28, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Please don’t be mistaken, I may look like I ate a lot, actually I didn’t. The portions were small and I had the privilege of sharing everything with my partner.
With that, I hope you enjoyed the virtual read of Muar and Johor and are already excited and even making plans to go for a weekend getaway from Singapore!
Thanks for reading!