Johor Bharu On Foot! =) Part 2 (JB Chinese Heritage Museum, Restoran Muthu, Arulmigu Temple)

*click here for part one of the story! =p*

So after the epic film, we decided to walk back to Jalan Wong Ah Fook area to have lunch in Annalakshmi, one of my favourite places for Indian meals. The people, the ambience, the food, everything will work together and never fails to transport me to a different world (if you know what I mean). Founded in Kuala Lumpur in 1984 (never knew it was from Malaysia!), it is run by volunteers and they have a unique concept of payment – you can pay whichever amount of money that you wish to! =) Currently they have various outlets around the world (I have spotted one in Singapore near Chinatown and my friend saw another in Melbourne). Definitely a place to check out! Unfortunately by the time we reached there drenched in sweat, it was 3.30pm and the shop was closed! Important to note, their opening hours are only from 12pm to 3pm daily and close on Sundays. =*( So sad, was really looking forward to it! 

Anyway with our grumbling stomachs we decided to continue on to go to the JB Chinese Heritage Museum as it was just a few doors down and our alternative lunch place was too far away. Entrance fee was RM2 for students which was dirt cheap!

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Honestly, I did not have high expectations on this museum considering that it was just a shop lot and seems to be rather small to be considered as a decent museum. But, I later found out that I was so wrong. There were so many things on display and it was arranged in a very systematic order. It felt like I was reading a live and interactive history book. 

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Apart from artefacts, the museum also had several television sets screening short video clips explaining the history of Johor Chinese and the development of Malaysian Chinese in terms of social, economic and cultural, among others.

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    (*traditional chinese medication and book!! excited!- medical student mode on!*)

The museum was well taken care of and they actually had this sensor thing going on (?) whereby the lights and TV will only on when someone passes that area! =) It was a pleasant surprise considering the minimal amount of money the collect from the visitors, as this kind of technology and maintenance will definitely cause a fortune! Later after a pleasant chat with the uncle taking care of the tickets booth, I came to know that this museum was mostly maintained by donations by the Chinese from Johor and Singapore, so touched by their effort to restore and preserve the history of their ancestors and to nurture the future generation. 

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       (* praying table: before joining one of the main brotherhood (kongsi) – Hong Men; before World War 2)

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        (*Super shocked when I saw this! All this while I have been thinking that 24 seasons drum is from China!! Its a ‘product of Malaysia’! *proud to be a Malaysian mode*)

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The seemingly small museum actually occupies 4 floors and by the end of the day we were so exhausted as there were just so many things to look at. =) Each floor has a different theme and was neatly arranged according to the timeline or categories. We spent an hour and a half in the museum and we had to leave as we were famished by then! 

Passed by this mansion that used to be owned by a rich Indian family back in the 1960s. Now it serves as a cultural hub but unfortunately only opens on certain days when there are cultural events and performances. 

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   (*past glory)

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  (*translates as: it’s more blessed to give than to receive)

And we continue walking….

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And walking……

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Had banana leaf rice and coconut water in Restoran Muthu. Friendly staff, decent food. They have this preserved dried chilli that goes with the rice which we find it special and of course, spicy!! In the end, we finished everything except that dried chilli thingy. 

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Moving on to one of the places that I was most excited of – the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam temple just opposite the street!

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I have been to a hindu temple for a couple of times now, but have not really stepped in and observe closely, so this was my first ever experience in the temple up close and personal! Since young, I have always been mesmerized by Hindu temples; colourful, serene yet lively at the same time. And the stories of Hindu Gods and Goddesses never fail to captivate me every single time. 

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Well, I must say that it was indeed a little bit awkward as there was a prayer session being conducted at the time of my visit and we were the only visitors at that time. I did spotted some Chinese and Caucasian visitors before entering and while leaving the temple though, so I guess it was just down to bad timing, haha. But it was definitely a different experience and walking into some other religion and culture which you may not be familiar with made me realise that we are not so different after all. And it is quite interesting to study and learn from other cultural backgrounds and perspectives. I do hope to have another visit again, perhaps in another temple with some friends of that religion (so that things will be clearer?) =)

 

Then we wandered up past Galleria to Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim and also the Old Police Station.

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Unfortunately, both were not opened for public, so we can just glance from afar. They even have snipers around to guard these places, oh my! 

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   (*LOL*)

So at this point of time we decided to call it a day and so we went back and sleep till dinner time! =)

In summary:

Total time: 10am -6pm: 8 hours

*Oh, we have actually made this trip a challenge that we shall not spend more than RM30 each person! Let’s see if we succeeded!*)

Total cash spent:

  1. breakfast (Salahuddin Bakery): RM6
  2. Hua Mui: RM6 (fried rice) RM3 (coffee)
  3. Movie: Pacific Rim: RM 24
  4. JB Chinese Heritage Museum: RM 4
  5. Lunch: RM 16

Total: RM59!! (ohhhh, just nice!! >.<)