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!! >.<)

 

 

Johor Bharu On Foot (Part 1: Salahuddin Bakery, Hua Mui, City Square)

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I have been living in Johor Bharu since one year ago when I first started my clinical years and naturally I thought that I would know quite a lot about this city by now. Well,turns out that maybe, I’m not that familiar with it after all. As a motivation to study (LOL), me and the boy, Mr L made a bet (or rather a promise) that if we studied for one whole week, by Saturday we will go for a day trip in JB! And yes, we managed to do it and by Friday night we were researching on where to go. Then we came across this JB Heritage Trail thing in a couple of travel blogs and realised that there is such things in Jalan Wong Ah Fook, a street that we have passed by countless times to grab some food and stuff like that. Turns out, this area that I thought I will be much familiar by now has much more to offer! So yesterday, we started our journey at 10am (it was supposed to be at least one hour earlier but we overslept! >.< oh well, it is supposed to be a chilled tour anyway =p). First stop, the Salahuddin Bakery for breakkie!! =) Image The shop has been there since 1919 (if I am not mistaken) and the interior of it still maintains the traditional way of preparing the breads (by oven! how cool is that!) and also the way they display it!  Image The lady in the shop and one of his customers were so nice to us they even introduced the breads and cakes one by one for us (after seeing us looking so lost! haha). In the end I picked up a potato curry puff (their curry puffs are best sellers according to johorkaki! Teehee) and also a cream puff. The curry puff was awesome beyond words, crunchy at the exterior yet soft inside due to its rich fillings! The cream puff on the other hand, bears a unique taste, but not so to my liking. Probably because I’m not that fond of the Bengali cream taste, or perhaps it is too flavourful for me to start off the day.  Image After eating these in the car (as now being the puasa month, we thought that it would be rather disrespectful to eat in their shop, and they don’t really have a place to sit), both of us craved for some coffee so we went to Hua Mui, another shop that has been here for more than half a century (1946). Image Hua Mui is a nice place to start off your day, they have this kind of homey feeling and all their decorations (even their utensils) have been preserved since they first opened the shop. Going to Hua Mui is like being transported back to the 1940-s where every morning people will gather and have their breakfast before going back to their work, not forgetting to exchange the latest gossips and news to each other.  Image We each ordered a cup of coffee and Mr L ordered a plate of Hua Mui fried rice, one of their signature dishes. I secretly wonder if he has two stomach instead of one (if you know what I mean), he just ate three breads from the bakery right before this! As it started to rain a little =( , we decided to detour and walk to city square to catch a movie. Passed by this shop, so nostalgic!!!! I hardly ever come across this kind of biscuit shops nowadays! Bought a packet of biscuits, the small round based biscuits with multicoloured icing on top of it, hardly see these little thing as well! Happiness overload… Image Walk past a old cinema as well, it is still functioning! Playing mostly tamil movies nowadays. My mum used to tell me that grandpa used to go and watch these tamil movies every week. Makes me so intrigued, perhaps one day I shall come here and watch! Image And finally, we reached City Square! So flipping tiring to walk at 12 noon and we were sweating like a cow by the time we reached there. Lined up to buy tickets for Pacific Rim and cause we were too bored in the queue we decided to take a couple of selfies. And, we did not realise that our juniors were lining right behind of us! They greeted us after that, so embarrassing! >.< haha. Image And yes, I have shaky hands! >.< Managed to walked around before the movie, City Square have changed a lot compared to last year when I first came with my family. The idea of JB being a rather ‘dangerous’ place (no thanks to its crime rates compared to the rest of the states) further solidify upon their visit to the old City Square before its renovation and for a moment they were so afraid of my safety. Now, it has completely transformed and become one of the most popular shopping malls in JB. Not complaining, but there are still much room for improvement and potential in this strategically located mall. (it is just opposite the JB-SG immigration place) Image Haha I forced him to stand there! =p Pacific Rim was super awesome!! Okey, super awesome is way underrated. At first I had a lot of doubts about this movie after watching the trailer, I mean, the trailer was so lousy and made this movie looks like an adult version of power rangers! But after so much of a hype, we decided to watch it and never regretted the decision! =) One of the best sci-fi movie ever! P.s.: Decided to split this into two parts (cause I’m way too talkative??) haha!  And oh, do check this awesome blog out! I’m sure most of the Johorian and beyond will know about this blog (johorkaki). Recently they came out with this interesting article written by the author from the perspective of himself at 5 years old in the 1960-s. Check the post out! It allows me to see the things around me in this trip in a different light (Thank you people from johorkaki, though I doubt you will ever see this, haha!)