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Discover Muar (Bandar Maharani) with Timothy Tye

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Discover Muar (Bandar Maharani), Johor, with Timothy TyeDiscover Muar (Bandar Maharani), Johor, with Timothy Tye (11 September, 2016)

B. Melayu

Muar (GPS: 2.06361, 102.57659) is a town on the west coast of Johor. It is also the name of the district surrounding it. Sultan Ibrahim Ismail replaced Johor Bahru with Muar as Johor's new royal capital on 5 February, 2012, and on 24 November that same year, he declared it Bandar Maharani Bandar Diraja. Muar is located on the northwestern part of the state. It is by the bank of the Muar River. This somewhat sleepy town has a substantial Chinese population, hence many of the shops in town are Chinese owned. The district of Muar used to cover both Muar Town and Tangkak. But since Tangkak was ungraded to a full district level, called Ledang District, the Muar district is reduced to only the area south of Muar River.

How to go Muar

By Bus
You can catch buses from Johor Bahru (2 1/2 hours) or Kuala Lumpur (2 1/2 hours). Online booking of bus tickets to Muar available at Bus Online Ticket as well as a few other online ticketing companies.

By Car
If you are driving, you should exit the North-South Expressway at Tangkok (Exit 235) if coming from the north, and at Pagoh (Exit 238) if from the south.

Map of sights and streets in Muar

Hotels in Muar

  1. Elite Hotel (GPS: 2.04252, 102.56512)
  2. Inn Home Hotel Muar (GPS: 2.04819, 102.56777)
  3. Muar Traders Hotel (GPS: 2.04632, 102.56341)
  4. Muarar 99 Hotel (GPS: 2.04918, 102.56992)

Places to eat in Muar

  1. Muar Soup House (GPS: 2.04543, 102.56636)
  2. Wang Lye Kopitiam (GPS: 2.04911, 102.57049)

Sights in Muar

  1. Dataran Tanjung Emas (GPS: 2.04671, 102.5551)
  2. Eng Choon Huay Kuan (GPS: 2.04974, 102.56951)
  3. Hentian Maharani (GPS: 2.04687, 102.56481)
  4. Hentian Maharani Business Centre (GPS: 2.0467, 102.56424)
  5. Hui Ann Association (GPS: 2.04816, 102.57141)
  6. Istana Hinggap Muar (GPS: 2.04613, 102.56039)
  7. Jin Yit Sze Temple (GPS: 2.03994, 102.56945)
  8. Kerng Tang Kou Bioh Temple 粤東古廟 (GPS: 2.04919, 102.57085)
  9. Kheng Jai Wee Kuan Building (GPS: 2.04658, 102.56625)
  10. Kompleks Jeti Penumpang Muar (GPS: 2.04791, 102.56666)
  11. Kompleks Maharani Riverview (GPS: 2.04849, 102.5672)
  12. Laman Maharani (GPS: 2.0491, 102.56787)
  13. Living Water Presbyterian Church (GPS: 2.05565, 102.57367)
  14. Masjid Jamek Muar (GPS: 2.04639, 102.55838)
  15. Masjid Sultan Ismail (GPS: 2.05086, 102.56173)
  16. Muar Clock Tower (GPS: 2.04877, 102.56888)
  17. Muar Municipal Council (GPS: 2.04711, 102.56539)
  18. Muar Nan Hai Fei Lai Temple (GPS: 2.04877, 102.56888)
  19. Muar Royal Customs & Excise Office (GPS: 2.04751, 102.56593)
  20. Muar Second Bridge (GPS: 2.07711, 102.55402)
  21. Muar Teochew Association (GPS: 2.04949, 102.56919)
  22. Perhentian Teksi & Kereta Sewa Bandar Maharani (GPS: 2.04653, 102.56388)
  23. Sai Kee Kopi Serbok Sdn Bhd (GPS: 2.05022, 102.57009)
  24. Seventh-Day Adventist Church (GPS: 2.04428, 102.56934)
  25. St Andrew's Catholic Church (GPS: 2.05421, 102.57289)
  26. Sultan Abu Bakar Building (GPS: 2.0461, 102.56194)
  27. Sultan Ismail Bridge (GPS: 2.05087, 102.56715)
  28. Taman Tanjung Emas (GPS: .0475, 102.55414)
  29. Terminal Bentayan Muar (GPS: 2.05071, 102.5702)
  30. Tian Chun Tang Temple 天春堂 (GPS: 2.04919, 102.57085)
  31. Trinity Presbyterian Church (GPS: 2.0502, 102.57225)
  32. Tugu Mahkota Muar (GPS: 2.04332, 102.56673)

Streets in Muar

Street Art in Muar

  1. Bangsa Johor Mural (GPS: 2.04671, 102.5551)
  2. The Loving Sisters Mural (GPS: 2.04833, 102.57163)

Categories of sights in Muar

Places of eat in Muar

  1. Mee Bandung Abu Bakar Hanipah (GPS: 2.04654, 102.56619)

Sights near Muar

Rivers in Muar

Muar signboardMuar signboard facing the Muar River (11 September, 2016)

History of Muar

Muar is a very old town by Malaysian standard. It is even older than Malacca, having been mentioned as a stopover of Parameswara on his route north, prior to founding Malacca. Parameswara is said to have founded a settlement at Pagoh in upper Muar. It is also in Muar that one can find the only remaining tomb of a Malacca sultan, that of Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah (1477-1488) which escaped demolition by the Portuguese, a fate that befall the other Malacca sultans' tombs. The Portuguese built a fort in Muar, called the Fortaleza de Muar, to repel attacks from the Dutch and the Acehnese.

When the British made Dato' Temenggong Daing Ibrahim the de facto ruler of Johor, the actual ruler, Sultan Ali, ruled over an independent kingdom at Muar called Kesang. Sultan Ali should in fact be ruler over all Johor, but due to his weakness, the Temenggong became instead the de facto ruler. After the death of the Temenggong, the throne of Johor passed to the Temenggong's eldest son, who ascended the throne as Maharaja Abu Bakar and eventually Sultan Abu Bakar.

After the death of Sultan Ali, his eleven-year-old son Tengku Mahmood was chosen as his successor, bypassing the rightful heir, his eldest son Tengku Alam. When Colonel Archibald Anson, the Acting Governor of the Straits Settlements, wanted to put Muar under the control of Maharaja Abu Bakar, Tengku Alam declared war. The conflict came to be known as the Jementeh Civil War. The army of Maharaja Abu Bakar under the leadership of the maharaja's cousin, Ungku Ahmad, an abled tactician, easily defeated Tengku Alam.

As a result of the war, the town of Muar was opened by Maharaja Abu Bakar. It was bestowed the name Bandar Maharani by Maharaja Abu Bakar in 1884, in honour of his consort Maharani Fatimah. The following year, Maharaja Abu Bakar was proclaimed sultan. He reigned for another ten years until his death in 1895.

Muar as a future World Heritage Site

A non profit cultural organisation called Muar Historia is compiling information about the history of Muar with the hope that one day, the town may also be inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Go to the Muar Historia website to get to know their activities.

Timothy Tye and Goh Chooi Yoke at the Bangsa Malaysia muralTimothy Tye and Goh Chooi Yoke at the Bangsa Malaysia mural (11 September, 2016)

360° View of Muar on Google Maps Street View

Muar is on the Map of Johor


List of Towns in Johor and Towns in Malaysia

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