One Day Trip To Muar, Johor, Malaysia

It was a chilly Sunday morning. 

While most people are still warmly curled-up in their beds at 5.45am, a small congregation had already gathered at a dark, secluded corner of the neighborhood. 

My Aunt's department had organized a one day trip to Muar, Johor, Malaysia and she has asked my parents and I along. It was considered a 'blind' trip for me because I do not know the itinerary nor know where we will be going to. 

We set off on board a luxurious coach heading for Tuas checkpoint and were met with by our Malaysian tour guide after clearing the Malaysian side of the customs. 

After a brief introduction, the tour guide started taking orders for Xiao Mei Otak-Otak which is the standard procedure for tours like this.

It was still dark outside the windows but the rising sun soon lit up the skies with a splendid shade of gold. I even spotted a rainbow in the distance!

Our first stop was breakfast at Gelang Patah, a popular breakfast destination for many tour coaches coming from Singapore.

This place serves a steady stream of hungry Singaporeans who arrives by the bus-loads every weekend. It's a one-bus-leaves-another-bus-arrives kind of situation so how much money this coffeeshop makes is anyone's guess. 

Honestly, there's really nothing special about the food here thus, it leaves me baffled, why are we brought here for breakfast each time we came to Malaysia?

Mum had the Pan Mee which is quite bland while Dad and I shared some mediocre Dim Sum.

After a rather unsatisfactory breakfast, we boarded the coach and set off for Stingless Bee Farm at Yong Peng. The first thing I noticed as soon as the coach pulled up outside the farm are the numerous durian trees full of the delicious fruit!

The bee farm is built among the durian trees. While one side of the farm sells honey products, the other side sell durians.

With no interest in the honey, I head straight to the durian side and that is where I saw this two very strange contraption on the table.

Do you know what these are?

They are actually devices for opening durians and I remembered watching a video of it in action on Facebook before. Nothing beats watching it in person.

The person who came up with the design for this is a genius! No more hacking at the poor durian with a parang anymore!

When I knew we are coming to a bee farm, my first thought was that we would be seeing bees but on the contrary, there weren't any at all. Instead, there were swarms of flies. And lots of them too!

The promoters were really eager to introduce their products to us. Not many people bought the honey products though but I was shocked to learn that my parents were the biggest spender there. They bought seven bottles of the honey!

We returned to the coach and were dismayed to find out that dozens of flies had boarded the vehicle with us. For the remaining of the day, the flies accompanied us on our journey.

 Stingless Bee Farm
 Address: Taman Sembrong, 83700 Yong Peng, Johor, Malaysia

Kuih-Muih Eng Hin (永兴福州饼面厂)

Our next itinerary is Kedai Membuat Kuih-Muih Eng Hin where I have visited exactly a year ago when I went to Kluang. You can read about it during my one day trip to Kluang here.

This shop specialize in making traditional Fuzhou biscuits. We bought some last year and didn't like the taste of it so we didn't buy any this year.

Kedai Membuat Kuih-Muih Eng Hin (永興福州餅麵廠)
Address: 14, Jalan Besar, Taman Sembrong, 83700 Yong Peng, Johor, Malaysia

Leaving the bakery, we began our journey towards Muar. Apart from waving the annoying flies away, we were kept entertained during the long ride playing BINGO.

This is how the game goes: All players will pay a dollar for a card bearing random numbers. The money collected will become the cash prize for the winners. The money will then be split into 60% (first winner) and 40% (second winner).

The tour guide will pick a numbered ball and if you have that number on your card, you simply push the hole with that corresponding number. The first person to push out all the numbers will get the 60% while the second person to complete the game will get the remaining 40%.

Unexpectedly, Dad won the second prize.

When your mind is kept occupied, time passes really fast. We soon arrived at Cheng Tian Keong temple at Patu Pahat which I have been to a number of times.  

You know you have come to the correct temple when you see this magnificent sculpture of the seven immortals riding atop a golden dragon.

What is interesting about this dragon is that the water it spouts out of its mouth is natural spring water from the mountains and it is not powered by electricity but gravity.

Koi and Arowana lived in this fountain

Cheng Tian Keong Batu Pahat (柔佛峇株吧辖青天宫大伯公)

Wash yourself with the water here for good luck. You can either throw a pail down the well to fetch yourself some water just like the olden days or you can simply use the pump installed by the side.

Bathrooms with your chinese zodiac signs

Cheng Tian Keong Batu Pahat (柔佛峇株吧辖青天宫大伯公)
Address: Jalan Kuari, Batu 3, Jalan Kluang, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia

Leaving the temple, we went to Heng Wang Restaurant (炘旺楼) for lunch. Unfortunately, there is no food photos as we are sharing a table with seven other people. The moment the food arrives, chopsticks started flying.

Nam Thien Temple (麻坡南亭寺)

After lunch, we arrived at another temple in Muar called Nam Thien Temple. Again, I have been here a couple of times before but it is the first time I learn a little of the history behind this temple.

According to the tour guide, the temple was started by a medium who is said to have healed a member of the royal family of his strange illness. To express his gratitude, the Sultan of that time conferred the title of datukship to him.

During the 1969 racial riots, the temple was said to have protected the devotees who came to seek refuge. From then on, the temple's name has attracted a large following of devotees from far and wide, including Singaporeans like us who chartered a vehicle to come all the way here to worship the presiding deity San Chai Yeah (善才爷). 

When you turn in from the main road, you would have seen a primary school  SJK (C) SAN CHAI on your way in. The school is the only one in Malaysia that is named after a Chinese temple. The donations collected from the temple all goes into charity and developing the school for the children here.

Right outside the temple is a small bazaar peddling local products.

I remember during one of my previous visit, there is a ice cream seller selling triple-cone traditional ice cream. I was quite disappointed that I did not see it this time.

Nam Thien Temple (麻坡南亭寺) 
Address: Jalan Dato Koh Thian Peng, Parit Unas, Johor, 84150 Muar, Malaysia

Our next itinerary was to Yong Sheng Gift Store to shop for local products. However, we realize that they have quite limited products. Actually, one of our intention for this trip is to shop for Chinese New Year goodies. We would have preferred to shop at YOYO Native Products in Yong Peng which offer much more choices.

It is time to head back towards Yong Peng. We had another round of Bingo and this time, Mum won the second prize.

The coach pulled up at Ming An Restaurant for a short toilet break. It is one of the R&R stations along the North-South Expressway. Whenever we came here, we had to buy two boxes of the freshly baked Siew Pau.

They are my favorite!

After about twenty minutes, we boarded the coach which pulled out of the R&R station and it stopped right across the road to pick up our orders of Otak-Otak from Xiao Mei (name of the Otak-Otak factory).

Xiao Mei is one of the more preferred brand for Muar Otak-Otak and they offer quite some varieties like fish head, fish meat, prawn, cuttlefish, crab and la-la Otak-Otak. Most of the flavors costs RM6 (SGD1.93) and it's buy 10 get 1 free. We ordered a mix of everything.

If you love durians, their Durian Mochi are quite to die for.

We then proceeded to have our dinner at De Fortune Restaurant 福临门海鲜酒家 in Kulai. The food was good as usual. There is even suckling pig!

Beautiful fish. What a waste to be eaten.

As night time beckons, we boarded the coach for our trip home.

Fortunately, traffic was smooth on the highway and there wasn't any jams at the customs. We got cleared pretty fast too and were soon back in home ground feeling very tired but satisfied and proud of our buys.

twitter: dead_cockroach
instagram: thedeadcockroach