Muar is said to be rich in history, some believing that its story started earlier than the Sultanate of Melaka, while some said that it was once under the Majapahit empire ruling. Although there are no historical records today as evidence, there are still standing architectural buildings dating back to the time when it all began. Hop on the historical trail to learn all about it. Just remember to charge your camera batteries before you go on the historical trail. While over in Tangkak, there lies the legendary Gunung Ledang, as well as the famous Tangkak beef noodles and textile town. So, stay a weekend in Muar and let the whispering legends carry you away.
Duration: Overnight trip
Suitable for: Families
(Jalan Haji Abu; From RM5; Time: Daytime)
What: Dubbed Glutton Street for all the obvious reasons, there are hawker vendors lined on both sides of the street that runs as long as one and a half blocks down. Each vendor serves their own specialty and they are all made to order so you are guaranteed to have your food while it’s still hot. Why: First things first upon arriving in Muar is to settle the tummy business. An optimum place in town to go all out, and you are bound to come back for seconds and thirds because there are just too much to try!
Must-try: Fried noodles, fried radish cakes, otak-otak.
HISTORICAL TRAIL IN MUAR
(Muar; Time: Daytime)
What: Muar is an architecturally rich town, with buildings that have been around since the late 1800s and early 1900s. Such notable buildings include the Royal Customs and Excise Building, Muar High School, Masjid Jamek Sultan Ibrahim, Dutch Houses and many more. Why: After a hearty meal on Glutton Street, do what tourists do best in a new town – go sightseeing and hunting for these architecture buildings, armed with only a map, a camera and a pair of hardy legs to carry you around.
Must-visit: Muar High School, Dutch Houses, Masjid Jamek Sultan Ibrahim, Royal Customs and Excise Building.
TANJUNG EMAS RECREATIONAL PARK
(Jalan Kamariah; Time: Anytime)
What: A quiet recreational park overlooking the Muar River, where locals like to patronise for a calm evening jog or for some ikan assam pedas. Come dusk, there is a splendid view of the sunset as well. Why: Cap off your day’s historical trail at this serene park as you have a small nibble on the ikan assam pedas while enjoying the sunset view.
CHUAN TIN RESTAURANT
6, Jalan Khalidi, 84000 Muar
(Tel.: +6 06 952 2579; Jalan Khalidi; RM20 per pax; Time: 5PM-11PM)
What: A seafood restaurant serving Hokkien cuisine such as suckling pig, shark’s fin soup and Buddha Jump Over the Wall. They are also famous for their seafood dishes like the crabs and fish soup. Why: After a day out wandering around Muar town, re-energise yourself with a hearty meal of delicious Hokkien food. Must-try: Roasted crabs, Indian mee, fish soup.
LC 410 Jalan Payamas 84900 Tangkak
Beside The Store Shopping Centre
(Jalan Payamas; RM10; Time: 6.30AM-3PM, closed on alternate Tuesdays)
What: A coffeeshop in Tangkak that sells a variety of local food that is both filling and delicious. Why: Before proceeding to your day’s trekking at Gunung Ledang, stop by this coffeeshop for a quick but yet filling breakfast that goes a long way. Must-try: Ginger flour vermicelli, porridge, yeung chow fried rice.
GUNUNG LEDANG RECREATIONAL FOREST
(Tel.: +6 06 977 2888; http://www.ledang.com; Tangkak; Adult/Child: RM10; Time: Daytime: 3-5hours trekking)
What: Also known as Mount Ophir, Gunung Ledang is steep both in height and the legend and folklore that surround it. It is named after a beautiful princess who spurned the hand of the Sultan of Malacca. Resplendent in natural beauty, it is a magnet for picnickers, hard-core nature lovers, birdwatchers, rock-climbers and jungle trekkers.
Why: Let nature’s best take your breath away with spots like the Puteri Waterfalls, Elephant Pool (Kolam Gajah), Triangle River (Sungai Segi Tiga), Goat’s Cave (Gua Kambing) and Botak Hill. Though the road may be strenuous, the end of the journey is worthwhile.
RESTORAN KUANG FEI
(Jalan Solok; RM10; Time: 9AM-8PM)
What: When visiting, or just passing through, the Tangkak town, it is a must to try out a nice steaming bowl of their household Tangkak beef noodles. A perfect start to a perfect day for the tummy!
Why: After a day’s trekking at Gunung Ledang, stop by this coffeeshop before heading back home for a quick but yet filling lunch.
Must-try: Tangkak beef noodles.
NASUHA SPICES AND HERBS PARADISE
KM19, Jalan Muar-Pagoh, 84500 Muar
(Tel.: +6 06 973 7608 / +6 06 973 7609; http://www.nasuhaherbsparadise.com; Pagoh; Adult/Child: RM10/RM5; Time: 8AM-5.30PM)
What: The largest herbs and spices plantation in Asia with more than 135 types of herbs. It also has a restaurant and spa with services of traditional massages and herbal baths.
Why: If there is time during your transit between Tangkak and Muar, stop by this plantation, which is right smack in the middle of the path for a tour, a meal, or even a massage, if you must.
(Tangkak; Time: Daytime)
What: Other than their beef noodles, Tangkak is also famous for its healthy production of textiles. Along Jalan Payamas, there are more than 60 stores displaying curtains of colourful and flowery cloths for sale. Why: Don’t go home empty-handed, make time to stroll down Jalan Payamas as your browse through the many colourful designs and haggle for a reasonable bargain.
Must-buy: Textile, garments, shoes, hats.
Where to stay:
MUAR TRADERS HOTEL
16, Jalan Petrie, 84000, Muar
(Tel.: +6 06 953 9100; http:// www.muartradershotel.com; Muar; From RM150nett)
What: This hotel is located strategically by the coastline, yet not straying too far from the town centre so patrons can enjoy its amenities to the fullest. Why: Enjoy a relaxing trip down in Muar as you check-in to a room with a cheap price tag, yet it comes with a beautiful view of the coastline.
HOTEL SRI PELANGI MUAR
79 Jalan Sisi, 84000 Muar
(Tel.: +6 06 951 8088; http://www.sripelangi.com; Muar; From RM96nett; 2-star rating)
What: Situated in the heart of town with Glutton Street just a couple of blocks away, the hotel is tastefully decorated and equipped with convenient facilities for patrons staying over for leisure or business. Why: If you are one who can only sleep better knowing there is food at your disposal right at your doorstep – not to mention a cheap comfy bed too – this accommodation would be the best bet for you when travelling to Muar.
GUNUNG LEDANG RESORT
Bt 28 Jalan Segamat 84020 Sagil Tangkak
(Tel.: +6 06 977 2888; http://www.ledang.com; Tangkak; From RM50; 3-star rating)
What: Located strategically in the premise of Gunung Ledang Recreational Forest, you can enjoy the ideal nature getaway at its rugged best with room choices cater to all kinds of travellers. Why: Set up camp in one of Malaysia’s legendary destination spots as you learn more of its eco-habitats, as well as getting the escape you so well deserve.
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