Thursday, July 11, 2019

Johor Bahru, Malaysia

On Tuesday evening, Nat and I flew from Bandar Seri Begawan to Singapore.  On Wednesday morning we got up early for a day trip to Johor Bahru.

Johor Bahru sits on the Straits of Johor and it is the southernmost city in the Malay Peninsula.  It was originally founded as Tanjung Puteri in 1855, gaining city status in 1994.  With 497 000 people it is the 9th biggest city in Malaysia.  There are more than 1,6 million people in the greater metro area making it the country's second-largest metropolitan area behind Kuala Lumpur.

The causeway between Singapore and Johor Bahru was completed in 1923.  The train ride between the two cities only takes five minutes.

What can take a while is going through customs and immigration leaving one country and entering the other.

The JB Sentral train station is connected via an overhead bridge to the City Square Mall.  Our first stop was a Din Tai Fung for an early lunch.  The Michelin-star awarded Taiwanese-based restaurant chain is famous for it's Xiao Long Bao - soup dumplings.

The first step is to pour 1 part soy sauce and 3 parts vinegar in a dish with fresh ginger.  Using chopsticks, dip a dumpling into the mixture and then place it in a soup spoon.  Poke a small hole in the dumpling to release the broth inside.  Then enjoy.  Absolutely delicious!

Then it was off to explore the city.

The Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in the city.  It was built in 1911.  The temple honours the Goddess Mariamman, the deity of fertility and rain.

The Gurdwara Sahib Sikh temple was built in 1921.

Masjid India is the main place of worship for the city's Indian Muslim population.

The four-storey Tiong Hua Chinese Heritage Museum was recently renovated.  Chinese first came to this area in the 14th century.  

The Old Chinese Temple was built in the 19th century.  The temple symbolises unity as it hosts five deities from five different Chinese dialect groups - Hokkien, Cantonese, Hainan, Teochew, and Hakka.

The Sultan Ibrahim Building was built in 1940 as the secretariat building for the British colonial government.

The Old Railway Station was built in 1932 but closed in 2010 when the Sentral station was built.  The old station is supposed to be used as a museum in the future.

The Kilometre Zero marker is located in front of the General Post Office.  It is one of the few markers in the world where the national zero marker isn't found in the national capital.

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