Muar is located south of Melaka, approximately 180km from Kuala Lumpur city. A relatively little know destination, Muar is a great location for a weekend break and is very easily accessibly from Melaka (26 km ) as well as Kuala Lumpur (180 km)
For the first time, I drove to Muar from Kuala Lumpur along AH2 exiting for Muar near Kampung Tanjung Batu taking highway 23 towards Muar. The two roads are easy to drive with occasional slow-moving trucks and trolleys along the way. The route, however, is not too crowded and 25 km can be easily covered in half an hour reaching the riverfront of the Mura River.
An important landmark in Muar is located near Sultan Ismail Bridge
Most of the earlier development in the town is along the Muar River. The city of Muar claims to be one of the cleanest cities in Malaysia which is quite evident driving through the main streets along the riverfront.
How to travel from Muar to Melaka and Kuala Lumpur?
The main bus stop is located along Jalan Maharani near the main Sultan Ismail Bridge. Some of the popular cafes including Kopi 434 Muar are located exactly opposite the bus terminal. I stopped by for a breakfast at the Kopi 434 and simply loved the joint.
Terminal Bentayan Muar, the main bus terminal in Muar
The bus ticket price from Muar to Melaka is approximately RM 6 and ticket to Kuala Lumpur is RM 16 and the travel time is 3 hours. Travelling by bus is a very convenient way of travelling to Muar from both Melaka and Kuala Lumpur city.
Most popular locations in town are accessibly by taxis that are readily available in the city.
What are some of the major attractions in the city of Muar?
The developed green zone along the river banks of Muar called Tunjung Emas is definitely the first place to explore when in Muar. I visited the park in the daytime and realized that I must come back in the evening when it is cool and pleasant. The area is very well lit and attracts large crowds till the late hours of the night.
Tunjung Emas is the main tourist attraction in Muar
Night time brings throngs of people enjoying the cool river breeze and the place stays busy till the late hours of the night.
Two main mosques adorn both sides of the Muar Rivers. Masjid Jamek Sultan Ibrahim Muar is located next to Tanjung Emas. The light blue coloured structure was built in 195 and accommodates 200 worshippers. The building borrows architectural motifs from western and neo-classical architecture. This is prominent in the design of the windows. The main hall is decorated with light blue-coloured columns and carpeting. The design of the dome follows Indian and Middle-Eastern designs.
Masjid Jamek Sultan Ibrahim Muar
I offered my Zuhr prayers at the mosque and enjoyed the peaceful ambience and atmosphere of the mosque. The river flows smoothly next to the mosque giving a beautiful feeling of continuity to the surrounding.
Masjid Sultan Ismail Tangkak
Sultan Ismail Tangkak mosque is located across the river overlooking the bridge and Muar City area. There is a beautiful waterfront park and kid's play area located next to the mosque. The mosque can be easily accessed by driving or walking across the Sultan Ismail Bridge.
Where to stay in Muar Malaysia?
I decided to pick a boutique budget hotel near the city centre. Wood Boutique Hotel is an amazing one-star boutique hotel with an 8+ ranking on Agoda.com and Booking.com. Rooms are available from RM 110+.
The beautiful property is built inside an industrial shed and each room is designed to look like a wooden shack in a village. The rooms are very well furnished with basic amenities and provided super comfortable accommodation. No wonder the customers give an amazing rating to the establishment for novel design and service.
There are a number of cafes located in the same compound providing coffee and a mix of local and international cuisine. Booking by cash at the counter comes with a 10RM voucher that can be redeemed at a cafe across the hotel. The hotel has plenty of secure parking.
I enjoyed staying at this establishment and highly recommend it for your visit to Muar. Check BEST RATES WITH AGODA ONLINE.
There are a number of boutique and budget hotels located in the same neighbourhood. This location is ideal if you are not driving as there are a number of cafes and restaurants within the walking distance.
In the evening I went for a walk to explore the Heritage Walk on foot. MOU Boutique Hotel is located at an ideal location on the riverfront. I decided to stay at the hotel on my way back from Johor Bharu as the decor, prices, as well as location, are ideal for a budget stay in Muar.
There is a beautiful rooftop cafe at MOU Boutique Hotel overlooking the Muar River and the main road along the river. The cafe specializes in seafood platters served for a group of 2 or more. I enjoyed a cup of coffee in the late evening enjoying the amazing views of well-lit city of Muar.
Where to eat in Muar?
I was suggested Bentayan Food Court by the staff at Wood Boutique Hotel. This is a 30-year-old Hawker-styled food court that operates from 5 pm to 10 pm offering a wide range of Asian street food ranging from noodle and soup dishes, otak otak, satay and popular Hong Kong snacks.
Muar has a number of amazing cafes and coffee shops. I decided to have my breakfast on the last day of my stay at Kopi 434, a very popular cafe located across from the main bus stop in the city. The cafe specializes in various styles of coffee and serves an amazing mix of local breakfast dishes.
I enjoyed kaya toast with eggs and a nice noodle dish served in a coconut milk base. I loved the decor and atmosphere of the cafe as it was packed even in the early hours of the morning.
Kopi 434 in Melaka is a very popular cafe
Driving from Muar to Melaka?
The drive from Melaka to Muar is approximately 30 minutes. Drive along highway 5 passing through small towns and villages along the way. The traffic is a bit slow due to decreased speed limit in busy areas. The coastal towns along the coastal strip including Pantai Siring are popular for seafood restaurants. I stopped for half an hour to take some photographs and enjoy lunch.
The city of Melaka attracts large crowds over the weekend and is a great place for a weekend break or even a day trip. This time I decided to spend the late afternoon in Melaka to explore some historical places near Jonker Walk. During my previous visit, I enjoyed some great Nyonya Food (Nancy's Kitchen) as well as staying at 4-star Resort (Shore Residence). [ Read more about my trip to Melaka in 2019 ]
Malacca has bounced back from the Covid pandemic and there is a lively vibe around the backstreet of the Portugues area. Plenty of old townhouses are turned into boutique hotels. I walked down side streets around Jonker Walk and took plenty of pictures of beautifully restored shophouses.
If you plan to stay in the heart of the action, I suggest renting a boutique hotel near Jonker Walk. There are plenty of trendy cafes, restaurants and places to explore on foot.
Melaka River Cruise ( RM 25) is definitely a must-do experience in Melaka. The river meanders through the old part of the town and you can observe the amazing architectural history of the beautiful city which has survived Dutch, Portuguese and colonial occupation in the last couple of centuries.
I stopped over for a quick lunch at Gravy Baby, located on the Jonker Walk and Malacca River. Sitting in the cafe you can enjoy the boats passing by on the Melaka River. The liveliness of the location is quite enjoyable at any time of the day.
The back streets of Jonker Walk have plenty of art galleries, antique shops and beautifully restored shop houses which are painted in bright colours.
The area from Jonker Walk to Dataran Palawan Shopping Mall is to be best explored on foot. Recent redevelopment has given a facelift to the area and vending machines can be seen around every corner. The area is very well-maintained for cleanliness and safety.
I walked over to the top of the hill to see remnants of Fort Famosa. Some graves of colonialists are scattered along the top of the hill giving an insight into the interest of the region.
Other amazing places to explore in Melaka include a number of Museums near the Melaka River as well as the Melaka Straits Mosque. [ Read more about my previous trip to Melaka ]
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