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The Empress' Town

Muar is a town and port located on the northwestern part of Johor, well known for its furniture industry, its history and culture, as well as its delicious and affordable cuisine. Located in the district of the same name, Muar was given the title Bandar Maharani (Town of the Empress) in 1887 due to its importance and prominence at that time, second only to the capital city of Johor, Johor Bahru.

 

Historical and Cultural Centre

The town lies near the border between Johor and Malacca, and although an important town in its own right, its rich history is likely influenced by the town’s proximity to the Malaccan Sultanate, which was often the centre of attention during the early years of Malaysia.

Muar Today

 

Known as the centre of the furniture industry in Malaysia, Muar’s products are exported worldwide to as far as the United States and Europe. The carpentry of Muar is as such that it is home to a few hand-made coffin shops—one of the very few still remaining in Malaysia.

 

It is also one of the most well-known foodie areas of the country—the unique Malaysian cuisine is well represented here, and Muar’s specialties such as Mee Bandung and Otak-otak are believed to be one of the best in the country. You can find much of the food in food courts such as the Cooked Food Market.

Muar, despite modern development, has retained much of the pre-war buildings in the town centre, making it one of the must-visit spots for any historical or cultural enthusiasts out there due to its amount of preserved heritage structures. The town authorities have also encouraged the painting of the old shop houses to make them more appealing in the modern townscape. A curious sight is that modern utilities are often seen dotting the heritage buildings, such as tall television antennas designed to capture signals all the way from Singapore!