Heritage walk with friends from Kajang

September kicked off with a long weekend of public holidays for National Day and Hari Raya Haji plus a bonus day off declared for the nation’s medal haul at the recent SEA Games.

Friends from Kajang at
the start of our heritage walk
For most Malaysians, it was only natural to take advantage of this break to chill out or to make a short trip. Our friends in Kajang decided that Johor Baru was their destination.

As they planned their itinerary in JB, I was asked to take them on a heritage tour to let the young people have an insight into our city’s heritage quarter.

I agreed to do so because it will be interesting for the visitors to have a heritage experience at the Johor Baru Chinese Heritage Museum and walk around the old streets where it was also hip and happening.

Through my research and writing I’ve become familiar with Johor heritage but I told them that I’m not a tour guide. I’m just a person who’s passionate about sharing our city’s heritage with others.

On the morning of our tour, the weather was bright and clear. And because the group was rather big – seven guys and eight girls with one toddler – it was important to give them an overview of the sights with some background info before we headed out to the streets.

An Instagram-worthy shot of young Asha
taken at a destination along Jalan Dhoby
Besides sharing with them the landmarks in our Street of Harmony, I wanted to show them that the dodgy image of Jalan Dhoby had long been wiped clean and it now has some of the most ‘Instagrammable’ destinations here.

The main advantage of visiting the heritage sector on a stretch of major public holidays is the absence of traffic congestion and where less cars were parked indiscriminately.

[It was a public holiday and parking was Free-of-Charge on the city's public parking lots, yet some drivers were just too lazy to park there and walk a few steps into the heritage quarter!]

This allowed us to take a scenic drive through the streets to point out the places of worship of the main ethnic groups here, on the trail known as the Street of Harmony.

The main setback of a public holiday however, was that many outlets and businesses were closed. But this certainly did not deter our group from enjoying the heritage walk.

Here is a collection of photo momentoes of our walk around JB’s heritage quarter:o

Our visitors listening attentively to my commentary on the chronology of events that took place in early Johor
A lovely group shot - spoiled by an indiscriminately parked car [Shame on you!] at Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk

For the first time, I saw this building facade at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, without any vehicles blocking my view!
By the end of the walk, our visitors were richer by the wealth of information they received through this exciting experience. Among other interesting historical facts, now they know how pepper and gambier earned their place of honour in Johor, what are kangchu, who was Tan Hiok Nee and why this road was named after him.   

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