Royal Abu Bakar Museum

Johor Bahru

The marvellous Istana Besar, once the Johor royal family’s principal palace, was flung up in Victorian style by Anglophile sultan Abu Bakar in 1866. It was opened as a museum to the public in 1990, displaying the incredible wealth of the sultans to the hoi polloi in over 60,000 pieces. It's now the finest museum of its kind in Malaysia with beautifully manicured 53-hectare palace grounds (free entry); an extensive upgrade of the museum saw it shut for many years.