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January 15th 2015
Published: May 4th 2015
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Hello my fellow travellers!

After a good (and long) nights rest me and Bruce kicked off our day with a brunch at a local Chinese restaurant. The food was amazing and they just kept it coming, tray after tray with deliciousness. I thought I was going to explode after a while, but it set me up for a good day of traversing Johor Bahru. Now, to be honest there isn't all that much to see here, it's mostly an industrial town these days even though it is an old Sultanate. The Sultan still holds immense power here and I've heard that their palaces (yes, plural) are wonderful. They are unfortunately not open to the public.

There are a few things here though worth checking out, our first stop was not one of those places though, it was a Chinese Heritage Museum which didn't have all that much on display so it was a short stop. In general we walked around for a bit in the old China Town of Johor Bahru and while you can see the influence of it here, especially with the old merchant stalls which are quite old and still standing, but it isn't as prominent as it is in Singapore.

Our first religious stop of the day was my first visit to a Sikh Temple, the Gurdwara Sahib. We met a couple of nice people there, especially the security guard was wonderful to talk to and he taught us both much about Sikhism and it was really interesting to visit one of their temples. Next time I'm in India I will certainly visit more and grander versions of their temples. I had to wear a head cover as I entered but I think it fit me well, we were also not allowed to turn our backs on the holy text so for our photo-op we stood with out sides towards it.

Just a stones throw away is the Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple, it's not as grand as the ones I visited in Singapore and Hong Kong but it's nonetheless a lovely place and worth a visit while you're here. I really like Chinese temples, they are so decorative and beautiful, although I don't really find them as soothing as Buddhist temples though.

Continuing on we came to the Hindu temple of Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam (I can not pronounce that!) which was unfortunately closed. After that we took a little break from the religious in favour of the worldly as we went to Komtar JBCC shopping mall, an interesting thing to see inside this place is the Angry Birds theme park, I did not expect to find something like that in Malaysia but yeah it is here so if you or your children are fans of this game you now know that they have a theme park in here!

After that we went uphill to visit the really unique Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque which really looks like it has a lot of British influence in the design of it's minarets, they look like British clock-towers which is quite cool! I was surprised to find it so empty though, it didn't really have any worshippers here, in fact it actually looked like there was more homeless people drifting around. Felt kind of awkward to be honest so we didn't stay there very long.

Since we were getting a little bit hungry me and Bruce decided to scout for a place to eat our evening meal together with Cindy once she got off work so we went out to the cost and looked at some seafood restaurants. On our way back from there we came upon a group of monkeys crossing the road which was a pleasure to witness, there are basically two types of monkeys in this part of Malaysia, macaques and langurs. The macaques are more common and you see them everywhere while langurs are more rare and shy and these were langurs (more specifically Dusky Langurs). I couldn't get very close to them but still getting to see them like this still felt very special. Oh, and just for the record, they are spectacularly cute!

Well, said and done we met up with Cindy and went to dinner, nowhere near the places that we scouted! I didn't find the dinner to be near as good as the brunch we had at the Chinese place though.

My original plan was to continue on to Malacca today but since I haven't found a host there Bruce offered me to stay an extra night here and go to Malacca tomorrow, he said it's quite small so I should be able to visit it in a day and then continue on to Kuala Lumpur in the evening so that's what I'll go for.

I've enjoyed Johor Bahru even though the visual delights here have been a bit on the light side, but just walking around here gives you a sense of just ordinary life in Malaysia, it doesn't all have to be flare and adventures or big sandy beaches with blistering sun. Sometimes it's really nice to just see a city for what it is, no more and no less. Even so I do look forward to seeing Malacca tomorrow, I've heard that it's a beautiful and historic town and you know how much I love history!

Until tomorrow I wish you all peace and happy travels!

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