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Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru February 8th 2015

Johor Bahru, usually just abbreviated as “JB”, is a city just north of Singapore, just across the causeway that connects Singapore and Malaysia. Everyone was telling me that there was not much to see and do, but I had wanted to go and get my own impression since I had arrived here in Singapore. Only so far I had always shied away from the hassle of crossing the border. In Europe we are so spoilt. We travel from one country to the other without even having to stop. But not until travelling in countries outside Europe you really start to appreciate the freedom we have in Europe. I thought I would outsmart everyone because I had planned to leave for JB on a Saturday (not on a Friday or on a Sunday when all the commuters ... read more
Old train station
Chinese temple
Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Batu Pahat January 21st 2015

Amazing food, thoughtful hosts, and great friends.. .a relaxing and fun weekend... Thanks to the Ho family for looking after us!... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru December 28th 2014

Sunday, 28th December 2014 On the afternoon when we were supposed to return home from Johor Bahru, we decided to hop onto one of the 5 train services to cross the busy Causeway. It was 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon and like all weekends, the Malaysia Customs was getting really crowded. H suggested that we turned back the tide and try riding the KTM train back to Singapore. This was a good decision since it would minimise the overcrowding and delays at both sides of the Causeway. Each ticket costs RM3 on the 5 minutes journey into Singapore. Ticket sales started 30 minutes before the trains arrived on a first-come first-served basis. As a train buff, this was a pleasant ride for me to beat the queues and crowds on a weekend afternoon. For Sundays crossings in ... read more
My ticket for the 5 minutes journey
The waiting area at Johor Bahru
On board the train to Singapore

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru December 27th 2014

Saturday, 27th December 2014 Before we begin our weekend staycation at JB Tebrau City, we decided to stop by at Coffee Valley for breakfast. This was a nice, independent coffee house located along Jalan Trus, about 10 minutes walk from the Johor Bahru Customs. Coffee Valley occupied the second level of the pre-war shophouses in JB's historic core. With its high ceilings and warm hues, the environment made me relaxed the moment I stepped into the café. I could probably spend my entire day here actually. I ordered the Egg's Benedict with Waffles. The breakfast set came complete with a generous serving of fresh fruit platter and of course, a nice dose of the daily brew. This was certainly a great start to our staycation as we welcomed a nice, idyllic weekend in the Johor State ... read more
The cosy interiors
A good selection of cakes
Still in Xmas mood

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru December 27th 2014

Saturday, 27th December 2014 After breakfast at Coffee Valley, we took a walk around the historic downtown core before hailing a taxi to Holiday Plaza for my massage routine. For the weekend, we chose to stay at Hotel Tebrau CT as it was right opposite Jusco Tebrau City and 5 minutes to Tesco Hypermarket. The meal choices we picked today were quite sensible ranging from Vivo pizzas to Japanese hotpots. In between meals, we found time for a somewhat expensive coffee break at Lavender Café. This was a great weekend for us to try out new eateries and stay experiences. Our hotel stay turned out to be rather forgettable even though the train ride back to Singapore the following afternoon was quite a pleasant surprise.... read more
One of the iconic coffee shops in JB
Yummy Vivo Pizzas
Japanese Hotpot Dinner

Asia » Malaysia » Johor November 16th 2014

After a successful trip to Tesco and Aeon for stocking up on food, I went to settle the marina bill so we could leave that afternoon but the receptionist said the paperwork had been taken away by her boss and it came out we could stay another night for no extra cost. Unlike most marinas they charge by the day not the night, so if you leave before the day starts at 9am you don’t get charged. I found this out the hard way when I queried my bill calculation and a language miscommunication led to the boss double checking the bill and it ending up being more expensive - me and my big mouth! As it turned out there was a huge rainfall that afternoon so good that we avoided it. The weather here, we ... read more
Visiting stilt town
Alex on passage

Asia » Malaysia » Johor November 12th 2014

It’s almost two weeks since we arrived in Puteri Harbour Marina in Johor, Malaysia. We have been thrown back into civilisation. Our immigration process couldn’t have been much easier - filled out a form and then later that day taken over to the nearby ferry terminal by golf buggy, sat in the deserted waiting room briefly before having a couple of electronic fingerprints taken and we were done. Curiously, this huge modern international ferry terminal is a new addition to the area, planned for transporting people across to Singapore. However it has spent most of its time empty as it only gets one boat per week from Indonesia as the Singapore port authorities have snootily told them the Malaysian boats are not up to standard. This marina is a new development and the state’s government buildings ... read more
checking into Puteri Harbour Marina
Alex looking at the Singapore Flyer
stoney trees

Asia » Malaysia » Johor November 1st 2014

Well, despite not feeling 100 % I agreed to leave Belitong the next day as the others promised wind and to keep in company but I regretted it later when we ended up motoring for almost 24 hours straight (our longest ever) as wind never appeared and burnt up almost half of our remaining fuel. I should have trusted the PredictWind forecast but its hard to trust any prediction in this fickle area. A few tankers passed behind us into the path of CD and Charlotte - its becoming a running joke that CD attracts ships, especially now that they get the most distressed by them. After that it was a simple night of motoring, avoiding some brightly lit fishing boats, and I repaired the steaming lights that were shorting out on the bent pulpit frame. ... read more
end of a night watch
fishing boat and lighthouse
crossing the equator

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru September 28th 2014

Saturday, 27th September 2014 After our gathering at NUS in the morning, it was time for me to make my way to Johor Bahru for the rest of the weekend. H would only arrive at the hotel around seven plus in the evening. So I did the check-in on his behalf while taking a quick rest at the url=http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/ShowUserReviews-g298278-d3359745-r231310824-AmanSari_Hotel_City_Centre-Johor_Bahru_Johor_Bahru_District_Johor.htmlAmanSari Hotel. Located directly behind the newly opened Komtar JBCC, the hotel was an easy walk from the customs complex. Our room at the top level 17 came with a good view of the city's skyline. While this was just a basic, no-frills hotel, it had most of the things that ensured a comfortable stay - strong WIFI connection, cable TV, nice air-conditioning and clean bathroom. All these ... read more
Our home for the weekend
View of Johor Bahru city centre
Healthy dinner selections

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru September 28th 2014

Sunday, 28th September 2014 Day # Two of our staycation. We decided to skip the breakfast option at the hotel altogether and headed straight to the Faculty of Caffeine about 7 minutes from where we stayed. A number of indie cafes had sprouted up in the Johor Bahru capital recently and Faculty of Caffeine is just one of the many cafes located near the customs complex. The café is really easy to access from JB City Square since it is just one street away from the mall. Occupying on one of the old shop houses along Jalan Trus, this rustic café was not huge but it had a laidback and cosy appeal. The décor was quintessentially industrial with the floors finished off with cement and sand screed. When we arrived on that Sunday morning, the café ... read more
My Generous Breakfast Set
H's Classic, Cheesy & Garlicky
A rustic setting




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