08 October, 2012

马国行! Trip to Malaysia

This entry would be quite lengthy because it's a full day trip to Johor Malaysia. I'll try to cut down on the little details and talk about the funny parts. For the rest of the photos, please click to visit my full Desaru gallery. (:

Not long ago, my parents told us to join them for a one-day trip to Malaysia for a family outing. It's a pity my elder brother couldn't join us because he's having his examination that coming week.

We had to assemble by 5am plus that Saturday morning. Hougang seems so mysterious in the wee hours.

The scenery between Singapore and Malaysia is really beautiful. It's a mix of Singapore's signature greenery and Malaysia's style. It was hard to tell whether we've past the Singapore border yet.

A photo of me, me mo and her friend.

 在途中,我们经过数个路税关卡。我以为“Sahaja”是地方的名字,所以每次到新关卡,都会拍张照片,记录到不同的地域。后来才发现全都是“Sahaja”,意思是‘仅限’(only)。就是说,那个关口只接受Touch N Go的税收方式,类似我们的易通卡。好糗。哈哈哈。
During our journey on a coach, we came across the road tax stations. Initially I thought the 'Sahaja' refers to the area, so I took photos of every station we come across to document where we are at. Only at the end of the journey did I realise that it's Sahaja whichever station we go. So apparently Sahaja means only. Means that station is only for Touch n Go card holders. So fail of me. Hahaha

We had breakfast at Kim Tong New Food Court, where they have the usual stalls just like in Singapore. But I wasn't feeling hungry early in the morning, so I skipped.

However, the stall selling fried dough was selling fried glutinous rice. It tastes crispy on the outside and the rice in the core is sticky. Quite awesome, so try it if you have a chance!

(I didn't buy, but kope half from me mo. Kope-d food always tastes better than your own, hahaha.)

There was a mobile lorry selling canes and whatnot. Can you see the canes on the side of the lorry? My mom bought two. Not long after that, some uncles on the same coach as us came to tell my brother and I to behave, because my mom bought that. LOL. 

Apparently, me mo bought them for her garden lah. Hahaha

On a side note, we realised that the TV in the kopitiam was airing Channel 8 drama. Was it a coincidence? Somehow my Malaysian relatives also like local drama and would watch it late into the night too. Funny, because as a local, I hardly watch them. 

Onto the bus and heading to the next stop!

Saw their new roads, and that's another example of how similar we are becoming as two countries.

The first sight-seeing stop was the fruit farm.

I felt a little cheated. We didn't get to visit the actual farm, but only see the pavilion and shop at the entrance. 

My dad asked the person in-charge if we can visit the farm, and he said we have to pay a fee to do so. There's even a signboard outside saying anyone caught plucking any fruit would be fined RM500 or something. Ridiculous.

What a business-minded person. You win. But!!! I! Shall! Not! Buy! Anything! From! You! 

Two interesting things happened. (1) Me mo used to attend basic english lessons, and her teacher taught her that a pavilion is called 'gazebo'. She came home and told us that. We told her that no one in the modern day and age would use this, at least not commonly. See? Apparently those people at the farm uses that word. Gazebo. So not common. 

另一件事,就是那里的厕所。淹水有够严重的。幸好我穿球鞋,所以鞋子没弄湿。但为了不让水溅起,在厕所的每一步都变慢~动~作~ 超好笑的。
Another thing was the toilets. Major flooding. Glad that I wore my Taobao sneakers and its soles were waterproof. But in order not to splash the water, I had to walk in super slowwww motionnnnnn. Just like a slowed down scene in the movies. Damn funny.

Oh, and there were photos of celebrities visiting the farm. Including Dai Yang Tian.

There was this funny saying I heard, that you can differentiate between Singapore and Malaysian kids by how the former would buy bubblegum and chewing gum in mass overseas. Well, I'm a culprit too. 

We left the fruit farm after that and went to Desaru. On the way there, the tour guide was talking about the various places we would pass by before Desaru. I was so confused. All I know is that the scenery was fantastic.

We reached a herbs farm and traditional temple at our next stop. 

Frankly speaking, I realised just how different our thinking is compared to the older generations. People like my parents love these natural places where you find farms. On the contrary, we prefer modern, clean and pretty places. What remains the same is that we are all in search of a peaceful place for our soul.

When I was a child, I visited a similar place with me mo halfway up towards Genting. I threw a really big temper then, because I hated the dirty mosquito-infested villages. Now that I'm more matured, I started to see the importance of enjoying my parents' kind of fun, appreciating the world from their perspective.

We're always talking about wanting our parents to understand us. In return, we should find time to be in their world too.

Compared to the fruit farm, the owner of the herbs farm is significantly more generous and friendly. 

一旁有个亭铺,售卖一些土产。顺道提一下,我爸爸在旅程中买到一瓶蜜糖还是什么的,觉得物超所值很开心,最后扛回家才发现上面贴了个“Made in Singapore”的标签,笑死我们。
There was also a GAZEBO in the area selling their produce. One funny incident was that my dad bought a bottle of honey or something like that from Malaysia, and felt very happy because it was cheap. He only realised later on when we got home, that the label stated 'Made in Singapore'. Laugh die us!

There were many bottle gourds!!! I had to google what's 葫芦 in english. Lol.

X: Eh, see, this bottle gourd looks so special!

Me mo: Not special lah, just that some bird probably ate the top part!

Super hilarious. 

I'm not the kind of clean freak who MUST use the toilet at home, but I would still avoid going to toilet when I'm out, as much as I can help it. However, I was in a good mood that day, so I visited every toilet whenever I could. The toilet behind the temple is surprisingly clean, and I guess the water is from the well? Because it's super cooling. And, there was no flooding. (Y)

The next stop was lunch, but we headed off to the neighbourhood for a brief walk because we had extra time. 

City-dwellers like us all excited to see a tractor or something.


On the original itinerary, the next stop was the Ma Zu temple, but was changed to a new temple instead. It was located in the middle of nowhere, so we were quite nervous when the bus had to take a tricky route. Come on, that's because we wouldn't know what to do if we get stuck there and then!

Reached the temple after much skilled driving from the driver. *applause*

There was an adorable dog welcoming us at the entrace! It was walking and sniffing... and ended up smelling the tour guide's knee.

The temple itself is really HUGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Sudden realisation that many temples tend to paint ceilings like sky.

There were two statues outdoors too. One under a huge tree, the other is a wishing pond.

We left not long after, seeing how the dark clouds were gathering in the sky. That was our last stop in the rural part of Malaysia.

又是消费时间…… 这次到了荣成礼坊。
Time to shop again.. This time at Yong Sheng Food Gift Shop.

The tour guide introduced us to their new mooncake series that replaces the traditional egg yolks filling with carrot. It's said to be a healthier choice. The gift shop also sells coffee, mooncakes, and other snacks. I only bought kueh lapis, because that is super expensive in Singapore! I used to love kueh lapis and gao dim kueh as a kid because I love tearing them off layer by layer. Super satisfying, the OCD way.

那里买的千层糕没有Bengawan Solo那么重口味,也没那么油腻,感觉上比较健康。一盒才RM12,超划算的。
I love how their kueh lapis doesn't have the pungent banana smell, and isn't as oily. It's a healthier choice compared to Singapore too. And it only cost RM12 for two packs in a box!

My brother and I spotted the following hilarious ad outside the gift shop! 
Boss is away, I'm anyhow selling! 

接着就是购物时间!我们去的地方叫Bukit Indah,挺好玩的。从柔佛到那里挺近的。可惜只有一个钟头的时间,所以没拍什么照片。
Following the trip to gift shop, it was shopping time at the Bukit Indah mall! It was pretty fun but we only had an hour there, so I didn't take any photo. 

One shop worth mentioning sells coconut where they get rid of the coconut husk with superb knife work, so that the coconut remains whole without the husk. Then they put it in a cup, and you poke the flesh open to drink the juice! Super cool!

Dinner time came and we went to a superb restaurant that I would highly recommend!

Then we headed back to Singapore!

Just a random bus. 

I'm finally done with this blog entry! I would say this trip had been pretty enjoyable. In fact, no matter where you go, go with the right mentality and attitude, and you would find joy in every little thing. 

Just like how I thought we would go to the famous Desaru beach, only to realise it isn't part of our tour. Just accept it as it is, and learn to enjoy whatever else people arranged for us. The most important thing is appreciation with our heart.

Last note, no mangoes is allowed to be brought into Malaysia.