Exploring Southern Malaysia…

From Singapore we took a bus across the border into Malaysia, to the city of Johor Bahru. The city was crime ridden until about 5 years ago when the government increased policing and investment to clear it up. As we were crossing the border Kate’s rucksack suffered a large tear. After 16 years, a full set of Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, a month in Ecuador, two months in Indonesia, one month in Australia, 7 Glastonbury Festivals and countless canoeing and camping trips it was time to get a new rucksack. Luckily, one of the newly developed malls in Johor Bahru had a decent bag shop and we managed to find a shiny new rucksack.

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As it was Alex’s birthday we decided to take a short break from travelling and spent a couple of days in a nice hotel called Pulai Springs Resort. We travelled there by public bus and the security guard seemed a little bit surprised that we had arrived by bus rather than taxi. The hotel had a long driveway through a golf course, so the guard found us some plastic chairs and asked us to wait for a few minutes. We have taken a huge number of different modes of transport on our trip so far and were quite amused to be picked up in a Golf Buggy to be driven to the hotel reception!

We had a couple of days there enjoying the swimming pools, jacuzzi and nice restaurants. After a few drinks on his birthday Alex sang some Karaoke with the resident Filipino singers. They seemed particularly amused by has version of ‘Barbie Girl’ where he sung the parts of both Barbie and Ken! We forgot to take the traditional cake photo before it was eaten, so here’s Alex with his candle minus the cake!

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After our short break, it was straight back into travelling, by catching a bus up to Kuala Lumpur. We stayed at the YMCA (insert your favourite YCMA joke here…) and had a day exploring KL and visiting the Islamic Arts Museum. This was also the day that is now known as ‘Debit Card Gate’ where we managed to get our identical debit cards mixed up and then got one of our cards swallowed by the ATM after trying to withdraw money by using the wrong pin for the card. Oops!

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From Kuala Lumpur we took a bus up to the Cameron Highlands. We have to confess to feeling slightly unfulfilled by the bus journey compared to Indonesia. You could buy a ticket from an official booth, who printed you a ticket which stated the platform of the bus terminal the bus left from, we then boarded an air-conditioned bus with huge seats. The was no haggling, no children sat on the roof of the bus and no chain smoking by other passengers. It all felt a bit too easy and a bit too comfortable! The Cameron Highlands were a cool relief to the heat of the rest of Peninsular Malaysia (although slightly damp for most of the time we were there) and we spent a couple of days there exploring the sweeping landscape of Tea Plantations and Strawberry Farms.

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We returned to KL and took a flight to The Philippines where we will be spending Christmas and New Year. We will return to Malaysia in January to travel through the Northern part of the country…

PS: We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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1 thought on “Exploring Southern Malaysia…

  1. Dear Kate and Alex, Enjoying reading your travels,wonderful memories you are making.
    We wish you a very Happy Birthday Kate on the 12th and look forward to your next blog.
    Lv Barbara and Bill x

    Liked by 1 person

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