It’s 1st April 2013. Some consider it as “April Fool” day where silly and unfortunate things could happen to anyone. I’m not believer into such things. However, the day proved to be the most unfortunate day of my visit.
It was Monday, and I have appointment with the bus company who will provide bus service for my parent’s visit to Singapore. Their office is located at Bukit Batok area. I went there to arrange the bus and to pay the balance.
I looked on the map, and it seemed that the journey won’t be difficult despite the fact that it is located on the western side of Singapore. I took the usual MRT from Bedok Interchange, where I change train at Jurong East. From there I caught the MRT to Bukit Batok.
Upon alighting at Bukit Batok, I was quite stunned to find that there is a railway tunnel nearby.
Yes it is a railway tunnel, not subway ones.
It is perhaps the only functioning non-subway railway tunnel in Singapore.
I took the bus to the bus office in Bukit Batok commercial area. It’s quite far from the MRT station. Along the way there was one Indian migrant worker who constantly questioning me about the location of his destination. As I was a first timer myself, I couldn’t answer his question. Yet, he kept bugging me by asking the same question all over again. When I alighted from the bus, he also followed me! So I decided to give him some false instruction, just to kept him away from me, and it worked.
I walked to the bus company office, which was initially confusing, but I eventually find my way. What was supposed to be a short visit, turned out to be a long one when they want to know more about Indonesia or any interesting tourist objects around Indonesia.
When I finished, it turned out that it’s already 1.30 pm! I had appointment with someone at Legoland Johor at 3pm! Would I came on time?
I rushed myself back to Bukit Batok MRT station. Upon arriving at MRT station an accident struck me: I trampled on the escalator and fell. My knee hit the stair and bled!
I had to sit on the floor, to wait until my bleeding stopped. Ironically, no one helped me. All they did was just watched! Hmm…..
After I recovered, and able to walk, I resumed my journey back to Bedok. It’s hard for me walk, so I kept limping throughout my journey back to Bedok. Despite of the hindrance, I finally made it back to Bedok.
At the bus station, I catch the glimpse of SBS Leyland bus, which is now being phased out due to their age.
In fact, they were rarely seen during my visit.
Once I arrived back at my auntie’s flat, I packed all of my belongings before departing for Johor. But we manage to get to take picture together before leaving.
We departed at….well, surprise-surprise: 3.30 pm! We’re already late!
We hailed taxi from the nearest bus stop, where we went to Lavender street area. The taxi took us to one taxi pool, where cross border taxi service normally stopped.
We took one taxi, which happened to be driven by the cousin of my auntie. Unlike herself, which retained her Singapore citizenship, he moved to Johor in his childhood days.
I happen to see one double decker tourist bus which is run by Hippo tourist bus. It is a shame that we didn’t take any trip with it.
The trip to Johor really opened my eyes that the traffic condition in Singapore is not orderly as it seems. Midway between Lavender and Woodlands there was a long traffic jam! We didn’t know what caused the traffic jam, until we get nearer.
Apparently there was one school bus who stalled in the middle, and causing the lane merge from two into one lane! No wonder everyone has to slow down. This scenario is just identical with what I encounter in Indonesia. Surprisingly identical!
After more than one hour of trip (almost two hour, honestly), we finally arrive at Woodlands immigration checkpoint.
I’ve entered Singapore through this checkpoint twice, and both of them were full of dramas. But this is the first time I exited Singapore through this checkpoint. Will there be any fuss?
The queue on the checkpoint was quite packed. And by the time we arrive at checkpoint it was almost 5pm! Thankfully, the immigration check went without the major hitch, and we were cleared to left Singapore.
When our car traveled through the causeway, there was a sigh of relief amongst me and my brother.
We’re finally on our way to Malaysia.
Although Malaysia is not our home country, and we’re not Malaysian, but we know we’re heading to a more relaxed country, which it is.
The entrance to Malaysia went without too much problem. Just like their Singaporean counterpart earlier, the immigration officer was slightly baffled when he learned that the car occupants are multinational (Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean). But he cleared our passports anyway.
We were dropped right in front of our hotel, where we bade farewell to our auntie. She went to her business, where we checked in into our hotel. Upon checking in, the hotel receptionist couldn’t let us to enter our room as the room is being cleaned.
We were also informed that the Legoland will be closed at 6 pm, which is only 30 minutes away. I didn’t know whether if it was worth to try to go there, but we decided to have a try. We left our luggage at the hotel, and heading to the bus station at the lower ground of JB Sentral railway station.
Along the way, we saw the old Johor Bahru which is being converted into a railway museum.
Although the progress to complete the exhibition has largely been completed, it is not yet open to the public. No one knows why…..
JB Sentral is the new railway station in Johor Bahru.
It is not just a railway station, but it is a transport hub, which also incorporate bus station, and even the new immigration checkpoint.
You could see the new bus station underneath.
We went downstair, and trying to find the transfer bus to Legoland. The scene in the bus station is quite chaotic. The busses constantly honking to call passengers and replacement drivers, it’s just pure chaos. We tried to find our bus, but apparently the service have just finished for the day. I had to give up my hope to visit Legoland for that time.
So we’re heading back to our hotel: Citrus Hotel Johor.
Once we returned back to our room, the receptionist informed us that our room is ready. So we entered our room.
To my excitement, we got the blue room!
Beautiful wall color, carpeted floor, it’s just perfect. In fact it is the best hotel throughout our stay.
The bathroom is spotless.
It’s just a great place to stay.
Pity, that we only stayed for one night….
Once we settle down, we took some brief rest before heading out for dinner. The receptionist gave some tip about the best eating outlet at Stulang.
So we’re heading there by hailing taxi from a place just in front of the JB Sentral station.
At night, this station looks impressive.
We took a taxi to Stulang. The driver is a young person who seemed to recognize us as Javanese straight away. He mentioned that there is a large number of Javanese descent living in Johor. Many of them still using Javanese language as their main communication language.
There are several restaurants in the area. All of them looked busy. So choose the one in the corner.
Upon seeing the menu, we realize that the restaurant is quite an expensive one. So we ordered any meal that is within reach of our budget.
I ordered shrimp.
And my brother bought squids.
The food tasted nice, but not really spectacular or impressive. Honestly, not really worth the money. And it is quite pity that my friends in Johor unable to meet me that night because all of them are busy.
After we had our dinner, we strolled along the coastline. The view is not really impressive. All the we could see is just the darker part of Singapore.
Including Woodlands Checkpoint in the distance.
We tried to hail taxi, but we couldn’t find one easily. There was one taxi nearby, but somehow the driver seemed to be not in a mood to drive. Only after we persuade him, he was able to took us to our hotel.
Upon arriving at the hotel, we took a rest.
To be continued.