Sunday, November 19, 2017

Cycle Malaysia Day 36 Johor Bahru - Pekan Nenas

It has been a good 2 nights stay at Meldrum Hotel I like the proximity of the food outlets and the surrounding of the old JB city. If there is a chance to come back I will stay here again. Adios and I shall continue my journey.
It started with a wet morning, the rain has stopped and after 4km I detoured and stopped Dataran Bandaraya for a brief visit. I love the crown on the stage.
Also at Dataran Bandaraya is the famous football club of Johor, Kelab Bola Sepak Johor Darul Ta'zim.
Further up the route along Jalan Datin Halimah is the Merdeka Park with attracting water landscape and green.
A public park ideal for a morning jog with 9 lawns each depicting the various historical stages of the struggle for Independence.
I was amazed by route I took which was comfortable and safe to cycle avoiding major roads and using secondary roads via residential areas like Taman Tasek, Taman Skudai Kanan and arriving at Tampoi through Bandar Baru UDA. KIP Mart is one of the places I like to visit for a certain reason.
Stretching the vicinity of Tampoi from one end to another I was at Taman Sutera Utama passing by a mall called Sutera Mall
Not too far away another mall was seen Tasek Central 皇后 广场 at the junction of Jalan Tun Aminah and Jalan Tun Fatimah.
After cycling for 32km I reached a place called Lima Kedai a tiny town between Skudai and Gelang Patah. The name was derived probably it had only 5 shops originally (just a guess).

My Oregon kept on asking me to turn back but I know my destination is just not too far away from it. Stubbornly I went against Oregon passing through an industrial scheme TamanPerindustrian Dato Yunus Sulaiman.
At the fringe of Taman Perindustrian Dato Yunus Sulaiman I could see a crossing over Route E3 (North South Highway / Second Link) but it was covered with earth.
I followed a dump truck the road was muddy and slippery. I told myself by hook or crook I shall find my way with the bicycle to the other end.
Apparently this road was used by lorries for dumping rubbish, I asked an Indian man whether there is any linkage to Gelang Patah. He said "yes" but with some turning here and there, half understood what he mentioned I just went on with it.
Trying to recalled what the Indian had said about the turning I found myself in a secluded access and was shocked by a group of monkeys swinging across the path. Feeling a bit eerie I continued to move on hoping for a quick solution out of this vegetation.
The path got narrower and narrower, it was uneven. I could only see transmission lines and the vegetation.
I took a selfie the minute I could hear traffic sound but still no sign of the traffic.
The push continued until I could see a row landscaped hedges and confidently knowing that I will be soon on safe ground.
At last I was out of the undeveloped piece of land and was very happy to be back to civilisation.
I then realised that I was at Setia Eco Garden in the vicinity of Gelang Patah.

Hitting into more earth road as I was approaching Pekan Nenas.
The neighbourhood of Pekan Nenas
At last I found Platform Cafe where my good friend Baki Zainal had reserved a room for me. It is located at Lorong A4, Pekan Nenas with Shimano Factory nearby.
I love this classic village cafe run by a lovely couple and are very passionate with their work. It was nice meeting Hui Peng & Chee Leong of platform Cafe.
Chee Leong recommended a makan place where I rode out to check it. Meanwhile at the icon of Pekan Nenas for remembrance.
This aunty has been preparing this curry noodle since she was a young lady now she is already in the 80's and still going strong with her business. I was surprised that the noodle was so spicy, all the while I thought the Southern folks are not the spicy type.
Mrs.Lee started serving the curry noodle at the age of 31 and at that time it only cost 10sen per bowl. Long live Mrs. Lee and her curry laksa has been around for nearly 50 years in Pekan Nenas.
Her shop is actually in a soft drink supplier operated by her late husband Mr. Lee Guo Qi at Jalan Sawah.
After a satisfied meal of curry laksa I did a brief look around of Pekan Nenas.
CM Day 36 was a wet affair defying my GPS device and going through a secluded vegetation to get to my destination.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Cycle Malaysia Day 35 - Johor Bahru

Good morning Johor Bahru my first concern was to locate Pos Laju as I wanted to courier some of my tee shirts back home.
I managed to find a post office at Jalan Dato Onn and the tee shirts shall reach my home earlier.
I waited for an hour for this bowl of Teowchew version of plain pork noodle which I have been pre-warned. Initially getting a seat in the shop was also difficult the people kept on flowing in, luckily I was alone and it was easy to secure a seat, just "kongsi" (share) table.
Ah Hua Kway Teow 亚华粿條 (Restoran Sekee)
30, Jalan Segget located at GPS : 1.458294, 103.764652
Opening Hours: 8am – 2.30pm (Sun – Thurs), Closed Fri, Sat and alternate Thurs
The cooking is using traditional charcoal stove.
I like some of the street murals, this one of a drying line with the various ethnic clothes.
There are others claiming the best chicken chop in JB, I was attracted by the crowd and try my fate in Restoran Hua Mui.
As usual getting a seat is the first hassle especially on a weekend. Restoran Hua Mui is halal and has been in business since 1946.
The menu with a variety of food to choose. I was there obviously for the Hainanese chicken chop and nothing else.
I love it, cutting it in small bites and happily savouring the lovely Hainanese cuisine.
The weather was excellent as I rode around the old town imagining the activities then around these surrounding.
Poking into the backlanes and some with beautiful sights.
Old JB is interesting and would not mind coming back to enjoy the food and the ambiance.
Some of the artworks seen at the shop fronts.
A peep into this noted architecture building located on an elevated land, the Sultan Ibrahim Building was built in 1939 and was used as a state secretariat building by the British, Japanese and the local government.
During my tour around the country I collected some fallen flags and re-raised it on my bicycle.
The journey was about to end soon in about a week time and a brief re-look into my plan for the remaining destinations. Melaka was a crucial place as I has to coincide with an event for My Brompton Malaysia. 
It was wet in the evening I just took a short walk to Meldrum Food street for some food. I had sambal petai sotong, fried oysters and a beer for dinner. Of course it was another yummy meal and walked back to the hotel happily. Good night.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Cycle Malaysia Day 34 - Singapore - Johor Bahru

After 2 nights in the Lion City it was time to move on with my tour and today was the beginning of Stage VII with a plan to stay at Johor Bahru for 2 nights. Good morning and good bye Little India.
One final browse around the area.
Taking more pictures before I pedal on.
My breakfast at Shing Boon Hwa Food Centre in Dickson Road.
I relied very much on my Oregon for direction and at times it could not give me the best route but somehow it will navigate me out of the place. Passing by Bukit Merah Road as I slowly got out of the city centre.

I knew I have gone the wrong way using the Bukit Timah Expressway (also known as BKE) it has comfortable road shoulder for bicycle but dangerous where ever there are roads coming out to join the expressway, vehicles are moving fast at the turnings and crossing at these turnings is pretty risky.
After all the adventures on this expressway I managed to get closer to Woodlands safely.
Oh gosh... look at the motorcycle lanes, the queue was really long and it was moving very slow indeed. I started to observe the motorists and wasn't sure whether I could pass through the check points with my Brompton. I noticed that many of the motorists carrying auto card devices on their bikes and I have none.
Yeah... I got through the check points and was asked to use the extreme booth for bike without passes (I guess) and was on the causeway on my way to back to Malaysia.
A lady on a roller scooter crossing the Causeway.
After clearing the checkpoint everyone seems to be inpatient to cross the causeway especially the motorists probably it was after the long wait.
My plan to look for an accommodation around Jalan Wong Ah Fook area, I found an old hotel, Meldrum Hotel and the only room at the Mezzanine level because of the bicycle. I like the location of Meldrum Hotel and the staff is friendly and helpful.
I started exploring the surrounding of the old Johor Bahru city and this Indian temple was busy with many visiting devotees. It is called Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanamm and is one of the oldest temples in Johor.
This part of the city is truly lively I was glad that I have another day to explore the city and so many food to savour. No wonder it is a haven to the Singaporeans.
At last I found my old friend Sundar we were from the same class in the primary school in Kulim and I reckoned I have not seen him since we left Sultan Badlishah School in 1975 and that was a long time indeed.
We had dinner together and talked a lot of our pasts and his story how he ended up living in Johor Bahru. It was such a great moment meeting up with him and hopefully we will meet again in future.
I like staying at this Meldrum area it's full of people and activities. The food street at the back lanes is truly unique and hopefully the local authority could enhance the surrounding for a cleaner and comfortable atmosphere.
Day 34 - It's back to Malaysia to complete the journey on the western coast.