Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Unofficial Travel Guidence

I know you all probably scream or feel frightened when hear " Johor Bahru ". I actually quite like that place. I do acknowledge that it can be quite dangerous, but you must know how to behave in places like that.

Singaporeans sometimes take it for granted that Singapore is very clean, safe and secure, therefore always compared other countries with our's. Some even demand the same kind of peace and order in other countries or looked down upon them just because they are less developed than Singapore. That kind of mentality is wrong and I can assure you will get into trouble no matter what place you go to.

I think travellers has to bear in mind these two points when going on tour - that is to be open-minded and humble. I acknowledge I have not been to a lot of countries, but some of those countries that I have been, find us Singaporeans unbelievable. Yes, we have quite a notorious reputation in other countries. For example, when I went Thailand, people just hear that we are Singaporean, the face changed and refused to let us bargin further. You can see obvious differences in treating tourists from Japan or Hong Kong than Singaporeans.

Anyway, if you are keen to go JB, here are some rules which I find useful :
  • Dress down. Don't wear any flashy clothes, leave branded watches, jewellery at home.
  • Try to go in a group, although I went there once alone, but you have look out for yourself constantly.
  • Speak whatever languages other than English.
  • A few lines of Malayu can get you very far. (Not very crutial, but will be helpful. I can't speak malayu though...)
  • When take cab, always ask how much is it before you get in. From City Square to Pelangi Plaza can cost you about $6 ringgit, City Square to Jusco is about RM$12-$15, City Square to Giant Plentong RM$15 - $18.
  • I find Malay Taxi Drivers (not all) charge the fare more reasonably than Chinese or Indian ones.
  • Good food are always found at Coffee shops and the prices are also cheaper than restuarants.
  • People are generally friendly that is if you don't try to be snobbish at others.
  • When walking try not to stare or give eye contact to others, I find that useful in avoiding unnessary confrontation or attention.

We ordered a table full of food and it cost us in total $35 Singapore dollars. That big piece of Sting Ray only cost $9 Sing dollars... ( I don't think you can get such a big piece even when you pay $15 dollars in Singapore...) Oyster egg cost $4.50 sing dollars ! It probably cost $8 sing dollars if ordered in Singapore. Btw, they have good zhi cha! If you are there, order their Da Lok Mian (cantonese), it is something like hokkien mee in Singapore, but the sauce is thicker, taste is far more intense and darker in colour. I think it is lard they used in cooking for non-halal food that makes it taste so good.

Besides the good food, I love JB because they have factory outlet stores and I can get loads of plus size clothing ! Hmm... My Poly Classmates and I are going to KL this coming weekend. It's time to Shop, Shop, Shop!!!


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