Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Johor: Brompton Malaysia Day 2018 Days 1 & 2 - From Kuala Lumpur To Johor & The Tip of Asia!

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Johor / Brompton Malaysia Day 2018 / Days 1 & 2 - From Kuala Lumpur To Johor & The Tip of Asia!      |     Go To: Day 3
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Johor: Brompton Malaysia Day 2018 Days 1 & 2 - From Kuala Lumpur To Johor & The Tip of Asia!
Days 1 & 2: Friday & Saturday , 14th-15th September 2018
Distance: 70km. (JB>Tg.Piai)          |          Level: Not relevant 
Time : Not relevant 
Time Taken : Not relevant .

This is page 1 of a 2-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
                                                        |       Go to Other Days       |        Go to D3 : Ride Day >

Route Recommendations :
1. Traffic Directions!
    Malaysia's traffic is right-hand drive, so cycle on the left. Same thing applies when crossing the road, be careful and take note of the direction in which traffic is approaching from!

2. Route & Traffic Conditions  
   We did not cycle to the Tip of Asia for lack of time. However it is a cycle-able route but do note that bicycles are not allowed into the Tip of Asia Park and will have to be parked at the entrance.

3. Places of Interest
Platform Coffee & Homestay (GPS: 1.50642, 103.50917) at Pekan Nanas.
Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru (GPS: 1.46032, 103.74213).
Tanjung Piai (GPS: 1.26780, 103.50842), the Southern-most Tip of the mainland Euro-Asia continent. The location of the tip is at a globe marker point (GPS: 1.26587, 103.51199) about twenty minutes walk from the park entrance.

4. Food
- Very good coffee and pastry at Platform Coffee (GPS: 1.50642, 103.50917) at Pekan Nanas.
Kway Teow Kia breakfast at Restoran Tien Tien (天天茶餐室) (GPS: 1.48187, 103.77300).
- Dinners at Korea House Restaurant (GPS: 1.46494, 103.73688) and Tepian Tebrau Food Centre (GPS: 1.46108, 103.73794).
Laksa Johor for late lunch at Imano's Cafe (GPS: 1.46572, 103.73664).
- Keropok Lekor and other snacks at Keropok Lekor Tg. Piai (GPS: 1.29519, 103.49152).

5. Accommodations
 Our stay in Johor Bahru was at the Potpourri Boutique Hotel (GPS: 1.46571, 103.73664), 2 pax rooms at around RM200 per room per night (note, a tourism tax was payable on checking in) :
Address: 30, Jalan Kolam Air 2, Kampung Nong Chik, 80200 Johor Bahru, Johor.
Phone: +607-2073800.



Group photo of participants of the Brompton Malaysia Day 2018 event at the Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru.
Our Brompton Malaysia Group is holding their Brompton Malaysia Day 2018 event in Johor Bahru. This year participants were required to register for the event, not because the admin were being fussy, but more because participants will get a free event T-Shirts and other goodies (very much "other goodies" in fact, as you will see later on). We registered and waited for the BIG DAY to come. Of course, those who did not register could still come, after all we are comrades in arms... er.... I mean comrade in Bromptons!
Since it's down in Johor Bahru, more than three hundred km. away, many of us went down a couple of days earlier to enjoy what the city had to offer and also to make a side trip to Tanjung Piai, where the Southern-most Tip of mainland Euro-Asia continent. is located.

Route: Kuala Lumpur>Seremban>Pekan Nanas>Johor Bahru>Kukup>Tanjung Piai>Johor Bahru.
This is a map showing location of places of interest and eats during our road trip down from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru and onwards to Tanjung Piai.
Distance: 70km. (JB>Tg.Piai)          |          Level: Not relevant 


We had earlier left Kuala Lumpur in a pick-up truck with our bikes and luggage at the back and the four of us sitting in the cabin. I was lucky to be going down with three charming ladies - Kimmie, Fenn & Sooi Ying. They are caring ladies and will also make sure this AhPek's eyes don't stray too much to pretty eye-candies on two legs.
We stopped at the Seremban R&R, popped into Baskin Robbins to have, each selecting different flavours to cater to our palettes. The ice-cream were very nice, not overly sweet and was a good alternative to eye-candies.... kikiki!

3:00pm - Keeping in touch by phones, we met up with Jason and Kenny (who were on their way down too) and made a detour to Pekan Nanas. This town in Johor is renown for pineapples, hence it's name which translate to "Pineapple Town". Pekan Nanas was Malaysia's largest production base for pineapple planting area and its output ranked first in the country. Also within the town is pineapple canning facility.
But we were not here for the pineapples; in fact we were expecting to see acres and acres of pineapples but did not see any - perhaps we were on the wrong side of town. Anyway, I detract; we were here for some lovely coffee sold from a very down to earth and simple place called Platform Coffee.
The place is a home-stay but at their front compound very good coffee and cakes are sold by a husband and wife team. This not your usual Asian kopi-tiam (local coffee-shop), they are a cafe which except for the red coffee-making machine, did not really look like one.

Platform Coffee looked like a hodge-podge of odd things put together; the place was decorated with straw mats, gunny sacks on plywood tables, clay cups and statues, wooden signboards and modern equipment on a bare concrete counter siting on red bricked legs. These somehow blended together to make a comfortable place to sip ones' coffee.
And the coffee comes in these cute coffee cups, personally made during pottery workshops held by Platform Coffee. Besides these cups, there are nice clay figurines too.

On the concrete counter was an antique rattan tiffin, larger that a Nyonya bamboo tiffin carriers. These were not for display, open the round top and inside were.... Walah!... were tempting Walnut Chocolate cakes!
Within other tiers of the tiffin were different type of breads, all home-made:  Wholemeal Chia Seed, Black Bean Pumpkin Seed, Red Wine Walnut. They even serve Brownies and Tomato Focacia! Yes, this is definitely more than your corner kopi-tiam.

We adjourned to a cosy corner, simple made of a plywood raised platform, slowly drank our coffee while waiting for the rest of our orders.

We had ordered Brownies, Black Bean Pumpkin Seed Loaf and their Tomato Focacia. The Brownies were superb, creamy with chocolate. The Tomato Focacia is to die for; nicely layered, with a strong blend of tomato with other herbs within.
The Black Bean Pumpkin Seed Loaf was another thing: breadish, firm without being overly dry. We slowly tore pieces of our slices and dipped it in olive oil while a pink-horned cow cheekily stuck out it's pink tongue at us!

It's a good atmosphere, Spartan with its simple furnishing and yet appealing with the odd collection of clay creations that were put on unadorned wooden shelves together with other antiques like an old alarm clock; an old dial tune, analog face radio from the 1950's, etc.

Within the house were bedrooms for the home-stay guests, and on the wall of the shared living room was a cartoon like map of Pekan Nanas and the surrounding areas.
After close to two hours, we reluctantly pulled ourselves from this cozy retreat and continued on our road trip.

6:25 - We arrive at the Potpourri Boutique Hotel. It's a fairly new hotel with very reasonably priced rooms. More importantly, it was very clean and with friendly staff.... and even more importantly, it was located at the Nongchik neighbourhood, just round the corner to Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru, the start point of our Brompton Malaysia Day 2018 event.
We liked this place very much and it came with lifts, convenient for taking our folded Bromptons into the room. It was a good recommendation by Jason for our two nights stay in Johor Bahru.

Dinner was at the Korea House, just a few doors away. It's operated by a Korean Ajumma called Mdm. Hum, a friendly lady with a smile as bright as the sun. She had been staying in Malaysia for decades and could speak fairly good Bahasa Malaysia. To top it all her restaurant serve a good, authentic range of delicious Korean fare.

 We ate at the first floor as we wanted to try out her Makgeolli (막걸리), a sweet and light Korean alcoholic drink, so that we can keep to ourselves while we were imbibing ourselves. Makgeolli is a milky, off-white and lightly sparkling rice wine has a slight viscosity that tastes slightly sweet, tangy, bitter, and astringent. Served in unique peach-shaped porcelain cups, the drink went very well with roasted cashew nuts that was served compliments of the house 😋.

It's another place with a pleasant and quaint atmosphere, with Korean decorations such as dolls, brass bells, antique clocks, around us; including a collection of miniature traditional Hahoetal Korean masks.

Here I am with Mrdm. Hum, both of us still looking good for our age.
(..... read more of Korea House)

After a nice, long day with good food among good friends it was time to call it a night; tomorrow we head for an important landmark.

Annyeonghi Jumuseyo!
(that's Goodnight in Korean!)

(For more photos of the Day 1, Click Here)


It's a later start today, after sleeping our lazy bums off. First thing first, go hunting for good Kway Teow Kia of which Johor Bahru is famous for. After going several loops around the Pelangi area, we found one at Restoran Tien Tien; sold by a young man, it was just so-so but our hungry stomachs were not complaining.
An hour later, after a 70 km. drive we were at the Tanjung Piai and by chance met our buddy Desmond and his gang there. They were down here for the event too. Here we are at the landmark monument, located at the entrance to this National Park. This 20 metres high by 10 metres wide landmark was built in 2001 by the Johor State Government. The gray colour illustrates the richness of the swamp forest and the mud plains. Carved on the surface were two fronds of the Piai Raya fern tree (acrostichum aureum) which are found to grow abundantly among the mangroves here.

Near the entrance was the visitors complex and just before that were the ticket booths. Entry was RM6-00; for children, students and senior citizens it's half price. This National Park is within a mangrove swamp, and walking around was along board walks trails. There were several of these trails leading to various points of interest within the park.

And some stretches were rocky beaches where new mangrove seedlings were growing. The mangrove swamps are a natural defense against tidal waves and erosion as illustrated during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Here we were at the spherical monument that marks the actual location of the Southern-most Tip of the mainland Euro-Asia continent. (GPS: 1.26587, 103.51199).

Having fun at the monument: "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands"; to which my sister replied with a quip, "And she's got you under her thumb!" 😜

Kimmi, the female Atlas, bearing the burden of the whole world on her shoulders!

On one of the safety post railing.... 😉

Just across the Straits of Johor could be seen Tuas in Singapore. Both countries are reclaiming land here and who knows in future both nation could be connected by a land bridge!

A memorable group photo as we took a walk back to explore more the mangroves.

Peering down into the waters and we could see swamp marine life, like this shellfish and also Lokan clams .....

... and odd looking fiery-red mini crabs.

At a westerner corner of the park, a long concrete bridge leads out to a viewing hut (GPS: 1.26525, 103.50635); from here one can view the three countries separated by the Staits of Malacca. To the north would be Johor state of Malaysia, to the east would be Tuas in Singapore, and to the south-west Great Karimun Island (Pulau Karimun Besar) in Indonesia.

We could really see Karimun Island across the sea, it's close by just about 17 km. across the waters. The island's proximity to both countries has made its main town Tanjung Balai Karimun a bustling port town with lots of commerce boosted by tourist from the two countries. However, this town should not be confused with a larger town called Tajung Balai Asahan in North Sumatra.

Leaving Tanjung Piai and getting a bit hungry we made a stop at a shop called Keropok Lekor Tg. Piai. Of course they sell keropok lekor here, nicely served in a boat-shaped dish (like the ones I saw at Mee Udang Mak Jah); the keropok lekor were nice but but can't beat those original ones from Trengganu.

Here too they were selling otak-otak spring rolls; a pastry made with Muar otak-otak rolled into a spring roll.... tasted okay only.

En route back we stopped by at the Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru to collect our goodies; it was sort of a warm-up get-together time as many other cycling buddies were there too. Collection went smoothly as the organizers had done a good job.

The earlier light meal of keropok lekor was not enough, so come tea time we dropped by at Imano's Cafe, located just next to our hotel and had some good Laksa Johor.
It's the laksa soup that won us over, coming with lots of fish bits well cooked into their full-bodied spice full curry. Our only complaint was that it came with too little of the tasty curry, and before we ate half of the noodles the delicious curry had been lapped dry by us. They made up for it by bringing more.... Yipeee! !Yummy! A wonderful five-star dish.
 We also had their "Udang Lemak Cili Padi";  a prawn curry which had a five-chilli rating which gave a strong indication that it will be very, very, very, very, very chilli hot. Fortunately for us our trained palates could easily accept the hotness. It was served with a scoop of rice and ulam (Malay fresh salad leaves).

 For starters, we had this simple appetizer; on their menu it's just described as "Beancurd" and that description belies this modest dish. It came looking very dark, swimming in a pool of deep brown sauce, and crowned with an embellishment of bean sprouts, onion rings, and a sprinkling of finely cut spring onion. A sprig of green parsley and a red cut of chilli added some colour. Without this topping, the dish would have looked like the Tau Kuah Rendang from the neighbourhood stall. The beancurd (tau kuah) by itself was nothing to shout about; it was just soft and plain tasting - unlike the Hakka tau kuah which has an interesting underling musky flavour. It is their kuah (sauce) that makes this dish wonderful. Cooked with an assortment of spices and herbs (don't ask me what) which all lent their hint of distinctiveness of taste and aroma to the overall flavour. Yes, it's the sauce that makes this a killer and I would agree to the five star rating that was indicated in the menu!
(..... read more about Imano's Cafe)

After our posting of the nice food at Korea House a day earlier, some friends wanted to try the place so we joined them for a light dinner to cheers of rounds of Makgeolli (막걸리) 😛.

.... followed by supper of this ikan bakar at the Tepian Tebrau Food Centre.
We seemed to be eating a lot.... hahaha... well, it was to make up for the short time that we were there.

Okay! Here's the stuff form the goodies bag sponsored by Pedalspot; it's one of the best goodies of any event that we attended, and the best thing was it was FREE as there was no registration fee for the event. Goodies include a nice event T-shirt, original Brompton refelective strap, reflective shoe laces, soaps, biscuits and even liquid and bar soap from Antabax!

tomorrow's Ride Day!

(For more photos of the Day 1Click Here)
(For more photos of the Day 2Click Here)
This is page 1 of a 2-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
                                                        |       Go to Other Days       |        Go to D3 : Ride Day >

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You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Johor / Brompton Malaysia Day 2018 / Days 1 & 2 - From Kuala Lumpur To Johor & The Tip of Asia!      |     Go To: Day 3
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