Monday, June 1, 2009

Taman Sentosa, Johor, Malaysia - We've Arrived

So much has been said about Singapore's northern neighbour, Malaysia. Some of which include having nicer and more authentic food, prettier girls, having petty criminals stealing Singaporeans' beloved cars, robbery, rape, traffic enforcement officers with an open mind (see also here and here), so on and so forth. On 29 May 2009, the Founders of Good Food Good Mood - Mood Food Blog took the leap of faith to find out what lies up ahead in their quest for mood lifting food on the other side of the Causeway.
Taman Sentosa - A Street Down

The Founders
The CO and the XO.

What do you need for a trip like this?
Two person with some level of sanity. Its really easy to get lost when driving up North for the first time. The ability to maintain one's cool will certainly increasing the probability of coming back home in one-piece. Moreover, a sane mind prepares one for the worse. ie. car getting stolen, getting robbed, getting sold to some human-traffickers

On another note, during the drive there can be only one commander at any time. For the driver, you trust your navigator's instructions. For the navigator, you life lies in the hands behind the steering wheel. If possible, keep any guest and woman quiet in the backseat.

Secondly, you need an non-luxury car. Yes, you are right. We recommend you to drive a car somewhere between the range of SGD $0 and SGD $50,000. If you do not wish to worry every other second that your car is going to get stolen while you do your shopping, please drive a non-luxury car. If you only own a car somewhere around the range from a Lexus RX 300 to a Ferrari, we suggest that you rent a non-luxury car. (In any case, you can sell it off there when you're broke and report it lost later on).
The Ferrari that CO and XO could Afford

Thirdly, you need a good map. We suggest that you get one at a petrol station in JB. And get one that is as detailed as possible. A good map should be based on the state / region you are travelling in. Ie. Johor, KL etc. This map will include essential landmarks and details of smaller roads for you to follow through easily. At least when you report your own or rental car being stolen, or got robbed, you know where the police station is.

Non-Essential Items
Other minor non-essential-stuff you would like to bring along include a Passport, some money (we recommend at least RM 50 should you encounter traffic enforcement officers with an open-mind before you start your shopping), a woman and handphone.

Road Condition
A Summon Issued for non-display of a valid parking coupon

Malaysian drivers are way more friendly than Singaporean drivers. You can expect to change your lane abruptly without signaling, beat the red light and not anyone horning you. Word of advice, do anything but not get caught. Always obey traffic rules and place a parking coupon like you would as an obedient Singaporean.

Finding Your Way
Petrol Station like this is of great source of help

In Malaysia, getting your way to your destination is way easier than Singapore. Believe it or not, you will not encounter diversion or closure of roads due to ever-going constructions, road pavement in middle of no where. Signs are prominently placed. Even if you don't understand the language, worry no more. Just drive. Have faith in yourself and ask the locals. Petrol Stations staff is of great help.

Getting to Taman Sentosa
Taman Sentosa, Johor, Malaysia

Most Singaporeans go there for food in JB and Taman Sentosa offers a variety of good food. The food is much cheaper and taste more authentic. While they do not have your friendly health ministry messages, you can be quite certain that your mood level will rise. Nevertheless, if you are unsure of which shop / stall to patronise, simply look for a crowd inside the kopitiam or a queue. Herd-mentality seldom fail Singaporeans. We'll let the the pictures to do the talking.

Lemon Tea, Tea with Milk, Pig Organs Soup, Ipoh Kway Teow, Wanton Mee

Cars cars everywhere

Lady boss looking at CO