Maiden Drive into Malaysia

January 6, 2009 at 12:01 am | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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On Boxing Day, Itchyfingers followed a group of friends and made our first attempt at driving into Malaysia for a birding day trip.

As usual, we met up at about 5.30 am at the bus-stop opposite Beauty World Shopping Centre. Normally it would take us about half an hour to drive to the Woodlands Custom before passing through the Malaysia side. Then it would be another half an hour or so drive to Kota Tinggi town for brekky and loo break before heading to the Panti Forest to catch the birdies singing. It was quite some time since we last visited Panti together, and after a quick hello session and filling of the white cards, we made our way to the checkpoint at around 5.50 am.

We passed smoothly through the newly opened Malaysia Sultan Iskandar Sultan Ismail CIQ (New Johor Bahru Custom) using the Touch ‘n’ Go cards for payment. It was the first time we were using the new Malaysia Custom, and despite having an online GPS system on the leading car, we got lost eventually, driving along the side facing Indonesia instead of the usual straight forward road toward Kota Tinggi Town. Itchyfingers were especially lost since it was our maiden drive and nearly lost our friends at one turn when we were blocked by a lorry. 

Eventually, we had to stop by the road and ask direction from the local and couldn’t believe our luck when he volunteered to drive and show us the way towards the Kota Tinggi town, cos he wasn’t too sure of some of the smaller road names. Dun think in Singapore we could find such helpful souls…hahah…:D

By the time we reached the town it was already quite bright at around 7.30 am…normally we would have to drive in the dark and reach before seven at the town for brekky. So we thought our friends would just drive straight to Panti. But they still stopped for brekky and loo break. :p 

We reached Panti about one and half hour later than usual. Those of us who haven’t been there for a while were surprised by the changes made – there are now a visitor centre, car park and a viewing tower. The road had been paved, not too sure if they wanted to pave it all the way inside or not.

pavilion
Pavilion in the middle of the pond…

Then suddenly from a distance I saw a doggy running towards us…What was this doggy doing here?!? Wow, she was so excited to see humans…either for the company or for the food. She followed us around, even when we started to drive in…and stopping when our cars stopped…

follow2
Persistent doggy followed our cars throughout the whole visit….

Not too long later, it started to drizzle heavily…:( What rotten luck. We did manage to see some birds, but with the rain, it was not ideal for taking photographs. 😦

follow
Looked as if my friend was walking his doggy in the park huh? :p

frown
Doggy frowned a lot…must be tired and hungry after all the following and chasing
of cars…rain or shine…poor thing…

food
Some of the goodies we had for picnic in the forest….

We did not forget our loyal doggy companion who followed us all the way…it must be one of her happiest days…

rest
Doggy finally taking a break after having her full of Christmas turkey and biscuits…

We called it a day slightly after noon as it wasn’t a very fruitful birding trip, though we did get to see some nicer birdies. Quite sad to have to leave doggy alone again in the forest…although there were workers coming in to pave the road…hope to be able to see her the next trip…she was such a friendly doggy… :O 

Lunch was at the usual Popular Restoran in the town. Getting back was much easier, maybe because it was day time. Usually by now I would be dozing off in the car all the way back to the custom, but since it was our first time driving, my eyes were wide open looking out for our friends’ car to follow closely…to help me keep awake, I took pictures of the many dramatic clouds…:p

car
We changed our ‘target’ and followed this friend’s car instead cos she was
slower….

clouds1
Dramatic clouds kept me awake…:p

It took a while to clear the customs on both sides…By the time we reached Singapore, it was already late afternoon…So tired and sleepy…Tisu Boy complained of stiff shoulder muscles after that…but we were glad we made our maiden drive into Malaysia and look forward to more drives in the near future!

Also see related post:
Life in the Mountain – Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia Trip #4
Tick, Twitch and Snap! – Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia Trip #3
Racing Above Sea Level – Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia Trip #2
An Escape Into the Mountains – Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia Trip #1

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