Johor Bahru (Oct 3 - Oct 5, 2001 )


Johor Bahru
Kota Kinabalu
Lahad Datu/ Danum
Sandakan/ Sepilok
Gomantong/ Sukau
Selingan & Liberan Is.
Mt Kinabalu
Kuala Lumpur

New Zealand

The first thing we learned in Malaysia is that we have mispronounced the country name all our lives. The 's' in Malaysia is like the 's' in 'snake' not the 'z' in zoo. 

Unlike Singapore, Johor is predominantly muslim. The people were quite friendly and we felt very safe - although it was a bit nerve wracking to see a T-shirt with Bin-Laden's picture on it for sale in one of the stalls. I suppose for some, Bin Laden may be a perverse source of pride but we did not see anyone wearing a shirt. 

We got a reasonable room at the Seri Malaysian Hotel (did you pronounce 'Malaysian' correctly?) near the Larkin Bus station for about a quarter of the price of our Singapore Hotel. 

Our sole reason for coming to Johor Bahru was to catch the flight to Malaysian Borneo. We could have flown from Singapore, but we saved a substantial amount (about $100 per person) by flying from Malaysia. Sarah & I organized flights on our first afternoon there. Unfortunately (according to me, not the kids), we had to fly business class one way because there were no economy seats available on the date we wanted to fly.

Crystal bridge table

We visited the Royal Abu Bakar Museum - this museum is the Sultan of Johor's former palace. It houses furniture, trophies, memorabilia of past and present Sultans. Sarah & I found the bridge table we always wanted in the museum. Made in the late 1800's in France, it was lead crystal with matching crystal chairs and crystal floor lamps.

The kids did some homework, and Sarah and I did some admin shopping (malaria pills, film etc). The next day we were one excited family leaving early for Kota Kinabalu in the Sabah province of Malaysian Borneo. On to Borneo