Written by Jocelyn Huang
A day excursion of durian feast at Tangkak, Johor Bahru (JB), was made more exciting with a shopping spree at the new cutting-edge Paradigm Mall. The trip on 3 Aug 2019 could not be smoother when 39 alumni and their families breezed through all immigration clearances from both sides of the causeways.
‘To eat durian is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience”, said the famous 19th century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. Tangkak could well be the ideal ‘East’ as it is the biggest durian producer in Malaysia.
We set off from SUSS campus at 7:20 a.m. via Tuas checkpoint to Tangkak durian plantation. Thanks to the smooth immigration clearances in both Singapore and Malaysia, we arrived at Tangkak, some 250km away, at around 11:20 a.m. for our durian feast.
Fried bee hoon, vegetable curry and mangosteens were served upon our arrival. However, most of the durian enthusiasts could not wait to gobble down the various breeds like D101, D13, D88, XO, Wang Zhong Wang, and those named after artists such as Ye Zi Mei and Lin Feng Jiao. However, if you are hoping to be offered the famous Mao Shan Wang, you would be disappointed as this breed is usually excluded from durian tour packages. Nonetheless, you could buy two sizable Mao Shan Wang at just RM$200! Still cheaper than buying in Singapore.
As soon as our durian craving was satisfied, we headed to the impressive seven-storey Paradigm Mall which was about 3 hours’ drive. The mall has over 500 retail shops, with retail space that stretches 1.3 million square feet. It is one of the largest malls in the southern region of JB since its opening in November 2017. For more information, please click on this link: http://www.paradigmmall.com.my/jb/about.aspx.
It was a free and easy three-hour shop till we drop experience till we gathered again at 7:00 p.m. for dinner. Most of us were loaded with shopping bags. Some who were not shopping freaks preferred to go for a two-hour body massage for just RM$180 or simply watched a movie to pass time.
We had a pleasurable eight-course dinner at Grand Straits Garden Restaurant to conclude our durian trip. Clearing both customs and reaching Boon Lay MRT station within an hour made our trip more memorable. Some alighted for the train while others continued to their destination at SUSS campus. Owing to the smooth traffic and members’ timely congregation, we were an hour ahead of scheduled dismissal time at 10:00 p.m.
Five tips for a fuss-free JB trip:
- Avoid Peak Period
Avoid peak period especially weekends and public holidays if you do not want to be held up for long hours at the customs.
- Data Plan
Subscribe a data plan to enable access to the internet to make your travel more convenient. Alternatively, buy a SIM card at any convenience stores in JB instead of turning on data roaming for cheaper option.
- Avoid Carrying Handbag
Backpack or a sling bag are more secured than handbag. At all times, carry your bag towards the inner side of the payment when walking along the roadsides to avoid snatch thieves who may ride on cars or motorcycles.
- Use The Multi-Stash Method
Never carry all your travel cash in the same wallet. Instead, break it up into smaller amounts and hide them at different spots to reduce the impact of theft.
- Avoid Alcohol
There were some scientific studies that show the combination of durians and alcohol may cause bloating, indigestion and discomfort as your liver has to work extra hard to metabolise both fats and sugars, especially if you have consumed both in excessive amounts.
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