Swimming, Coughing and Fever, Our Time in Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru is the fourth largest city in Malaysia and the capital of the state Johor. It is just over the bridge from Singapore, and by extension, the Singapore Airport. It a logical place to stop over for a few weeks. It also looked like a pretty interesting place to stop before going home to Australia.

Johor Bahru

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to enjoy the warm weather much as we all came down with the flu. We must have caught in Athens. We spent 90% of our time in our apartment, with all of the curtains shut and sprawled over the couches and beds in various states of delirium, fever, and exhaustion.

I think Dad had it the worst. One night in his delirious state he got up and grabbed Forrest by an arm and a leg and dragged him halfway across the room thinking that bad people were coming to get them! It’s a good thing he didn’t think to escape out of our sixth-floor window! Forrest didn’t even wake up which shows how sick he was too.

We only recovered enough to do anything a few days before we left and that’s from when all these photos are from.

Looking up from the courtyard at night. The sheer scale of the buildings boggled my mind. In Australia, we don’t have many tall buildings, and look at how many buttons were in the elevator!

Level Four, so long as you didn’t look down you would assume you were at ground level. This was the level with all of the recreational stuff. The pool, gym, table tennis, squash courts, etc.

A female Olive-backed Sunbird that Holli and I saw. As normal, I took the photo, she identified it. It was only about 10 cm long.

The Hiap Joo bakery is meant to be the best local bakery in Johor Bahru – it’s in all of the travel guides. We decided that it was worth the short walk to get some of their famous coconut buns and red bean buns.

After waiting in line for ages we were severely disappointed by the buns.

As you can see, they were just normal white buns stuffed with a very sweet mixture of coconut and sugar. We had to scrape most of the coconut and red bean filling out of them to be able to stomach them.

The samosas (edit. a reader told me that they’re actually curry puffs) were much better. We found them at some stalls just out the front of a shopping centre. They were so good we decided that we wanted to go get ten times as much next time!

So we did, along with a pile of spring rolls. Unfortunately, the next lot turned out to be a LOT spicier. Our poor, weak, Australian mouths couldn’t handle the hotness. We felt as if we were about to breath fire as we rushed for the icy water and milk! Dad and I ended up eating most of them as we had a slightly higher spice tolerance then everyone else. It was still terribly painful but we had to finish them quickly as we were leaving.


  • Joshua

    Hello Gabrielle, I’m sorry to hear that your family had fallen ill in the Malay Peninsula, after your trip to Greece. I admire how your family has traveled for an extensive period away from Australia! By the way, those “samosas” aren’t actually samosas, they are the iconic curry puffs, a dumpling-shaped pastry filled with hot and spicy curry that sends spice novices to the fiery pits of hell prematurely!!!

    • Gabrielle

      Hi Joshua, thanks so much for letting me know that they were actually curry puffs! Here I’ve been telling people samosas, oops. I’ll edit the post now. Regardless of the name, I would still recommend them to anyone visiting Malaysia!

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