Our favourite hotel site (Bookingdotcom) has been a pain - we've had a few issues with them and the latest is that our hostel apparently has two bookings in Jacqs name under two different email addresses and they want to charge double. All our bookings were done on Jacqs gmail account and we have an account on their log in profile listing our bookings - the hostel only appears once - Jacq emails them telling them to sort it out. Half hour later we get another email saying we apparently didn't show up at our last booking and they want to charge us again - losing the will to live Jacq sends a response confirming we stayed and paid including pictures of her with the staff and pictures of Matt in the room cooking - that should shut them up but we're certain there's more to come.
Anyway, we head for our station looking forward to checking out first class (they were cheap!) the journey will be 8 hours so we thought it was worth the extra £5.
First class is smelly and dirty ... but it's spacious and has air con so are grateful we did upgrade, god love economy.
The scenery is beautiful on route as we travel through the centre of Malaysia passing by so many farms that provide one of the country's' main produce, coconuts. So, it's field after field of Palm trees all at different stages of their lives, we've never seen so many, it's gorgeous and there's hill after hill covered in trees. The colours are lush and the cows on the hills ... Look weird! They have the weirdest turkey necks - droopy with no spots!! Just brown or white coats - that's it!
7 hours later we pull up at Johor Bahru, we are still in Malaysia and with Singapore being its own country since it was expelled from Malaysia years ago, it's pretty tight on immigration - the procedures would not go down well on the Lifford/Strabane border (there'd be chaos). It's somewhat painstaking we must go through immigration to leave Malaysia and then again to enter Singapore, we must disembark before the train can continue. We get back on the train and arrive minutes later at woodlands Singapore.
When we exit, we discover taxis can't take us to our hotel as it's not in Singapore itself, it's in Johor Bahru (Malaysia) so .... (Deep breath) we head back by bus go through immigration for checks leaving Singapore, get a bus to Johor Bahru go through immigration to enter and after 30 minutes of stressing and stomping from a-b twice over represented by 4 stamps on the passport all within an hour and then find taxi drivers at the exit…..sheesh! Jacq asks for prices to the hotel - a rogue driver said it would take 20 mins and cost 50 rmb (£10) we know he's bulls***ting.
We head out and book a cab at the taxi rank 10 rmb (£2) is a big difference - what's even more laughable is that the drive is less than 2 mins and only a 7 min walk away from the station - it's within sight of it - always book with the taxi offices!!
Wrecked (it's now 10.30pm) we check in and Jacq Delboys us an upgrade to the executive suite saying it's our anniversary - can't beat a bit of waffle!! The room is amazing!!! It's like something out of an American movie with its own kitchen, lounge, office desk, massive bedroom and bathroom - were stunned. Matt likens it to a presidential suite…. not that he's been in many.
After a quick change, it's off to find a pub for a well-deserved tipple, the doorman Hari recommends a duty free area down the road and tells us this hotel often has royalty stay - we jump in a cab to a square in search of a beer or 3.
Unfortunately, Hari must have confused us with fun ravers and we end up in a square full of nightclubs with awful music and hammered Chinese people - the fact that the clubs only sell spirits by the bottle explains it all - you really cannot get a glass of g&t - bottle only at duty free prices which we're not up for.
Like old losers we head to the grocery store and stock up for the next few days on food and some bottles of cider for the fridge. Apparently, Johor Bahru doesn't do pubs ... Only clubs... Probably best cos were wrecked. Start again tomorrow :)