Cycling Across the Miles to Johor

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in Our Thoughts | 0 comments

Text by guest blogger: Kaile

Photos credit: Kwok Hwee

 

When Swee Hoon told me that she would be cycling over to Pengerang, Johor with her friends to savour seafood and ostrich satay, I was immediately hooked. I mean, how often does one get the chance to visit an ostrich farm, let alone tuck into ostrich satay?! The fact that this farm was strategically located at a place pretty near Singapore intrigued me even more. It was with much enthusiasm that I signed up for my first overseas cycling trip.

Changi Ferry Terminal

Changi Ferry Terminal

We all gathered together at Changi Hawker Centre on 28th February (Saturday). I was initially concerned that I would be the odd one out, for I only knew Swee Hoon. However, it turned out that the group was new to one another too, for they comprised customers-turned-friends who had participated in different tours organized by Swee Hoon and the other founder of 10,000 miles, Janice. Introductions were made, handshakes were exchanged and it wasn’t long before we warmed up to each other and got ready to embark on the trip.

Load our bicycles onto the ferry

Load our bicycles onto the ferry

We first took a comfortable ride on an air-conditioned fiber boat that ferried us to Pengerang half an hour later.

At Tanjung Pengelih Ferry Terminal, beginning of our ride

At Tanjung Pengelih Ferry Terminal, beginning of our ride

Here we go!

Here we go!

Countryside scenery along the way

Countryside scenery along the way

Smooth leisure ride...

Smooth leisure ride…

Hopping on our bikes, we cycled doggedly to Sungai Rengit—notwithstanding the scorching sun—because the mouth-watering seafood at Jade Garden Seafood Corner was beckoning us over.

Sungai Rengit famous mascot - lobster!

Sungai Rengit famous mascot – lobster!

Woah!

Woah!

Clams!

Clams!

Lobster!

Lobster!

Crabs!

Crabs!

Sumptuous lobsters! Look at the meat...

Sumptuous lobsters! Look at the meat…

Homemade Tofu

Homemade Tofu

The delectable bamboo clams and huge crispy lobsters didn’t disappoint but then again, I didn’t expect anything less from the foodie Swee Hoon. What also made this meal memorable for me was being able to toss lo hei (prosperity salad) with new friends in a foreign country. Street cred accomplishment? Unlocked!

The cool gang

The cool gang

After indulging in the food until our stomachs felt bloated, we checked in at Hotel Hiap Hwa, which was a stone’s throw away from Jade Garden.

Ostrich farm

Ostrich farm

Exotic ostrich satay...yummy!

Exotic ostrich satay…yummy!

But the lure of exotic ostrich satay was too strong to resist, so we soon set off to the ostrich farm. Our appetites whetted, we expectantly ordered 30 sticks, thinking that this would be enough since we had just eaten a sumptuous lunch. The juicy and unbelievably tender meat, however, left us craving for more, so we just had to order another twenty sticks to top it off. Coupled with Swee Hoon’s tales of using less-than-desirable toilets during her tours (trust me, it is less off-putting and more hilarious than it sounds!), it was an interesting way to while away a lazy afternoon.

Char kway teow

Char kway teow

Mouth-watering char kuey teow

Mouth-watering char kuey teow

Pipping hot chicken wings

Pipping hot chicken wings

Deep-fried prawn roll (Hei Zho)

Deep-fried prawn roll (Hei Zho)

Dinner saw us savouring char kway teow and other local delicacies. Our food was complemented with “front-row seats” outside a barber shop in which we could observe old-school barbers at work. We were particularly struck by how gleeful this handsome little boy appeared to be while getting his hair cut. This triggered a round of reminiscence about how we all missed the good ol’ days of getting such a traditional haircut in Singapore. This helped to add a nostalgic flavour to our chay kway teow, I guess.

Freshly made lao po bing (wife biscuit)

Freshly made lao po bing (wife biscuit)

You might have assumed that this trip only involved cycling and eating since we were staying at a small kampong town after all. But nay, this trip, albeit short, amazingly didn’t exclude one of Singaporeans’ finer pleasures in life: shopping! The next morning, we made our way to a traditional pastry shop, where we succumbed to the temptation of buying lao po bing and zhen tuo bing biscuits. One of us even bought a large packet of lobster crackers, the need to cycle back to the jetty be darned!

Happy souls!

Happy souls!

With our pockets emptied but our souls filled, we returned to Singapore. I really appreciate how Swee Hoon and Janice not only took care of our every need, but also anticipated them in advance. Thank you, 10,000 Miles for an awesome experience and I look forward to more unique shared experiences with you all. :)

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