Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:
Goodbye Tioman! The speedboat in the morning brings me back to Mersing. There is a bus for Johor Bahru, the border town in front of Singaporeat 11:30 A big city without charm any ...
I forget my "backpacker" plans
About two hours journey. Along the road, oil palms everywhere. I think I remember that Malaysia is the world's largest producer of palm oil, with deforestation.
Arrival safely at the huge bus station of Johor Bahru. Heaps of shops and restaurants in the building adjacent to the bus parking. I test the MacDonald local for lunch and then see taxis. I explain to the drivers that I do not know the name of my hotel, but I want High range for tonight.
I want a hot shower, air conditioning, a large bed with fresh sheets ... Tonight, I forget my backpacking habits!
The taxi drops me at the foot of the big building of the Puteri Pacific Hotel. Perfect ! Two Frenchmen, with whom I dive in Tioman, had made me an enticing description of the establishment. They are lodged by Total, for whom they work.
One guy rushes to carry my luggage, another holds me the door.
Huge hall, with piano bar, restaurant in the background and marble floor. Rich Asians and Westerners cross there. Businessmen and tourists. It's like Lost in Translation.
Concierge and chic reception reported in golden letters. There is a pool, a gym, a tennis court, conference rooms, a beauty salon, a spa ... I inquire about the price of the night: 268RM, breakfast included. Fast calculation, it's in the 55-60 €. Come on, I'm taking out my MasterCard!
The elevator is all glazed, hanging on the exterior facade of the skyscraper. The climb makes you dizzy. View of the buildings of Johor Bahru from the window of my room. A quasi suite, with small lounge, huge bed, marble bathroom and even ... the phone in the toilet. I am far, far away, from my backpacker plans!
I take the afternoon to update the blog (what a joy to have a fast connection).
Back to "civilization"
Johor Bahru is a big city without any charm. It is very popular with Singaporeans on the weekends, who come to enjoy themselves and go out cheaply, given the low cost of living in Malaysia.
I dined at night with a duck breast, with real mashed potatoes, a glass of wine, and all the caring staff, for 30 unfortunate ringgits. Pfff ...
Repue, I go back to my room, where I look on BBC World reports on the crisis in the Middle East. In Tioman, it is true that I was a little cut off from the so-called civilized world ...
The night will be short, and I will not even enjoy the breakfast, alas, that I imagine sumptuous, because my plane Air Asia originally scheduled for 10:40 was advanced at 8am. I have to get up shortly before 6am to take a new taxi that will take me to the airport.