Johor Bahru. Malaysia.
View of the buildings of Johor Bahru, a city without charm, from the window of my luxurious room at the Puteri Pacific Hotel.

Luxury hotel in Johor Bahru

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Farewell 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'm forgetting 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 feel like a hot shower, air conditioning, a big bed with fresh sheets... Tonight, I'm forgetting my routine habits!

The cab drops me off at the foot of the tall building at the Puteri Pacific Hotel. Perfect! Two Frenchmen, with whom I dived in Tioman, had given me an attractive description of the establishment. They are staying there with 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.

Chic concierge and reception desk marked in gold lettering. There is a swimming pool, a gym, a tennis court, conference rooms, a beauty parlour, a spa... I ask about the nightly rate: 268RM, breakfast included. Quick calculation, it's about 55-60€. Come on, I take out my MasterCard!

The elevator is all glass, hung on the outside facade of the skyscraper. The climb makes you dizzy. View of Johor Bahru's buildings from my bedroom window. A quasi suite, with a small living room, a huge bed, a marble bathroom and even... the telephone in the toilet. I am far, far away, from my backpacker's plans!

Johor Bahru. Malaysia.
View of the buildings of Johor Bahru, a city without charm, from the window of my luxurious room at the Puteri Pacific Hotel.

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.

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006