Day 1 Sat 22/05/05 Singapore-JB-Miri
We deliberately departed early morning to avoid busy Singapore traffic. By taxi we headed Arab St to the bus station to Johor Bahru(JB). With ticket cost SGD2. 40 per person I sat right on the back.
To pass two immigration control, we have to get out from the bus, walking into the checking point plus scanning rucksack. In fact the distance between the two was less than 500m. Today is Saturday and around 10ish has already lined up the bus, the car and the motorcycle that will cross the gate. First gate was Singapore. Very efficient with the great building fully AirCon. Furthermore catches the bus (again) headed to Malaysian immigration. Unfortunately I forgot that Monday was a bank Holiday Vesak. Surprised with this condition, I have no choice. Immediately I queued in the room with size of a subdistrict office-a contradiction with Singapore office. Malaysia apparently must be remembered that JB was the entrance to anywhere after the era of budget flight. There was no clear sign and no neat queue. Really chaos.
I began to panic when the queue approaching 12 o’clock. Our flight to Miri was at 1300, while I am stuck in here. Passed the immigration, then looked for the taxi. We haven’t got time to exchange money so we paid the taxi driver with SGD25 (outrages!!!). There was no alternative.
Around 30min finally we got into the JB airport in Senai. Small and building in progress everywhere. I even smell the painting on the wall. We flew with Air Asia that had flight to several Malaysian countryside territories. This is the first time we traveled using their service. The aircraft B737- almost two third passengers was full. At two hours flight was quite boring, we forgot not brought the reading material book with us.
Instead we spent time admired the islands that were passed by. Pretty and ideal for snorkeling. My stupid estimation was the islands part of Malaysia, in fact after see the map it was part of Indonesia. Extraordinary beautiful….
Arrived in Miri, the first impression was wow! The airport was big!!! After quick interrogation I found out that they just constructed this international airport last year to equip the Miri status to a city at May 20. So we were left behind of the two days celebration party of the rise in the Miri status. We also would left behind of the Hari Gawai- namely the party of celebration of the Dayak that was begun this June. Tonight spent the night in Miri because flight to Mulu National Park would be tomorrow morning.
To be continued (caves in Mulu and romantic river boating …)