8. Malaysia

I left Singapore with sadness in my heart. The week with Iunia had been amazing and to leave such a wonderful woman (and free rent) to pedal thousands of kilometres may seem like a fool’s decision. And it probably is. I couldn’t stay forever though and off I went.

I hadn’t gotten very far when I realised that I’ve been so excited about the bike that I had forgot half the items on my shopping list, most notably spare tubes and tools to change them. I had to choose between going back downtown to find a bicycle store open on a Sunday, I knew the one where I bought the bike would be closed, or to take my chances and deal with the problem later. I chose to deal with it later.

Crossing the causeway joining Singapore and Johor Bahru in Malaysia turned out to be simple enough. I’ve read stories about the difficulty of riding a bicycle across, but it was a breeze and I only broke about four traffic laws.

As soon as I arrived in Johor Bahru I became aware that my memorized Google Map was not going to cut it. I stopped at a petrol station, bought a map, and had a very delicious ice cream. I was about to get some Malaysian cash from the ATM when I made another realisation; I didn’t have a clue what the Ringgit was worth. Would a 1000 ruin me or would it be worthless? I used my nine year old Lonely Planet and the prices at the store as a guide and decided that it would be a good enough amount of money, for now.

The map was about as good as my memory though and it took many wrong turns to get to the road I wanted. I also learned that you can not trust local people’s ability to give directions. Not trust at all. I got really frustrated and just wanted to get out of this congested city!

My initial plan was to stay a night in JB but had been strongly advised against it, so I had decided to continue riding to reach the west coast before it got dark. It felt a little awkward to ride on the left side of a five lane highway but I was smiling and waving to all the nice people that were honking for me! (Yes mom, I do wear a helmet).

Concentrating on the traffic and the shattered glass, which where absent in Singapore but existed in abundance on the Malaysian shoulders, I rode the highway for longer than I would have wished for when the lanes suddenly got fewer and the traffic got lighter.

After a rather pleasant ride I saw the ocean as I had reached Pontian. I quickly checked in to the first hotel that I found, hungry as I was. The room was probably overpriced, but as I didn’t know the value of their money I couldn’t really tell and didn’t really care.

The evening ended with a long overdue but delicious Goreng Cina right next door.

8 km from the bicycle store to Iunia, yesterday.
91 km from Boon Keng, Singapore to Pontian, Johor, Malaysia.

Crossing the causeway.


  1. Wow. Wow. Loving it. I am with you all the way. Thinking of Malaysia. In Malmö. Different planets entirely. DONT FORGET TO HAVE LOADS OF 'TEH TAREK' and watch how they make it. Yummie! (Just sugary tea basically but it's still awesome)

  2. Thanks! I have already had a few cups of that tea, I think. Didn´t see how they made it though.

  3. Mr Anders, you write like an angel! But in all honesty, where are all the promised pictures?

    Until some proof are provided, I still believe you are sitting at home with your parents and just making this stuff up...

    Sincerly yours


  4. De kommer, de kommer! Beundra min nya profilbild så länge. Särskilt stolt över hjälmspåren i håret.


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