I'm so glad I made this trip.
CousinE booked train tickets from Singapore-JB, JB-Bekok, Bekok-JB, JB-Singapore via the KTM website. Pro tip: booking individual legs of the trip is cheaper than booking return tickets.
Tue 7 Mar: Our train ride to JB was at 1200 so we arranged to meet at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint at 1130 to collect our tickets. I dropped babyAC at my parents' place before making my way to Woodlands. Apparently, even though you've booked your train ride and printed out your ticket, you'll still need to queue up and collect printed ticket stubs. There was a pretty long queue to collect tickets when we were there.
The train ride to JB was quick (5 min!) and uneventful. Arriving in JB Sentral, we made our way to buy banana cake (google JB banana cake) and have lunch at a nearby coffeeshop which sold really yummy old school hainanese chicken chop.
Walked to the pharmacy, back to JB Sentral and browsed around Daiso, bought some snacks and sat down somewhere to have kueh. A great start to our trip.
Our train ride from JB was at 4pm and we needed to be at the station half an hour before, so we had plenty of time to kill. It was nice to be able to take our time and not have to rush around like mad chickens.
Got to Bekok at 7pm, which was relatively quick. Texted cousinJ when we were at Paloh, the stop before Bekok and when we got into the train station she was already waiting there with her mom and dog, Ozzy.
Had a simple dinner at home with cousinE, my aunty, cousinJ, cousin's wife and kids. The three of us then went to the beer garden and had a nice catch up.
Growing up, I've never really been very close to my cousins from Malaysia. When my parents still had the car, we'd drive up for CNY or Ching Ming but these huge family affairs never really gave us the opportunity to get to know each other well. Now that I'm older, I think it's important to try and build better relationships with my cousins, especially since there aren't that many of us.
Wed 8 Mar: Spent the day in typical Bekok fashion, driving around eating, going back home to rest, and driving around to eat some more. Had lo mai kai for breakfast, char kuay teow for lunch, and went to a Chinese restaurant in Chaah (a nearby town, about 20 min drive away).
We also did some touristy stuff and went to the bee farm and Hakka Cultural Center (entrance fee was 4 ringgi). Apparently Bekok is getting to be a relatively popular tourist destination! The Hakka Cultural Center also had rooms which cost 88 ringgit a night.
Ended the night at the beer garden again, eating peanuts and drinking beer and chatting with cousinE and cousinJ about family and their life.
Thu 9 Mar: Woke up early to pack and get ready to catch the 5.30am train back to JB. Typing this as the train ambles on. The plan for today is to take an uber to eat dim sum once we reach JB, then buy more banana cake for the Singapore folks, shop at Daiso, get a massage before taking the 3.30pm train back.
Unlike my Sydney trip, I didn't bring any pump because somehow I thought it would be easier to hand express. Note to self: it's not. I would spend up to half an hour in the shower hand expressing and boy is it tiring. I'm missing the little one and can't wait to see him later.