It was a 7-hour drive, and the traffic was not nearly as bad as we expected being school holidays.
There was one little surprise when a policeman with a red flag suddenly jumped out in front of us. (We have never seen the police in KT stop anyone!) Apparently we had crossed a double white line. Peter resisted the urge to laugh out loud - you mean those lines mean something? Is there anyone in Malaysia who hasn't crossed them? Anyway, they said there would be a summons issued for RM 100 (about $30). How annoying! It's not the cost - these things are always so hard to pay, finding the office, or sending a letter and all that stuff ... Peter asked if he couldn't pay right now. Sure, the officer smiled, and in that case it is only RM 50 ...
The traffic and one-way roads in Johor Bahru were a little confusing. We saw our hotel from a distance, and actually found our way to the back gate - only to be refused entry and it took us an hour to 'just go around' as instructed and find our way back again to the front. After that we left our car in the parking lot for the whole three days and walked or used taxis!
The conference was run by the "Malaysian English Language Teachers Association", and it went for a full 3 days.
I was presenting, along with my two colleagues, about using rhythm for teaching language to little kids - so there were action songs and the like. It was a big room!
As well as our various workshops and talks, there was the Royal lecture by her Royal Highness, and a very special dinner to attend. Yeah, there were balloons in the Malaysian colours (red, white, yellow and blue) and a sumptuous feast.
After the conference, we hung around for another night because we were planning some more driving. In the morning we could not face another woeful breakfast in our hotel, so we wandered around town looking for somewhere to eat. Everywhere was still closed - most places open for breakfast about 10am - even KFC: There were 3 colonels outside this KFC - trying to scare the kids?
Eventually Subway opened (there is no Subway in KT, much to our regret!), so we had our breakfast and headed off up the West coast.
We decided to spend a couple of days looking around Melaka (or Melacca) as it seems to be a little different from other parts of Malaysia.
Well, everywhere is different from KT.
There seems to be ship in the street ... bit of a theme in these parts.
We went up in the Taming Sari tower.
You get into that round thing and it rises and slowly turns.
And then, some of the views from up there. That big white building is the hotel (Holiday Inn) where we were staying.
It's quite a touristy place - especially compared to Kuala Terengganu.
There is lots of water around, nice little winding river. So we took a little boat cruise.
It was beautiful, with delightful murals painted on almost every building that faced the river.
Then we drove on up to KL International Airport. As our flight to Vietnam the next day was early in the morning, we stayed overnight in the Tune Hotel - we had to be up and out at 4.30am.
We parked our car in the very last space in their little car park. That was very comforting, because otherwise we would have to drive around looking for a place to park for a week. They charge RM 25 per day, we were told, but it felt safer than the big airport car parks (we've heard stories of the car hire company coming and 'reclaiming' their cars from airport car parks, very annoying!)
Early next morning, we were up and off to Hanoi, Vietnam ...