Durian season is over (or at least I think it is…?), so it may be inappropriately timed for this post, but I might as well just throw this post out there. During durian season you start seeing tour companies offering durian tours, where the basic idea is that its a 1 day tour to Malaysia with a Durian lunch feast. It’s apparently an annual event, so it will be held next year as well. My post isn’t late! It’s just 11 months early for the next year! Anyway, for this trip I went it’s organised by Superior Tour at S$68(adult)/S$58(3-11 years).
|0615 Hrs||Assemble @ Lavender MRT ( Exit B )|
|0630 Hrs||Depart Lavender MRT for customs clearance.|
|0800 Hrs||Proceed for breakfast on own expense.
After breakfast, continue our journey to Tangkak.
|1145 Hrs||Arrive in 10 hectare private Durian Plantation in Tangkak.
Unlimited GRADED durian like D13, 101, XO, Green Bamboo, Rajah Kunyit, Golden Phoenix, Mao Shan Wang, just to name a few and local fruits (seasonal).
Light snacks or fried Beehoon will be served for non durian’s lover.
You may walk into the plantation to pick your own fruits.
Take this opportunity to enjoy its surroundings which you cannot find in Singapore anymore.
Eat and be merry.
Proceed to bee farm or local shopping mall likes Aeon/KSL/Sutera Mall/JPO.
|1800 Hrs||After shopping, enjoy a sumptuous dinner at local restaurant in Johore Bahru.|
|2130 Hrs||End the journey and arrived in Singapore.|
On the day itself I woke up at 5.30 am, then took a taxi to reach Lavender MRT at 6.15 am. The bus left around 6.30 am after confirming everyone was present. There were also other bus coaches with people carrying luggage and stuff, so I learnt that Lavender is a bus coach spot for package tours. Needless to say I was sleepy, so this day is one where I’m going to squeeze in any amount of sleep I can get on the bus. After clearing immigration we reached our 1st stop to eat breakfast at 8.30 am.
Because of its location after the checkpoint, Queen Park Restoran is a common stop for breakfast. There wasn’t actually much time to eat, so I ate something unmemorable and a cup of milo before going back to sleep on the bus at 9 am. By the way, sleep is going to be a frequently repeated word on this post. The tour guide also mentioned that you can order frozen Otah and Durian Mochi from them. I didn’t order at that time, but thinking back on it ordering just to try may have been a good idea.
The next stop is Yoyo Native Food at Yong Peng, which we reached at 11 am. You can buy food products such as pineapple tarts, coconut cookies, coffee, Tongkat ali and other random food stuff. The place itself is huge and is quite factory-like in that you can see workers behind glass panels making the food. There’s also fresh samples so you can try out how everything tastes like.
Ate the coconut cookie on the bus. I believe there was 2 of those silver packets inside. Actually tastes exactly like the only 3 ingredients: Coconut, Bread Crumbs, Sugar. Kind of feels like one of those “I dunno what I expected” moments.
The Beh Teh Soh and Lime Pineapple Pie tasted really good in the Yoyo outlet, I think the key thing was that most of the products were freshly produced. I ate the packaged ones a day after and it just didn’t taste as good as the samples in the factory.
Crispy Fish Fillet (although I’m pretty sure those are chips) keeps better and taste as good a few days later though.
Yoyo outlet has pretty decent snacks, but in the end it’s just a small stop, and doesn’t really make or break the trip. We left YOYO at 11.30 am, which is just about the right amount of time for stocking up on snacks to bring back. After an hour of sleep, we finally arrived at the namesake of this tour – Tangkak Durian Plantation.
You can buy the Durians here, at 50RM for 1 small box. Not sure about the different types of durian, but that’s the price that they gave in the brief introduction. If you try hard enough you can maybe spot a few durians in the picture.
Now… like the brochure said, there is free flow durian, and curry puff, bee hoon and curry vegetables. And that sounds pretty good for a Durian lover. Free flow durians! It’s just really weird that the brochure says light snacks and bee hoon will be served for non durian lovers. Who the hell goes to a durian tour to not eat durian?!? And the bee hoon and stuff are mediocre at best. Now I have to say that I am NOT a durian lover, but I like it enough that I occasionally still eat it. There is just a really big deal breaker that makes this one of the worst dining experience I have had in my entire life.
That’s right. Flies. Literally leave anything for 1 second and flies will swarm towards it. It seems quite amazing that some people can just eat and not think about the flies, while being indulgent on the durian and thinking that they will definitely come back again next year. I’m not one of those people. I like my dining to be insect free. Maybe the durian really tasted amazing. I don’t know. I was concentrating too much on finishing the food and making sure flies don’t gather in the half a second I opened the durian. You can say “this is a durian farm! It is expected to be like this!”, and the tour guide did tell us that flies are normal. But do I like
flies Durians enough to stand flies? Not just 1…or 2…BUT A GAZILLION OF THEM? Well no. I ended up pretty unsatisfied with my flies meal and just took a few pictures and went up the bus to avoid the flies flies. Except sometimes life just doesn’t work like that, and flies even went into the bus.
After leaving the
flies Durian plantation, we arrived at a bee farm at 3 pm. There was a short demonstration about how much energy is in water, dissolved honey, and a mixture of honey, royal jelly and water. And then we have time to buy the stuff. We then left the place at 3.30 pm. Sleep on bus.
5.10 pm. We reached AEON to shop for about 1 hour to leave at 6.20 pm. Didn’t shop much except walked around and bought some coconut ice cream and coconut milkshake. Coconut ice cream was totally worth it although I can’t remember how much it costed, I think about 6 RM.
6.45 pm we reached Restoran Grand Straits Garden for dinner. It appears that we got some kind of set that’s not in the menu from the looks of it. I’m just guessing the names of the dishes based on their menu and what I tasted.
Food was pretty good in this restaurant, which is a good turnaround from the flies plantation. Nothing much to complain about this meal unless you want to be nit-picky. By 7.35 pm, we were done with the tour and we head back to Singapore.
About the tour, if you consider things in just a monetary perspective, the tour seems somewhat worth it. Problem with these kind of bus tours is that ultimately they do waste a lot of time travelling on the buses, and for it to be truly worth you need to somewhat like every destination. The tour does a decent job at allowing you to buy Malaysian food products, which in the end feels like a huge point of the trip considering all the stops we had. For me the namesake Tangkak Durian plantation was just not fun at all, and just because of that I don’t really think this is something I want to go again. But for the Durian lovers who can reach a state of Zen and ignore everything around you while gratifying your Durian cravings, maybe this is something for you.