10 Films from a Different Singapore

It used to be books that shaped our view of the world. Today moving pictures shape them. Movies shape our view of a place. The city may only be the backdrop but the backdrop leaves an impression. To millions, Slumdog Millionaire is their mental image of Dehli; the Beijing Olympics 2008 is the mental image…

Parallels – Cafe Culture in Johor Bahru

Just like in Singapore, Penang and Ipoh, JB has a growing a cafe culture. While commentators write about the future of cafe culture in Singapore (here, here and here), such debate is still nascent in JB. In fact the cafe culture hit Johor only around 2014. You can see cafes sprouting up all over JB…

A Day of Eating around Johor Bahru City

Most people speak of Penang Island and Ipoh (and here) as the meccas of good food in Malaysia. So when this article came out on the Malay Mail Online, I raised an eyebrow. No one has ever made that connection, is she for real? But JB’s easier to get to than either Ipoh or Penang….

The Heritage Town in Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru is today a large city with huge plans underway to make it a global city. A new Johor Bahru City is arising around the the main thoroughfare Jalan Wong Ah Fook. In fact a whole transformation plan has been proposed. The aim is clear, shake off the sloth and step forward as a…

Little Singapore in Johor Bahru

I’ve written about Little Manila, Little Thailand, Little Burma, Little India, Little Vietnam, Little China scattered throughout Singapore. Let’s flip things around and write about Little Singapore instead. There are individual days in some major global cities when the Overseas Singaporean Unit brings the Singapore Day to town and Singaporeans from all over (sometimes a…

Getting from Singapore to Johor, a primer

I mentioned in the previous post that Johor was extremely near to Singapore. But even though it’s so near, it’s still a different country. So how do you get into Johor and where will you end up? Here’s a primer. By Car There are two bridges linking Singapore to JB. The more popular one is…

Johor Bahru, the Southern Pride of Malaysia – An Introduction

Ask a Singaporean to travel to Jurong (in the West of Singapore) and they will complain that it is too far. Ask the same Singaporean to travel to Johor Bahru (the southern most city in Peninsular Malaysia) and they will complain that it is too near. Unless you stay in the north in which case…

Makan Place – Samy’s Curry Fish Head

“How long have you guys been around for?” “Around 57 years.” The cashier went on to explain the history of Samy’s Curry to me. Set up in the 1950s by the late Mr Veerasamy the restaurant begin life as a small establishment along Tank Road. It then moved to Pearl’s Hill and became the canteen…

Boogie Time with Beanie Boys on Old Bugis Street

Bugis, Singapore. A commercial location for shopping and dining with air-conditioned malls and an open air mall called Bugis Street. If bargain shopping is what excites you then this is a great place to be. Try typing Bugis Street into youtube, this represents the kind of videos you will come across. Bugis Street today is…

Makan Place – Sixth Avenue Byriani

Located in the heart of Sixth Avenue, an upper class estate, is a collection of eateries selling all sorts of food. From wine shops to Brazilian Churrasco, it seems like a quiet outpost for expensive dining. But the foodies do not go there for the expensive drinks and food. They go to the small coffee…

Exhibitions in the Library

Libraries in Singapore began with the book room in the old Singapore Institution. Then a subscription only library the library has evolved into a free public library system with one national library, three regional libraries and twenty three community libraries. National Library at Victoria Street From the sports focused library at the Sports Hub, to…

ORTO – The Jewel of Khatib

I’d seen the beautiful structure smack in the heart of Yishun and wondered what it was about. I must go there one day, I told myself. Source It took a few years, but I finally got a look round the place. And boy was it worth it. I know its a corporate video, but I…

The Grandstand, from Turf Club to Shopping Mall

Racing used to be a big thing with locals. There was the Thomson Road Grand Prix along Upper Thomson Road  held there from 1966 to 1073. Then there was horse racing. Thoroughbred horse racing in Singapore began in 1933 and was originally held at Bukit Timah Race Course. This race course saw its last race…

Football in The Cage

Take an old warehouse put nets around it, light it up and place goalposts at each end. That is indoor football. Not everyone can sustain a full football match in a regulation-sized field, most need a much smaller space. In fact at youth development levels, the state of the art argues that small pitches and…

Makan Place – Swee Choon Dim Sum

You will know of this place if you are an active clubber, that’s what all the blogs say. No wonder I didn’t know about it. Then again, most people here don’t look like they are clubbers… This is Swee Choon Dim Sum at Jalan Besar. Open from 6pm to 6am, Swee Choon is considered a…