November was a crazy month for us and my brother’s wedding brought us to a small town in Johor called Tangkak. I mentioned Tangkak in an earlier post HERE, where I briefly talked about what went down for November. But in this post, I would be ranting a bit and then sharing about our experiences in Tangkak. So let’s dive into what went on in Tangkak~! ☆ミ(o*・ω・)ノ

Where is Tangkak, You Might Ask

Let’s just say, you are not alone if you don’t know where is Tangkak. As Singaporeans, we only know about City Square, KSL and some of the surrounding areas. So it is good that we had the opportunity to know places in Johor beyond these malls. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

As mentioned, Tangkak is a small town in Johor. It is known for its beautiful landscapes, history and local cuisines. As we were only staying for two nights, we did not have much time to explore this small town. My sister-in-law (SIL) briefly drove us around to introduce some places to us along the way.

As we cruised down the road, we could see a mountain in the distance and were told that that is Mount Ophir. The mountain is known to be a popular spot for hikers. My SIL mentioned that it is to get to the bottom of Mount Ophir. But the hike up is another story. (*/ω\) Anyway, due to time constraints, we sadly did not make a trip there. Maybe next time, if we ever have a chance to be back. ( ´ ω ` )

Our Ardous Journey to Tangkak

Since my brother’s wedding dinner was on a Saturday, we decided to make our way to Tangkak on a Friday evening. As Tangkak is a small town, the best way to get there was by car. I had left all the planning to my brother since this is his wedding but little did I know how bad the planning was.

Some Ranting >>> Expand to Read If You Are Interested…

The very initial plan was for my parents, hubs and I to take a shared transport to Tangkak. Luckily we voiced out to my brother to let us have private transport instead. Apparently, the car that we were taking, was supposed to be THE shared transport. It was a 7-seater Toyota Avanza and with us bringing a total of two big pieces of luggage, the three seats at the back cannot be utilised. I cannot imagine if we had to squeeze in this car with strangers!? I was already struggling to make myself feel comfortable while taking the middle seat at the back. (x_x)⌒☆

Also, my brother had wanted us to enter Tangkak during the wee hours on Saturday, so as to avoid the traffic jam. In normal circumstances, if it was just hubs and I, I would not have minded. But with our parents, it seemed like a bad idea. Honestly, I am not sure why these were not taken into consideration during the planning. Anyway, I mentioned to my brother that we should probably be there earlier so we could rest for the night before the wedding the next day hence we ended up setting off on a Friday instead.

Jamming Our Way into Tangkak

Anyway, we had wanted to set off from Singapore earlier to avoid any traffic jams. But with all the last-minute planning (less than one week to the wedding day), I decided to just go along with my brother’s plan. We set off from my place at 5.30 PM. By the time we picked up my parents, it was already about 6 PM before we headed over to the Tuas Checkpoint. (´-ω-`)

Friday evening is typically a day when a lot of Malaysians will make their way home to spend the weekend with their families. So it was no surprise that when we go near the checkpoint, there was a freaking long jam. By the time we cleared the Singapore customs, it was already 7.30 PM and WE WERE NOT DONE YET. ٩(× ×)۶ It was then another long jam to the customs in Malaysia. We managed to get out of the jam and clear the customs within an hour or so, which according to many Malaysians, was actually rather fast on a Friday evening. I guess we were lucky then! (´• ω •`)

A Butt-Numbing Experience & Transport Cost

After all the traffic jams, it was then a 2-hours drive to Tangkak. Typically for such long rides, I would definitely be sleeping in the car. But this time, it was torture. Since I was sitting in the middle, it was super mega uncomfortable. I barely had any space to adjust myself. Throughout the whole journey, I could only watch everyone sleep while I rock to the music the driver put on. (´-ω-`)

Anyway, our transport from Singapore to Tangkak cost 200 SGD. This seems to be the standard rate as hubs and I reached out to a few transport companies to enquire about their rates as well. So while you are doing a cost comparison, do ask for the vehicle type as well to avoid a squeezy situation! I have summarised our journey below. Note that the customs clearance time differs depending on the day and time you set off. ( ´ ω ` )

Hubs and I have taken a lot of trips with long road trips but it was always comfortable. The rides would still be butt-numbing but at least it was comfortable. So a piece of advice for anyone planning a long-distance ride, please book a car that is more spacious after taking into consideration the luggage space. ☆⌒(> _ <)

Not Your Typical Accommodation for a Trip

After a butt-numbing experience, boy was I glad to have arrived at the accommodation. The initial plan was to have us stay in a hotel in Tangkak. But it seems like the reviews for the hotel were quite meh hence a last-minute change of plans to have us stay in a homestay instead.

According to my brother, homestays are the go-to options for visitors to Tangkak. As such, they are usually fully booked as there were not a lot around. Whenever anyone mentioned homestay, we imagine it to be an apartment/room but that is not the case in Tangkak. Instead of an apartment/room, we got a HUGE landed property. (⊙_⊙)

HUGE Living Area and Many Many Rooms…

The living room was HUGE, as is the dining and kitchen area. There are a total of SIX rooms in the house, with two of them having en suite bathrooms and two shared bathrooms. My parents got the biggest bedroom while hubs and I got the other bedroom with an en suite bathroom. The remaining rooms were left for my SIL’s friends, who were staying over for the night after the wedding dinner.

The rooms were rather simple yet good enough for a night’s rest. The bed and the pillows can be a bit hard but we still managed to get a good night’s sleep from them. Probably ‘cos we were so tired on both nights. ☆(#××) Bathrooms had the basic amenities such as shampoos and conditioners but towels and toothbrushes were excluded. Luckily we brought our own ones! Phew~!

According to my brother, it costs about 1,500 RM for two nights (inclusive of housekeeping fees). Honestly, I don’t think it is too expensive if you are staying here and sharing the cost with a big group of friends. Also, if I am thinking in terms of Singapore dollars, the rental rate is also reasonably cheap. I mean where in Singapore would you be able to rent a MEGA house with six rooms for 500 SGD for two nights!? A hotel room for two nights would probably cost more than that already in Singapore. (*/ω\)

Accessibility to the Town Center

That being said, if you are considering visiting Tangkak, it would be good to have your own transport. Our accommodation is located about a 5-minutes drive away from the town centre. Sounds good on paper if we are driving. But sadly, we were not so we had to depend on my brother and SIL if we needed anything.

There were no convenience shops or anything within our vicinity since it is more of a residential area. Even though it seems like we could use the Grab app but it just does not feel like it would work in this area. Anyway, luckily we did not need much and the couple took good care of us, so all was still good. (´• ω •`)

Tour of our Homestay in Tangkak: Autumn Homestay

My brother sent us some videos before we arrived in Tangkak. I have made them into a video tour so enjoy~! (´• ω •`)ノ

Music from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!)

Since we were only in Tangkak for two nights, we did not have a lot of time to explore the town. The couple brought us out to have bak kut teh for breakfast the following morning after our arrival in Tangkak. Seems like Tangkak people like to have quite a heavy meal for their first meal of the day! (@´ー`)ノ゙

Enjoying Some Tangkak Bak Kut Teh

For those who don’t know what is bak kut teh, it is basically pork ribs in a soup made from ingredients such as herbs, spices and tea. I love having bak kut teh in Malaysia as it is different from the ones we have in Singapore. Ours is peppery while the one in Johor Bahru is herbal-based. Interestingly, Tangkak’s bak kut teh is more soy sauce-based.

Sorry to capture mainly the vegetables on top of the bak kut teh. LOL.

Also popular at this restaurant is their braised chicken feet. Hubs and I don’t really fancy them so I can’t comment much on this item. But my parents, especially my dad, love having them and they wiped out everything. So I guess they are quite good? (´ ∀ ` *)

Generally, Everything tasted quite good. The bak kut teh soup was delicious and the pork ribs were so soft. We ordered the yam rice to go with the meal and it was SO GOOD! This is a must-order to go with the meal. Anyway from this meal, I can confirm that Tangkak locals’ have a preference for flavourful dishes. Either that or as Singaporeans, our food is just too healthy. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Anyway, as it was a treat from my SIL’s dad, we were not sure how much everything cost. But if you are visiting Tangkak, do give this restaurant a visit! We were there around 9 AM and the restaurant was already quite full. Below is the restaurant information for your reference:

Taman Sentosa, 84900 Tangkak, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun, 7 AM – 2 PM

Other Tangkak Food I Have No Idea Where They Are From…

Besides the bak kut teh, we had three other meals that the couple had delivered to us that I am not sure where they were from. The night of our arrival, we had fried prawn noodles. I am going to take a very wild guess that it might be the Tangkak Fried Prawn Mee. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

For our lunch on the wedding day, we had these super delicious wanton noodles. I am not sure which restaurant this dish is from but it was SO GOOD. So much so that my dad ate so much. Either that or he was really hungry. LOL. On to the last day and I honestly don’t know what is this dish. It has soy-sauced noodles and what I assumed are pig intestines and tofu puffs. Hahaha! If you are from Tangkak, probably you can let me know. (・・;)ゞ

I only had ONE photo of the mysterious food we had. LOL. I have no idea why…

Besides all these mysterious food, the couple recommends beef noodles, which I am going to assume is from this restaurant. Another one that they recommend is Chew Chee Kedai Mee & Nasi, best known for its roasted meat and apparently wanton noodles~! I mean it is possible that our wanton noodles are from them so… (¬‿¬ )

Anyway, a fun fact for you. The homestay that we are staying at belongs to the owner of Chew Chee. There is a board at the homestay displaying some articles about the restaurant. Also, interestingly, my SIL’s brother knows the owner. Seems like Tangkak is really such a small town! ( ´ ω ` )

Not Our Usual Wedding Dinner

And finally, we have come to the part where I talked a bit about the wedding dinner in Tangkak~! I have seen wedding dinners held in someone’s house on social media so I know that Malaysian weddings are different. Hubs and I were definitely looking forward to it.

The Restaurant Setup

Unlike those backyard wedding dinners, my brother’s wedding dinner was in a restaurant (Shanghai Tang Restaurant) and I must say the food was rather good. It is probably better than a lot of wedding dinners we have attended in Singapore. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

The setting was rather simple with a small stage setup. From the looks of it, probably only a 12ft x 8ft stage. A rather small stage I must say. And our VIP table was right in front of the stage. Like literally only inches away. (´• ω •`) The menu looks like a typical Chinese dinner menu. I didn’t take any photos of the dishes as we were sitting with my SIL’s family.

I tried to avoid having the shark’s fin. Traditional Chinese menu are unfortunately still serving this. (´-ω-`)

The Dinner Activities

Throughout the dinner, friends and families would come on stage to sing along to the karaoke system. This is definitely something that is very different from Singapore. We do have emcees playing games but never have I seen karaoke singing except in corporate events in the past. This came with its pros and cons. For those who sang really well, all was good. But for those who can’t… With the speakers blasting just beside us, it was tough to enjoy our dinner. Luckily the emcee is a good singer so he could help to salvage such situations. (*/ω\)

As with Singapore’s wedding, 1st and 2nd march-ins are the same here. The interesting thing was their group photo-taking. In Singapore, the couple would go to each table to get sort of a formal group shot. For this wedding, the group shot was taken by having the couple go to each table for a toast/yum seng. I thought this was rather unique and casual, capturing the unique moment when everyone is doing the toast together. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

The Highlight of the Dinner

But the highlight of the wedding comes from one of the menu items, the Roasted Spain Pork Ribs. Initially, I thought it was just the usual pork ribs you see in Chinese restaurants. But no no no, it is actually a western dish! Each of us was served a rib (we could have more if we want) and we were given a packet. My mum thought the packet was a flavour pack for the pork ribs. She was so shocked when I told her plastic gloves are inside for us to eat the ribs, similar to how Koreans eat fried chicken in restaurants. This was actually quite cool but not cool when we were so dressed up. HAHA! I was trying so hard not to get my face dirty while biting down on the pork ribs. (★ω★)

Personal Thoughts on Tangkak

Personally, I think it was an interesting trip to Tangkak. Unfortunately, we could not spend more time exploring the place so my personal thoughts are limited to what little we have experienced.

Putting aside some crappy decisions made, we actually kind of enjoyed our stay in Tangkak. Too bad that we did not get to visit many restaurants in town but the food that we ate was actually all quite good. But sometimes may be a bit too delicious as it seems like Tangkak restaurants can go a bit heavy-handed on their flavouring. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

It was also quite cool to stay in such a big homestay. Never have we thought that a homestay would be such a HUGE house. Considering that we all stay in apartments in Singapore, it was rather interesting to stay in such a big property. If you are interested in the homestay, click HERE to see their Facebook page for more information.

We also enjoyed the wedding dinner in Tangkak even though we felt awkward sitting at the VIP table. All the invited guests are Malaysians and I think most were even wondering who are we. My SIL’s family is all really nice and friendly so that helped us to feel less awkward in the settings I supposed. (*/ω\)

Anyway, this post is getting way out of hand long so it is time for me to stop here. I hope this post has sort of given you an insight into Tangkak. It is really quite interesting to explore beyond the malls in Johor and visit this small town. I would say a 3D2N stay would be good for a start for a mini-exploration. (´ ω `♡)

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