Duty free scam
There is a shopping complex in the east of JB called ZON, which is advertised as the largest duty free shopping in Malaysia. You can even find it at google maps.
We found the building is pretty run-down,and nothing more than a neighborhood mall except a few duty free shops selling liquor and tobaccos. The price is higher than what you can get at Changi airport duty free shopping but some kind lower than street price. We bought one bottle of whisky and wine together with half dozen beer around 200RM in total.
When we drove to leave the complex,a police officer stopped us at the inspection gate asking if we purchased anything. I told him what we've bought. The officer then inspected our purchase and told I had to pay tax for the alcohol. Guess how much to pay? $150RM.
When I asked for the reason why pay tax for duty free purchase, I was given an explanation that if I drink up all the bottles in the mall,that would be duty free. Eventually I made the payment reduced to 100RM.
I noticed all the local cars didn't stopped for inspection,they just waved hand with the guard.
I think tourist trap always shows as merchant deceives customer in some way,never expect involvement of authorities.
So don't buy any duty free there unless you prepare to lie about your purchase or simply make yourself drunk at the aisle of the mall.
- Family Travel
Opposite of the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque is a small zoo.
Sitting high on a bus, I could see all the cramp cages where the animals are kept. So it is a rather sad sight.
If you have been to Singapore zoo, you will not enjoy this zoo. So best avoid.
I wanted to go back to the hotel, which is The Puteri Pacific Hotel, which is in the city centre. I was at the area where Hyatt Hotel is, which isn't too far. I waved for a taxi and it stops. I opened the door, told him where I wanted to go and he replied with RM10.00. I then said 'What?'. I was puzzled but I asked him about the meter and he said that he doesn't want to use it.
I then waved for another cab a few minutes later and the same thing happened. By then, I was too tired and decided that I would just get in and pay the amount. This time was RM12.00.
I couldn't complain to the driver because I was in his taxi and was afraid if something might happen if I were to argue. Haha... I did talk to the hotel and they were not surprise as this is a common thing in Johor Bahru. I disagree though.
It's not that I'm being cheap but it's ridiculous to pay an unfair amount just for a short distance and what is wrong with using the meter? What is the use of the machine anyway?
Unique Suggestions: Just be careful and try not to get into a taxi with an 'attitude' driver.
Not really worth the visit. Desaru is more than an hour's drive away from JB. The beach is clean but nothing to shout about (compared to other east coast stretches). Hotels are old and look abandoned.
Unique Suggestions: If your desperate for some beach action and you are in JB... then make the best of it.
Fun Alternatives: I prefer beaches further north in Cherating or Terengganu.
Taxi no meter
If you wanna take taxi in JB, don't expact the taxi driver will run according to the meter...... I don't how it happens but this has been practiced for years, the locals used to it and the government never do anything.
Unique Suggestions: If you insist to take taxi (there are a lot of place in JB can only arrive with taxi), ask around the locals, may be they can tell you the fair price that taxi driver charged.
- Road Trip
Not much tourists traps.
There's not much tourist traps in JB. Things are cheap. Just beware of those stalls near the customs selling fruits (esp. durian), food, etc. You will be forced to buy if you approach them and just have a look. Force method is shouting or even threaten at you if you do not buy.
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