In Sight Johor: The Sungai Johor Link Bridge

Three weeks ago, J and I made a trip to a town called Kota Tinggi to hand a pair of customised 2017 desk calendars to a food stall operator. This friendly old man had sportingly agreed to pose for some portrait shots during our last trip there. Needless to say, he was thrilled to see his photo on print and started to show the calendar to his customers.

After a quick meal of char siew and chicken rice at his stall (incidentally our drinks were complimentary), we proceeded to drive around a bit to explore the surrounding area. There was really not much to see along the trunk road except rows and rows of oil palm trees. By and by, we came to a handwritten sign pointing in the direction of a rumah rakit (raft house). We hesitated. Checking out the place meant doing a 7-kilometre drive inside a vast oil palm estate. Deep, dark, deserted – pretty scary, on the whole. After some deliberation, however, we decided to venture into the plantation. After all, no pain no gain, right?

There were some pretty anxious moments as the car made its way deeper into the thick, undulating forest. As the minutes ticked by, we became increasingly doubtful about where the road was leading us. The whole place was so remote that internet reception became erratic. The quiet, winding road seemed never-ending and we began to wonder if the sign seen earlier was out-of-date. To make matters worse, the petrol gauge showed that we were down to one bar. Earlier on, we had stopped by the only petrol kiosk at Teluk Sengat to fill up but guess what? All petrol had been sold out! A local resident told us that the next available kiosk could only be found on the opposite side, requiring a 26-minute drive to get there. As we couldn’t be sure about getting to top up even in the next town, we decided to continue exploring with the optimistic hope that there would be sufficient petrol to last until we reached home.

We drove uphill along the meandering road until we came to a slope cutting through an expressway tunnel. We found ourselves inside another oil palm estate but on the opposite side of the highway. I began to understand the actual meaning of the phrase, ‘So near and yet so far‘. Civilisation was right in front of us but the car could not get across as there was a shallow ditch and fence separating the estate road and the highway. By then it was already too late to turn back. We pressed further up until we were about to reach the highest point of the hinterland.

It was during that moment of approach when the Johor Bridge revealed itself, rising out from the lush green valley and river below. Woo hoo!  🙂 🙂


Did we make it to the raft houses on the river? Yes, we did, walking around the jetty area before hurrying back up to our newly-discovered spot to catch a glimpse of the sunset.


It would have been ideal to get a shot of the sun going down behind the bridge but that didn’t happen. From where we were standing, the bridge was a few degrees off from the sun.



All in all, it was a successful day trip. Who would have known that such a pretty view can be found within the deep recesses of a dull oil palm plantation? And now that I know that the sign did not lie after all, I hope to visit Kampung Tanjung Buai again and spend a night in a raft house.


17 thoughts on “In Sight Johor: The Sungai Johor Link Bridge

  1. The last few shots are pretty spectacular! Maybe, I’m biased towards sunsets. 🙂 I also loved the shot of the bridge with the varying colours in the background. 🙂

      1. I’m so glad we are alike. I know you and Gin (Darwin) for more than two years now. I’m so glad that we still stop by each others blogs and have these little conversations. 🙂

  2. Yes, that was definitely a success trip. I would say the side trip was well worth it. What a view over the bridge – a beautiful capture! Well done I would say:)

  3. What a beautiful sunset over this iconic bridge. Looks like a nice day all in all ! I didn’t know you were making calendars !What a nice idea, I bet the man was happy. Did you also take pictures of his food or just him when you saw him the first time ?

    1. I’m sure you have heard of Photobook where you can have you photos digitally printed on to a variety of items – albums, mugs, diaries, invitation cards, calendars, notebooks, canvas prints, etc. It’s available online and they provide the template to insert the images of your choice. Makes an inexpensive yet very personalised gift. No, I am not into food photography as the colours don’t come out the way they are supposed to! 🙂

      1. Oh yes, I do that as well for my parents. Each xmas, I make them a calendar with a few pictures of us and they really like it. I also do photobooks, I used these blog entries and copy/past them into a photobook and print them. It’s good memories 🙂

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