It was the annual EEEAA durian event again and this time, it was a one-day tour in Malaysia!
It was early in the morning at around 6.30am, where everyone made their way down to the gathering point at Jurong East where the buses were stationed. It was a wonderful, clear morning and everyone was looking great and excited for the day trip to Johor for some durian feast. The bus moved off early at 7.00am to Tuas (Second Link) to avoid traffic congestion at the custom. Upon ensuring that all the participants were cleared at the custom, the entourage moved off in 3 buses to our first location for breakfast.
During the journey, EEEAA did some surveys with the participants and each bus had an estimated 5% of the participants attending the durian feast for the second time. Since 2016, the school and EEEAA had a new initiative to let all EEE alumni automatically become a member of EEEAA once they graduated from NTU. Hence, the sign-up rate was better with more new alumni participants. As a result, EEEAA will be anticipating more new faces joining other events in the near future. EEEAA also updated all the participants with the upcoming events and asked them for their feedback in order to find out their interests and opinions. Events planned out include quarterly Chill-Outs, EEE Homecoming and many more. The response was fantastic and we continued our journey to our first location, which is Hua Kee Restaurant, for our morning breakfast. We had some good breakfast at own expenses, which fuelled us to start off the day.
After breakfast, we travelled up to Yong Peng and stopped at one of the local products shop ‘YoYo’. There are many snacks and beverages which are famous in Yong Peng like sun biscuit, wife biscuit, Chinese horseshoe biscuit and many more. They are all well-liked by our participants as all of their biscuits were freshly baked and many of them purchased back for consumption and as giveaways. Everyone was satisfied with their purchases and it was time to finally satisfy their tummy with the main highlight for this trip, the king of fruits! Even before reaching the durian farm, everyone was feeling exhilarated and hungry. They cannot wait to get their hands on the durians.
This year, EEEAA introduced a new element for this event and it was the durian photo contest. It was to engage participants during and after the event. Participants were to take both a selfie and group photo with durians and upload it to EEEAA Facebook page to enter the contest. The winners will walk away with $30, $20 or $10 Capital Mall vouchers.
The participants started to get excited on the bus upon hearing this competition. After a few hours of journey, we finally arrived at the durian farm. While the participants were getting seated, the farm workers delivered a few baskets of durians to us. The workers proceeded to open the durians skilfully and handed them to participants to enjoy the fruits. Along with the king of fruits, there are many other fruits like watermelons, jackfruits, red dragon fruits, guavas, rockmelons and honeydews prepared. It was a pleasant lunch with free flow of durians served to everyone. There were all talks and smiles on the faces of the participants as we immersed ourselves in the creaminess and richness of the durian fruit. After satisfying our cravings, we gathered for a group photo with a drone. It was an interesting way of taking photos under different angles.
Following the durian farm, we alighted at EL Brown Rice. The shop sells many products with health benefits and is mainly associated with brown rice, which is also known for its high nutritional values. Other healthy snacks available were chia seeds and pumpkin floss. After a short shopping stop, we head back south towards Gelang Patah. Apart from having durian feast as our highlight of the trip, the next destination was the popular Johor Premium Outlet (JPO). JPO has a lot of branded products available at a highly discounted price. Everyone had a great time hopping from brands to brands and enjoyed their shopping spree, leaving JPO with many bags and smiles on their faces.
For a wonderful closure of this trip, we had a sumptuous seafood dinner at one of the top-rated restaurants in Gelang Patah called The Garden Restaurant. We were served with 8 delicious dishes which were all well received by everyone as they finished every bite of all the dishes. After dinner, we headed back to Singapore with satisfaction and a well-rewarded trip with the awesome food and shopping conquests. Throughout the trip, the tour guides were entertaining and very helpful in providing information to everyone at different locations of Malaysia. They ensured that everyone was well entertained from time to time.
In conclusion, this year’s EEEAA durian tour was well received. Similar to last year’s event, the turnout was very positive with more than 80% of them participating for the first time and over 100 participants joined the event. This good response reflected well on the success of the event over the years. Likewise, this year’s event was also well prepared and it went smoothly.
Kudos to another EEEAA event and hope to see the participants again!