26.1. – 09.02.2013
It was time to pack my bike again for two weeks while I flew to Singapore for holiday.
Holiday? Well, I flew there because Miss E was also flying there for one week for her studies. She also took one week holiday additionally.
What surprised me was how small Singapore center actually was. I mean it had only few skyscrapers, I had expected it to look more like Hong Kong.
First week went by quite fast. Miss E spent all the week day in the school and I went around the town and took photos.
One evening Miss E and I visited the top of Marina Bay Sands –hotel. Entrance fee was around 20 Singaporean dollars and the number of visitors was limited, so need to book tickets on time. No tripods were allowed on the top, so did not get really good pictures from the top.
View towards the city was really amazing, but what was more amazing was the infinity pool. This pool goes almost all the way to the edge of the building where it’s protected by a glass wall. When people swim, it appears to be swimming to the air, quite interesting scene. But unfortunately it is only open for hotel customers…
I also visited Singapore botanical garden which was famous of its big Orchid garden. I do not know anything about flowers, but I was really amazed how many different kinds and colors of orchids there were!
Thanks to Miss E, I had an excellent hotpot in Singapore´s Chinatown and it also looked like she enjoyed it at least as much as I. If you have a chance, try it!
After Miss E´s study week we booked bus tickets to Malaysia. Our first target was Malacca.
Malacca is touristic old town around 6-hour drive from Singapore.
It was amazing to see how much and strong the Chinese culture influence is there. China town is in the center of the city, with hundreds years old Chinese style streets and houses.
We visited the Nyonya museum in China town. The Nyonya people are basically the offspring of the Chinese business men from late 15th and 16th century and the local Malaysian women.
The Nyonya culture has kept a big part of Chinese culture from centuries ago. These people and the Peranakan Chinese (native Chinese born there) still worship their Chinese ancestor along with other gods they believe.
We saw very nice and even splendid family ancestral temple. Miss E was very impressed to see her own traditional culture outside of China, which is no longer seen in China nowadays.
In the very center of the town, there was the famous Jonker Street. There we found the red Dutch Church and windmill. Its mixture of Chinese, Western and local culture has made it to the list of Unesco World Heritage Site.
The weather for the 3 days of our stay in Malacca was not so good. On the day when we planned a lot of sightseeing, it rained most of the day. So we ended up staying at Hardrock in the center of the city.
To make it possible to actually see something, we rented a small car. To drive on the left hand side of the road was not a problem for me, but to sit on the right side of the car and switch hands for driving was new and funny 🙂
With this car, we went to a zoo 10km outside of the city. It’s supposed to be the 2nd largest zoo in Malaysia. Luckily the rain had stopped when we arrived.
The zoo was a very quiet place, not many other tourists there.
We paid double price for the ticket as for locals.
It was the worst looking zoo I have ever seen. Cages were dirty and animals looked depressed.
Walking paths were not cleaned, so cannot recommend this place.
Miss E got a few aggressive bites from the zoo mosquitos. One learning is no shorts in the tropical zoo! Although the zoo didn’t look so refreshing, there are many new animals to us, different kinds of monkeys and birds, etc.
At the seaside, we found the newly built Masjid Selat mosq. At night when it’s illuminated, it looked really impressive against the cloudy night sky.
After a few days in Malacca, we continued our bus trip to Kuala Lumpur.
We had booked a hotel from booking.com. It was 3-star and looked quite nice from the picture. But upon arrival, we were astonished how faraway the picture was from the reality!
Dirty marks on the walls, ants everywhere and greyish sheets when they were supposed to be white. We wanted to leave immediately, but it was already getting late.
After the help from booking.com, we were able to cancel the next days for free. We then booked a fancy 5-star business hotel.
This hotel had an outdoor swimming pool on the 11th floor with the glass wall, just like the one on the Marina Bay Sand in Singapore! But over here we didn’t have to pay 300€ a night to try it 😀
One annoying thing about this hotel though, is the rule of no shorts or slippers for breakfast. So it was not for people on vacation? :p Rooms were very nice and spacious.
We decided to visit Petronas twin-tower in the evening. Unfortunately weather was not on our side and the heavy rain made visibility quite bad.
First stop was at the bridge. Rain was heavy, but together with the lights from the ground made tower look like a space ship :).
On the top the other peak was nicely visible and looked quite unreal. We also saw clouds flying by. It would have been nice to see the city during the clear weather, but still it was amazing experience to visit this tower.
Kuala Lumpur is amazingly in a much worse shape than we have expected.
Most of the buildings in the city are in serious deterioration, unbelievably bad shape in the back streets.
Only in the city center there are those fancy towers and office buildings.
Not so surprisingly we then spent all our time in the nice city center, and most of our time in the nice shopping mall :p (not necessarily my decision ;))
Miss E purchase me new and safe slippers. The old ones I took for this trip had become too slippery to walk in the rain. Miss E had several small heart attacks every time I slipped 🙂
We also enjoyed two evenings of movie and popcorns. Of course there was the good food too. This time Miss E discovered soft shell crabs in a Thai restaurant. In China it’s forbidden to catch them (at least in her home town area), so it was her first encounter 🙂
She loved them so much and the next day we had to come to the same restaurant and order take away to Pizza Hut – I was craving for pizza. But it was a very disappointing Pizza Hut. Not clean and not nice…
After Kuala Lumpur it was time to head back to Singapore by bus.
We miss calculated the time needed from hotel to bus station, so we were sure that we would miss the bus.
To our greatest luck, the bus was even later than us 🙂 Amazingly we got first class massage seats bus! Very spacious seats, could almost lie down. But the aircon was disaster. It was freezing cold for the 6hs ride, and we had to put on all our clothes. Luckily Miss E had her winter jacket from Germany. It saved both of us 🙂
After arriving in Singapore, Miss E needed to return to Germany the next day. Unfortunately she had not checked the calendar properly when she booked her flight and she missed the Chinese New Year celebration in Singapore!
I did not see this celebration either, since I took Miss E to the airport and I had morning flight to Cambodia the next day. But we had enough Chinese New Year atmospheres during our stay.