First trip to SouthEast Asia: Singapore and Tioman Island, Malaysia. DAY 5

DAY 5, Monday 1st:

My 5th day in Singapore started very early, at exactly 5am, to be able to pack my bag and be on time at the bus station. Yes, the second part of my trip begins!

My bus to Mersing left at 6am from the Singapore Flyer and after crossing the Singapore-Malaysia border at Johor Bahru, and…after an hour of crazy driving, we stopped at a café at some place in South Malaysia.

Perfect moment to drink a delicious Malaysian chai tea, or “Teh Tarik“.

delicious tea

I was actually the only one having a tea…it might sound surprising but there were about 10-15 men at that café, it was 8am, and they were all eating rice and meat, all accompanied with a sauce that looked pretty spicy… I guess my stomach was not ready for that yet.

So the bus ride continued and we finally arrived in Mersing at midday. After an hour waiting for the ferry… and an hour and a half ferry trip later, I AM FINALLY IN PULAU TIOMAN!!

Tekek beach

Tekek dock

The ferry dropped me at Tekek and a taxi took me to my hotel, Swiss Cottage. Tekek seemed pretty busy, with all the taxis waiting at the dock and all the new tourists arriving, but in less than a kilometer there was my hotel. And there, everything around the cabins was quiet, was peace. Oh my, this is Paradise.

chalet

Swiss Cottage

my room

I checked in and went for my first swim at the sea. The beach was gorgeous. I was ON MY OWN. I couldn’t believe it, a heavenly beach all for myself. I couldn’t be happier.

yo3

I spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the beach, and exploring Tekek. Discovering 3 enormous trees full of noisy bats on the road to Tekek was pretty amazing.

After the sunset, I felt like it was time to get a drink and talk to someone. So I went to Tioman Cabana, a bar I had been reading about on facebook for the last weeks. I met some really nice friends there, and I shared with them my first night, my first drinks, and my first dinner at the island. You know, there is something extraordinary in drinking Caipirinhas until midnight while talking to strangers, listening to Bob Marley and having the seashore just 10 meters away. It was heaven on earth.

Sunset

Tioman Cabana

They day ended there, and barefoot, I went back to my chalet, walking by the seashore, under a sky full of stars, and with a big smile on my face. Oh Tioman, I have a good feeling about you.

First trip to SouthEast Asia: Singapore and Tioman Island, Malaysia. DAY 2

DAY 2, Friday 29th: As the previous day I didn’t stop walking, I thought I might give my feet some rest on the second morning in Singapore. So I took the MRT to Clarke Quay and took a river cruise to enjoy the city from a comfortable seat. The wooden boat took us along the river from Robertson Quay to Marina Bay, and I enjoyed some beautiful view of both banks of the Singapore River. Marina Bay Sands Hotel from the jetty After the cruise under the sun I walked around the colonial area of the city and visited the amazing Raffles Hotel, home of the famous cocktail “Singapore Sling”. Raffles Hotel This time, I decided to have lunch at a mall and had a delicious pad thai with a lime tea for 13$ (not bad!). Pad thai After lunch it was time to visit one of the most famous attractions in the city: Gardens by the Bay, and I can firmly admit that it was one of the best afternoons I spent during my entire holiday. The orchid garden was absolutely breathtaking and the silent around the different gardens just felt so relaxing that I was amazed to be able to feel so calm and peaceful in a busy city like Singapore. Orchid Garden Gardens by the bay Around 6pm I decided to go back home for a swim. I then met my friends for dinner (delicious Ramen!) and we ended the night having some drinks and clubbing at KIO. Second day in Singapore done! once again…loving this city 🙂

First trip to SouthEast Asia: Singapore and Tioman Island (Malaysia). DAY 1

On August 26th my plane left from Bilbao to Frankfurt and then off to Singapore. 12 hours later I was in this incredible city, ready to discover everything it could offer me. For the next 5 days I enjoyed every hour, every minute, and got enraptured by the contrast, the architecture, the life, the cuisine and the soul of Singapore.

I have many stories to tell, so I will write a different post for each of the days of this amazing journey.

DAY 1, Wednesday 27th:

I took the MRT around 9am towards Marina Bay and walked, almost on my own, around the Marina Bay Sands Hotel area, saw the marvelous ArtScience museum and crossed the Helix Bridge. The skyline from Marina Bay was awesome, revealing a very new and modern city. It was still early so I was able to walk around the area almost in silence and took some great pictures. But, as the dark clouds were getting closer I decided to go to a less open area and took the MRT to Chinatown.

Marina Bay

Under the rain I discovered the buoyant area of Chinatown, visiting some of the most beautiful temples I have ever seen. Without any doubt, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple was the most amazing of all. It was breathtaking.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

I ate a miso soup and some noodles with dumplings at a food court for only 3SGP$, I think it might be the cheapest food I have ever eaten. Awesome.

After buying some Chinese crafts I took the MRT to Little India, and suddenly felt like I had travelled from one country to another. OMG. What a change. Serangoon Road and the surrounding streets were full of people, full of little shops and the vibrant atmosphere was incredible. I crossed a little fruit and flower market and felt like I was in New Delhi. Not that I have ever been to India, but… you know what I mean. I also visited the beautiful temples of Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya and Sri Srinivasa Perumal.

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

As it had stopped raining, I decided to walk towards the Arab Quarter and visited the Sultan Mosque. Again, I found surprising the quicker the atmosphere and the architecture changed from one neighborhood to another. From Buddhist temples to Hindu temples, to mosques. From saris to hiyabs…

Sultan Mosque

By 6pm I had visited everything I wanted for my first day in Singapore and went to my friend’s house to rest. After a swim in the pool we went for dinner to a dim sum restaurant in Dhoby Ghaut. I tried pork liver…it was weird…but not bad!

We had a drink at the terrace and went to sleep. First day in Singapore, DONE!

Back from Tioman…

Legend goes that a beautiful dragon princess was once flying from China to Singapore for her wedding. She settled down to rest over the warm water of the South China Sea. The calm sea and warm water gave her pleasure and she decided to stay – thus turned herself into an island, now called Tioman Island. Now, she offers shelter and comfort to passing travelers.

Wanderlust

I wish I could travel more often.

But most of the places I want to visit are just too far away…

If only I was given more vacation days at work…

So, I do what I can. And this year, I am finally accomplishing one of my dreamed travel plans.

I am finally travelling to Asia!

First stop: Singapore

I will be visiting a good friend and enjoying this city full of life and contrast for more than a week.

Second stop: Malaysia!

Malaysia is a country I want to discover. I want to live it, experience it. And I need more than a week for that.

And that’s why that is a trip I’m postponing for another year. But for this summer and after busy Singapore, I deserve some relaxing days at Pulau Tioman, a paradise island on the Malaysian east coast. Just to get a hint of this amazing country.

Only two months to go!