Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 17 : P.Karimun Besar - Singapore (Potong Pasir)

Date : March 19th, 2009
Distance travelled : 21 km
Time taken : 1 hour

Last evening, when we got into Tg. Balai, we didn't have to go very far to look for a good but cheap hotel :o) It was very near the jetty! Think it was called Karimun Hotel.

Well, I'm not too sure whether you would want to drop by this island in the first place unless you are here looking for "ahem" girls! That was what the friendly immigration officer told us when we first arrived! Since he was so friendly, we asked him about the ferry schedule to Singapore and he told us it was every hour. Ok, now that we know, we could plan our time around or so we thought!

Well, one thing's for sure, the people here are very friendly and helpful :o) We had our dinner just next to the hotel and it was alright. We were amazed how cheap beer was!! No wonder men liked coming here :o)

So for this morning, we decided to go take a look around the town before leaving for Singapore in the afternoon. Initially, we thought of cycling around the island which was as big as Langkawi but we canned it. Just a short tour around town will do :o)

The little town was busy, full of vehicles and motorcycles zooming around! We explored a bit and found a bike shop. One of our favourite past time is to go looking around for bike shops in different towns and just chatting with the owner and this was no exception :o) While looking around this small shop, Mak found a bike that was pretty interesting and he was thinking of buying it at a later stage! Well, I'm not sure whether he'll follow that up though but I must admit it was a pretty interesing bike!

a glimpse of Tg. Balai.....

Bustling little town...

the public bus...

Mak checking out the interesting bike...

Cute little roundabout!

Well, after awhile, I got tired of cycling around with the crazy traffic and told Mak that I would like to go back to the hotel. He agreed and we went back to pack and get ready. I asked Mak to confirm what time was the next ferry to Singapore at the reception and he came rushing saying that there were only two ferry left for Singapore! One was at 11am and the other at 5pm! Since we reached the hotel at 10.30am, we had to rush to catch the 11am ferry! Whatever happened to the hourly service?? That one was for going to Kukup only!!

Boy, you should have seen how our dear friend packed! I have never seen him packed so fast in his life hahaha! Normally, I would have to wait for him to slowly organise his stuff etc...He told me smugly that he could be as fast or as slow as he wants! It all depended on the situation :o)!

Well , so much for being amused at him....while on board the ferry, I realised I left my favourite pareo on the bed!! Aargghh!! Guess that was the punishment for me for making fun at him!!

The ferry ride took longer than expected to Singapore. It took about 2 hours to reach the marina at the south of Singapore. I must say that I preferred the ferry going to Tg. Balai than this one. The other ferry was in much better condition.

Upon arriving the terminal, the Singaporean immigration staff told us to leave our bikes together with our panniers with them and they will push them through and we can collect them after having our passport stamped. At first, we were a bit wary about it but all was well in the end. We were reunited with our bikes and panniers after going through immigration without any hassles :o)

Wow...we were now in Singapore! My cousin, James and his wife were staying in Singapore and we were going to put up with them for the night. Now, we just have to figure out how to get to their apartment which was somewhere in the middle of Singapore! Easy, just get a map and go!!

We are in Singapore!! Outside the ferry terminal...

Ok, think we might have to go back to the main road hehehe....

To me, cycling in Singapore was nice! I was amazed at how courteous the drivers were and no one beeped us or anything! They gave us enough space to ride and it was pretty amazing, riding in between buses and cars and yet, felt safe!!

By the time we got to my cousin's place, it was around 5pm. His wife, Jenny came out to meet us with Jasper, their dog, somewhere near the Potong Pasir mrt station. It was good to see her again and we went up to their nice apartment. Jenny told us that while waiting for James to come back from work, we could relax by the pool and enjoy the jacuzzi too! Ah, what more could we ask for!! :o)

View from their apartment balcony

That night, we went out and packed food back and had a really yummy dinner :o) Thanks James & Jenny for your warm hospitality!

Meet the triple Js....James, Jenny & Jasper!

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