|First, Jim and I love getting your comments!! Just to let you know, I had tons of trouble with the internet in Singapore and tried several times unsucessfully to load the pictures. They are all saved and will add them when I can. Right now I am in an Internet Cafe on a small island in Malaysia called Tioman. (will also send a picture of this technological shrine!) The computers in here look like the ones we had in 1990. Also, the pictures are on Jim's laptop. There was no internet available yesterday but I am hoping to have 30 mins here today!!
We took a taxi to a downtown hotel to meet a bus that picked us up at 6:30 am. It was a huge tour bus with only about 8 passengers. Drove north through Singapore until we got to the Malaysian border. It looked like we were trying to pass between Eastern & Western Germany!! Jimmy said there is heightened security because of the terrorist that escaped from jail in Singapore several weeks ago. I read about it in the Sarasota paper and it was hilarious...he went to the bathroom while being questioned and ran away, spotted later running naked through a park, then never seen again. They deputized all citizens in case anyone found him...sounded like Mayberry!!
There is a great picture of the people entering Singapore on Monday am for work. No kidding, the row of motorcycles went on for a half a mile....you can see how thick they were. After going through immigration and customs (and us hauling enough luggage to supposedly last on an around the world trip...most people had just a back pack!) we bought food from a sidewalk vendor. Not sure what, but a lot like chicken fingers.
After going through customs and immigration we were back on the bus. We now had a guide. He could tell us something in 300 words that required maybe 25!! He announced that we were now off on a three hour tour, a three hour tour. There actually was no tour other than to explain our stop at the rest stop and then our stop at the dock for the ferry. We went through a city, then the slums. Found a place I can afford (see picture), hope everyone wants a keychain for Christmas. Out of civilzation, there were tons of palm trees. Most appeared to be planted like a tree farm. The vegatation was lush and there were rolling hills. It looked like footage you have seen of Vietnam.
Loved the signs: "Clean and Happy Recycling" "Sweet Hotel" "Kind Roofing & Insulation" "Prudent Engineering"
Love the positve outlook!
About 9 am we stopped at an open-air reststop. You must see the pictures! It cost 30 cents (malyasian) to use the bathroom. There was no toilet paper, not even a TP holder! There was a 30 inch garden hose next to each toilet. Not sure if that was to clean the user or the stall, but glad to have my antibacterial wipes with me!
There were local people cooking traditional food and everyone was chowing down. It was a little early for us but we did have what we think was tea with sweet milk.
Then on the the ferry station. We had to wait about an hour and had a Tiger beer and some Japanese Green Peas to pass the time. Also, they had old music like Engelburt Humperdink playing...lovely.
Got on the ferry which thankfully was air conditioned and relatively comfortable. Settled in for a 90 min trip. Then they turned on a movie...cowboys being atacked by worms (with Chinese subtitles). Jimmy and Jim recognized it and said it was called "Tremors." It was blaring, with people being eaten by large worms. Great for napping!!
Got off at Paya and walked the 1/4 mile to our resort. It is fabulous, a tropical paradise!! Mountains going right up from the sand beach. The tallest seem to be always covered in mist. Our cottage is about 10-15 feet from the ocean (that would be the South China Sea) at high tide.
The whole cilvilized area is about 1/2 mile along the beach. The resort has a bar, restaurant, gift shop and dive shop. The area between the ferry stop and the resort also has a bar, restaurant, gift shop and dive shop. And that's about it!
Jimmy and I walked down the beach (Jim was resting his back). As we neared the bend, the noise got louder and louder...it was bugs and birds!! We also passed a house, one of about 4 we had seen, that had small monkeys in a cage, we presume family pets and not our future dinner.
Had some drinks and dinner...Jim had scheduled us for an am dive trip so went to bed early. We could hear the waves lapping right outside our door. It truly is paradise!!
More tomorrow if internet is working. Don't know when I will be able to send pictures but we have tons!!