Friday, June 29, 2012

Three Temples and a Beach

Landed in Singapore after a 24 hour delay in Chicago (did make Silver status though Hooray!!!!) Headed to an extremely clean hostel just outside of Chinatown. After a semi cold beer hit the hay and awoke the next morning to explore.  Singapore is a very clean city with no street people.  We ate lunch at the "hawker stands" which are endless rows of outdoor eateries each of them specializing in various genres of Asian cuisine.  We then went to the Buddha's tooth temple to view not only his tooth but 10,000 other Buddha's fashioned after his likeness right after enlightenment.  It also houses the only underground parking lot of any temple in Asia :)  We then headed to see the Sri Mariamman Temple with 100s of life size cows and Krishnas not only inside but sitting on the fences surrounding the temple for all to enjoy. 
Enjoying some Thai food at the hawker stall
That evening we met up with Lindsey's college friend who is living in Singapore where we indulged in some local cuisine of chili crab.  Then because the tax on alcohol is so high we grabbed a six pack of beer to drink on the bridge where it is legal to drink but not chew gum. 
The next day we woke up early  to grab a long distance bus to Malaysia when we arrived at the terminal they had all left for the day so we decided to grab a local bus to the border.   On our trek to the other bus stand we meandered through the Arab Quarter and visited a Mosque.  It was a beautiful structure we got to go inside and wander around.  Then finally began our journey to Malaysia. 
Inside the Mosque
After we crossed the border we had a few hours to kill in a bus station in Johor Bahru (JB)  the entire top of the station was a shopping market filled with many faux sneakers and all the different types of burkas you could buy. We had an AWESOME lunch roti filled with onions, egg and meat that was rolled, filled and cooked before our very eyes.    
That evening we ended up in the fishing port of Mersing where we were serenaded by a woman with very few teeth (and even less marbles) as we looked for accommodation.  Her tunes ranged from variations on a theme of Righteous Brothers, Ace of Base and Whitney.    We woke up the next morning for a ferry to a village (loose word two beach shacks) Nipah on the island of Tioman.  It was a peaceful place where we spent our days lounging in the sun and snorkeling with barracudas and our nights drinking beer and eating delightful Maylay food.  

Soaking up some rays outside our digs
We are now awaiting a bus to take us to Melaka on the western side of Malaysia.