LOG ENTRY 55
Johor Bahru - Singapore - Johor Bahru
Distance: endless kilometers on foot
This was the case again in Singapore. We agreed with Dad that it would be cheaper and much easier to leave the bikes in Johor Bahru and cover Singapore with public transport. Luckily our guest house was so close to the border bridge that we could easily walk there in the morning. To be perfectly honest, it was like being in an exodus. Thousands upon thousands walked towards the immigration from Malaysia, daily workers mostly from all sorts of ethnic background.
Surprisingly getting through the border was really simple and fast and after walking across drug sniffing dogs kennels we were already in the tiny city state.
I forget to mention that the day before we tried another ferry near Malacca but they informed us that without visa they can’t take us to Sumatra. The twist in the story is that Hungarians do not require holding a tourist visa to Indonesia; we are exempt for 90 days. We tried to explain this to the ferry company but they were reluctant, we either have a visa or no ferrying. Because of this seemingly small inconvenience first we headed to the Indonesian embassy in Singapore. Surprisingly we got through the lines really quickly just to get the first slap of the day. They told us that without ferry or flight ticket we can’t get a visa at the embassy, again we tried to explain the situation but rules are rules, we heard the reply. The situation is not helpless; booking a flight from Singapore to Jakarta or to Bali is really not expensive but before we do that we wanted to make sure that I get the Australian visa first.
We kind of had seen this coming. Dad has received his visa within days but for Mom had to submit lots of extra paperwork and waited almost two months until the point of rejection. We talked about possibilities, what else we could do and decided to have a great day in Singapore and see what previously thought ideas would work the best.
After Sentosa we wandered around downtown Singapore, enjoyed the air-conditioned and bubble gum free footpaths. Visited the Chinese and the Indian quarters, filling our bellies with the authentic Indian and Chinese food –roasted duck was amazing-, checked out the famous Orchard towers and talked a lot about what to do next.
As the sun went down we took a bus back to Johor Bahru and prepared for the very early morning departure. We planned to reach as north as possible, maybe until the Thai border next day so a good night sleep was all we needed.