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Singapore, October 9th  2007   (by Dagmar)

Singapore, just seven miles north of Batam, with it's glittering skyline, one of the the business capitals of Southeast Asia, is home of one of the world's biggest free ports and expanding financial and technology sectors. We took a one-hour speed ferry from Sekupang, on Batam, to Singapore.

Lucky for us, we could enjoy a very clear day with lots of sunshine and a beautiful skyline view of Singapore. The skyscrapers were reflecting in the neighboring buildings, a busy and noisy city...

We enjoyed the colorful scenery of CHINA TOWN.

A Rickshaw, waiting for customers.

 

Malacca Strait, October 10th-14th  2007   (by Dagmar)

The Malacca Strait. The channel transits one-fifth of all sea borne trade and a third of the world's oil shipments. The 550-mile channel is separating the Indonesian island of Sumatra from the Malay peninsula, Singapore perched at its southern tip, offering the most direct route between India and China. The Malacca Strait is lined by miles of swampy shoreline, hundreds of uninhabited mangrove islands, reefs and shoals. A perfect hide out for the numerous pirates waiting to attack big freighters and vessels, luckily not interested in our small yacht. But we have to admit, that that was one of our biggest fears, pirates jumping on board in the middle of the night... So our night watches were not so relaxed, changing to a very relieved feeling when the sun came up...( or more dawn, that time, because of the thunderstorms). Throughout the Malacca Strait thunderstorms were lining up every afternoon, leaving the sky dark and heavy loaded with rain clouds, often an amazing scenery with all the heavy freighters and tankers on the horizon. To protect our satellite phone and hand held GPS, we always stored them in the oven, hoping not to forget that, before I started baking bread.

 

Langkawi Island, Malaysia, October 14th-19th  2007   (by Dagmar  )

Our final destination Langkawi just 4 days away - Langkawi, a group of 99 tropical islands lying off the north-western coast of Malaysia. When we were coming closer towards Langkawi Island, for the first time in some days, the sun was lighting the sky in the morning. The first clear blue morning since a long time, but it got very hot, 34C Celsius,...the hottest day we had in our whole journey around the world. Now we understood, why most of the yachts in the marina were equipped with air conditioning.

But the weather should change quickly. While we motored into the bay close to the Yacht Club, dark clouds were appearing again. What a disappointment. We wanted to dry all our clothes, washing most of it, but it was to hot and humid, the air almost steaming.

According to local folklore, Langkawi got its name from the eagle or helang. In old Malay, kawi stands for reddish brown, so Langkawi means 'reddish brown eagle'. The main attraction of Eagle Square, close to the Kuah jetty, is the magnificent statue of the reddish brown eagle, 'ready to fly away', rising up high over the bay.

 

Islam is the official religion in Malaysia, but all other religions are practiced freely.

  

Taman Lagenda is a scenic park in the middle of town, featuring beautiful gardens of vivid local blooms, plants and fruit trees. This 50-acre park has been designed and landscaped with exhibits detailing the myths and legends of the island.

 

For a week we stayed here in the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, preparing to leave our boat LUNA behind, while we stayed in South Africa. On the morning of October 19th we took the ferry from the nearby terminal to Satun on the Thailand mainland; 1.5h on the boat and we reached the south of Thailand, continued to Phuket, stayed there for two nights and left on the morning of October 21st for Cape Town in South Africa, were we stayed until November 30th. 

 

 

Last modified: September 02, 2008          Hit Counter