Singapore to Bali via Hong Kong....
Trip Start Jun 04, 2005
103Trip End Apr 05, 2006
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We landed in Johor Bahru at about 11pm, and immediately looked around for the best way to get to Singapore, where we would be spending a day and a night before flying to Bali. That time of night, one's options for cross-border transport are pretty limited, and we found a British pair who were willing to share a very expensive taxi. However, after a few more enquiries, we were advised that there were, in fact, some buses running - no doubt a cheaper option, but a bit more hassle.
And so we embarked on a marathon border-crossing effort - we took a bus to a Johor bus station, and from there (with the help of a local) hopped in cabs for the ten minute ride to the border. After clearing Malaysian immigration, it was back onto another bus for the short ride across the Causeway to Singaporean immigration. And then after queuing and being stamped in there, we piled onto a third bus for the ride to Singapore's main bus station. Thank God we realised that this bus passed within two blocks of our hotel in Little India, so we were spared a long walk or another cab ride. PHEW! By the time we checked in, it was 2am.
Returning to Singapore felt like taking a breather on familiar turf - we had stopped over a month before, on our way to Malaysia. On Monday morning, we took a few hours to do some necessary shopping, posting of parcels, emailing etc, and then headed into the colonial district for a wander. On our previous visit, we hadn't really explored the historical riverfront heart of Singapore, so this time around we strolled along the waterside walk, gazing at 'the Durian' (iconic, bizarrely shaped new theatre complex) and over to the city skyline, then walked along the river down Boat Quay, lined with bars and restaurants. After a refreshing pint at a wonderful micro-brewery pub, we strolled along Clark Quay on the north side of the river. By now, it was dark and the city was all lit up - a lovely sight. We returned to Little India for our favourite curry meal at a small informal restaurant.
On Tuesday morning we embarked on our convoluted transfer to Bali. Though direct flights from Singapore to Denpasar are probably only three and a half hours or so, it took us the whole day to get there: thanks to our Cathay Pacific connections, we had to fly a few hours north to Hong Kong, and then back south again for eight hours to Bali! Crazy, but it's free, so we can't complain. When you're travelling, there's nothing quite as useless as an entire day spent in airports and on planes... but at least we caught up on reading papers and Times magazine. We arrived in Bali about 9pm... the start of our Indonesian adventure!