Banana Boat ride - Muslim style
Greetings from Malaysia!
We had to hop in a van to leave Thailand since we ran out of time on our visa. They are very strict - no jail time, just a big $ fine for each day you stay over. We were able to get a van (with the bikes strapped on the roof) to take us to Hat Yai. No one was willing to go further, at this point the (taxi/vans) head west not south. So, we cycles the last day in Thailand and crossed into Malaysia.
First night here was pretty bad - not a pretty or friendly area. Found a terrible hotel and left early the next morning. We are definitely back in a Muslim area, everyone is covered up and itís very difficult to find a cold beer!
After a few days of riding in the heat and humidity we came across an interesting hotel & country club. It was about 10K off the main road and was great. We got a wonderful room overlooking the gold course for $30. It was a nice couple of days. After that if was off to Pinang Island.
Living a great life,
Doug and Janice
January 25, 2009
We arrived in Singapore yesterday so let me give you the highlights of Malaysia.
This is a strange country, situated between Thailand and Singapore they have some big competition for the tourist dollar. And it appears the Malaysians are not sure if they want the tourist dollar or be a Muslin paradise. As a result, you have women completely covered from head to foot riding banana boats! There were some pleasant beaches and resorts but everything is empty, run down and expensive. Even Kuala Lumpur was lacking in the excitement factor.
We did enjoy Melacca with its strange combination of Malaysian, Chinese and Portuguese traditions. They have already decorated the streets for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Also, this area is known for their decorated rickshaws. They are beautiful with flowers, deco painting and lights.
But, they do have great roads that arenít busy so it is easy to cycle. So goodbye to Malaysia and on to Singapore.
Still happier than we have a right to be,
Janice and Doug