Traveling to Malaysia was definitely the easiest trip so far in Southeast Asia for me. Just a stamp in the passport and you have a 90 days visa. If only that was always so easy.
The road to Kota Bahru was pretty narrow and there is a lot of traffic in Malaysia too. After only a few kilometers I had my first shock experience:
A pickup truck turned right into my lane. I slowed down slowly when I saw him coming. Suddenly a scooter with 2 people rushed past me and rammed the pickup truck at full speed.
The 2 people were whirled like dolls through the air. Fortunately, people came from all sides to help. This was a warning to me and I decided to drive carefully here in Malaysia from now on.
What immediately catches your eye are the many mosques here in Malaysia. Islam, to which 60% of the population profess, is state religion. After the constitution of the country, all ethnic Malays are automatically Muslims from birth. You can not marry other believers.
When I was in the tent at night, I usually had Dolby surround from all the mosques in the area. The people here are extremely nice and very interested in my trip. Many of them have traveled through Europe and know the world pretty well.
I took a break in Kuala Terengganu. Since I cycled in Bangkok 13 days ago I had not taken a break. So I was able to recover and freshen up my supplies.
After 3 days of rest, I climbed back into the saddle and cycled further along the east coast. This site is much less populated than the west coast. That's how I got on pretty well.
Down to Pekan, the area was still densely populated. But soon it was really hilly and you saw more and more palm oil plantations appear.
Indonesia and Malaysia are the largest palm oil producers in the world, together supplying about 90 percent of traded oil. Today, palm oil is in half of our supermarket products: in foods such as margarine, ready-made products, pizza and biscuits. In cosmetics, detergents and candles.
Oil palm trees need to grow tropical climate and plenty of space. So they grow best where the rainforest grows, and so the rainforest often (illegally) soft. The primary rainforest has now shrunk to one-tenth of its original population.
If you want to know more about the Malaysian Wood Mafia (which also includes banks such as UBS, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank), I can read the book
Due to the many hills, I started to sweat quite a bit. At over 80% humidity, the sweat usually ran down in streams. On an incline, shortly after Mersing, an insect suddenly flew into my ear.
I tried to remove this by hand. But instantly more and more of the things appeared. Suddenly, one of the critters stabbed me in the ear and shortly thereafter two more in the thumb and my forearm.
That's when I realized that I was being attacked by a swarm of bees. I immediately jumped off the bike, took off my helmet and stopped the first car which came towards me. Immediately I jumped in. The attack lasted less than 5 minutes, but I already had 9 stitches.
Some cars stopped immediately and someone even alerted an ambulance. The paramedics first wanted to take me to the clinic to give me a serum for bee stings.
I declined with thanks and went on cycling like a true Indian. From now on I looked for bees on every incline and the stitches swelled quite badly in the following days.
After 5 days I finally reached the village Pengerang. From there I wanted to take the ferry to Singapore. However, this does not exist anymore and so I had to cycle through the mountains back to Tanjung Belungkor, where I could then leave with the passenger ferry Malaysia.
When entering the Changi Ferry Terminal, my machete was checked for the first time. Presumably the border guards have never seen a traveler enter such a long knife. I had to wait 2 hours until someone finally made a decision. After all, the waiting room was air conditioned.
From the Changi Ferry Terminal, a beautiful bike path leads to the city center. What a luxury! So I arrived in sunshine in Singapore, the end of my journey on the Asian continent. Meanwhile I have spent another year in Asia.
By recommendation, I ended up at Tree In Lodge treeinlodge.com, run by SK and Yong. Both are passionate cyclists and have given up their old professions to share their passion with other cyclists.
Of course I met many other cyclists there and every night there were a lot of stories to tell. In between, I tried a little to visit the city. Singapore is an island and city state and the smallest state in Southeast Asia by area.
Singapore is considered to be Hong Kong's most important financial center in Asia. Singapore is a multi-ethnic state in which Chinese, Malays and Indians make up the largest population. This allows you to enjoy a wide variety of different dishes here.
Of course, a visit to the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay could not be missed. The plant-grown steel scaffolding with heights between 25 and 50 meters are used, among other things, for the rearing of rare plants.
Photovoltaics also generate electricity for lighting and cooling systems, collect rainfall to irrigate the plants, and some of the trees serve as cooling towers for the cooling systems in the greenhouses. At night, the towers are lit and there are light and sound shows instead.
During the day I spent most of my time cleaning. Dusty, my bike, and all the bags had to be cleared of dirt. My next destination is Australia and there you are not allowed to introduce any foreign plant parts or soil.
Since I had never washed my bike and bags in the 3 years, this action took almost 4 days. In between, I still begrudge me a trip to the botanical garden. The garden is one of the most important botanical gardens in Asia. It is 74 hectares in size and was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.
The huge selection of over 60,000 plants make the park a paradise for nature lovers. Designed in 1859 by Lawrence Niven, the garden is the only large park in Southeast Asia designed in the style of an English landscaped garden.
The time in Singapore was flying by. I had some great reunion with old companions, like Eugene, whom I met in Kosovo in 2015 (at the beginning of my journey) or William from France. I met him on my first trip (spring 2012) in Vietnam and China. By chance, we met again in the Tree In Lodge.
After 2 weeks all my equipment was washed, the bike packed and I said goodbye to this great city. By taxi I went to the airport, where I sat in the plane to Australia.
Another big chapter on my journey ends with it. I really enjoyed the time in Asia. However, now I long for loneliness. Asia is densely populated. I am missing lonely areas where I can just be alone.
Malaysia and Singapore were the perfect ending for me in Asia. I'll definitely go back here again. The diversity of cultures and landscapes is what makes this continent so fascinating for me.