Moored at Sabana Cove Marina
Sungai Santi River
State of Johor
"We Got Mail!!"
Ok, I know it’s been a while since you have heard from us and I’m sure your wondering, “What’s going on with the Piper?” Our last entry was about our first week here at Sabana Cove Marina, three weeks later and we are still here. We took one of those weeks and had some great experiences and travels. I had written a great entry but it somehow got lost and then I lost my motivation but with much pressure from Tom here goes the second attempt, but a much shorter version.
Last week we started our trip with a ferry ride from the marina with our friends Emma and Jim from S/V Blue Sky over to Singapore. We had a great reunion with our friends Steve and Rene from S/V Shiraz. We all checked out the crazy hi-tech Sim Lim Square shopping center, had an overpriced, kool-aid tasting Singapore Sling at the famous Raffles Hotel and ended the evening with an excellent meal in Little India. While in Singapore the Deepavali Festival or festival of lights was taking place, this is essentially out with the old, in with the new, a kind of New Years for India. Needless to say Little India was even more of a scene than normal. The main drag of the neighborhood was all a sparkle with tiny white lights, new brightly colored sari’s in the shops windows, lady’s and myself included having henna tattoo on their hands, fireworks for sale and of course many different statues of the Budda. Tom and I went back to Little India the next day for more great food and a look at a few of the temples. That night we helped Steve celebrate his Bday with a nice dinner in Chinatown and then a trip to the Night Safari. Now I’m not a fan of Zoo’s but the Night Safari is way better than any zoo I have ever been too, You actually get to see the animals close up, in a more natural setting than behind bars and their awake. We saw a great 45 minute show seeing some animals I had never heard of, next a tram ride around the park where your so close to the animals they are actually on the tram path. We saw giraffes, hyenas, deer, hipos a tiger but our favorite was the elephants. Overall, our few days we had in Singapore we thoroughly enjoyed. Singapore is an extremely clean city; you may remember the story of the young man from the US getting lashes for spray painting, with lots of culture and diversity for such a small island/country.
The next few days we spent in the large, always busy and bustling city of Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand with around 10 million people and I would guess 10 million cars, tuk-tuks and motorbikes, a true traffic nightmare. We stayed in a great neighborhood with a perfect location to all the best sites of the city and of course lots of good eats and drinks. The Khao San Road area is a carnival atmosphere of restaurants, street vendors selling everything from fake ID’s to fake designer bags and of course lots of Thai messages. Tom’s favorite part of Khao San Rd; the portable bars. All along the road folks just set up the portable bar that you can order beer or mixed drinks from, you sit on small plastic seats and people watch, very entertaining. Bangkok is a shopping paradise, with my mental list I was ready to hit the markets and do some bargaining. The Chatuchak Market is the mother of all markets, sprawling over a huge area with over 15,000 stalls and an estimated 200,000 visitors a day, the world’s largest market. Tom and I were lost in the maze of stalls for a few hours and we only made it down two entire lanes and did a half of a lap on the outside stalls. I did walk out with the most beautiful brown leather bag that I’m sure back home would go for a few hundred dollars. You can find just about anything at the market including animals of all kinds the scariest was the tiny squirrels on string leashes. We did a day tour where we went to the original floating market, Damnoen Saduak Market and the bridge over river Kwai or the death railway bridge. The bridge was built during WWII by allied prisoners of War. There is not much of the original bridge left today. On a much lighter note we also signed up for a Thai cooking class where we first visited the market to purchase all the fresh ingredients and we all participated in making several dishes, I’m actually looking forward to taking another class when we get to Phuket. Lastly, while in Bangkok your trip just wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t have clothes made. Tom left with a wool-cashmere pinstriped suit and I with a few shirts and pinstriped shorts. As soon as it’s not 100 degrees will don the new clothing and take photos.
Traveling through three countries in one day and we were back at the marina. Once settled we had the pleasant surprise of finding out we had mail. We received a great package of Christmas music from our friends from S/V Sensei who are now back in the Bay Area and a lovely letter and photo from our friend Charlie in Indiana. This was such a great surprise, getting mail is very exciting news on the dock and we LOVE it! We have been held up here a little longer than planned but due to bad weather and some unexpected boat projects we are still here but hope to leave this Sunday and head around Singapore, up the Straits and pull into Pt. Dickson for a few days with a trip to Kuala Lumpur the capital of Malaysia.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Amy and Tom
24 November 2007
Moored at Sabana Cove Marina