Malaysia and Singapore
Motorbike Travel in Malaysia and Singapore
After having left Thailand and travelling many kilometres with a painful arm, thanks to a spider bite, I reach Malaysia: huge, well paved roads with four lanes.
My aim was to reach Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia with its Petronas Towers, which, at 452 metres tall, are not only the symbol of the country, but are also amongst the tallest towers in the world. Famous, above all, for having been the scenario for the film “Entrapment” with Catherine Zeta Jones and Tom Cruise, they take the spectator’s breath away.
It’s not easy to find the words to describe the emotions you feel when admiring certain manmade wonders but the intelligence of man can leave us in awe, when, right in front of you there are two immense towers that, with their staggering height, seem to challenge every law of gravity. This is exactly what happened when, just a hundred metres in front of me, I glimpsed these majestic constructions that dominate the city. I stop to take some photos: this spectacle deserves more than just a few quick snaps, but tiredness and the need to get to the hotel are overwhelming.
I find accommodation for myself and my bike and the next day, after having been to the hospital to clean and medicate my wound, I park next to some scooters under the Petronas Towers. Unfortunately, when I get back, I find I’ve been given a parking ticket. In the evening I visit the skyscraper opposite, that is, the bar of the Traders Hotel of KL, elegant and with large windows, it offers its demanding clientele a pretty good location, but the real strong point of the venue is the breath-taking view that can be admired from the large terrace: the floodlit Petronas Towers. Beautiful! You feel like you are enveloped in this spectacle that inebriates you with its lights and sheer immenseness, so much so that, entranced, you wonder if this is a dream or reality.
The next day I decide to go to Singapore, but I discover that you can’t enter with a motorcycle until 10 in the evening, I’m not sure if the same goes for cars, but in any case, I would have to ask for special authorisations. So, I decide to reach the border by bike, stay overnight in a hotel and head to Singapore by bus. This choice turns out to be the right one as the next day, upon reaching the city by public transport and having passed the stringent controls, there is a long series of pleasant surprises waiting for me.
This is the Asian “Switzerland”, neat and tidy, clean and very expensive, where things seem to work: a rarity in this day and age… but it is not just this that leaves the visitor in awe, it is also its attractions. As I don’t have the space to mention all the marvels of this multi-ethnic and multi-cultural metropolis, I would like to take you with me on an imaginary journey to Pandora.
You will all remember the imaginary planet in the film Avatar, the lush forest and those immense trees, where you feel like you are part of nature. If you remember that, then you can imagine how I felt when I visited the Gardens By The bay; hanging gardens supported by two trees in steel, linked by a panoramic walkway, where different and rare species of plant live together to offer to the eyes of tourists exactly what nature can do with all its colours and perfumes.
Having spent the day in Singapore I return to Kuala Lumpur for my last night in Malaysia, as I found some people who managed to get me a ticket for the ferry that can carry motorcycles and not just passengers, as usually happens in these countries. The next morning, I reach Port Klang, just 40 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur and, once I have completed all the customs formalities, they give me a ticket for Dumai.
I reach the platform where the ferries stop, and I see that the one I am supposed to board has an iron door that is so small that the bike won’t fit through. At this point I must change the ticket and I must go 300 kilometres further north, despite having then to go back to proceed south!
However, this is also a passenger ferry with a makeshift gangway in steel. I load the bike onto the roof, climbing up with the engine running and with the help of several people to stop it falling into the sea, I manage to somehow put it on the luggage rack on the roof and then settle down for the 7-hour journey. When I reach my destination, the situation is even worse because there is nothing to unload the bike, except a metal stairway like that of an aeroplane, which they move close to the ferry… I take the motorcycle sideways on foot, with the help of several other people, until I reach the customs office via a pedestrian walkway where a warm welcome awaits me: someone wants a photo, someone a sticker… a really great experience.