After nearly a month of travelling I came across my first scam, but before you worry, they didn’t get away with it. Paula and I booked bus tickets from Malaysia to Singapore. We wanted to be dropped at a particular place and only 2 buses offered this. Unfortunately they were premium buses and were more expensive but it meant we had luxury seats. Very exciting for a traveller who has endured hours and hours on awful buses. So for 30 Singapore Dollars (£15) we booked our seats and arrived at the bus station in good time for the 3pm bus. We collected our tickets at the booth and after half hour wait and watching what looked like our bus drive past, we were ushered onto a bus. Luckily Paula noticed it wasn’t our premium bus. We took our bags off the bus and went back to the ticket booth, the lady said our bus had crashed and they had to put us on the standard bus. They hadn’t advised us of this and we would never have known that it would only drop us at the border and cost other passengers 40 Malaysian Ringgit (£7)!! They were not prepared to refund us but thankfully Paula stood her ground and threatened to call the Police. Suddenly we had a full refund. We knew we saw our bus leave, it had the bus name we booked, it had the seats the internet described and it left at 3pm!
We left the bus station and got the train to the next bus station where thankfully we were able to buy tickets for a bus leaving at 5.30pm and only cost us £7.
On a good note, everything happens for a resson. On the bus we met 2 guys from Singapore who were extremeley friendly and keen to tell us lots about Malaysia and Singapore. We met up with them again one night and they took us to see the Singapore skyline by night and then to get food. On a little street nestled between skyscrapers the road is closed off at night for street food vendors. The place was obviously very popular with locals and it was great to sit and listen and learn about their country and neighbouring Malaysia.
Singapore is like another world compared to Thailand and Cambodia. And although it was nice to walk around clean and safe streets admiring the expensive shops and buildings, 3 days was enough, especially on a backpackers budget and backpackers clothing! I did have a wonderful time visiting the zoo and getting to see my favourite animal, the polar bear and treating ourselves to a day at Universal Studios on Sentosa Island.
Having to say goodbye to yet another great travel buddy, I booked a rather expensive flight direct to Lombok in Indonesia and was about to set off on my own once again…