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Finally, after what seemed like decades of waiting, Jade and I finally winged our way across the South China Sea to visit Michael and Tanja in the suburban oasis that is Singapore. Now, Jade and I have been apart rather more than we would have liked over the past few weeks (and months) so it was a relief to feel the tyres peeling themselves off the tarmac of the runway in Taoyuan, and skidding to a halt in the shadow of palm trees.

The plan was to land, check out the major sites of Singapore (luggage in tow) and then jump on a boat for the one hour boat trip to the Indonesian island of Bintan, ride a taxi over the island, and finally take a small boat out to Nikoi. This little island has more or less been entirely taken over by Singaporean weekend trippers so it was hardly the immersion into Indonesian culture we were hoping for, but it was hard to complain when the view was so very nice.

The little slice we did have – when we were taken to a local canteen by the taxi driver – comprised a delicious, hot, dry tasting soup … and it certainly makes me think I will be back to taste the rest of the menu.

It was also great to be back in Singapore with Michael and Tanja now sporting a year of culinary knowledge. It was probably wise to leave when we did, as Jet Star Asia flight 3K521 may have had severe difficulties upon takeoff.

Roar! The lions at the Bank of China building

We are sailing


A characterful rock

Jump! One for Anke and Lars in Shanghai – does a rope count?

Coral on the beach

I just imagine the pirates and colonial ships mistaking this rock for their enemy

Jade enjoys a tipple on the boat back

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