Ar y Lein
- Programme 1 : Brazil
- Programme 2 : Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands
- Programme 3 : Borneo
- Programme 4 : Singapore and Sumatra
- Programme 5 : Kenya (1)
- Programme 6 : Kenya (2)
- Programme 7 : Uganda
- Programme 8 : Gabon
Programme 4 : Singapore and Sumatra
We travelled through Singapore to get to Sumatra in Western Indonesia, and although Singapore isn’t on the equator, it would be crazy not to stay there for a few days…
This was a contrast to all the places Bethan had visited before, a very modern and affluent city. Although the present Singapore attracts visitors from all over the world, it’s history isn’t as happy, as Bethan learned when she visited Changi war museum.
‘Visiting Changi war museum was a sobering experience. The Japanese had been extremely cruel to prisoners of war from Britain and Australia and Singapore’s common people in the 1940’s.’
Another unusual experience was joining the crowd to watch the city’s most important Hindu festival, Thaipusam. People impale their bodies with metal rods, some with over 180 holes in their bodies. This is an offering to the Gods and some scenes were painful to watch.
In complete contrast to the modern Singapore city is the city of Pekanbaru, Bethan’s first destination on the massive island of Sumatra. Because of the oil industry, Pekanbaru is wealthy in comparison to many of the other areas in the Riau district, but nothing compared to the wealth of Singapore, but Bethan was very happy there because the area hadn’t been developed for tourists.
From the city to the mountains, and to the Tahura area to visit an elephant training centre. There’s conflict between people and elephants in this part of the world. They are trained in the centre to live with people and to keep fit and strong ready to be released back into the wild.
Onwards through rural areas and rice fields before reaching the town of Bukit Tinggi. An opportunity to see the effects of earthquakes and meet a matrilineal tribe called the Minangkabau, an ancient tribe unique to this part of the world.View images of Bethan's journey in Singapore and Sumatra