Adventures in Asia: Kyoto, Japan

We took the train to Kyoto on the morning of February 24th. The trip, departing from Osaka, would only take 1 hour and cost us 440 yen (we had gotten a metro card for our week in Japan upon arriving in Osaka and so, each time, we just had to top it up). After we got there, we decided that we were going to see the sights in Kyoto that were a bit further away from the main downtown core; we wanted to get them all out of the way so we could stay closer to the city the following day. We checked into our Airbnb (the cutest place ever that even had beds and a tea set on a traditional tatami mat), dropped off our luggage, and then took the bus to our first, much-anticipated stop of the day: the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. This place felt magical. It felt…

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Adventures in Asia: Bagan, Myanmar

This was a hard post to write, not because there weren’t things to talk about (there was too much to talk about and I tried so hard to be concise) but because each time I wrote a sentence, I’d wish that I was back in Bagan so badly. This brought back so many waves of nostalgia and longing for a country that is now thousands of kilometers from me. It’s not an exaggeration when I say that day in Bagan was probably my favourite day of my entire exchange journey. So, after spending a night on a bus coming from Yangon, we arrived at the bus stop in Bagan at 4:30 in the morning, which was 2 hours earlier than when we were supposed to get there. Luckily, we only waited about half an hour before the driver that we had hired for a day was ready to start the…

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Adventures in Asia: Yangon, Myanmar

To this day, I still can’t believe that I had ever stepped foot anywhere in Myanmar. What a surreal experience that whole weekend was.             My decision to book my flight to Myanmar was completely spontaneous (I booked it when I should have definitely been studying for my upcoming midterm). Again, I had been tracking flights for a while and suddenly, prices dropped. And so, I found two people to go with, and together, we committed to this seemingly wild idea of going to Myanmar for a weekend. Coming to Singapore, I actually had made a list of places that I wanted to visit while I was going to be in Southeast Asia. I guess you could have called it a priority list; I knew that I wasn’t going to have the time to see everything and so, I wanted to make sure I saw what I wanted to see.…

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Adventures in Asia: Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Cambodia

These posts aren’t happening in chronological order anymore; Cambodia was my final trip of exchange and since it’s the most fresh in my memory, I want to get it down first. Cambodia was a trip that I knew was going to happen during my exchange term (I was going to make it happen). I’ve seen enough photos of Angkor Wat to know that I had to see it if I was going to be in Southeast Asia for so long. And so, starting in January, I started tracking prices using Google Flights. Flights from Singapore directly to Siem Reap were looking expensive – they were around the 300 dollar range for a round trip ticket, for trips a week from that day and three months from that day. If we flew to Phnom Penh (about a 10-12 hour bus drive away from Siem Reap), the tickets were half that price.…

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Adventures in Asia: Bangkok (Part Two)

The last 2 days I had in Bangkok were equally as fun as the first two were. Seeing that we had seen most of the temples, the last 2 days were spent at markets, good food joints, and wandering around. There was, however, one temple that I hadn’t yet done yet, which was Wat Pho (also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and so, we did this first thing in the morning of the third day. This Buddha was 46 metres long and 15 metres tall, covered in gold leaf. I remember how shocked I was when I first saw it. It looked like it was so large that it was squeezed into the building, about to burst out of the temple’s four walls. I kept thinking, “Wow, I thought I had seen the biggest reclining Buddha I’d ever see in Penang.” For reference, that one was about…

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