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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Adventures in Asia: Bangkok (Part One)

In hindsight, Bangkok was a special trip in many ways. For one thing, it was my first visit to the land of Thailand. And Thailand is a place that everybody dreams of going to when they first learn they’re going to Southeast Asia for exchange. You think of the full moon parties, the temples and Buddhas, the friendliness of the Thai people, and all the weird (and good) food. Finally, FINALLY, I’d be getting to go and what better introduction to Thailand than the city of Bangkok? The other thing that made it special looking back is that it marked the ramp-up of my travel plans for the rest of the semester. January was a pretty quiet moment given that we were settling in and so, this trip to Bangkok would be the first of many trips in February and in March.             My close friend, Hailey, was doing her…

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Adventures in Asia: Kuala Lumpur and Malacca, Malaysia

Entering the port of Port Kelang for the city of Kuala Lumpur officially marked the end of our 10-day cruise around the Malaysian Peninsula. Our last day was originally supposed to be a sea day but again, because of the unforeseen lightning strike, the captain had chosen to stop at this port on the last day instead. Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, had a lot to offer. And so, as usual, we signed up for a “Best of City” tour, which would take us on all the highlights of the city so as to try to squeeze as much as we could into the few hours we had in the city. I remember feeling that everything was insanely rushed that whole day – we’d get on the bus, drive to a stop, wander around for twenty or thirty minutes to grab some pictures, and then get back on the…

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Adventures in Asia: Langkawi, Malaysia

As mentioned before, because of the lightning strike, Langkawi was an unexpected addition to the cruise itinerary. I remember when the captain first announced that we would be going to Langkawi, I was instantly puzzled and asked, “What’s that?” I had never heard of the island before and had no idea what there was to see and do there. Given how last-minute everything was, we decided to just minimize stress and book a tour with the ship, like we had done for every other port on this cruise so far. This is our first cruise in Asia and I’m finding that for many of the cruises, in order to reduce hassle, it’s easier to book a tour just because everything that you want to see is usually so far away from the port that the ship is docked out. For example, with Bali, many of the sights were an hour…

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