Hi out there!
We have been a bit quite here regarding our trip. This is a result of freaking huge Australia and interesting New Zealand. Traveling here keeps you busy at all times and being on the road means driving by ourselves. You don’t feel like blogging if you arrive after a six to ten hours drive and somehow you feel guilty if you do not get out in the morning and explore the places. If you follow us on Facebook, which you should, you can check out where we are and get sneak peaks. But enough of why, here is our overdue post about two big cities in south East Asia.
After a wonderful Indian brunch (actually lunch food :-) with the Roberts family, we jumped on a big (comfortable) bus to Kuala Lumpur. We have seen and heard a lot about this city and were really excited about it. Entering was already amazing by the huge houses. Impressive!
We checked in at a not too nice hotel and went out for dinner, china town, as well as finding a better place to stay.
After changing hotels the next morning we went out to see the centre of the city as well as the massive famous Petronas Towers. The actual plan was to get up to the bridge as often recommended. But to be honest, getting up at 06:00 in the morning trying to get a ticket with millions of others is not really something fitting in our non-plan-travel-day. They look nice from down here as well. Just saying.
Well but as we hit the centre with all the huge, massive, big, extremely outstanding malls I (Ingo) knew the next two days are for therapy, for Carmen to be more precise ;-) I still can hear her getting excited about these malls. Honestly they are massive! So we spent quiet a while in malls, went to see the Facebook film “the social media” and did photo walking around a bit. We enjoyed it a lot! If you are in KL, you shouldn’t miss the Batu Caves. A bit outside of KL you find this sacred Hindu place. Once a year people are having a huge festival called Thaiposum. They go crazy during that time, usually end of January, and we would have loved to see and document it. Btw, Joe McNally was there during his Asian tour and documented it for the second time again. His “timing” was a bit better than ours, how come? ;-)
But anyway, at least we found time to go there and spent time at this fantastic place.
We had to “rush” a bit so there was not much more time for KL and not for some other places in south Malaysia either. We headed down to Singapore by bus, easy and fast. Besides that the bus driver just left or did not show up anymore at the other end of the boarder, where we had to get of the bus to walk through customs and immigration, we had a nice and comfortable trip. As you cross the boarder, you see and feel already that this Asian city is way different than what you see in other bigger south east Asian cities: Just three words: CLEAN, CLEANER, SINGAPORE!
You literally can eat from the street or ground in subways. Little India turned out to be our most favorite place in this city, who would have guessed that? ;-) Fantastic, cheap Indian food combined with cleanness! We could just move here! Wedding industry is extremely big in Singapore too btw. Found a wedding catalog in a coffee shop with some fantastic Singaporean (and international) photogs in there. Actually, very hard to compete with, to be honest. But you never know ;-)
We spent one night in Singapore before we jumped over to Bintan, an Indonesian island, for New Years Eve. To be really honest with you, if you are like we are, not planning something upfront, don’t do something like that. Bintan was totally booked out in terms of close to the beach and affordable. So our idea to spend New Years Eve at the beach was actually a big flop! Besides the already mentioned booking situation, the ferry was freaking expensive, an indonesian visa for 50 $ each not worth for 3 nights and the new years dinner offered by the hotel (must take) was, maybe the worst food we had on our entire journey. Saying this actually is a bit unfair because the hotel staff put so much effort into the new years show but it simply is not fun, if you cannot understand a single word. We also did not get why they did something like a fashion show for 20 people. Also we heard better karaoke but not sure if we had a louder one ;-)
However, this stay was extremely relaxing for us, could not do anything so we just hang out in the bungalow, chilled and watched TV. It was a good feeling because we did not feel guilty for doing simply NOTHING!
Singapore had a impressive, huge fireworks for new years even. To hear that after we came back to the city did not make the trip to Bintan any better. But this being the only flop so far on the entire trip, we even enjoyed our last days in south East Asia even more. Our visit of the Malaysian grand prix track as well as the Singapore flyer was super interesting. All that got topped by the unbelievable Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Three towers with a massive ship on top is simply one of the most fantastic buildings we have ever seen. We went up there because we baldy wanted to proof what people say about this “ship”. Its supposed to be a outdoor swimming pool. Yea sure, why not? And guess what, it’s true! And we are not talking about a little pool, this one extended over all three buildings! Unbelievable! Because it’s for hotel guests only, we had no chance to swim. But next time, trust me on this, one night in that hotel is a must just to jump in this pool. Most irritating thing was, you see families with four kids hanging out at the pool. Must have been a special promotion ;-)
This being said, we had a fantastic time in south East Asia, met so many wonderful people. New experience on a daily basis. And all this, for really less money. This changed rapidly after we took of at Singapore airport to fly over to Australia, but more on that soon.
Love from New Zealand
Carmen and Ingo
the macaque on the left just got himself an magnum almond, the girl was attacked by two of these guys and one finally got it as she let it fall on the ground