Posts Tagged With: how-to

10 Things I Learned While Travelling the World

I’ve been back in Canada for a little less than a month now and have had some time to decompress and to think about my trip.  At first, I thought I hadn’t really changed at all during my travels, but it actually has in a million tiny ways.  I’d like to share that with you now:

10. The Journey is the Thing

My trip had no specific goal, other than to relax, enjoy and experience the world that was far away from home.  This turned out to a great way to travel and, for me, to not focus on the result, but to really take the journey for what it was – an adventure into the unknown.

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9. We are all the Same

I included this in my last list, but I want to say it again.  I love people, and the truest realization I had again while I was overseas is that we are all, at our most basic level, very similar.  We just want to be happy; to have enough food to eat, a roof over our heads, some people who love us and a purpose in life that brings us joy.  I saw all kinds of people living in many different ways as I worked though six countries, but they all have this in common. We are all part of one big human family, and it doesn’t matter where you are from or what you are doing with your life, some things are the same within all of us.

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8. Travel is as Easy and as Hard as you Want it To Be

PATIENCE.  This one virtue has eluded me my whole life, and nothing cures the need for control than a less than smooth travel experience.  I learned about the essence of the journey in my search for patience as I met setbacks and mishaps along the road.   I learned how to be more adaptable, to let things slide, and to only care about the most important things along the way.

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7. Roll with the Waves

This one is a good follow-up to #8.  When I rolled with the upsets along the way, the journey got even more interesting: I saw some things I would otherwise have missed, or had a completely new experiences I wasn’t expecting to have.  By saying “Yes!” I got into more trouble, saw more unexpected things, and had more impromptu adventures than if I had stuck to a strict schedule and followed it the whole way along.

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6. Pay Attention

I learned that there is beauty in the details.  That every city is an intricate mess that somehow works in its own unique way.  That the road less traveled sometimes results in a washed out car or monkeys attacking your windshield.  To stop and save the kittens, get lost on a bike and get found again, and that fun can be found in every airport, bus station, or boat ride.  By paying true attention to my surroundings, I was also able to glimpse into the local life of the people, and have real experiences from the country I was visiting.  That, to me, is priceless.

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5. Embrace the Inner Hippie

I’m normally a goal-oriented, round the clock, by the book kind of person.  To escape that mentality for a while and embrace my inner beach bum was an enlightening experience.  I had whole days with no plans and nothing to do, vague ideas of where the day would take me, and days where I just went with the flow.  That rarely happens in my “real” life in Canada, and it was refreshing to break out of the bubble of who I think I am and step into the sandals of my inner Hippie Goddess.  She is someone I want to know better, and a side of me that I won’t soon forget now that we’ve been re-aquainted!

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4. Trust the Kindness of Strangers

In my travels I stayed with family friends, friends of friends, new friends and people I didn’t even know at all. I was welcomed into countless homes with open arms, to people eager to share in my travel journey and get to know me.  I feel SO blessed to now have friends from all over the world, and want to thank each and every one of you for your hospitality and help in exploring all these new places 🙂 If you ever travel, and someone recommends that you stay with a friend or you have family/friends to stay with overseas, DO IT! It will completely change your perspective on the country you are visiting, because you get to see it through the eyes of a local.  A thousand thank-you’s again to all those who put me up while I was abroad!  You are welcome to return the favour here in Canada anytime!

3. Comfort Zones are Boring

I did something new and crazy in every country I went to: Surfing in Indonesia, Parasailing in Philippines, and even Skydiving in New Zealand.  Get out of your comfort zone and try some new and crazy stuff.  It will enrich your travel experience and add a whole new level of fun.  Besides, that’s what travel is for: new experiences and adventures! It doesn’t matter how scared you are – do something wild and crazy!  eat that cricket off a Bangkok bug cart!  Take the jet boat ride through the canyon!  Throw yourself out of a plane! These things are the highlights of my travels as I look back on them now, the times I challenged myself and really went for it.

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2. Theres No Place like Home

Canada is an amazing country. I learned this while I was abroad through other travellers stories about my home country, that it is a well-loved place in the world and worth exploring in its own right.  Talking about it with others made me realize how much I love being a Canadian and how lucky I am to call this place my home.  I never really appreciated it until I left for a long time and realized what a phenomenal place it is.

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1. I am SO lucky

The fact that I was able to pull off this trip still boggles my mind.  There was so much planning involved – a years worth of time and effort went into it, and now that I’m back I can see what a privileged position I hold as a citizen of Canada.  I have enough food to eat, a roof over my head, and friends and family who love and care about me.  The rest is just gravy!  Upon returning I went to my bathroom and turned on the tap, thinking back to all the times I didn’t have access to fresh water on my travels. Something as simple as turning on the tap can take on new meaning after travelling: it represents all that we take for granted, being from a first world country were every comfort is provided for.  I feel that, now, I am able to name how lucky I truly am.

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Well. That’s it!  I’m sure I will update this blog again in the future as life takes me on more travels, but for now I am happy to have landed back in Canada, ready to take on the world 🙂

xo

D

Categories: Australia, Cambodia, In the Air, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Blue Mountains (Are Actually Blue)

I wasnt sure what to expect from the Blue Mountains, which is only about an hour outside of Sydney and a huge tourist attraction for both locals and visitors alike.  We drove up through windy roads, and even though the mountains are not anything like what we have in Canada (spoiled!), they were still pretty majestic.  Our first stop was Flinders Lookout, where you could see how these hills got their name. Apparently the eucalyptus trees give off a certain chemical into the air that gives the surroundings a blue haze-like appearance, you can see in my pictures in some places it looks quite thick.  You cant see it up close, but you can smell the amazing eucalypt trees – it was great to be out of the city and into the wilderness for a couple of days!  We climbed down to see the falls – there are hundreds of little and big waterfalls in the area – and soon realized it would be a climb-y kind of day – I think I conquered about a thousand steps!

The next stop was Katoomba, to see the famous Three Sisters.  These rock formations are the subject of many myths, as they look like three maidens emerging from the rock face. They really are stunning, there were TONS of tourists taking pics and enjoying the sights.  Me and Dave looked around Katoomba a bit before settling into our hotel in nearby Leura, where I dragged David into every touristy shop in sight. We also took a trip to the scenic lookout by our hotel for some more spectacular views of the mountains and some hair-raising heights!  It was movie night at the hotel that night so we watched a couple flicks and drank some more delicious Hunter Valley wine that we had brought.
The next day we drove back the long way around the mountains so I could take in the spectacular views and see a few more sights, like Govetts leap and a few more waterfalls.  I think one of the best parts of our weekend was when I got to go to a “Sausage Sizzle” at David’s family’s house! It was so fun  to meet his fam, and see how Aussie life happens outside of the touristy areas.  They had two big ol dogs and a gorgeous pool and garden.  Dinner was delicious, and i had an authentic Australian beer to go with it!  It was a seriously good weekend – one I wont forget!  the Blue Mountains were totally iconic, if not a little kitschy as a tourist attraction, still it was worth the trip to experience them.
Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sydney Sights and Sounds

My second week in Sydney was a lot more fun and active, on account of the fact that my cough was FINALLY clearing up and I could go out and enjoy some of this fabulous city!  There were definitely some highlights, the first was Bondi Beach.  It took me about an hour to get to the Beach on transit, I had been there last week but only during the evening for dinner, and I hadn’t had the full-on BONDI experience that I wanted!  Once I got to the beach, I snooped around a bit, checking out the shops and getting some lunch.  The beach is beautiful, not like the other beaches in Australia because it is surrounded by city buildings and shops, not at all secluded and tranquil like some of the spots I’ve seen but still really beautiful.  The beach was not to crowded as it was a weekday, but it was super windy so I couldn’t lie on the beach too long. Wah!  After my beach day i was finding sand in my hair, my ears, and my clothes for a while – dammit!

Another highlight of my touristy week was checking out the famous Sydney Harbor and the Opera House.  I took the train into town and got off at Circular Quay station, the heart of all the tourist action in downtown Sydney.  It is unreal. I am not exaggerating when I say it is one of the most iconic and beautiful harbors I have seen in my life.  I touristed around the Opera House, goggling at it from up close and from every angle – its has such an unusual shape, its hard to figure out how it stands up!  I also took a walk around The Rocks, which is a tourist district on the harbor where all the convicts settled by the port, kind of rough and tumble area in its day.  It’s completely sanitized now, while still retaining its charm as a historical district.  I stopped in at one of the delicious bakeries in the area and had a yummy lunch consisting entirely of baked goods (oops) and I regret NOTHING! NOTHING!
Some of the other highlights of the week included the customs building which had a miniature replica of the city under glass in the front foyer so you could actually see all of the city from above, and going for dinner at Wagyu in Chinatown where you could order all your food from screens on your table that was instantly brought out to you as soon as it was ready – no waiter required!  I also sampled some Nitrogen Gelato (heaps better than boring normal gelato) and hung out one evening in Darling Harbor, a beautiful harbor on the other side of Sydney with a gorgeous view of the city and great nightlife!  My next stop was the Blue Mountains – it’s time to climb some steps, baby!

 

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Koalas and Kangaroos in Brisbane, oh my!

Today will go down as one of the most fun and memorable of my trip.  I did so much!  I was up bright and early to catch the shuttle bus to the the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a service provided by my awesome hostel in Brisbane, Bunk Backpackers.  We even stopped at another tourist attraction along the way, Mount Coot-tha, where we got to hop out and take scenic pics of the city below us and check out the view.  Bonus!

The Koala Sanctuary was next up.  I signed up for the “cuddle a koala” package which cost a little bit more but gave me the opportunity to take pics while holding a Koala!  This being the sole reason I was in Australia in the first place, I didn’t mind the extra $16.  Our group was dropped off and we headed inside the sanctuary to check out the animals and get our pics.  I did the photo opp first before checking out the rest of the sanctuary, and got to hold a one year old girl named Tifffin, she stayed very calm and posed for a gorgeous picture with me!  The encounter lasted all of five minutes but I was stoked!  After that there was a show about the koalas at the enclosure next to the photo booth, and I sat down and learned about the sanctuary, which was created in 1927, and now has over 100 different koalas and a successful breeding program.  These little guys are actually not bears, contrary to popular belief, but belong to the same group of mammal as the kangaroo. who knew?
After the show I walked around and checked out the rest of the koalas, who were hanging out in comfy eye level open air habitats, looking as cute and cuddly as can be!  There were also Tasmanian devils, platypus’ (platypi??), emus, and kangaroos!  In the kangaroo and emu enclosure, you could walk right up to them and even purchase kangaroo food and they would eat directly from your hand, much to the kids at the parks’ delight!  Most of them were well fed and super lazy, lying around in the sun, so I plopped down next to one of them and started taking selfies with one.  Aside from my koala photo I think I like these ones the best!  The sanctuary trip was the highlight of my time in Australia so far, and the day was only half over.  At the recommendation of the hostel staff, I took the river trip back to Brisbane on a slow boat, checking out the beautiful houses along the way.
After the meandering boat ride, we were dropped off on the South Bank of Brisbane, which is the cultural heart of the city.  Since all the art galleries and museums are free, I decided to take a wander around and took in some great art at the gallery and learned about the Aboriginal history of the region at the Museum. They were both kind of small but hey, free is free and it was a nice change from the rest of my trip to Aus so far. Not that I’m complaining about endless beaches and great weather but hey, I’ve seen a lot of beaches on this trip!
My next trip brought me across the Victoria Bridge into downtown Brisbane, along the Queen Street Mall, which is a pedestrian street with not access for cars, lots of shops and overpriced restaurants, so I browsed and window-shopped my way along the street, getting sidetracked by a cute little art market in Kings Cross square and successfully walking most of the city while finding my way back to my hostel.  My dorm room is now full after a blissful almost-empty evening last night, so I escaped to an overpriced coffee shop ($3 for a tea?? whats it made of, gold??) and am now typing to my little hearts content.  Tomorrow morning I get on the bus for Noosa, to join some English friends who I met last night and hopefully spend my Saturday night partying on the beach! Farewell Brisbane, you are a cute artsy little city and I really enjoyed my time here 🙂
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Sun and Sand in Surfers Paradise

Wahoo!  I’m in Paradise!  Surfers Paradise, that is.  I had hoped it would be a little warmer when I arrived here, and while 24 degrees Celsius in the winter here aint bad, I’ve had to put on extra layers at night since I am used to the sweltering heat of Asia!  The tepid temperatures haven’t stopped me from getting my tan on, though.  I arrived here from Coolangatta in the afternoon, and had no problem finding my cosy, if not well worn hostel, Sleeping Inn.  The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the full kitchen.  Nice! Time to do some grocery shopping, cause the Aussie prices were killin’ me.  I settled in and met some of my bunk mates, including a surly 50-year-old woman wearing ( I kid you not) a Tilley hat and matching vest with a zillion pouches, who ended up snoring all night after glaring at anyone who dared come into the room after she went to bed at nine.  Also, she managed to lock herself out of the dorm the next morning at, oh, 5am, and then banged loudly on the locked door outside until some poor German girl went to let her in.  Yayyyyy bunk-mates!  Lady. Get a hotel.

I wasn’t too concerned with all of this, because I had to check out the beach!  I had my bikini ready, and walked through the small but impressive downtown to the beachfront, which resembled one big expensive tourist trap, complete with a wax museum, Aquaduck tour and Laser Tag center.  I wasn’t interested in any of this, because when I saw the beach it was OVER for me.  What an incredible stretch of sand!  It went on for miles, and the sky was clear and blue, although it was a WEE bit cold in the shade, I plopped down in a sunny spot and took advantage of what sun there was.  I laid there for a few hours until I was actually too cold to stay, and then explored the shopping area a bit, found a grocery store, and headed home to cook myself dinner in our cute kitchenette.  That night at the hostel was trivia night, and I met some of the travelers in my hostel, and won third prize in the contest.  Which was – nothing. lol.  After finishing my ciders and wrestling with the shitty internet for a bit, I called it an early night.
The next day was my only full day in Surfers, so I made sure to get to the beach early and catch as many rays as I could! This got old at around two o clock and I shopped around the town a bit, finding a $5 sweater that cost less than my lunch, and some cute souvenirs for myself and my friends (i cant. resist. the. shopping. gah)  My rationale was that since I’m saving so much money on food by cooking most of my meals at the hostel, there’s some extra money for little things to help me remember my trip!  That night was the pub crawl, and $20 got you into four bars with four drinks so I decided why not? me and some fellow travelers boarded the giant party bus and picked up people from all over the city.  It was cool because I got to know so many people in such a short amount of time, the drinks were flowing and every time we got tired of one place we were off to the next.  I made friends with my bunk-mate Johanna, a Californian and a lot of English people! It was a great night out and the last club was within walking distance back to our place. Yes!
The next morning was a bit rough but i finally won the war with the internet and was able to chat with my family for a bit and get ready for my next adventure.  By 2pm I was off to Brisbane on a Greyhound to hug some Koalas!
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Culture Shock in Coolangatta

My time in Asia is at a close, I’ve landed in Australia and said goodbye to SE Asia for now.  What a difference! Everyone speaks my language, the toilets all have paper in them, and everything is twice the price.  Did I mention it’s incredibly gorgeous as well?  The flight here was uneventful, I had three seats to myself for the seven hour journey, and managed to nap most of the way, since my sleep was interrupted last night by a very loud Aussie woman (go figure) in Kuala Lumpur.  When I woke up this morning I was sure to bang my stuff around a lot as she did at 3:30 am when she came in from the bar, exclaiming loudly to no-one in particular that she was “absolutely pissed!!” Lol.

I landed around 9pm local time, collected my bag, and was promptly searched thoroughly by customs, swabbed for drugs and had my emails examined as the surly Aussie lady I was dealing with was convinced I was running drugs into her country.  All she found was my pile of sweaty clothes, however, and she seemed almost disappointed when wishing me a pleasant stay in Australia.  I thought I was headed for a cavity search!  I guess I just look too suspiciously goddamned innocent ;-P I found out I had just missed the last bus into the town and the information lady informed me it would be “not much” for a taxi to my hostel, only $20. Gulp.
It ended up being about $17, but my driver gave me a much better welcome to Aus, even turning off the meter at one point and detouring around the coast to show me Danger Bay and the nighttime view from the lookout.  He dropped me at my new hostel, Kommune, where I paid a wallet-shattering $25 a night for my two nights there. Remember, I’m used to $5 a night!! There was a party going on in the main room, but I didn’t join in as I was super tired from all my travel and figured I would see the sights the next day.  Turns out there is nothing really to see in Coolangatta besides the beach.  I woke up late the next day and walked around the little town, quickly realizing I was in a Florida-like retirement community mixed with a smattering of young people with babies.  Hmm. Boring! I walked around Danger Bay, which was not dangerous (lol) but had gorgeous views up and down the coast.  I stopped at the beach for a bit while the sun was still hot-ish, and walked and walked and WALKED down the never-ending beach for lack of something better to do.  I walked all the way to Kirra Beach and found it more boring and quiet than the last beach, so I just admitted defeat, bought an overpriced organic peach iced tea from the local seven eleven (the Australian equivalent of a Southeast Asian temple; throw a stone and you’ll hit one) and walked back.  I decided to treat myself to some Indian food, and paid way too much for some admittedly delicious butter chicken.
There was NOTHING going on in the hostel besides three of us sitting in the lobby using the wifi, so I decided to but my losses and take my tired legs to bed.  Surfers Paradise is my next stop, and it’s sure to be much more entertaining than Coolangatta. Please? Australia? Hello?
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A Walking Trek of Kuala Lumpur

I actually think I walked ten clicks today, or more! There is a certain satisfaction to navigating yourself around a new city, especially one as confusing as Kuala Lumpur!  I had some walking tours outlined in my trusty Lonely Planet, but decided to save them till later and check out the landmark that is the Petronas Towers, once the tallest twin towers in Asia.  I figured out I could walk there, and decided to make the 20 minute trek over to see them myself.  As I walked, I stumbled upon the Tourist Center, and decided to go in to change the 200 or so Philippine Pesos I had in my wallet (about 17 rinngit worth but hey I didn’t want to hit another Malaysian ATM before heading to Aus!) Luckily I stumbled upon a chocolate shop and was treated to 6 or 7 samples along with all the other Asian tourists on the bus tour that I wasn’t on 😉 Nobody needed to know that!

My next stop was the twin towers.  They were pretty impressive as I walked up, and after a few minutes of figuring out where to buy tickets, I found out that they were sold out for the day and NOT free as my two-year old guidebook had said. Grrr! Oh well. I saw them from the ground!  They were cool!  After feeling like a schmo in walking in the fancy mall for a while, I hit the streets again and found myself on Bukit Bintang, the shopping and tourist district of KL. I wandered in and out of shops, feeling harassed by massage ladies, taxi drivers and salespeople alike, and took refuge in a giant mall with about a thousand kiosks selling every single imagineable item know to man.  I found a cheap meal in there, Black pepper beef and rice, along with a scalding hot coffee.  As I moved back out onto the street, I managed to get myself a bit lost and as I wandered, I just took in this big noisy dirty city with its walls of traffic and construction, and luckily got spit out only a few blocks from my current place of residence, Reggae Mansion.  I went inside to escape the heat and after a mid-afternoon shower and nap, I was ready to spend my evening in Chinatown, where I took in the covered Central Market and uncovered Petaling Street, where counterfeit bags were the order of the day.  I couldn’t help myself, I joined in and bought a fake Tory Burch clutch.  Oops! Dinner was soup noodles (surprise, surprise) and as night was rapidly approaching, I hurried back to my hostel as I didn’t feel safe on the streets of KL, having been followed last night.
The next day was my last full day in Asia, and I spent most of it planning for the adventures ahead!  I found a comfy spot in the hostel with good wifi, and booked my bus trips for the next two weeks in Australia, along with some of the sightseeing attractions that were booked in along with my pass.  I soon figured out that these places were a lot farther than I thought from each other, and groaned when I realized I had to take an eighteen hour bus ride at one point in order to fit it all in and make my flight to Sydney from Cairns at the end of the month.  Ugh!
To clear my hear, I headed out to the hustle and bustle of KL one more time, this time to Little India to peruse the night market that was just getting started and find some rice and chicken dish to celebrate my last evening in Asia.  I was feeling nostalgic and actually enjoyed the crush of people, smells and tastes for once, as it would be the last time in a long while I would experience the uniqueness of SE Asia’s flavors.  That night was tough to sleep as I was worried/excited for the next morning’s trip.  I was leaving the continent for a completely new place, filled with people I love and tons of new adventures!! Bring it!
Categories: Malaysia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beach Daze and Cheap Changs

Our time in Langkawi was equally split between eating delicious food, lazing on the beach and shopping our butts off.  We woke up on our first full day on the island and were disappointed that it was kind of cloudy out.  No matter, we had an island hopping tour booked at 2pm and decided to head to the beach anyways – as it promptly started raining. Poop. We took shelter at what would become our favorite beachy place, outside the fancy Casa Del Mar resort, and watched the rain.  It let up in time for us to grab some lunch and snacks and be herded onto a bus to the jetty to catch our boat.  it was us, four girls from Syria and a whole lotta Malaysian Muslims! Our first stop was to the lake of the Pregnant Maiden, a freshwater lake on an island nearby that was gorgeous!  It reminded Micheline and I of our cottages back home and we laughed as some of the other tourists took what looked like their first swim, life jackets and all!

The second stop was cool but not to my taste, since eagle-feeding sounds all majestic and awesome but is actually taming these gorgeous animals and making them dependent on the food we give them.  It was interesting to see such a large eagle colony and of course to see them swooping down to grab the food, but made me sad since this is not a responsible thing to do.  The garbage at the tourist sites in Malaysia disappoint me quite a bit as well – if you have been given the gift of Paradise, do you seriously want to ruin it with pop cans and candy wrappers!  Smarten up, Malaysia!!
We stopped at a third island as well, for more beachy fun.  We wanted to snorkel but our conversation with the water sports guys went like this:  “Is there anything for us to see” Snorkel guy: “um, no. really clear water.”  us: “ok. pass.” We laid on the beach and befriended some other girls who turned out to be from Canada as well (french side) and I got to hear a bit about their travels in Australia, my next destination.  The weather ended up being great for the rest of the day and we loved just boating around the various small islands.  Not bad for 25 ringgits! about 9 dollars.  After chilling at the hostel for a bit, we shopped in the evening, I picked up some souvenirs for friends and family and bought cheap beers to drink on the beach since there was, once again, NO party to speak of on the beach or otherwise.  We snuck through an amazing resort on our way home, the Frangipani, and were amazed by how the other half lives – winding pools, private water park, and gorgeous villas.  Someday!!
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A Walking Tour of Penang

We only had one full day in Penang before heading to Langkawi, and were determined to make the most of it!  It was a sleepy Sunday, so not much was open but it was still fun to walk around and check out the many sights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  We set out in a random direction, armed with a map.  We managed to get lost after I ate what was the most delicious fried rice I’ve ever had in my life (for breakfast, lol) from a cart, and the proprietor warned me about bag thieves and the myriad of ways people could steal my bag and money.  I thought SHE was going to rob me, from the detail she was going into!  I clutched my bag and left as we walked and walked and WALKED, saw churches and temples and mosques and the city hall and the esplanade running along the waterfront and a memorial clock tower, finally deciding to purposefully find a museum after realizing we had inadvertently seen half the city’s sights just by walking around!  We got lost in Little India and sidetracked at TeoChew Temple, we finally located the Perenakan Museum and saw some more history concerning the wealthy Straits Chinese families, I am so fascinated by this particular facet of Asian culture, and find the food so delicious, I’m convinced I must have been a Nonya in a past life!

We stopped for sushi and I splurged hard on good food, the most I’ve spent on any meal since I’ve been away – 62 Ringgits!! 20 bucks! It was well worth it, though, the sushi was fresh and I was super satisfied.  We decided to check out a movie that night and headed to the mall, which was about a ten minute walk away.  We loaded up on candy and ice cream, and saw R.I.P.D, a fluff movie but good for the hotness that Ryan Reynolds provided!  I had a long chat with my sister when I got home, shes five months pregnant and one of the main reasons I’m looking forward to the end of my trip: I get to meet my new nephew soon after I get back!
Our feet were achy after so much walking, so it was bedtime for us as we had an early ferry to catch!
Categories: Malaysia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

One Sweet Day in Melaka

Well, I’m glad I only planned on staying two nights here, because one and a half days was more than enough to see all that this little town had to offer.  I wanted to check it out since it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and since I love history I thought it would be a worthy stop.  I found it to be charming but super touristy, and although the food was good and it was worth a look around, there’s not much fun stuff to do besides take pics, check out museums, eat, and shop.

 
I left my hostel on a mission to find some good coffee and a big breakfast to fuel my day, and I found a riverside café with both of those things.  I chatted with my mom over breakfast (nighttime for her) and caught up on all the news from home 🙂 I had kind of a route planned out and first decided to check out the Museum Rakiyat, which had some good if slightly bland exhibits about Melaka, a kite museum and a really interesting exhibit about beauty practices all over the world, including scarifications, piercing, corsets, Chinese foot binding and more.  I found that really interesting, but not much else, and then while trying to follow my walking route I inevitably got lost, found, then lost again after finally getting my bearings at the extremely cute town square with outrageously decorated tricycles for hire, some with boomboxes attached, blaring 80’s tunes!!
 
 
My second museum stop was the Baba Nonya house, a Perenkian style house that showed how the rich Indochinese merchants lived when the area was a main shipping town in Malaysia. The women of the house were rarely seen, and lived their lives indoors and behind screens.  Fascinating!  I ate yummy Nonya food at the little café and did some shopping after that, there’s lots of kitschy little stores and antique shops, I sampled some baked goods (seriously there are SO MANY yummy things to eat here.  Oops.) and headed back to my hostel to hang out on the rooftop lounge and get to know some of my fellow travelers.
 
Today i sampled some Chinese goodies before leaving town, and may or may not have a box of pineapple tarts to snack on during the trip to Singapore!  My waistline cannot take the goodness that I found in Melaka!  Right now I am on a very bumpy bus to Singapore, where I will rendezvous with my travel companion Micheline and meet some family friends who are graciously putting us up!  Onwards!

 

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