VACATION HANGOVER. This is what I feel now as I tried to recharge myself from the recently concluded 10-day trip I made to three ASEAN countries. I am back now to where this journey started but my mind and heart are still stuck at the beautiful memories I had while journeying these neighboring countries of the Philippines.
MALAYSIA-SINGAPORE-INDONESIA. Three ASEAN countries for 10 days. I’ve been to East Malaysia in 2010 but traveling to Peninsular Malaysia along with Singapore and Indonesia was my first. Aside from these firsts, what gloriously thrilled me was that this trip was my first solo travel abroad. As always, I find so much thrill in solo wanders as it always brings out the best in me. And the fact that I will be hosted by my friends based in these countries was something I looked forward to.
Unlike most of my travels, I didn’t exhaust myself from planning too much about my itinerary for this trip. In fact, I didn’t do much research of places I will be visiting. And since I’ll be hosted by my friends there, I let them decide which places best to see and experience. But for places that I’ll be traveling alone, I treated it to be a slow travel where I can go anywhere spontaneously without minding time. Happily, aim reached – traveled three countries in ten days and what’s more, I traveled the cheapest way possible.
Join me as a chronicle these exciting travel stories that have left me with wondrous memories I’ll surely carry with me wherever I go – not only for the beautiful places I marveled at but with beautiful and kindhearted people I met along the way.
From the chilly Genting Highlands to the world’s most renowned Petronas Twin Towers, from the mind-blowing Batu Caves to the captivating Putrajaya, from the bustling roads of Kuala Lumpur to the tasteful street of Jalan Alor, from tidy buses to posh mono trains, from delectable chicken rice to my favorite char kuey teow – this is MALAYSIA, Truly Asia!
From the quaint Melaka River to the crowded Jonker Street, from the aged Malay Museums to the remarkable ruins of St. Paul Church, from the old Christ Church Melaka to the exceptional Masjid Kampung Klim, from the Heritage Sites to the River Cruise, from the beautiful Quayside Hotel to the towering Menara Taming Sari – this is
From the famous statue of Merlion to the captivating view of the Esplanade, from the grand Marina Bay Sands to the grandiose Marina Gardens by the Bay, from the famed Sentosa Island to the laid-back Kampong Glam, from skyscrapers to the well-preserved century-old structures of Arab Street, from spicy char kiew to mouthwatering laksa – this is SINGAPORE, the Merlion City!
From long queue at Sepukang Immigration to the Golden Factory Outlet, from delectable Indonesia cuisine served at Golden Prawn Batam to the city’s famous Chocolate House, from the old Chinese temples to the quiet Masjid Al-Hikmah to the interesting batik houses – this is my quick visit to Batam, INDONESIA!
TRAVEL + FOOD = HEAVEN! Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are food havens. And just like other countries I’ve visited in the past, my trip to this country will never be complete without trying out their most delectable cuisines – Malay, Indian, Nyonya, Chinese, Indonesian cuisines. And for 10 days, I travel these places tasting their rich culture through these gastronomic trips. Mmmmmm, heavenly!
Of course these beautiful stories didn’t only spin around the awe-inspiring places I visited but these even started and ended with people that I met along the course of this 10-day journey – friends who welcomed me to their homes, meeting old friends I haven’t seen in years and making new friends on the road. These people made this journey even more exhilarating.
- Joey and Krissy – my two most generous and equally energetic hosts/tour guides in Malaysia. They opened their beautiful home and embraced me as a member of the family for four days. I will never forget this lovely couple.
- Ivy and Cynthia – two beautiful Taiwanese ladies we met also in Putrajaya. We had a quick chat but I think that was the best quick chat I had in Malaysia. They were just darlings and I hope to see them in Taiwan, soon.
- Sediq and his son – my new Iranian friend whom Joey, Krissy and I met when we headed for Putarajaya. The heavy rain didn’t stop us from moving around Malaysia’s seat of the federal government.
- Azlan – my Malaysian friend I met three years ago in Kota Kinabalu. I was lucky he was in KL when I got there. I learned a lot talking to him exchanging views/opinions about our two countries. Thank you Azlan. I hope to see you again.
- Stuart – the handsome General Manager of Quayside Hotel in Malacca. Thanks to this guy, my stay at Melaka was one truly remarkable.
- Monien – one of closest friends back in college. She’s based in Singapore and it was a huge surprise we got to see each other unplanned. She toured me around enjoying the night scene in Singapore.
- Bongie – a colleague of mine here in the Philippines before he moved to Singapore last year. Because of him I was able to roam around Singapore in one day visiting key destinations one should see in Merlion City.
- Glendy – a bubbly and friendly girl Bongie and I met as we headed for Sentosa Island. Because of her, I got to visit the southernmost point of Continental Asia.
- Arlene – a fellow Cateeleno. We had an instant meet-up after I had my day-tour at Batam Indonesia.
From the bottom of my heart, TERIMA KASIH!
This is The Travel Teller’s “THREE ASEAN COUNTRIES | TEN DAYS” The Travel Series