Week One Backpacking SE Asia: Singapore and Malaysia

Gardens on the bayIt’s quite a weird feeling leaving your new home to go on an expedition. A week before we left for Singapore I was scrambling to get everything done: sell all my things, transfer money to pay my student loans, pack and re-pack after weeding out all the heavy stuff, finish grading and have a farewell drink with friends. Now that I’m here it’s cool to look back on my life in Taiwan and how it and its people changed my life.

Now I’m in Gopeng, Malaysia volunteering for a month at an adventure company called Radak Adventure. I’m so excited for them and really want to help build their business.

So what has our trip been like so far?

SingaporeSingapore Tree

Singapore really blew us away! The city’s structure was absolutely beautiful. I felt like every part of the city that I explored was laid out strategically to match the neighborhood culture. We stayed in Little India where the buildings are vibrant and colorful and the food spicy! We loved staying there. Not to mention our hostel, Footprints Singapore, was very nice as well and decently priced for the amenities offered.

Chinatown was another one of our favorites because of the Chinatown Complex Food Center and Chinatown’s Street Market. We found the most scrumptious chicken curry and mouthwatering white coffee at the food center. At the Street Market we found beautiful linens for an extremely low price. Literally, dresses for under $5USD and scarfs less than $1USD. I didn’t buy anything – I figured I’d find a better deal in Thailand or Cambodia.Huge treeTree hugger

Another spot we went to was the Botanic Gardens. We really enjoyed the path the gardens led us on. It allowed us to see the many different flowers while getting a bit of exercise in. It wasn’t my favorite place in Singapore but it was a lovely stroll and still nice to smell the flowers.Flower Dome

Lastly, we went to the famous Gardens on the Bay and indulged in the hundreds of flowers from all over the world. We walked around outside for about an hour then payed about $15USD to explore the magnificent Flower Dome. I loved the Flower Dome and everything it offered, but I’d definitely say it’s a one time thing because it can get very boring. With that being said I would say the Gardens on the Bay and Flower Dome were my two favorite parts of Singapore.

Tip: Go to the Flower Dome early so you can re-enter as many times you want throughout the day! 

MalaysiaPetronius towers

Entering Malaysia was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Really though. We took the overnight bus and went through immigration and customs within 5 minutes MAXIMUM! Crazy, huh?

Once we got into Kuala Lumpur at 2 a.m. we found our 24 hour hostel, Irisia B&B, and crashed. The next morning we were busy scrimmaging around trying to prepare everything for the Thailand Embassy so we could acquire our visitors visa. After we were finished at the Thai Embassy we headed to the ultra cool Petronas Towers and were surprised to see there was a water show going on after sunset. Once the show was over and we practically got kicked out (I’ll tell you later), we went to a nice restaurant and had two delicious pizzas with the best beer I think I’ve ever had.Batu Caves

The best thing I can say we did in Kuala Lumpur was definitely the Batu Caves! Those were the coolest and we even got to hang out with the monkeys that were on the stairs. Yes, you heard right… MONKEYS. You can feed them and take pictures with them all you want. It was the most fun for me because my favorite animals are monkeys, and it seemed other travelers were enjoying their company too.

Tip: Ask the workers if you can have some snacks to feed the monkeys and watch what foods you bring because they might get snatched!Batu Caves

The Batu Main Cave was really nice, but my favorite part of the caves was the Dark Cave Tour. We were educated about the animals currently living in the cave, how the cave has evolved and future plans for the caves. It was really interesting and beautiful and I highly recommend it.

Besides the Petronas Towers and the Batu Caves, we didn’t do much exploring in Kuala Lumpur. The transportation was quite poor compared to Singapore and most of the places we wanted to go to said it was better to just walk. Don’t get me wrong, we love to walk but when it’s blistering hot outside we try to protect our skin and lives as much as possible. Kuala Lumpur still has a bit of catching up to do, but overall I would give the city a 6/10.Batu Caves

What are we doing now?

I’m glad you asked 😉

Currently Caleb and I are working for an awesome adventure company called Radak Adventure. We’re volunteering for one month helping with their new guesthouse and doing a bit of marketing for them as well. It’s such a wonderful company and they are more than hospitable here. If we didn’t already have plans to head to Thailand, we’d probably stay here longer.EGE


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Kollin Lephart
Kollin is an avid traveler and entrepreneur. When she's not working as a Marketing Consultant, she's strategizing ways to make Every Girl, Everywhere even better. She's passionate about helping people, traveling and living the best life possible.

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