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The Backpack Bios begin: Singapore and Malaysia


Remember that time I promised to post regularly and in a timely fashion? K, let’s pretend that never happened.

Almost a year has elapsed since my Southeast Asian (SEA) adventure and I am just now writing about it. I’d apologize and promise not to let this happen again, but you know better than that.

ANYWAY, 2 bits of housekeeping before getting started:
1. I’ve broken up this particular trip into 3 posts. I traveled to Bali, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia in that order, but I’ll be posting about Singapore and Malaysia in one, Thailand in another, and finishing this little series with Bali.

2. I didn’t tackle this adventure on my own. The beautiful human who will be making multiple appearances in these posts is someone I met while on exchange in Australia, but more importantly, is one of my very best friends in the whoooole wiiiide world. There is no one I would rather have experienced this incredible journey with, and I can guarantee that isn’t the last of our global conquests. Dani, thanks for putting up with me ❤

(Singa)pore yourself a cold bevvy and let’s go!

In Singapore we stayed at the Green Kiwi Backpacker Hostel. This was definitely one of the less luxurious hostels on our trip, but easily one of the funnest. Green Kiwi is located just outside of Little India and really close to the subway line (sidenote: Singapore has the cleanest and most efficient subway system I have ever experienced!!). Another huge plus was that they shielded our wallets from the ridiculous prices of alcohol at the liquor stores with sweet deals on beers in-house. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this hostel to anyone who just needs a decent bed to crash in, a good location and is down to meet some awesome people!

On the first night, we did some digging to find the best Indian food in all of Little India, and we were led to Lagnaa Barefoot Dining. We were lucky to snag a table and I’m pretty sure they gave us a time limit, but the food was incredible and well worth it!
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The next day we wasted no time in getting our ‘tourist’ on, and tackled the iconic “Gardens by the Bay”. I can’t do justice to how incredibly beautiful and structurally impressive this place was, so I’ll let the photos do the talking.

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That day we also did TONS of walking around, just exploring this awesome city. At night we ended up on the (clearly) picturesque waterfront where we were surprised with a street parade and fireworks! We thought there was some special celebration happening but we were wrong- this happened nightly.
Managed to snap some cool shots of the cityscape and the famous Merlion fountain statue with the Marina Bay Sands in the background!

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I WISH I got more photos of Sentosa Island. We spent an entire day there and it hosts man made beaches, water parks, restaurants and even Universal Studios. Ridiculous. The shot below is the view from the cable car that you take to cross over from the mainland to the island. Not featured: Dani and me singing “One Dance” at the top of our lungs in the cable car.
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What’s my favourite thing about staying in hostels? The people!! If you’ve never been to one, imagine a gathering of people from all around the world, each on a unique journey with their own story to tell. It’s literally like a living library except the setting is more like a bar than a library tbh. Dani and I had plans to go to Zouk nightclub (AMAZING venue) and decided we’d just pre with our hostel-mates on the rooftop. Outcome: we convinced 20 of them to come with. What. a. night.

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And last but certainly not least, the Marina Bay Sands. No trip to Singapore is complete without heading to this rooftop to soak up the breathtaking view while sipping on cocktails more expensive than our hostel. Hey Dani, remember all that we learned about Vietnam? 😉 (inside joke sry)
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Singapore surprised me in wonderful ways and I 100% plan on returning! But for now, lemme tell you about…

Malove for Malaysia!

Malaysia was actually the last leg of our trip. Honestly, our initial plan didn’t include Malaysia at all but it made the most sense to fly through there from Thailand so we carved out a few days for Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia’s capital). Looking back, we are SO GLAD that we did!

We didn’t have a hostel booked for KL when we started our trip, but one night while I was grabbing a burger on the beach at 3:00am, I got to chatting with 2 backpackers from the UK. After recounting our nights to each other and trading a few travel stories, KL came up and they were adamant that I stay at the Reggae Mansion. At the end of our trip, I don’t think I could love a hostel any more than I did Reggae Mansion. I mean, there was a rooftop bar with a view of the KL tower that even non-backpackers would come for. That’s all that needs to be said.
We had to decide between going to the top of either the KL tower or the Petronas towers; we choose the KL tower because was neeeeeeeded that view of the architecturally magnificent Petronas towers. Seriously, how stunning are they?!

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Fun tidbit: Throughout our travels, Dani and I shared custody of a copy of “Me Before You” and the movie came out the day we landed in KL. We Shamelessly gave 2 hours of our first day to the cinema but whatever it needed to happen so judge if you want. Also, the mall below is actually inside the Petronas Towers!IMG_6273IMG_6276IMG_6335Aside from the amazing buildings and views in KL, it’s a city that is incredibly rich in history and culture. We spent a lot of time touring around and checking out some historic sites like Chinatown, the Islamic Museum and the KL City Gallery among others. Cultured af.

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STORY TIME: In my next post I’ll flesh out our Thailand adventures, but in Koh Phi Phi we went on a ‘Booze Cruise’ where we met the funnest people ever. Some of them might actually see this so heeeyyyyy guys x. Anyway, Dani and I wished we got to spend more time with everyone on that cruise, but as fate would have it, we did. We pull up to the Batur Caves, one of the busiest attractions in all of Malaysia, and all of a sudden we hear “Chadd! Chaddddd!”. We turn around and see none other than Brent and Russell from the cruise. The cruise that happened in Thailand. A different country. Like, wut?! As you can imagine, the odds of that happening are mind blowing. Bumping into them was easily a highlight of our KL adventure.DSC_0460DSC_0456

These monkeys look cute but don’t be fooled. They are notorious for stealing people’s bags on the stairs and we even saw this happen. They’re thieves. Incredible adorable and photogenic thieves.DSC_0476

To be honest, a significant portion of my documented moments are of Dani and I partying it up. I left those out, but you can use your imagination. We hit up the famous Bukit Bintang area where we actually did ‘dining in the dark’, the TREK entertainment hub and the amazing Sky Bar at the Shangri-La.

This was the last pic of our backpacking experience and it pretty much sums up our friendship: I love her so much that I’d even share my pizza with her.IMG_6441

Thailand and Bali posts up next. Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Chadd xx

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