One of the things I was really excited about in this exchange was how easy it was to travel around Southeast Asia. Singapore is located in southern Malaysia and offers affordable flights to any of the neighbouring countries. If you’re into big cities try Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, Hong Kong, or Kuala Lumpur. If you want to have an enriching cultural experience visit Myanmar, Chiang Mai, Taipei, or Siem Reap. If you love the beach be sure to visit Batam/Bintan, Bali, Phi Phi Islands, Cebu, or Brunei.
As you are all well aware, New Zealand is notoriously expensive to fly out from so really take advantage of where you are! Return flights from Singapore to Phuket can get as low as $150 SGD while the lowest Auckland to Phuket return will cost you $800 NZD. I really pushed myself to travel as much as I could in this exchange. In doing so I met people who inspired me as well as made countless invaluable memories. It’s up to you to create your own highlight reel, and here’s just a sneak peak into mine!
I met these bunch of American and European exchange students and we set out for an adventure in Taipei! One of my favourite moments was when we personalised our own sky lantern at Shifen Old Street. You can choose different colours that represent different values for each side of the lantern and write your personal wishes for each side. After this experience I feel like we all got to know each other just a little bit better.
The Comp Sci cuties explore Phuket! These Boston CS students and I had a great long weekend getaway that included island hopping, walking down the infamous Bangla Road, experiencing the Vegetarian festival, as well praying at the Buddhist temple! (No tigers were harmed in the taking of this photo)
What happens when New Zealand meets Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan? A big group with bigger mischief in the streets of Saigon! I travelled with a lovable group to Southern and then Central Vietnam, where we got into all different kinds of trouble. What happens in Ho Chi Minh stays in Ho Chi Minh. I don’t think I could ever forget my diet rotation of Banh Mi and Pho for 7 days straight.
Throw a birthday party in Batam! A two hour ferry away from Singapore, with really high price value resorts. As part of celebrations we tried paddleboarding, tubing, jet skiing, and other fun activities!
To make the most of your adventures, don’t forget that it’s journey before destination! Keep an open mind and be patient with one another. There will be several occasions where you let your fuzzy side show, but don’t let that stop you from having a good time!