Singapore, the financial hub of southeast Asia, is located not only to the benefit of its economy, but also to the benefit of those wanting a glimpse of life beyond the clean and fast paced city. The travelling culture amongst exchangers is very strong, whereby it’s extremely difficult to run into anyone who hasn’t made a single trip outside of Singapore. Now that Singapore’s Changi airport has recently opened its Jewel terminal with the world’s largest indoor waterfall, there’s no reason not to fly out every once in a while. I’ve personally been out and about to quite a few places and so below are some my favourite moments and sights captured (in a fun combination of both landscape and portrait, some would say I’m a professional photographer).
Bangkok – Thailand
Although not official, the main religion of Thailand is Buddhism, and so this leads to a lot of temples. To be respectful when visiting them, long pants and covered shoulders are a must. Although don’t worry if all you packed was shorts, because you’ll spot plenty of vendors selling those Thai-elephant-patterned pants, and plenty of people wearing them too. The markets are also well worth a visit if you want to get some shopping done. One of our friends, the least excited for the markets, ended up going home with the most amount of shopping!
Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia
This destination is essentially everyone’s first baby trip out of Singapore. Only an hour by plane or five hours by bus – although if you’re travelling during the peak hours of Friday afternoon the bus trip can be as long as ten hours!
Li Island – Indonesia
So I had always thought Bali was a city of Indonesia, but turns out it’s a province which includes the island of Bali and a few of the smaller, nearby islands. Bali is perfect holiday location as it has a lot to offer in terms of variety when it comes to activities and sightseeing. There are some amazing beaches around Nusa Penida, and some great waves around Kuta beach. This is in contrast to the very-green rice terraces in Ubud, the uplands of Bali, and the heights of active volcanos, like Mount Batur.
Hanoi – Vietnam
Oh how I would go back to this place in a heartbeat. My favourite food being Vietnamese, I went with some great expectations and I was beyond impressed! Most places we went to specialised in only one dish, which meant the flavours were fantastic and made ordering with our non-existent abilities to speak Vietnamese a breeze. Watching locals ride on by, carrying up to four people on one scooter, and pedestrians strolling through the chaos calmly is a vibe that I miss very much to this day.
Siem Reap & Phnom Penh – Cambodia
I knew very little about Cambodia prior to this trip, so after seeing the sights of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, we made an overnight trip to Phnom Penh where I learnt about the Cambodia Genocide during 1975 – 1979. During this time, the Khmer Rouge Regime led by Pol Pot resulted in the death of approximately 1.7 million people, almost a quarter of Cambodia’s 1975 population. I had the humbling experience of visiting the killing fields of Choeung Ek, a former orchard and mass grave of the genocide, as well as the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former security prison used for torture during this time. For something so horrible that happened not that long ago, I was grateful for having the opportunity to learn about it.