At first I was not going to blog about this trip because it is only 2.5 weeks and mostly beachy as my time will be spent going from one tropical drink to another. However, after the first week I realized that I am in an important part of the world and it should be shared.
Sara and I are already a week into this trip and have been to Singapore, Malaysia, and now in Indonesia.
Singapore - This is an island surrounded by Malaysia and Indonesia. There are 5-6 million inhabitants on only 270 square miles. This country is only 46 years old and already has one of the highest per capita GDP's in the world.
I was blown away by how developed and wealthy this country is. It went far beyond my expectation. We stayed at Marina Bay Sands www.marinabaysands.com which is a Las Vegas style resort and casino with 2500+ rooms, shoping mall, theatre, ice skating rink, 500 feet long infinity pool shaped like a ship and placed on the roof across all three towers. The hotel was one of the best I have ever experienced. I did not want to leave the pool as it gives you a birds eye view of the city and allows to enjoy a sangria at the same time.
Beyond the hotel, Singapore has everything that you would expect from a modern city including a high-rising financial center, luxury boutiques such as Prada, LV, Ferragamo, and many diverse restaurants. English is also an official language so it easy to get around and talk to people. It is also very safe. We had an excellent host in my classmate Steven who took us around to all the major sights in Singapore.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KL) - we arrived here to achieve my 10 year old dream to see the Petronas Towers - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petronas_Towers. I first saw the towers while watching Entrapment (1999) and fell in love. They are called Twin Towers by the locals and that's exactly what they are. Two identical buildings joined together by a sky bridge about half way up. The buildings are impressive and so is the view from the top. They are also stunning at night. It was worth the trip to see the towers but I was not impressed by the rest of KL. It was dirty, dangerous, and not very exciting.
Now we are in Bali, Indonesia. Bali is one of the many islands in Indonesia but unlike other islands where citizens follow Islam it is the only one that is populated mostly by those following Hinduism. It is friendly, beautiful, known for its art, and overall amazing. Originally, we were going to stay at a Marriott but at the airport here we decided to change to a villa and what a good choice it was. We are staying at LaVillais - http://lavillais.com/home.html which is a villa resort. Each room has it's own inground pool, outdoor living room, kitchen, and all the amenities that come with it. All this for under $200/night. I love getting a good deal and I never want to leave. If you go to Bali..stay at a villa....this is way to go here. For those who think that this is an expensive vacation we just had a lunch special which included an excellent salad and pasta for $6. So far Bali is highly recommended and definitely a place I would visit again. Any takers for renting an enormous villa here next summer? Next on the trip is Thailand!