11.12.2010 32 °C
It’s been hectic, but very diverse during the last week. After coming back to Kuala Lumpur I hooked up with some other travellers in the hostel and basically saw the rest of that city, at least what I wanted to see. I managed to squeeze in a bouldering session at a climbing gym in the outskirts of K.L. Good thing I had my camera with me, the view of K.L.’s skyline from that metro station was unbeatable.
For you guys that haven’t been to the capitol, the tall building to the right of the Petronas twin towers is simply known as KL Tower. It’s almost as tall as the beautiful twins, but with a classical (pretty boring) observation tower type of architecture. It feels like you’ve seen it before, somewhere else...
Since my passport hadn’t arrived (do we recognize that statement?), I wanted to do the most of the time rather than just sit and wait. When I heard of some people going to an island I’ve never heard about before, I wasn’t late to say yes. Pulau Pangkor was the perfect weekend escape from the big, polluted city. Four days of laziness on the beach along with fresh fish and prawns every day. I met some nice people in the hostel I’m planning to hook up with for Christmas on Bali. From what I’ve heard it’s going to be super crowded.
After coming back to KL and reality, I finally got the message that my passport had arrived. Since I had a flight from Singapore just three days later, I checked out early the next morning and went straight to the embassy to pick my passport up. Over a month of lacking peace of mind and 400 € later I was finally on my way to Singapore. At least I had a souvenir I actually could use for five years! Singapore is so much of a contrast to the Asia I’ve seen, not at least on the Subindian continent. Having been in around 40 countries, I can swear I’ve never seen such a clean, modern and multicultural city all at once. I haven’t been to the Emirates or Japan; the only countries I believe have a similar approach. It felt like someone took the architecture of Manhattan, combined it with the cleanness of Switzerland, filled it up with middle class Asians from India, China and Malaysia along with western expats and finally put it on an Island in a very strategically correct place.
Having only one and a half day to spend, I only managed to see bits and pieces. Maybe it was destiny for my wallet, it already had too much to handle. Spending 7 € for a pint and 13 € for the cheapest dorm bed, it’s hard not to break your South East Asian budget. I however managed to get great deals on some camera equipment, felt I needed some more range rather than the standard 18-55mm lens. I left Singapore with a 60-300mm manual lens (Paparazzi style!), a 0.45x wide angle lens (attached to my standard lens it goes as wide as 9mm), an extra set of batteries and an 67mm UV-filter for a grand total of 100 €. Ridiculous. The best thing is that it all fits in my camera bag.
Landing in Djakarta two days ago, it was quite a contrast from my port of embarkation. I sort of missed the craziness actually, so it’s about time. I got pretty bored of Malaysia for that reason to be honest, everything was simply too easy and expensive compared to the crazy countries. My wallet is happy now as well, buying meals for 1, 5 €. I didn’t plan to hang around in Djakarta for too long, since there’s apparently not much to do here. For that reason I’ve booked a train ticket to Yogyakarta, a city surrounded by the active volcano of Gunung Merapi and the ancient ruins of Borobudur.