Singapore: Marina Bay Waterfront

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The Marina Bay Waterfront in Singapore, like Sydney Harbour and Victoria Harbour, stands out as a fine example of stunning waterside architecture that has become an attraction for tourists and locals alike. The Marina Bay is a thriving place in Singapore where people work, live, and play.  A 2.6 mile loop takes you around to the most well-known landmarks in Singapore like the Merlion, Helix Bridge, and Marina Bay Sands hotel.  It’s the perfect place to watch the boats glide across the water, admire the views, and even catch a light show at night. Continue reading

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Eating in Singapore

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Singaporeans are food-lovers and eating out is one of their favorite pastimes.  Food is a topic that unites the island’s diverse population, and that’s why it’s not surprising that the food standard is very high.  Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures from around the world, with influences from Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine.  Continue reading

Layover in Tokyo

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You’re probably (maybe) wondering where I’ve been the last two weeks. The answer is quite mundane, work has been all-consuming recently, leaving little time for anything else. Alas, it does pay the bills so I can’t complain. But I am back and I am ready to share about our trip to Asia. Earlier this year we found a cheap ticket to Singapore over Labor Day weekend, the only catch was a 22-hour layover in Tokyo.  Except, this was not so much a problem as an opportunity.  Fast forward 9 months later and here we are.  We’d been to Tokyo before, also on another short mileage run.  We loved the city every time we’re here, and lament the fact that we have to leave so soon.  Next trip to Japan will have to be longer, but for now, we will have to make the most of our time here. Continue reading

Day 5: On the Road in Singapore

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This morning we bid farewell to Singapore, and headed over to Kuala Lumpur on the next leg of our trip.  But before we left, we had to visit the infinity pool one last time.  It was hard to say goodbye to this incredible pool overlooking the downtown core, but the hotel itself, I didn’t really care for.  Ever since I saw pictures of the pool on top of the Marina Bay Sands, I’ve wanted to see it for myself.  Unfortunately the only way to visit the pool is as a hotel guest.  This hotel costs about the same as other luxury hotels, but the service and experience is subpar – it is more of a tourist attraction to be honest. But the view from the pool is something that a lot of people are willing to pay to experience at least once, myself included.

Day 4: On the Road in Singapore

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I felt like Alice in Wonderland, walking amongst the super trees in Singapore’s Garden by the Bay. The grove of 16 story-tall “trees” completely dwarf everything else around them.  These man-made structures are built on reclaimed land as part of an efficient green space project.  Each tree is surrounded by a steel skeleton that is used as the framework for planting various flowers, ferns and  other vertical climbers.  At the top are built in solar panels used as the main energy source to keep the structures lit at night.   These trees are as fantastical as they are practical and they are an iconic part of the city.

Day 2: On the Road in Singapore

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On our first day in Singapore, we ventured over to Little India to visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.  It is one of the oldest Hindu temples in the city, built by the early Indian laborers and dedicated to Kali, the  goddess and destroyer of all evil. On the outside is an explosion of colorful deities adorning the entrance tower.

We were fortunate to visit the temple during the daily puja (prayer) session lead by the priest. It started with a bathing ceremony and and ended with a sacred flame offering while rousing music is played.  It was the first time I’ve every been inside a Hindu temple and witnessed a prayer session.  Hopefully, I am blessed with a good rest of the trip.

Day 1: On the Road on Tokyo

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Our Asia trip is finally underway, after much anticipation.  First stop is a night in Tokyo.  For some reason, we’ve only ever been to the land of the rising sun for a few days at a time.  This probably needs to be rectified in the near future, but for now, we will make do with our short time in this lovely city.  We decided to spend the morning strolling through the tranquil Japanese gardens in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park.  There were not many people around, which made the experience even more peaceful. It was a relaxing morning until we had to make a mad dash back to the airport, but that’s another story for another time.

Trip Report: Myanmar

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Now is an exciting time to travel to Myanmar (Burma). Having had their first democratic election last year, the country is rapidly changing.  On the precipice of a new era, the once isolated nation is opening itself up and everyone is taking notice.  Even with all the changes, a lot of things are staying the same. This is a country steeped in tradition, and it’s not unusual to see people still wear the traditional longyi, covered in thanakha, and chewing betel leaves.  In rural areas, there are still plenty of people traveling around in horse carts.  It’s quite rare to find a country that’s not  filled with Starbucks and McDonald’s.  Myanmar right now is what I imagined Thailand was maybe 20 years ago. So what are you waiting for?  Here are the cost breakdown of our trip to Myanmar to help you plan yours: Continue reading