This is starting to be a trend for me. I’m writing this from the Singapore Airport, my flight about to take off to Kota Kinabalu (Eastern Malaysia) in about an hour.
Singapore was nice, but I wouldn’t come back. While I haven’t seen many Asian countries, I’d say it’s by far the most Western city I’ve been in this past year. If you want to say you’ve been to Asia, but don’t want to get dirty, come here. It’s crazy clean and super western. They’ve got a nice Little India with great cheap food (where I stayed), a Chinatown and a few typical Asian buildings. Everyone speaks English here too, so it’s not too big of a shock. I actually was shocked at how many Westerners (or foreigners, as we call them in Korea) I saw. You hardly every see “white” families in Korea and it’s quite rare in Taiwan, but here, it’s a common sight. One of the theories I’ve heard is that many flights from Australia to Europe have stop-overs here, so people come to stretch their legs. It’s possible. I don’t know.
Anyway, I’m excited to check out Kota Kinabalu (KK). I’ve been recommended a driving instructor there at a CouchSurfing meeting in KL. Apparently this guy won awards for safety in teaching and it’s quite cheap. I also hear that part of Malaysia has some of the most beautiful diving spots in the world. Whether I’ll make the trek to check them out or not is still in the air, but it’s something to consider. I also decided I’m going to climb the highest Malaysian mountain. I think that’s going to be my “thing” in my travels. This one’s about 4000m and I’ve heard stories of it being climbed in one day (round trip). I’ll give it my best, but I’m a bit anxious to have my first bout of altitude sickness. I’ve only been as high as 3000m (in Taiwan) and I was already feeling a bit weak. It should be an interesting test.
I still haven’t figured out where I’m going after this. I’m thinking of going to Thailand and doing “that” area of south-east Asia. My original plan was to check out the Buton island in Indonesia because they use the Korean alphabet, but I’m starting to think it’s a bit of a trek just to see something I’d go “oh, that’s neat”. I really need to sit down with my travel guide and flight schedules and figure this out. I think I’ll end up staying in KK for a little while to relax and figure out my game plan.