At one point or another everyone dreams about exploring the world and experiencing all that it has to offer. I first developed the travel bug when I was a young boy and its stuck with me for my whole life (and I'm not exactly a young boy anymore). ...by dcampFriday, 13 December 2013
I think I must have been about 12 years old when I first started to seriously dream about traveling. It all started when I went with a friend to an enormous used book store (more like a barn) near my home in New Jersey. It was here that I came acro ...by dcampSaturday, 14 December 2013
On my travels throughout the world, I've seen many, many great sites, met a lot of interesting people, and tasted lots of food (some good and some not so good.) Although I certainly am not a fruitarian, I do have a keen eye for fruit – and on my tra ...by neytiri12345Wednesday, 02 October 2013
Zoos are a place that we've all visited at one time or another. Some are good, some not so good. Well, over the weekend I cam across a place that made me look at the keeping of animals in a whole new light. It's called the Pearcedale Moonlit Sanct ...by dcampTuesday, 02 July 2013
Yes, I've been meaning to write a followup to my earlier blog post "Sunsets" – but, you know how things always get in the way... been busy travelling, you see... A personal goal of mine has been to see a sunrise on as many continents as possible, an ...by foamfollowerThursday, 25 July 2013
My obsession with traveling around the world came from two primary sources – both books. The first was Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Vern and the second was A Vagabond Journey Around the World by Harry Franck. Both of these books made it abu ...by dcampMonday, 15 July 2013
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” - Lao Tzu. Well, after months of planning I’ve finally taken that first step. Now I find myself in a foreign city on the first day of my Wanderjahr. Thankfully (due to smart planning) ...by dcampSaturday, 20 July 2013
When the travel bug first hit me I wrote down all of the places I wanted to visit in a 150 destination Global Bucket List. Who would have ever thought that this wouldn't end up being enough? You can find the list by reading my blog: A Tale of 2 Buck ...by dcampMonday, 14 October 2013
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While most people who hit the subcontinent go to India, I tried my chances on Bangladesh and visited the capital city Dhaka to see how far my dollar would stretch. While the local currency is called the Taka, a “Dollar” will get you very far. Dhaka must be the most jam-packed city on earth. Picture Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and you’ll get the idea!
But everywhere you look, shops abound… in malls, multi-tired shops and even on the streets. I tried my luck on the streets, of course, where the best bargains are to be had… But if you’re a foreigner, be prepared to bargain… and be aware of getting cheated.
Word of advice, whatever you’re quoted, quote back one third of that and try to settle for half. And if the vendor doesn’t budge, just walk away… and before you have gone a few feet, he’ll be begging you to come back, complaining that he won’t be able to feed his children, that he’s taking a loss, and in the end, he’ll meet your price to make the sale!
So, I made my way down Malaysia to its Southern tip, crossed the Johor Straits and made it over to Singapore. While it is similar to its neighbor in many ways, in other ways it exceeds it. I don’t want to compare the two, but Singapore is impressive. It’s a port, financial center, a cosmopolitan city and a shangri la of food! The great thing about my trip there was that there was so much to see — and I didn’t have to go very far.
Yeah, we’ve all heard about not being allowed to chew gum and that American kid who was caned years ago for vandalizing cars, so you would think it’s squeaky clean. Yeah, it’s clean… but squeaky no. I actually saw some litter in a park and some on the streets!
But back to what I saw — besides a wee bit of litter — there’s a lot of diverse neighborhoods in this checkerboard of a city. Besides Sentosa Island, which tops my list of sites to visit, of course, you have to visit Singpore's various ethnic neighborhoods. You've got a Chinatown — most of the inhabitants are of Chinese decent -- but there’s an Arab section, as well as an Indian one. The definite must see in the Indian neighborhood is Mustafa Market. That place takes up at least a entire block, is several stories tall and packed — I mean packed — with every kind of product you can think of. You can find gold to galoshes and everything in between, including a money exchanger. I’ve never seen a shopping center so diverse! But while some things are priced reasonably, I think electronics are a little pricey, when compared to US prices at least. (lol they actually make so much of the electronics next door in Malaysia, so you would think they would be cheaper, right? Nope.)
The flight over from NYC was a long one and I wondered if it was worth it? Malaysia was a mystery to me before I went there. Was it modern? Or was it backwards? Was it exotic? Was it safe? Was it clean? Was it like Singapore? Answer: all of the above.
My visit to Kuala Lumpur was truly fascinating. It’s a melting pot of cultures and the modern and the old. The Petronas Towers are truly magnificent and stand out like tall silver sentinels over this diverse capital. At the base of these towers is a huge mall called Suria KLCC, which was as good as some of the malls at home, if not even better. But the park behind the towers — and the mall – were even nicer. There was paths to walk around and the views all around were amazing.
Perhaps what stood out most to me was the food! And tons of it! So unusual, so colorful… and so tasty! The melange of Malay, Indian and Chinese influences have produced flavors to die for. Be warned, your taste buds will never forget Char Kuay Teow, Nasi Lemak, chapati and chilli crab...