Seven Best Travel Moments of 2015

Without going too much into the details, 2015 has been quite hectic, unexpected and rewarding all at the same time. I look forward to more this year, especially with travel in the ASEAN region, and maybe even Europe. But before I close the door completely on 2015, I’ll take a quick look back at some notable and enlightening  personal moments in travel. Here’s to many more in the coming year. 🙂

1 | Discovered beautiful phalaenopsis orchids in Genting Highlands for under RM30

Orchids I must have read about Waltex Biotec, an orchid farm with the largest selection of moth-shaped orchids, from another travel blog out there on the websphere, sometime in July. Use Waze to find the entrance, because it’s easy to miss when making your way down from Genting. The farm is quite kampung and you might be the only visitors there, but the orchids are such a beautiful souvenir to bring back from the highlands, and will look gorgeous in your home. Full bloom plants are very reasonable, starting at RM25 each.

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Winning with Slot Machine

I wouldn’t have imagined that a trip to Bangkok would turn me on to a really good band, but it did — local rockers called Slot Machine performed at the exclusive EDM club, DoNotDisturb and I happened to be there. At first glance, based on their preppy fashion sense, anyone would have been forgiven for thinking we were in for an hour of shoegazing tunes, but not at all. These boys are more U2-meets-Beatles meets-All American Rejects, and they sounded great! The lead singer must have lungs of a whale — his vocals were practically effortless. In melody, the Thai language sounds really lovely too.

It seems like there has been a spurt in good regional alternative sounding bands — not sure about the Bangkok scene; definitely in Kuala Lumpur — but what I really like about Slot Machine, apart from their muscular and energetic performance, Continue reading

The Good, The Bad & The Durian: Reflections On Being Back In Malaysia

It was exactly a month ago since I set out on this journey back to the homeland. People have asked how I’m adjusting, and as expected, there are pros and cons.

The first two weeks were spent getting over jet lag and the fact that I no longer lived in Maryland. Quite a number of mornings started out with me thinking that I had someplace in Washington D.C. to get to, only to remember that oh, right. I moved halfway around the world.

Yes, it’s a little sad, not being able to go to places I’m familiar with. Simple things like driving over to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cheap, organic foods, or heading to Petsmart to pick up World’s Best Cat Litter. Of all things to miss, who’d have thought one them would be cat litter.

I also miss friends, my favourite places around the capital city of America and the casual friendliness of its residents. I miss being a bus ride away from New York City, one of the most vibrant, culturally diverse and resilient cities in the world.

Most of all, I miss being able to hop into my grey Honda Civic whenever I want for an impromptu road trip out of town. You might not understand what a luxury this is until you have it taken away. I’m currently stranded at the house, relying on others for rides because I have none of my own. (Although, I’ll have to reacclimatise back to the traffic pattern here, along with all the crazy reckless drivers.)
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