Markets, Caves, and Rooftop Bars in KL

A couple weekends ago some friends and I impulsively decided to spend a day or so in Kuala Lumpur since it’s just a bus ride away. I use the word impulsively lightly because we had spoken about it once or twice but nothing was truly finalized till the day before. Anyways, I had been here before many years ago to visit family members but I don’t have much recollection of the trip. All I had remembered about Malaysia was the tasty food and the inside of my great uncle’s home where I stayed at.

The trip started off with a six hour ride that actually turned into a nine hour ride but it was manageable. The first three hours consisted of us moving an inch every half an hour since we were stuck in a traffic/line to get through customs. After we groggily went through the lines and got the stamps we needed, the rest of the trip was a breeze.

We arrived at the Reggae Mansion around 5 am and by that time I was sure that I was only half awake. This was my very first hostel and it was much better than I expected and it was pretty adorable. It had such a charm to it and you would have never known that it was meant to be a party hostel. I usually cringed at the thought of a hostel but this wasn’t bad at all! It was nice meeting others who lived in the same room as us and many of them were the same age who was traveling all over Asia as well.

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The next few days were filled with endless markets, a cave tour, great food, and an incredible heli-pad bar. The markets we encountered were amusing since they were filled with fake perfumes, designer bags, shoes, and even Kylie Jenner lip kits. I didn’t buy much because I didn’t feel the need to but it was interesting to see all they sold. What really intrigued me was the food selection. I could have spent an entire day there just eating! They had frogs on sticks, decorated popsicles, handmade mochi, and foods from just about every country. My favorite by far was this vegan restaurant called Hoppers that we stumbled upon which looked something similar to a scene in a Wes Anderson movie. Pastel colors spilled from every inch and it was such a gem of a find. The food was incredible and I definitely recommend it to those who travel to KL who want to ensure that they get clean food that is won’t be contributing to food poisoning.

We visited the Batu caves along with the Dark Caves and they were both such a sight to see. The Batu caves took about 270 steps to get to and it was well worth it because there was a temple at the very top of it. Excited monkeys wandered around this area anxiously waiting to spot any tourist who was dumb enough to carry water or food in their hands so they could snatch it away. They were adorable but definitely not approachable. The Dark Caves were an educational 45 minute tour that told us about the various creatures that lurked within the caves and how they were formed. I’m not much of a history person but I was intrigued by how many formations came to be and how this particular cave was being cherished by many who live in Malaysia.

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Weekend Getaway in Bintan Island

This past weekend I ventured to Bintan Island that is just a short ferry ride away with two friends who live in my resident hall. Although the island itself doesn’t have much to it, I’m glad I went regardless because it gave me time to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.

The resort we stayed at was called Bintan Lagoon Resorts and it was definitely not how I’d imagine it. The price itself for the food was a bit overpriced but I justified it for myself by saying that it’s nice to treat yourself to nicely prepared meals in restaurants every now and then. They had a number of places to eat that consisted of chinese food, seafood, a buffer, bar food, and more. We had an endless amount of options but we utilized the buffet the most.

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Most of our time was spent lying around on the beach where we would flip through novels and wash away the sand in the beautiful ocean water. Anyone who knows me well knows that I would rather stay in the city than go to the beach. The beaches on the east coast of the U.S. aren’t ideal but the beach that was located a short walk from our resort was absolutely stunning. It was well kept and wasn’t busy at all since we went during monsoon season but thankfully the weather held up and we didn’t get caught in any sort of rain during our weekend stay.

The other thing we did do was take a break from the resort to check out a nearby Mangrove. It wasn’t all that impressing but it was kind of cool to learn fun facts about the area and how fishermen operate in order to catch what they need. Luckily, we also persuaded our driver to take us to a Hawker Center where we became overwhelmed with the incredible options and the cheap prices that accompanied it.

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Overall, I’m glad we were able to go and experience Indonesia for a sweet weekend. I would certainly go again if needed like maybe finals week?