After Sri Lanka, I spent time in Singapore hanging out with some friends and visiting some of the countries around it.
Singapore is a nice place to visit after backpacking through Asia. It is super clean, efficiently run and a master-planned community. Singapore reminds me of Irvine, California. I jokingly refer to Singapore as the Irvine of Asia or I guess you could say Irvine is the Singapore of Calfornia. There are a bazillion shopping malls and in June through July they have the great Singapore sale where every mall has a sale. But unlike other Asian countries it is pretty expensive to partake in the tasty beverages in Singapore. Beers usually cost around $10 Singapore or $6 US a pint and a glass of wine costs around $20 Singapore or $12 US. Not that I am an alcoholic but drinking in Singapore is a budget buster.
Just north of Singapore is Malaysia. I visited Malaysia twice while I was in Singapore. Just across the border from Singapore is Johor Bahru or JB. I only spent an afternoon in JB shopping. It is the equivalent of Californian's visiting Mexico for the afternoon. Only a six hour bus ride from Singapore is Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is home to one of the world`s tallest buildings, the Petronas tower. The towers are 1483 feet or 452m high. They are a magnificent work of art. Interesting enough, they really do not look that tall. I think it is because there are no other tall buildings around them.
Only an hour ferry ride away from Singapore is Bintan. Bintan is part of Indonesia and is a beach resort. I spent two days there hanging out with my friend and chilling on the beach (I guess what else is new). A cheap three hour plane ride from Singapore is Bali, also part of Indonesia. I stayed in Bali for a week and I had a great time. My friend and I stayed right near the beach and I surfed five out of the seven days I was there. Our hotel was in Legian which was just north of the city of Kuta. Kuta is the most well-known city in Bali. The city is very built up with a Hard Rock Cafe, Starbucks, and a KFC and it is home to numerous bars and clubs. Unfortunately, the past two Novembers Kuta has been hit by suicide bombers which Bali is still trying to recover from.
During my month in Singapore and the countries around it, I got to hang out with some friends, explore the numerous malls and sites, and just get ready to go back on the road again.