I made an unexpected trip back to Malaysia straight after our Bali/Singapore adventure and whenever I'm there I realise how lucky I am to have an awesome family. They're always happy to take me out and about and this time we went trekking in one of the world's largest man-made jungles. We hired a guide and it was absolutely worth it, not only because he had bug spray but he was able to tell us about what otherwise just looked like really big trees that all looked the same. He also removed the leeches from my brother and uncle's legs.
As well that I:
::Ate the most delicious roast goose and harm choy soup here. I'm still thinking about it.
:: Went shopping at Kenanga Wholesale City. Despite the name it's open to the public and it's full of amazing cheap, cute stuff. There was a shop of just bows. You could spend all day here. Ask for discounts too. I was in awe of my aunt's bargining and I felt put to shame in comparison. I was going to buy a packet of hair ties for $4AUD. She got me 2 packets for the same price. If you buy more than 1 you get a discount- most of the time up to 50% off.
:: Prayed to my grandfather and had my fortune read. In the background, my younger boy cousin read World of Warcraft the whole time.
:: Fell even more in love with my cousin's baby girl Tiffany. One look at this and you'll see why.
:: Didn't even go near town. Instead my aunt and I became obsessed with a cheesy Chinese drama called Empress In The Palace and watched it for 2-4 hours everyday. Oh the shame. Seriously, I even started having dreams about it. It was also quite educational (see that justification?) as I now know that concubines were wrapped up naked in a blanket like sushi and carried into the king's bed. Educational.
If you need some kick up the bum style inspiration check out this video showing off the fashion shoot in the August edition of rue magazine.There's a certain awkwardness about it but I can't help but love everything, especially the hair and make-up. Note to self: all road trips shall look like this in future.
Video Shot by: We Are The Barkers (Kristen & Chris Barker) ::Edited by: Matt Rice
Song Written, Produced & Recorded by: We Are The Barkers (Chris Barker, Sean McConnell & Gavin Wilkinson):: Styled by: TwentyThirtyForty (Arlene Matthews & Brandon Fein)
These are a few photos from our trip to Gardens By The Bay in Singapore. It opened at the end of June this year and is made up of 2 giant domes of plants as well as a huge outdoor garden. It's funny- being from Australia we assumed the giant domes were tropical greenhouses but once you step in the first thing that hits you is how cold it is inside (which makes alot of sense since it's already a tropical country). They're both amazing and one even includes a waterfall! The other had the most delicious roses I've ever smelled in my life.
We zoomed through the outdoor gardens because we didn't have much time but even doing so we were there for at least 4 hours. If you're in Singapore or even have a chance to do a stop over it's definitely worth it.
I am very lucky this year as I was whisked off to Bali for my birthday, or more accurately Johnny's friend had planned a trip there for his birthday and it just happened to correspond with mine. Am I complaining? Nope.
To be honest, neither one of us had any interest in visiting Bali thanks to all the awful stories about embarrassing bogan Australians. On the other hand, there's all the other stories you hear about people absolutely falling in love with the place. So, cautiously and with low expectations we went- and loved it. Loved that we could just be tourists, loved that things were so much calmer than Vietnam, loved that you could see their religion and culture everywhere and loved the lush greenness.
In essence- GO. Go to Ubud specifically, it's lovely.
My highlights in Ubud: riding on an well cared for elephant and being able to score the hilarious photo above, bathing in what I thought were the hot springs but were actually freezing cold because they weren't the hot springs, coming over the mountain and seeing Kintamani Volcano- holy moly it was so beautiful it looked like a painting of a dream of the most romantic moment you've ever had, eating babi guiling and eating at an organic restaurant twice which I don't know the name of (it's on Jalan Raya Ubud and is in the middle of a what looks like a fancy shopping U complex- fancy outdoor furntiure and a giant rock water feature in the centre).
My highlights in Seminyak: definitely our private pool and outdoor shower in our villa!, dinner at Ku De Ta which was totally worth the hype (the food was awesome and also happened to be about a third the money we spent) and drinks at Potatohead which felt like a Justin Hemmes wet dream (also worth the hype).
Thanks to Laura for all her tips! You can steal them all like I did here.