Exploring Kuala Lumpur & Genting Highlands, Malaysia

The Malaysia trip was pretty fun. Not because I get to see the awesome country alone, but because I get to see it with family. It had been a while since my parents and my brother were with me on a trip outside of Botswana or India. The first thing we do on landing is to try and call Uber, only to find out that it’s shutdown in many SE Asian countries. Instead, grab is what people use here. Ah well.

Download Grab before going to any SE Asian country. It’s still way cheaper than taxi and tuk-tuks, especially for foreigners.

The first thing we wanted to do was explore the city itself. There’s a lot to do, but we decided on Petronas Towers & KLCC, Batu Caves, The KL Tower, and finally the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Sadly due to time, we only missed out on Batu Caves & the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Sad since the Batu Caves is so sought after. Today, I’m just going to go over the city itself. You should know that we did not do all this in one day, though. We would go outside the city and in the evening, for example, explore the city. Even though there was a lot of exploring, not everything has pictures to it.

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Visiting Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

My brother and I decided to make one last trip in Australia, to Sydney. After all, how can one come to Australia and not visit Sydney. A chance to see amazing architecture and to try amazing food. After we check in to our hotel, Veriu Central, we take it easy and later in the day head out to our first activity, a Helicopter ride.

Sadly the weather was no the greatest and so pictures were not that great. That just meant I could enjoy the ride itself without worrying about getting the shots I was looking for. You do get a really nice view of the whole area though.

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Visiting Hikkaduwa & Galle Dutch Fort, Sri Lanka

The last segment of my trip was to have a relaxing time by the beaches of Hikkaduwa and visit the historic Dutch fort, Galle. Surprisingly, there were lots of foreigners in Hikkaduwa and the beaches were actually mostly foreigners. The few locals I did see were either working at the hotels or restaurants on those beaches or selling food and drinks. However, this population is fairly diverse so not sure you’ll be meeting people from your own countries.

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Riding the Rikshaw through the streets of Hikkaduwa

Our hotel was not on a beachfront, and this was ok. The hotel itself organizes weekend parties that go on till the morning, and its free entry for guests. As for our beach needs, a friend owned a hotel & restaurant nearby (Hotel Blue Note). We would just chill there enjoying the cool breeze from the ocean.

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Sigiriya & Dambulla Cave Temple / The Golden Temple, Sri Lanka

The goal for today was to climb two hills: The Sigiriya & the Dambulla Cave Temple hill. We decided to go climb Sigiriya in the morning first, come back to the hotel and freshen up & checkout, eat something light, then go climb the temple hills. Seemed like a good idea, and it was…just a little tiring.

The first thing we had to do was buy entry tickets, and being an Indian meant I get the tickets at half rate, which was pretty cool. For those wondering, what exactly is Sigiriya? For starters, its this rock below.

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The rock is surrounded by ancient ruins of a city, and the top of the rock used to be a fort. Much of the architecture is in ruins today, but the foundation is still well maintained. The walk to the rock was through this “city”.

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Train From Colombo To Kandy, Sri Lanka

We decided to take the train from Colombo to Kandy since we heard the views were pretty unique to the train. This turned out to be very true. The first 30min or so was just normal farmlands or flatlands, but as we got closer to Kandy, as you will see later in this post, the landscape was simply breathtaking.

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Sunshine Coast & Crystal Waters, Queensland

It’s Christmas and we head out to the second part of our trip to Sunshine Coast. Being a group of 7, we decide it’s better to rent out some cabin in the woods rather than stay in some hotel. Best decision ever. Since check-in was late (around 4PM) our first stop was trying to find breakfast. Of course, we forgot it’s Christmas so everything will be closed. To our disappointing arrival at some breakfast place somewhere close to Sunshine Coast, we decided to find some Asian place for lunch instead. After all, Asians (south Asians included) love money, so it’s not in our blood to close store unless we are going out of the country.

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North Stradbroke Island, Queensland

One cheap way to get to the island from the mainland is via the Stradbroke Ferries. At just $15 per person for a roundtrip, its not bad. Transporting a car is also possible but at a much steeper price (I think a little over $100 for a roundtrip), and it only makes sense in my opinion if you have a 4WD over a regular 2WD. Once on the island, you can make use of the local bus to get around some popular spots. A group of the 5 of us were staying at Manta Lodge & Scuba Centre. The center itself offer some really awesome activities like Scuba diving and access to a pretty cool beach front.

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