Being here at the Don Mueang Airport waiting for my flight to take me to Siem Reap means this is the end of this whole thing seeing Singapore, Malaysia, and one city in Thailand. I loved Singapore and Malaysia quite a bit and while I would not go back to Singapore any time soon, Malaysia struck a resonant chord. Especially George Town which is a wondrous city full of history, architecture, food, and truly friendly people. I also enjoyed Kuala Lumpur. I feel that KL has this soul and feeling and is open and welcoming to all people. The blocks walking there were full of the old and new. The historic and sky scrapers and places of real note like Petronas Towers. I also visited Port Dickson, Kuantan, and my second favorite place Melaka. Each has a special place for me and I can see coming back to Malaysia.
I cut short the trip to Thailand because Bangkok simply did not impress me. It is not a land of smiles. Its a land of tourists and backpackers and a variety of sights and sounds I do not wish to repeat. I was disappointed because Bangkok has no real soul. It has history but there is no transcendance of the yesterday to today. It has beautiful Wat temples and sky scrapers and malls and wonders of architecture but it does not have the soul and feeling like Kuala Lumpur has. I did not find the street food scene all that well done either. A lot of the places looked dirty with some questionable hygiene going on. It was difficult to find coffee places where basic breakfast could be served. I could always go to Starbucks or Coffee Club and I did. The Thai food at a variety of known and unknown places was just so so. The Padthai, supposedly a grand dish of the street food scene, was often over-cooked or tasted like it was being warmed up again aftert being cooked earlier. i also went to a few well known restaurants and while they were okay, i would not compare them to so many of the places I have eaten elsewhere. It was all just so so. I spent almost a month in Bangkok. Would I go back? No way in hell.
My favorite country had to be Malaysia and all the history and wonderful food there. The historic and cultural scene, the wonders of George Town and the city scenes in KL, the beauty of Melaka walking along the river. All of the country just made everything I saw, visited, worthwhile. Each of the cities is unique but when you get to Penang Island and George Town, its special. Street art, restaurants, historic districts, beautiful old buildings. Wowzers! I would say my favorite places had to be Melaka and George Town.
First though was a week in Singapore. I had not been back there since 2011 and this visit did not disappoint. I got to see the Gardens by the Bay, the beautiful Bugis Junction area, the street and city scenes, and such a variety of restaurants! Singapore is a land of differences too. There are small food court or hawker stands, a few free attractions but you know for the big ones you are gonna pay, nice cultural and historic views along the river front, and finally just the cleanliness of the city. Really just amazing! I would recommend anyone visiting Singapore. Its got so much to offer and you can ride the SMRT all around to get there.
So there you have it. I finished with 5 months traipsing from Singapore to Thailand. Now back in Cambodia for awhile. I’ll stay here in Siem Reap for a month and cycle life down a bit. Get back to basics of things like walking, daily photography, eating. Then its back to Phnom Penh for a few weeks before leaving for Vietnam for 3 months.