From Singapore Business to Scuba Diving: Exploring Tioman and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia

Panoramic view of Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Panoramic view of Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

After a grueling week-long business trip in Singapore, I was ready for some much-needed rest and relaxation. And what better way to unwind than by exploring the underwater world of ABC Bay in Tioman, Malaysia?

I hopped on a bus from Singapore to Tioman Island and was immediately greeted by lush rainforest and crystal clear waters. The island was smaller than I expected, but it was packed with activities to keep me busy. Of course, scuba diving was the main attraction and ABC Bay did not disappoint. The colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life made for an unforgettable experience.

Apart from diving and snorkeling, Tioman Island also offers a range of activities for visitors. You can go trekking in the island’s lush rainforest, explore the cascading waterfalls, or simply relax on the pristine beaches. The island also has several historical sites, including the remains of a Dutch fort and a Chinese temple.

After a few days of diving, I was ready to move on to my next destination: Kuala Lumpur. The capital of Malaysia was a stark contrast to the laid-back island atmosphere of Tioman. I spent my days wandering the bustling streets, taking in the sights and sounds. The Petronas Towers were a definite highlight, as were the Batu Caves and Merdeka Square.

The Batu Caves are located inside a limestone hill and can be accessed by a long flight of stairs. At the top of the stairs is a temple complex with colorful statues and ornate architecture. The sun is shining brightly in the blue sky, casting a warm glow over the entire scene.

But what really stood out to me during my time in Kuala Lumpur was the food. Malaysian cuisine is a melting pot of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences, and it did not disappoint. One of my favorite dishes was nasi lemak, a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and served with spicy sambal, fried anchovies, and peanuts. I also loved trying all the different types of satay, especially the chicken and beef varieties.

Overall, my trip to Tioman and Kuala Lumpur was the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re looking for world-class diving or delicious food, Malaysia has something for everyone. So why not add it to your travel bucket list?

Making the Most of a Business Trip to Singapore: Sightseeing Despite a Busy Schedule

Panoramic view of Gardens by the Bay showing Supertrees and the Cloud Forest Dome covered in vegetation and a waterfall
Panoramic view of Gardens by the Bay showing Supertrees and the Cloud Forest Dome covered in vegetation and a waterfall

As I was packing my bags for my business trip to Singapore, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. I had the honor to host the Data Night Out event! I knew that my days would be packed with meetings, leaving little time for sightseeing. But, being an avid traveler, I was determined to make the most of my time in Singapore, even if it meant squeezing in a few hours of exploration between work commitments.

Fortunately, I was able to make the most of my limited time in Singapore. I started my day by waking up early and taking a quick stroll around the Marina Bay area, which is famous for its stunning architecture and beautiful waterfront promenade. The iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel was my home base for the trip, and its rooftop infinity pool provided a much-needed respite from the stress of business meetings.

During the day, I made sure to take advantage of my lunch breaks and explore the local cuisine. Singapore is a foodie’s paradise, with a diverse range of culinary delights on offer. One of my favorite dishes was the famous Hainanese chicken rice, which can be found at hawker centers throughout the city.

In the evenings, I made sure to take in some of the local sights. I visited the Gardens by the Bay, which is home to a stunning array of flora and fauna, and also took a stroll through the colorful streets of Chinatown. The Singapore skyline is also not to be missed, especially at night when the city lights up.

Despite the packed schedule, I was able to make the most of my time in Singapore and experience some of the best that the city has to offer. It was a reminder that even when traveling for business, there is always time for adventure. These are the top spots you should be able to squeeze into your Singapore business trip:

    1. Marina Bay Sands: The iconic hotel with its rooftop infinity pool is a symbol of Singapore’s modernity and luxury – you won’t regret staying in this hotel!
    2. Gardens by the Bay: A nature lover’s paradise, this park is home to an impressive collection of flora and fauna, including the towering Supertrees.
    3. Chinatown: A vibrant neighborhood filled with colorful architecture, traditional shops, and some of the city’s best street food.
    4. Sentosa Island: A popular resort island that offers a range of activities, from relaxing on the beach to thrill-seeking adventures.
    5. Merlion Park: The famous Merlion statue is a must-see landmark in Singapore and offers great views of Marina Bay.

If you find yourself in Singapore for business, don’t miss out on some of the city’s must-see sights, such as Marina Bay, Gardens by the Bay, and Chinatown. And of course, be sure to indulge in the local cuisine. You never know when you might stumble upon your new favorite dish.

In my upcoming blog post, I’ll take you on a journey through Tioman Island and Kuala Lumpur, and share some of the unforgettable experiences and hidden gems that I discovered along the way. From exploring the island’s hidden coves and waterfalls to sampling the local cuisine and diving with colorful fish and sharks, Tioman truly has something for everyone.

Live Scorpions and Seahorses wriggling on a Stick

Live Scorpions and Seahorses wriggling on a Stick
Live Scorpions and Seahorses wriggling on a Stick

Wouldn’t you like to try one?

Located right in the center of Beijing‘s business district Donghuamen, the Wangfujing Night Market is known to many as the “Crazy Food Street”. Even though you can have the scorpions fried before you eat them, you also have the option of being brave and eating them alive. Mentally, one of the most difficult things to eat, especially since the scorpions are still alive an moving just before you eat them.

And if you are really feeling adventurous, try delicates like starfish, chicken heart, duck tongue, shrimp eggs, centipede, octopus tentacle and many more. I especially enjoyed silk-worms, very small but thick bugs that looked like they had a shell.

Discovering Beijing: The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City

Imagine we were just electrified in Tokyo, not tired at all hopping back to Beijing where we continued our trip. After passing through the chaos of the airport taxi rank, we decided to take the metro. Finally, after wandering around a few alleyways and asking a few times we ran into an old Chinese man who pointed us in the right direction and we finally checked into the Inner Mongolia Grand Hotel Beijing.

Smog covering Beijing
Smog covering Beijing

The first thing that comes to mind about Beijing is the smog in the air and the smell of exhaust fumes. It was very evident that the air here is not very clean even at night. Last time I experienced such air polution was 2007 in Bangalore, India. You hear a lot about it but you have to breathe it to fully comprehend how thick it actually is.

The Forbidden CityThe Forbidden City was the first site that we visited in Beijing. Off limits for 500 years, the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing was finally opened to the masses in 1949. This is a huge complex and China’s most spectacular architectural structure. The Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors in two dynasties, the Ming and the Qing.

The three main halls of the outer court, Hall of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Central Harmony and Hall of Preserved Harmony form a line inside the gate. These halls are all situated on three-tier marble terraces, with ornate marble balustrades. An impressive stone ramp carved with coiled dragons and clouds is located between the steps leading up to each hall. The ramp of Hall of Preserved Harmony is the largest.

The Forbidden City is an amazing walk around that took us one day. We continued with …

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

Entering Shibuya

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan

Multicolored neon light that illuminates a major city center with a vibrant nighttime glow, businessmen cackling, Japanese girls in bright outfits: welcome to Shibuya on a Friday night!

Before going to Japan when I thought of Tokyo I thought of the Shibuya crossing which is pretty famous for being one of the world’s most heavily used pedestrian scramble intersections. I have seen so many photos of this spot and it was one of the places I truly wanted to visit.

We ended up in Shibuya a couple times over our trip but the photo in this post is from the very first visit. While the Shibuya crossing does have “pedestrian crossing lines” which cross in different direction it does seem like people will charge in more or less any direction, as you can see in this video that was taken a few days later.