so if you've noticed the halted flood of blog posts it's because i was in Asia. specifically Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Macau. i could write a long exhausting post about my travels but i'll just sum it up with a sample of pictures (captioned) and hope that you can get a sense of my experience. for reference, i went with my parents and we met up with my aunt and uncle for a majority of the duration of our travels.
*these photos are from my iphone, a fancy pants dslr, and a really crappy point n' shoot with a fingerprint smudged lens. someone tell me why iphone photos with filters (via. instagram) look better than some photos taken with the dslr. i took over 700 pictures, so here are a few!
this, my friends, is where i spent approximately half of my vacation. we rented out a condo in Kowloon from a family friend and this is the outside of it. not the cleanliest of places, as you can see. the condos/apartments in Kowloon (which is the Hong Kong equivalent of Oakland to SF) are super small and cramped, yet cost a ton of money to live in. we stayed in a 500 sq. ft. condo with five people (which costs $500,000 USD to own!!). that should give you some perspective about my stay there.
this was the "double" that my mom and i shared. i guess Chinese doubles are not the same as doubles in America. i'm 5'2" so what exactly would a 6' 2" look like in a bed like this?
my aunt, uncle, family friends and cousin
you can't go to Hong Kong and not visit with family from there. the guy next to my dad is my grandpa's brother. they are pretty identical.
the next day we visited with my grandma's sister
this is what it's like in Hong Kong/Kowloon all. the. time! it's ridiculously busy everywhere you go. the streets are covered in hurried people. i imagine this is likely because they are escaping their tiny condos.
the Apple store at the IFC Mall. it looked pretty cool floating above the street like that.
at the Avenue of the Stars
this boat was prettier in real life floating around the harbor
at the cultural center. i thought it looked pretty cool.
lunch was fished out from the water behind us. super fresh stuff.
choose it. eat it. this guy was cooked up with some udon noodles.
funny ongoing question throughout the trip: one day our family friend, Joe, said we were eating "ga-roo-pa." i laughed and thought "bro means 'grouper' but is saying it super fobby." then while we were on the island eating this meal, i saw "garoupa" on the menu and thought "wow, all of Asia says AND writes it in a fobby way." so one day when i
finally found the all mighty magical wifi, i looked it up and it turns out that the word "grouper" is derived from the word "garoupa." haha! they had it right the whole time! they're just old school with it!
the sunrise on our way to Singapore
the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore. three towers joined by the 57th floor, where there is an infinity pool!
the "wall" was made up of shingles (can i call these that?) that moved with the wind. i can't explain how it looked, but it was friggin' cool.
the Singapore Flyer. tallest ferris wheel in the world.
the cabins fit like twenty people comfortably within them
as we were hopping on the Flyer these clouds rolled in and it was bananas! constant lightening and the loudest roaring thunder i've ever heard. this went on for a few hours and then the skies completely cleared up.
so cloudy that we could barely see anything
the Marina Bay Sands from the Flyer
these are large structures from the Gardens by the Bay. but in the fog they looked like real flowers. i sorta love this picture because i feel like it's image trickery.
after the storm of our lives past, we got some of Singapore's famous chili crab along with their black pepper crab. i don't typically eat messy things with my hands but this was worth it.
green tea eclair! hells yeah! and yeah, that's legit gold on it. that's why it cost a whopping $7!
the Singapore Flyer, the Art and Science Museum and Marina Bay Sands
when there's an infinity pool 57 floors above street level, it's imperative that you take a dip at least once.
the observation deck of the Marina Bay Sands
Singapore is apparently pretty high up there (if not #1) for import/export, as evidenced by the many ships waiting for their turn at the ports
taken on the plane on my way to Malaysia
walking around Melaka
i saw giant monitor lizards in the Melaka River!! i love seeing wild animals.
people come to take wedding pictures with that bridge in the backround. we saw like ten newlyweds scattered around this area
durian. "smells like garbage, tastes like heaven" MY ASS! smells like garbage, tastes like a foot.
the Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. it was really hard to get a good, unobstructed picture of these towers.
the King's Palace
up high on the mountain side!
towers at dusk. they light up at night. quite a sight to see in the dark!
temple within a cave
i climbed a ton of steep stairs in hot humid conditions to get to a viewpoint. dripping (literally) with sweat, i was unimpressed with what i saw at the stairs peak, hence no picture of a view to follow.
these monkeys just hang out at the temple waiting for people to give them food
this is Marcel. i've named in honor of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. monkey
drinking out of bags like the locals. the coffee in Malaysia is hella good, btw. it's white coffee, roasted with palm oil instead of sugar.
there are bikes attached to the back of these. the guys riding the bikes around town with two passengers kicking back in the front were soaked with sweat by the time we were done.
the only landmark in Macau
House of Dancing Water. this is like Cirque de Soleil's "O," Disney's World of Color and more, on crack! the story line itself wasn't amazing or anything, but the stage was awesome. people would dive from high up into the water and seconds later the stage became solid. there was a lot of precision in this show. i was pretty mesmerized.
the Hong Kong skyline at night! SO pretty!
the light show between the Hong Kong side and the Kowloon side. nightly at 8pm. very cool!
the greatest part of this trip was experiencing the way my parents grew up and seeing the things that they saw. fortunately for me, i'm a spoiled American who can just visit that lifestyle and can escape at any moment back to my cozy cal. king bed and spacious home. it was a really humbling experience and i'm happy to have seen it. also, it was nice to spend some quality time with my parents!
where to next? hmmm...hopefully Australia!