From Kuala Lumpur to Singapore
After spending another week in Ubud, I decided to continue my trip to Singapore and then head towards Kuala Lumpur. I had already visited Singapore in 2011, so this time it was just a short stop and a visit to the zoo before heading to Malaysia.
Singapore is a funny country among the other regular backpacking destinations in Southeast Asia, as it almost feels like you just jumped to Europe in between the other less expensive and more exotic destinations. And still, even if it feels like Europe in your wallet and in the clean subway, you are definitely far away from home.
The signs warning you not to eat smelly durians in the subway nor spit out your chewing gum on the street or announcements to mind the gap in four languages do make you realize this is not Helsinki or Paris. There are people from all races and even I got to experience that race question first time in my life, definitely something you don’t experience back home in Finland! P.s. I had to really think about my race.
When in Singapore in 2011, the zoo left me totally amazed, so I decided to visit again. Whatever you may say about zoos, I most probably would agree with you, and I so much rather saw those beautiful creatures in nature, but the reality is that there is not much space left for many of our animal friends. Sometimes it is better to protect the species even if it means putting them in cages for other animals to watch.
Singapore zoo is also doing good job in educating the audience about trafficking e.g. ivory or rhinos’ horns, and how can you make sure you are not buying products with those ingredients (as well as providing the scientific proof that whatever you think elephant tusk powder might do to your feverish cold or other symptoms, it’s bullshit).
Zoos, Sapiens — book by Yuval Noah Harari and participating in the yoga retreats has also got me thinking about eating meat. I’m not a big carnivore anyway, but just realizing what a massive change to worse the development of our societies has been to animals and how we end up eating stress hormones in our meat, it got me thinking if I want to be part of that.
Right now I’m sitting on a porch in Langkawi watching cows wonder around on a paddy with their baby cows and chicken hanging around on the yard, I can’t help but to wonder that this is how it should be. Not baby cows separated from their mothers right after birth or pigs put into a small pen for their whole life to grow bigger faster. And all the antibiotics we put into animals so they would grow bigger faster, they end up in us.
Alright, maybe enough of animal rights for this blog post. As Singapore being relatively expensive, I stayed only for two nights in an Airbnb. After that I decided to be adventurous and take the train to Kuala Lumpur. Well, technically, first bus, then local train (MRT), then another bus, one more bus and then the train. Recommended, if you have time and energy to pass through two customs by foot, patience to wait, and strength to carry all your stuff with you.
So instead of taking the flight for an hour or so, I spent 11 hours getting to Kuala Lumpur. The good thing was that I could see how locals travel, got to witness beautiful colonial tracks through countryside Malaysia and arrived right to the city center. Prepare, it is freaking cold in the wagon! I was freezing most of the time, although I was prepared, so I ended up spending quite a lot of time in the space between the wagons. This was definitely one of the most interesting places in the train as you could almost feel like going back in time, when young guys just opened the doors of a moving train and leaned out to have a cigarette. Hello security standards :D
Kuala Lumpur — what can I say? I think in about 2 days you have seen enough for a lifetime. While there, it is worth to visit the Petronas Twin Towers (hint here: you buy a ticket to a specific lift that leaves at specific time, so if you want to visit it the same day, go early!) and the Batu Caves, which sadly I didn’t do. Otherwise, the city is pretty difficult if you want to walk around and quite dirty; well, this seems to be a common problem in Southeast Asian cities besides Singapore. I stayed in an Airbnb, which had a common pool area for all residents, and this was definitely the right choice. Otherwise, there is also a great Alor night street food market, which is worth visiting! All those flavours will definitely raise your appetite, and if you feel very courageous, try durian!