Ok. Here’s the deal. I know you want an update on the vacation per se, but seriously, if you want to know about what we saw Malaysia and Singapore, I will give you the link of the travel agents we went through, you can check the itinerary we followed , google the items, and Bam! You know what we saw. With pictures. Professional ones for that matter.
I, on the other hand, will dedicate my time and effort on telling you about all that I saw/heard/realised/learnt, other than the googleable matter. So here’s presenting to you – Malaysia Singapore Travels 2010!
– People on group package tours from India, can be broadly categorised into 3 kinds; honeymoon couples, uncle-aunties celebrating their 25th/32nd/35th wedding anniversaries, and others (which would be people like us)
– Honeymoon couples can be so busy with their PDA, that they will read their seat numbers as 20 instead of 26, argue with those occupying 20, and then plonk their asses in business class asking for an upgrade. Such couples will then be sent to their original seat, much to the relief of The Dude who would by then have cursed his luck a 100 times for not being the one with the seat number goof up.
– Said couple will continue to annoy by going missing after immigration and will make the bus wait for an hour and a half.
– Child marriages are still prevalent in India, case in point being a kid couple, whose collective age would be something I will reach by myself in another 10 years. Oh and also, people are capable of concluding their introduction with a very heartfelt ‘ My wife is the ‘angel of my life’. Yes, those were the exact words.
– People do not read their itineraries before embarking on tours. When the guide informs them that they have their evening free to themselves ( already mentioned in the itinerary), they will launch into loud arguments about how ‘it is the guide’s job to keep them entertained’.
– When the salad gets over in the Buffet dinner, Bareily-wale uncle will bang on the bowl with a spoon till they refill it.
– Vasudevan uncle, from the family of seven, will put complaints in the complaint box at every place we are served food. Reasons can range from, ‘why is their no authentic Indian dish (in Malaysia)’ to ‘ why do they not have soup’.
– Educated looking guy will ask the guide to take the bus to Langkawi (which is not in the package), because he is bored with what he has seen so far.
– Upgrade couple (mentioned twice above) will once again fail to hear the guide say that the bus to Singapore would leave at 8 in the morning, and will be taking a stroll in the garden till half past 9, till someone finally locates them.
– While on the night safari, Bareily-wale uncle will keep commenting loudly that ‘ yahi ghaas-phoos dekhna tha toh hamare Bareily me achcha tha’.
– The presence of such people on your bus, can really make the trip more fun, especially if you are with people who find all this as amusing.
Ok, so that was about what I learnt while on the trip, and I had to note it all down before I forgot, come on, we’ve to give to them, it couldn’t have been more entertaining than this! And no, I am not being sarcastic.
Coming to the trip itself, it was pure fun! This was perhaps one of the longer trips we’ve had, and we used every single day to the fullest. We started with KL, went to Genting Highlands, and then to Singapore and Sentosa Island. For me, the most fun bits were probably the Outdoor theme park in Genting Highlands, and Sentosa Island in general. I love amusement parks, and thrill rides and stuff. Which is why I had the best time at Disneyland when in Tokyo. Thankfully The Dude feels the same way. So between us, we managed to have an amazing time especially on The Space Shot and the Cork Screw . Scary, but super-awesome. Totally recommend it to people who enjoy thrill rides.
Oh, and of course, the cable car ride to and from Genting to where we stayed is an attraction in itself. So we stayed at a place which was 4000 ft above sea level and had to reach Genting which is at 6000 ft. One (and the best) way to do this, is take a cable car, which will take you over the Malaysian Rain forests in about half an hour, and dump you right inside the main Genting building. We did it twice, once in the night and again in the morning, and it was eerie and a great experience both times. Must try. In KL, the best parts were Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia, which was very nicely and stylishly planned; and the Petronas towers, which lived up to their hype, especially during the night.
Sentosa Island was beautiful, it has beaches after all, and it has a whole set of attractions, but the best part was the Songs of the Sea . The Dude was apprehensive, he thought it would be yet another song and light show, which it was, but man was it amazing! The whole thing is done with the sea as a backdrop, and the laser show, which depicts a whole story, uses water sprays as the screen. Not only that, but both the water fountains and fire works are completely in sync with the music. It is lovely, and has to be seen to be enjoyed.
Oh, and we also went on the Luge ride, which was pretty simple, except when someone in front of me stopped, and I had to too, and right at the moment, an auntie who had lost control of her Luge came and rammed into mine. Like I said fun, other than the part when I thought I would go flying off the road. Hmph. The Night Safari was good too , but I found it a tad over-hyped. Ok, you get to see all these animals at close quarters, but all said and done, it was like a zoo. I guess my visit to Pench and actually seeing the tigers in wilderness, totally spoilt this one for me 😉
And, let me think, oh yes, Mustafa is totally over-hyped. I mean yes, it is big and all, but it is not pretty. It is like 20 Big Bazaars. Good offers, all the stuff you need, but everything was cluttered. The only offer that we loved was on the plasma TVs which were going almost 50% of the going price in India, but the fact that the huge thing would have to lugged all the way from there to Chennai to Hyderabad, seemed to be too risky a proposition and hence, was rejected.
Also, neither Malaysia not Singapore are great shopping places, if you’re looking for bargains. There is this China market in Malaysia, which sells excellent fakes, but even they are not as cheap, and I am a pathetic bargainer. No, strike that. I am not a bargainer. So I didn’t really find anything useful. Singapore on the other hand, doesn’t understand bargaining et al, which would be a good thing for me, if only it weren’t so expensive.
We did all touristy things, like travelled in the local transport, tasted the local cuisine, and generally walked around to get a feel of the place. This apart from the tours which anyway took away most of our time. And it was great fun, just as we had hoped it to be. Anyway, all said and done, the vacation was much needed, and I hated coming back. As always. But all good things must come to an end, and this did too.
But then, that’s how I will get all the time in the world, to plan the next vacation!
PS. Pictures will follow, as soon as I get access to the home comp, and the ability to actually got to that non air-conditioned room in this dreadful heat. Kindly bear with me!