Category Archives: Singapore

Restoran Kapitan – George Town Indian Food

Back in Cameron Highlands, I met an Indian couple from Texas who recommended Restoran Kapitan

So as I wandered around George Town, lo and behold, I found it. It wasn’t actually difficult to find, I suppose, as I’m pretty sure I could’ve asked anyone and they would’ve pointed me in the right direction. But I wasn’t really looking and just happened to stumble upon it.

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I ordered the tandoori chicken and naan with an orange Fanta and have to admit that it was delicious! The chicken was spicy and moist. I felt a little awkward eating alone though, because the place was slammin’ during lunch hour. There were lots of business people dressed in nice long-sleeved shirts and slacks (I don’t understand how they weren’t dripping with sweat like I was) enjoying the food as well. Most of the patrons were men, with a few groups of women with their young children. I was the only single woman, which got some stares, but, having been in Malaysia for a while now, I was getting used to it.

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I’ve found that it’s a bit different traveling alone in Asia than it was in Australia or New Zealand. It seemed more acceptable to be a girl on your own in the latter than it is in the former. I observed that more people (mostly men) tended to stare at me in Malaysia (and to a lesser extent Singapore) when I walked around the town on my explorations.

It’s not as if I felt physically threatened or anything, but I did find it a bit disconcerting at times. It’s as if I’m an insect under a microscope or an oddity of some sort because the men just blatantly look at you. Even if you catch them looking and stare right back at them, they don’t take the subtle hint (even when I sometimes wasn’t so subtle and glared back at them).

Oftentimes I could feel my American upbringing bubbling near the surface, and I wanted to snap at the guys by saying, “what the hell are you looking at?” But I didn’t. Why should I condemn people from another country for breaking the societal pleasantries and customs of my country? After all, we weren’t in my country.

After a while, I just tried to ignore them. But, I can only imagine the attention that Caucasian girls drum up in Asia. I assume it’s a pain in the butt most of the time.

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Filed under Australia, Food, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Travel

Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle

It was finally the weekend so Voon and I passed the time like many girls do – by hitting the mall. Many of the shopping centers in Kuala Lumpur are clustered together in an area known as the Golden Triangle. I guess this makes it easier for shoppers to beat the heat when all the malls are next to one another.

After taking the LRT and the KL Monorail to the Golden Triangle, we stopped at the nearest mall to pick up a Malaysian SIM card for my phone. By now, I was collecting an assortment of SIM cards everywhere I went. As we wandered around, we came across a sale so I bought a pair of black capris. Surprisingly, I was able to fit them despite everything in Asia being sized small (or my American butt being sized too big; I guess it just depends on how you look at it).

Afterwards, we visited a big, modern mall called Pavilion. It’s exactly what I imagined all the Orchard Road malls in Singapore to be like and what I had avoided while I was there. But, it’s different when you’re shopping and hanging out with a friend so I was happy to browse with Voon at Pavilion. This mall carried just about every international brand you could want, and architecturally, it was pretty cool-looking.

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Filed under Attraction, Malaysia, Singapore, Travel

Traveling from Singapore to Malacca by Bus

My first taste of Asia only seemed to whet my appetite, so I booked a bus ticket on Delima Express and headed north of the border to Malacca in southern Malaysia. Linking the two countries is the Johor-Singapore Causeway, which crosses the Straits of Johor. On the way we transitioned through two immigration facilities, one exiting Singapore and one entering Malaysia. We had to disembark, go through customs and immigration and then get back on the bus at each site.

Prior to leaving Singapore, I was a bit leery of the bus journey. I had heard so many stories about how long and arduous the rides were in Asia. They are always described as being cramped, uncomfortable and exceedingly bumpy. However, surprisingly, the bus was in extremely good condition. Most importantly, the air conditioning worked and blew cold air. It also wasn’t full by any means so all the passengers could spread out. The seats were cushioned and the windows allowed for a nice view of passing scenery.

When I arrived at Melaka Sentral, a large bus terminal, I exchanged what little Singaporean dollars I had for Malaysian ringgit. I also tried to withdraw money from an ATM but wasn’t able to get anything. I tried another bank’s ATM but got the same result. This worried me a bit because it was the first time that I experienced being cashless. I guess I should’ve exchanged some money in Singapore, but I didn’t think it would be such a problem.

In the depot, I walked back and forth on the platform searching for the right bus company and route number. There were about 23 bays being used by different bus companies, and I wasn’t sure which area I should wait in. There were no signs or placards and different companies seemed to use the same bays. I don’t know if there were assigned bays or if it was first come first served. In any case, it was just baffling to me.

As I waited, I noticed that there were mostly men at the depot. Men definitely outnumbered women, 50 to 1, and I felt a little conspicuous traveling alone and carrying a huge backpack and daypack. Everything slowly got more Asian and less western the farther north I went. The language was predominantly Malay and people seemed to speak less English here.

As time ticked on, I began to get a little restless. What if there were no buses going my way? What if they were there, but I missed them because I couldn’t understand the language? All this fretting was for nothing though, because after waiting for an hour my bus rolled up. It reminded me of one of those large, metal contraptions from the 1960s, all rusted and squeaking but still moseying along.

I quickly hopped on and took up two seats – one for me, one for my bag. All the other passengers squeezed on and some even hung off the step. There was no A/C onboard and we were squeezed in like sardines. Now this is the kind of bus I was anticipating in Asia, but I was just glad to be on my way.

The ticket man boarded and collected our money. I have no idea what he was shouting (probably something like “hurry up and pay”). Everyone else seemed to give the same amount so I guess my online research was correct. I rode the bus for about 10 minutes and got off at Ocean Mall. After trying another ATM that didn’t work, I left the mall and headed for my hostel. The roads were a little confusing, but I eventually found my way after stopping to ask for directions at 7-11. After such a long journey, I was happy to get settled in.

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Filed under Malaysia, Singapore, Transportation, Travel