Kusu Island

Kusu Island, one of the southern islands of Singapore is located about 6 kilometres to the south of Singapore. The name means Tortoise Island or Turtle Island. From two tiny outcrops on a reef, the island was enlarged and transformed into an island holiday resort of about 85,000 square metres.

Story has it that a magical tortoise turned itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors – a Malay and a Chinese. On top of the hill on Kusu Island stands three karat (or holy shrines of Malay saints) to commemorate a pious man (Syed Abdul Rahman), his mother (Nenek Ghalib) and sister (Puteri Fatimah) who lived in the 19th century. Devotees will have to climb 152 steps to reach the top of the rugged hillock  if they wish to offer prayer to the shrines.

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Siem Reap Part 2

For most of my temple visits, please visit my blog post under “Siem Reap Part 1”.

Tonle Sap – is the largest lake in South East Asia. The difference in the size of the lake between the dry and the wet seasons can be as much as 10 to 15 times. We were there in July so the water level of the river and the lake is quite high. It is not advisable to visit the lake during the dry season as the water level in the river can get too low for boats to access the lake or the floating villages.

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Road Trip to Betong

Instead of our usual route driving to Hatyai through the Bukit Kayu Hitam immigration check point, we decided to drive to Hatyai through Betong and Yala. Our trip consists of 2 nights stay in Betong and 3 nights stay in Hatyai with a day trip to Songkhla.

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Vientiane

Vientiane, is the largest city and capital of Laos. It is located on the banks of the Mekong river and on the opposite banks of the river is Thailand.

We stayed in Sabaidee @ Lao, a boutique hotel, with clean rooms and a nice courtyard where breakfast is served. The location of the hotel is very convenient as it is within reasonable walking distance to almost all of the attractions in Vientiane.

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Hatyai

Hatyai is a city in Southern Thailand, near the Malaysian border states of Perlis, Kedah and Penang. Although Hatyai is the largest city of Songkhla province, the capital is actually Songkhla, the centre of administration and culture, while Hatyai is the business centre.

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Siem Reap Part 1

Almost everyone know that Siem Reap is famous for Angkor Wat. There isn’t much to write about Siem Reap except to fore-warn that you will probably be visiting one temple after another throughout your whole trip.

It can get a bit tiring and frustrating, especially that at most temples you will be faced with hundreds of tourist from all parts of the world rushing through and taking photos with their cell phones and whatnots. I find that if you are prepared to take your time and slow down just to savour the sights, you will find windows of opportunity when the serenity of the place will return after the hordes of tourist have rushed through.

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Lombok

Lombok is separated from Bali in the west about 40 km away by the Lombak Strait. The island is roughly circular in shape measuring about 70 km across. The centrally located, Mount Rinjai at 3726 metres is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and is still active.

The capital of Lombok is Mataram and the populace consists of about 85% sasak and about 15% Balinese. The sasak whilst culturally and linguistically related to the Balinese are mostly muslim.

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