By Tara

 I found, while traveling, that no place is ever as I thought it would be. Each destination stretches my comfort level just a little bit further. Most of the time I feel like I’m on the verge of disaster, but in reality, I’m sure it’s just the fear of the unknown.

Kuala Lumpur's population is 60% Malay, 20% Chinese, and 20% Indian. There are many tourists from Asia and the Middle East, only a few from Australian and Europe, and even fewer from the US.

There is an endless supply of malls and skyscrapers. There are malls on top of malls connected to other malls connected to skyscrapers. This city has an impressive skyline. We were fortunate enough to have tea at a revolving restaurant at 335 meters.

On the steps of the Batu Caves a young German woman and a monkey are battling over a bag of peanuts.  When the monkey showed his teeth, she showed hers. I was sure this woman was about to get bit.  In the end the woman won and the monkey stood down.  I guess the moral here, is don’t pick a fight with a German woman.

Batu Caves
What I like most about KL is the food.  We have been on a nonstop steamed dumpling, bubble tea, Korean BBQ, fried rice eating frenzy. This is Boris’s favorite dessert. No, I’m not joking. This stuff is extremely popular here, much more so than ice cream. This dessert consists of green tea ice, taro and sweet potato balls, red beans, and tapioca pearls.

The dominate religion here is Muslim (60%) and the women here dress much more modestly than in any other place we have visited.  At first I felt very self-conscious about the way I was dressed by comparison, but now I hardly notice.


Bali is a charming place despite it's third world shortcomings. It's inexpensive and stayed dry when the rest of Asia was getting hammered by typhoons. We went snorkeling at a WII shipwreck and on Gilli T Island. Nothing like snorkeling with women sitting on the beach in burqas staring at you with the Muslim call to prayer blasting. We went white water rafting twice and to a safari. We trekked through rice paddies, visited an ancient village, and laid out on the beaches. Experienced Hindu ceremonies, had at least 20 massages, spent time at the monkey forest, took a taxi cab ride where the taxi driver jumped out and started beating a guy on a motorbike. Lots to do here. But after 2 months, I'm done. Looking forward to Kuala Lumpur next week.

Gili Trawangan
Gili Trawangan