Showing posts from February, 2020


I have always dreamed of traveling the world's most exotic beaches, so I couldn't have been more excited when we finally arrived in Maldives.   Located in the Indian Ocean, with a population of 400,000 people, Maldives is the smallest country in Asia. It’s made up of 1190 islands and basically all water: 26 atolls, rings of formed islands, and reefs of varying shapes, depths, and sizes with hues of blue, turquoise to indigo. It is also the world’s lowest country, there are no hiking trails and mountainous national parks to explore.  Maldives is not one of those island countries where you can backpack through. It's  one of those places that would take effort and expensive to visit.  It's famous for luxury resorts on their own private island. We dropped anchor in Male, Maldives capital city, and took the dhoni to a private island luxury resort, Vadoo. It was encircled with powdery white sand beach, and clear blue waters, few connecting cottages floating on the w

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

My visit to the UNESCO World Georgetown in Penang was a great introduction to the country whose slogan is "Truly Asia".  However, during the drive to Kuala Lumpur, I observed some differences from other Asian countries I have visited - it seemed anything but Asian.  The roads were modern and clean, and the people follow the rules. We passed small cities, called satellite cities with modern buildings, complete with shopping malls, places of worship, hotels, schools, and housing, created to avoid congestions in major cities like Kuala Lumpur.  Kuala Lumpur is quite nice, featuring some of the best modern buildings I've seen. The most popular is, of course, the Petronas Twin Towers, arguably one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the world. Standing at 1483 feet, it is among the tallest buildings in the world, though when built, it dethroned the Sears Tower for the top spot. Nearby is the Menaras Tower, sitting on top of the hill, it stands above even the twin towers.  

Penang, Malaysia

I was standing at the famous Marina Bay Sands Sky Park Observation Deck in Singapore when I overheard someone say, “You can see Malaysia from here, but there’s nothing much to see there”. That was seven years ago. I returned to Asia on a few occasions, but never visited Malaysia until recently. Malaysia flew by my travel radar probably because its tourism industry is not heavily promoted or not as developed as Thailand its neighbor in the North or its southern neighbor, Indonesia. With the oil and rubber industry, and port of Malacca, Malaysia does not depend upon its tourism. On a recent trip to Malaysia, I decided to go to Penang first. What a better way to learn about the country’s history than a visit to Georgetown, Penang’s capital city. It is a historic city included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The city is a living example of the multi-cultural heritage (Malay, Chinese, Indian) and tradition of Asia and European colonial influences. Its mélange of culture is expressed