All Kinds Of Temple Prayer Things

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It has been about 2 weeks since we left the states to start our big journey. So much has happened already and we’d like to share some of the highlights so far while living here in our first destination—Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The first week was pretty action-packed. We were busy (1) getting acquainted to the city we will be living in for the month, (2) getting to know our fellow remotes (~75 people) that we will be traveling with for the next 12 months, while also (3) trying to juggle work on top of that.

Given that we didn’t do much reading for what to expect in KL (since we were mostly occupied with preparations for this trip), we were pleasantly surprised to learn that KL had so much to offer. Malaysia has cultural influences from Malay, India, China, Indonesia, and Thailand (and probably a few other countries I’m missing), and so everything from the food to the city’s architecture was very diverse. Walk through Jalan Alor, which is just a few blocks away from our apartment, and you’ll see for yourself.

Some more food porn:

A few weeks before leaving the states, I also reached out a local Malaysian climbing community to see if anyone would be down to climb outdoors. To my luck, a guy named Azlan responded and showed me some of the local crags.

We ended up climbing Damai Wall, Batu Caves.

He was even kind enough to recommend some common Malay cuisines.

Shit was good. Thanks bud!

It was interesting speaking with Azlan and learning about each other’s culture. I learned that we had a lot in common growing up between moving to the states and back to the motherland (Malaysia for Azlan, Philippines for me). Our cultures had so much in common from the language to the food and cultural norms. We even found a couple of words that were the exact same or some variation of it.

I was also surprised to meet a lot of Pinoys that work in the restaurant industry in Malaysia. There were lots of “Salamat po”, “Kamusta kuya?”, and “Ay, sanay pala magtagalog!” exchanges… way more than I expected.

We also visited a couple temples around Kuala Lumpur:

Some of them even had my spirit animal:

So far, our 2 weeks in KL have been a good way to ease-in living in South East Asia. It definitely feels like living in Asia yet we still enjoy most of the conveniences that America has to offer, but for a way cheaper price (I just paid 15 ringgit, roughly $4 USD, for a 25 minute Uber ride)! We’re not exactly “roughing it” by any means, but that will change… very soon.

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An Extended Lay Over in Hong Kong

B and I decided to spend a day in Hong Kong before heading to our first destination—Kuala Lumpur. That is in Malaysia, in case you were wondering 😉

As soon as we stepped out of the airport, we hopped on a double decker bus and started heading towards our hostel in Kowloon City. We were simply amazed by all the skyscrapers and the surrounding mountains everywhere we looked.

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We arrived around 7:30am to our hostel and decided to just chill and figure out what we wanted to do in the city. While reading one of the many lonely planet books at the hostel, I stumbled upon this recommendation.

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Apparently checking out one of the Filipino bars during wee hours of the night came as a highly recommended thing to do if you only have a day in Hong Kong. Red light district maybe?

We ended up getting breakfast at a nearby restaurant. This was the first time I’ve seen instant noodles actually served at a restaurant.

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The noodles were on point 😂

We then did a bunch of urban exploration: took the ferry to Hong Kong island, went to Victoria peak, and walked around pretty aimlessly. It was great.

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It was funny seeing some signs with English translations that don’t make much sense.

Someone please explain.

It was actually very easy to get around in Hong Kong. The public transportation system was very easy to use and most people spoke English and all street signs had English translations.

I noticed a high number of high luxury cars; it seemed like almost every other private vehicle was either a Mercedes, Tesla, or a BMW. This was surprising given how cars are taxed in Hong Kong—the rate at which a car is taxed depends on how much the car is: the more expensive it is, the more car gets taxed percentage-wise. So let’s say you own a Tesla Model S (base price in the US is ~$70k), in Hong Kong, you could be paying almost double that. Insane.

So what’s next?

Here we are in our hostel wide awake at 4:30 am nerding out on the internet before heading over to Malaysia and meeting everyone else on the trip!

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