I’ve always wanted to visit this seemingly magical place that has been hiding across the globe. Also, I have to admit that reading and watching Eat, Pray, Love only turned that interest into longing. However, on this trip we’ve received mixed reviews of this island in Indonesia from fellow travelers so when we finally decided to add it as a destination on our trip, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
There’s nothing worse than not having access to your money while you’re traveling. Make sure you prepare yourself before the trip!
If you expect to be traveling internationally in the upcoming months, consider a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. Also look for a bank card that will refund your ATM fees.
Look for credit and debit cards that offer perks that will be useful during your extended international travel. Find a bank that offers an ATM card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and will refund your ATM fees. Traveler favorites include the Charles Schwab Investor Checking card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa. You can find a great breakdown by by our friends at Traveling 9 to 5.
If you consider yourself a foodie, you should definitely consider making a pilgrimage to one of the many hawker centers that are hugely popular with the locals in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Before you unbutton the top button on your pants and head out the door, I’d like to tell you about the rules at these establishments so you don’t look silly in front of the locals. Everyone is there to get yummy, cheap food so people will not tolerate a foreigner getting in the way of their goal.
Step One: Overcome your fears of street foods. Hawker centers are the source for very cheap meals that are often better than restaurants, where you will pay at least double. Hawker centers are open buildings without air-conditioning housing a few rows small food stalls that serve a various local specialties as well as favorites from neighboring nations. You can typically find your favorites from the following cuisines: Malay, Indonesian, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Middle Eastern. Also, you can find fresh juices, desserts. Everything is almost always prepared fresh after you order.
Another huge change in environments for us: from Delhi, India to Singapore. While much of India is known for being dirty, Singapore is known for quite the opposite. You can’t buy chewing gum because it is banned in the city. Jaywalking is enforced extensively. Caning is still a common form of punishment – remember Michael Fay from Ohio?
Singapore is an interesting mix of cultures. It was once part of Malaysia, but because of fundamental political disagreements, Singapore became it’s own nation. Since then, many British, Chinese, and Indian people have moved there. They have four official languages and most signs are written in each of them!