Farewell Asia, Mi Goreng To Miss You!

January 17, 2019 Off By resignatedsurvivors

Hi readers. Yes, we are aware that we have been lacking in the blog department recently (decent wifi has not been our friend), but here it is at long last! First of all, a very happy (and belated) new year to you all, we wish you an amazing and adventure-filled 2019.


So after three-and a half months of travelling around Asia, the first phase of the RSBA was drawing to an end. But not before first taking a bit of a “break” from being backpackers and treating ourselves to some luxury on the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali over Christmas, and then heading to the sparkling clean streets of Singapore to see in the new year and say goodbye to phase one of the RSBA.

Tegallalang Rice Terrace in Bali

For those of you who don’t know, Bali is an island popular with holidaymakers globally, being famous for its beautiful beaches, wonderful hospitality, top-class restaurants and beautiful temples. Whilst we can’t really speak for any of this, we did make a few observations, as follows: 1) Ubud’s countryside is stunning, full of lush green rice terraces, and cute swings facing out into oblivion, perfect for you ‘grammers out there; 2) speaking of Instagram, you know that famous temple in the clouds that everyone loves to pose at? Well, this is the ultimate “expectation vs. reality” situation and the reality looks rather like this:

Yep, when there are views, there are queues (Mr Resignated Survivor, 2019). Pura Lempuyang AKA The Gates of Heaven. This is no exception! Many hundreds of people queued for hours to get their perfect Instagram shot. We didn't bother, instead we just took photos of the people who did 🙂 It's worth noting, from Seminyak, we rode 3 hours on our motorbike to get to this temple and of course another 3 hours back.

and 3) a Balinese boxing day is rather different to gorging on sandwiches made of leftover Christmas dinner and eating all the cheese (although we did have pangs of hunger for turkey and stuffing and mince pies and boxes of chocolate – we’ll have to make up for it next Christmas!). 

As you can see, this young lady is gleefully jumping at the prospect of being high up in the clouds at the gates of heaven. That, or she's just one of many hundreds of people trying to find a way to pose for their IG profile!
Simply turning around from the iconic gates, and there you will find an actual temple with people who actually pray?! Go figure. During our time here, the religious festival of Galungan was taking place.
Boxing Day in Bali where thousands of people take part in various processions to celebrate Galungan (aka Hindu Christmas to the locals) - the celebration of the victory of good over evil.
Soon after leaving the temple, we got caught in yet another storm!
Mi Goreng is a delicious Balinese fried noodle dish. We found the instant versions of these while seeking shelter from the storm and can honestly say, as far as instant noodles go, these were simply incredible!
A celebrated artist handpainting wooden eggs
The finished products. These can often take up to an entire day per egg. The painter was a lovely man and always had a smile on his face.
This is no ordinary espresso. This is Kopi Luwak (or Civit Coffee) where the coffee beans have been partially digested by the Asian Palm Civet and defecated out. Apparently they have a knack for picking the best beans! I have to admit, it was a pretty fine espresso!
The Elephant Cave temple in Ubud, Bali
The temple within the Monkey Forest
We all have one of those days - a monkey enjoying a bit of down time in the Monkey Forest
This really needs no words!

After some days soaking up the sun in our luxury hideaway in Bali (there’s not much more to tell than that), it was time for a quick stop in Singapore, the cleanest and most well-kept city I have ever seen, where it is forbidden to chew gum (or bring gum into the country) or even drink water on the metro. We spent our time there wandering the streets, admiring the stunning skyscrapers and the cleanest and most organised Chinatown we had ever encountered. And of course, being the devout foodies that we are, we HAD to squeeze in a quick visit to Hawker Chan, the world’s first Michelin starred street food stall (delicious soy sauce chicken and noodles, mmmm!).  To top it all off, we witnessed the incredible New Years’ Eve fireworks display set against the backdrop of the magnificent Marina Bay Sands hotel. Never had we been more thankful for this adventure, we are incredibly lucky to be able to experience this and we can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us! 

The view from Chinatown station in Singapore
Seeing in 2019 in Singapore part 1 of 3
Seeing in 2019 in Singapore part 2 of 3
Seeing in 2019 in Singapore part 3 of 3
We had a Michelin starred lunch in under £15 for the both of us!
The view of Singapore from the Marina Bay Sands. We managed to capture some lightning too!
The aftermath, no more fireworks, just a great view of the Marina Bay Sands.
Olympic Walk

In summary, the last few months in Asia have been exciting, stressful, strange, wonderful, nerve-wracking, frustrating, thrilling, beautiful and most of all unforgettable. Our adventure is flying by far too quickly for our liking but that just goes to show how much fun we’ve been having. We thought we’d round up the past few months with a list of our most unforgettable moments of the RSBA so far (in no particular order):

1.       Trekking around the beautiful lush green hills of Sapa, northern Vietnam.

2.       Going back to our homestay in the dark after motorbiking around Sapa – deep potholes + sheer cliff edges + faulty headlights do not make a for a fun drive home.

3.       Spending a night in the Thar desert under the Milky Way, with only a couple of camels for company.

4.       Our first sight of the Taj Mahal peeking through the archway at the entrance gate.

5.       Witnessing sunsets over the many stunning beaches in Thailand. Emotional.

6.       Meeting cute little Tarsiers (suicidal primates) as they relaxed in their natural habitat.

7.       Almost being swallowed up by quicksand in Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia.

8.       Spending five days sailing around deserted paradise islands in the Philippines with beautiful strangers who became fantastic friends.

9.       Eating everything everywhere.

10.   Ringing in the new year realising there are still four more months to go of this amazing adventure.

Our next post will be about New Zealand, where we will regale you with tales of two complete novices travelling around the South Island in a battered old campervan. We promise, it will give you goosebumps.

Much Love,

The Resignated Survivors.