It’s surreal how quickly time has flown by here in Singapore. As much as I love Singapore, though, my favorite part about my study abroad experience has been traveling to other countries in Southeast Asia. That was actually one of the main reasons why I wanted to study abroad in Singapore; I can easily jet off to different countries within Asia for a weekend.
So far I’ve been to Tioman Island in Malaysia, Batam Island in Indonesia, Bangkok in Thailand, Siem Reap in Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. All of them have such different but incredible experiences, given how unique the culture is in each country. It’s difficult to even pinpoint my favorite destination because of how different the experiences have been in each. If I had to pick my top two favorite visits, though, I’d pick Bangkok and Siem Reap.
I traveled to Bangkok with a large group of friends (about 20 of us) so it was a packed weekend of exploring the bustling city during the day while also enjoying the nightlife. Bangkok offers a rich culture with hundreds of Buddhist temples and the largest outdoor market in the world, as well as an exciting nightlife with busy restaurants, bars, and clubs. I loved experiencing cultural aspects and social aspects of the city all within one weekend.
I enjoyed Siem Reap equally as much as I did Bangkok, although it was a completely different adventure. I traveled to Siem Reap with my mom during my university’s week-long fall break, so we had much more time to explore the city compared to other places I’ve been. The city is much less crowded than other Asian cities like Bangkok and Hong Kong, although it has evolved into an increasingly popular tourist destination. Siem Reap serves as primarily a cultural destination; very little nightlife exists. During my visit to Siem Reap, my mom and I visited numerous temple sites, such as Angkor Wat, as well as a floating village. One of the best aspects of Siem Reap is how kind and generous everyone is; all of the people we interacted with, whether it be our tour guide, hotel staff, or restaurant waitresses, were so grateful that we had traveled to Siem Reap.