Malaysia and Indonesia in awesome Asia

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This is part two of a three-part series exploring my travels in Asia.

If you want the background on the travel series, visit my earlier post on Thailand. If you’re good to go, carry on for a glimpse into the cosmopolitan city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and the zen village of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia.

A community of culture within a metropolis city.

Although Kuala Lumpur (KL) hosts 1.6 million people, there is an ease and grace in which the city moves. KL is where urban bustle meets cultural heritage. It’s modern, yet there’s an intentional care devoted to preserving a community of culture. This quality comes from the people and most certainly applied to our gracious hosts, Christina and Mike. They surprised us with a trip into Chinatown, where they custom-ordered a Malaysian and Chinese breakfast. They also gave us a tour of the Farmers Market, rich with Asian vegetables, fruits and fish.

In the evening, we ventured into the the city to take in the KLCC or Kuala Lumpur City Center and the Petronas Towers, the world’s largest twin towers. It was a site to see and is a testimony to the modernity and energy of this great city.


International guests enjoy a breakfast with their host in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown In Malayasia, Asia.

Breakfast mates: I am far right and our host Michael, is in the blue shirt. Joining us is a family who’d just spent a year in New Zealand. 


 A Malaysian and Chinese breakfast of wonton soup, noodles and curry in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown in Malaysia , Asia.

A Malaysian and Chinese breakfast of wonton soup, noodles and yellow curry.

Bags of greens in the Chinatown Market of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Asia.

Bags of fresh, beautiful and varied greens in the Farmers Market


The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in Asia.
The infamous Petronas Towers 


The balance and beauty of Bali. 

The small village of Ubud, within the island of Bali, delivered me to an unknown travel level in Asia. It went beyond cultural immersion and most certainly had something to do with timing of the overall journey. In the beauty of their rice fields, I enjoyed a morning run and a visual backdrop for lunch. An off-the-beaten-path journey took me on a rain-soaked hike that delivered a new perspective and the privilege of witnessing a Hindu religious ceremony. These views and moments are forever embedded into my head and heart – the very reason for this blog post series and my anniversary celebrations!

We also ventured to Tirta Empul, a Hindu temple and sacred spring fed by twelve fountains. This journey was equally humbling and awe-inspiring. I felt and understood the sacredness of the moment; it was amazing to witness the holy practice of locales as bystanders.


A house in the village of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia in Asia.

A Ubud home, nestled in the rice fields 


These grass huts are actually private dining huts where you can eat and overlook the rice fields in the village of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia in Asia.

Lunch with a view  


A Hindu religious ceremony with women making offerings via the baskets on their heads . The ceremony is taking place in the village of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia in Asia.

Hindu ceremony in Ubud. This capture is my blog header photo and is a constant reminder of surprise, beauty, humility and being still.   


The holy temple of Tirta Empul in Bali, Indonesia in Asia.

At Tirta Empul, worshipers give an offering at the temple, enter the pool to bathe and move under each fountain in sequence, a practice that dates back to 923 AD.  


Next week I will close my series with a post on Vietnam. Thank you for indulging me as I celebrate my Awesome Asia anniversary.

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Theresa · at

Beautiful pictures! Such beauty in each one.

Helen · at

Love, love, love the photos. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Nor Randall · at

Amazing pictures! what a great experience you will always carry with you!

Minerva Loran · at

Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos of your experience in Asia. You are definitely a photographer!

Martha · at

Such a nice writing style, Deb. Out of curiosity, what is the purpose of passing through each fountain in sequence? Is it somehow similar to stations of the cross in the Christian religion?

    cooldeb · at

    Martha, great question. I read back through my journal and I don’t have additional notes on the sequencing. This is what I do have: The spring pool has several fountains you put your head under and in sequence. At the end, there are two fountains for deceased family and one for bad dreams. From an online search: Inside the central courtyard, referred to as ‘madya mandala’ or ‘jaba tengah’, pilgrims first approach a rectangular purification bath where a total of 13 elaborately sculpted spouts that line the edge from west to east. After solemn prayers at an altar-like shrine, they proceed to enter the crystal-clear, cold mountain water. With hands pressed together, they bow under the gushing water of the first spout, carrying on to the eleventh. The water from the last two of the 13 spouts is meant for purification purposes in funerary rites.

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