This summer, my wife, Kerry and I visited three island countries that have many things in common: nice warm weather, delicious food, and friendly people.
First, we went to Mauritius. It is an island near Africa but it is in the Indian Ocean. The majority of the population is Hindu because their ancestors were from India. There are also Chinese, Africans, and Europeans living on the island. We went there to meet our friends from the U.S. for kiteboarding. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort at Riu le Morne. All-inclusive means that the food and drinks are free while you are staying at the hotel. It is a popular place with many people playing games or relaxing by the pool.
Le Morne is a lagoon right below one of the highest mountains in Mauritius. The lagoon is good for kiteboarding because the water is shallow and flat. Next to it, there is a famous wave spot called “One Eye.” The waves at One Eye are very high and very long so it is a dangerous place for surfing and kiteboarding.
On the island, we also visited our friends, Nilesh and Lisa in Quatre Bornes. Nilesh is originally from Mauritius and Lisa is from England, but they first met each other in the U.S. Like many countries today, Mauritius is encouraging its people who studied abroad to return home and improve the country, which is what Nilesh and Lisa are doing. We spent time with them and their two children visiting parks and Hindu temples, going to the local market, and trying local cuisines. We enjoyed learning about Mauritian life.
The second country we visited was Indonesia on the island of Bali. We stayed in two cities, Ubud and Canggu. Ubud is a popular tourist place to experience nature and culture. There are many hiking trails, rice fields, and parks. We stayed at a small hotel in the middle of a rice field. It was a peaceful and beautiful scene. We also visited Monkey Forest where the monkeys are free to roam around and you can take photos with them. The monkeys can be naughty and steal food, water bottles, and personal belongings from tourists.
The next city we visited was Canggu. It is a popular place because it has many shops, restaurants and beaches. Echo Beach is great for people watching and surfing. We took a surf lesson one day and it was fun and challenging. The next day, it was windy so I went kiteboarding at Batu Bolong Beach which is next to Echo Beach. The waves are tricky, so I had a short session. For the remaining days, we just hung around at the beach and enjoyed delicious Western, Japanese, and Mexican food at the neighborhood restaurants.
The third country we went to was Singapore, which we visited three times as we flew back and forth between countries. The first time, we didn’t even leave the airport—we just stayed inside for nine hours. The Changi airport in Singapore is like a mini city. There, you can watch free movies, get free leg massages on the chairs and visit a butterfly garden for free. There are many restaurants inside the airport and they serve delicious ethnic food.
After coming back from Mauritius, we stayed one night in Singapore. Since we stayed in the downtown area, we ate Burmese food (like tea leaf salad which keeps you awake!), hung around the bay, and listened to free live music because they were celebrating Singapore’s National Day.
After coming back from Bali, we stayed two nights in Singapore’s commercial district. Our hotel was near the Vivo shopping mall, and the famous tourist attraction, Sentosa Island. We walked across the street to the mall for shopping and food. We also walked to Sentosa Island for sightseeing and eating at the Malaysian food court. We even took the very clean metro downtown to China Town for shopping and lunch.
Singapore is a very clean city and the people are friendly. The best thing about Singapore is Food! The food there is so delicious that I plan to go back to Singapore for more delicious food!!!
We like everything about these three countries, especially the weather and the food. We were also happy to see our friends and hang out with them. We plan to go back again when we have the chance.