WHO WE ARE
This is not only a blog as you will also find our gallery full of colourful and storytelling pictures along our travels, information about destinations in Asia that we visited and of course our opinions about those as well as links to our other social media accounts, all filled with different content.
Our exchange destination is University of Science Malaysia which is situated on an island called Penang. It is known for being a food paradise of Malaysia, combining food from different nationalities living on the island, such as Chinese and Indian cuisine. The variety of food choices is overwhelming, along with the numerous sights to be visited.
Find the time to follow our blog and dive into colourful adventures of Kia and Daniil in Asia.
Dear reader, you have been a part of our extraordinary adventures, getting to know famous destinations – cities and beautiful nature. Before this we have never shown you our ordinary days and their surroundings, and it is high time for that! This has been our reality for the past four months. We have reached almost the end of this semester and all our lectures have finished already. The final exams are waiting us around the corner, and we won’t be walking these streets that many times any more. So here you go, welcome to Penang and University of Sains Malaysia. Our schedule was changing often, so the mornings did not always start very early. Anyways, most of the time the sun shines behind the curtains when we wake up. And every single day the heat is guaranteed, from 28 degrees upwards. We live in the fifth floor and the view […] Read More
Since I was little, I’ve dreamed about visiting Disneyland somewhere in the world. I guess some dreams do not die with age and this one was stuck with me. I annoyed Daniil with my ramblings of how magical it would be and how I would be the happiest girl alive if someday I could spend a day in Disneyland with him. He surely listened since when we started to plan our trip for the mid-term semester, the choice of the city started to narrow around two cities, which both are home to Disneylands. We were down with Tokyo and Hong Kong. As mentioned, we chose to go to China and I would receive the best pre-birthday gift of my life. Before heading to the magical world of mouse ears, we did some research on which day should we choose for the trip, what time should we be there, […] Read More
The best markets in Hong Kong are situated in the Mong Kok area. We read that the Ladies market would be the best to visit and therefore eagerly followed the tips there. The market was three blocks long, with very narrow road in the middle for the shoppers to walk on. Both sides of the streets were filled with stalls of Chinese women selling almost identical products. It was all about haggling, because the prices varied much from seller to seller, but at the end they were all willing to drop at least half of the original price out. The products were really typical; fake bags, little electronic appliances, clothes, toys etc. We found couple of little things to buy, such as passport covers with the face of Stich on them. A must buy I say. We browsed around and then continued to other streets around us. The place […] Read More
One of the must places to see in Hong Kong is definitely the Victoria Peak. We decided to check it out on our first day in the city, to get a good look of the city from above. We took a train to Central Station, from where we walked a while before reaching the looooong ticket line to the mountain train leading up to the hill. On our way from the train we saw endless amounts of business men and women in their suits, heading for lunches from their international banking companies. The area was beautiful and we just had to stop and admire the modern architecture of the office buildings. The Peak is an extremely popular sight and therefore the lining to the ticket counter took almost one hour. It was possible to buy combination tickets to the Peak and Madame Tussauds Wax cabinet, but after seeing it […] Read More
Time for a holiday, once again! Seems we don’t do much except for vacations, but this should be the last longer holiday week before Christmas. We have reached mid-term in our studies and would be enjoying 10-days off. We had two city holiday options in our minds: Tokyo and Hong Kong. We ended up booking our holiday rather late, so flight prices were quite high already. Flights to Tokyo were almost double the price of Hong Kong so slowly we dropped that option. Japan would have been an amazing country to visit and so it will stay on our bucket lists for the future. As most of the students headed for beach holidays to Bali etc. we saw this holiday week as our best chance to explore a big city bit further away from Penang. So we booked AirBnb accommodation for three nights and a hostel for the last two […] Read More
Kuala Lumpur might seem to be only about tall glassy buildings and modern atmosphere, but in reality there are lots of cultural sights to see as well. One of them is the grand Batu Caves, which we didn’t have time to visit this time. We decided to combine a couple of attractions and follow the walking tour from our Lonely Planet book. The book stated that the length would be only 1,6 km, but for sure we stretched it a bit more, since we were on the go for hours. This is a really easy way to go through sights close to each other, since it’s so common to get lost on those little streets and totally miss the destinations. We arrived at Merdeka Square, lined by tourist busses and happy guides leading their groups around. It is a place where Malaysia’s independence was proclaimed in 1957, basically it […] Read More
If you are used to Airbnb, you know that it is a gamble game of luck and varying accuracy level of the descripting pictures. To those of you who have not used this platform yet, I will explain it shortly. Airbnb is a company that acts as a renting platform for apartments and rooms, which it does not own. It works in the same way as Ebay, connecting sellers, or apartment owners in this case, and the buyers and people seeking for accommodation on their travels. You just say where are you heading to, do you wish to stay alone or with your company in a private, whole apartment or if a single room is enough for you. The difference between this and hotels is that private people own these rooms and apartments. Some even rent their home while they are on a holiday somewhere else at the same time, […] Read More
Many European big cities are recognizable by their famous landmarks and people even head to places like Paris and London just for the sake of Eiffel and Big Ben. In all ways it is extremely hard to compare European and Asian cities as they come from totally different worlds. If in Europe you want to experience something old, you head to the old town and see beautiful architecture for example. In Asia, old could mean things like temples, which are usually out of the city centre, which makes the central areas either new, shiny, tall and expensive or dirty, broken, crowded and smelly. Even though Kuala Lumpur is one of these Europe-like cities with well-known landmarks, the Petrona’s Twin Towers, it still falls into the first description category of Asian cities. By that I mean that it is modern and glassy, but does not make you feel the same way […] Read More
Penang itself is a nice little island and although it has lots of places to visit and things to do, it really feels small and after a while we felt like we needed a shot of big city life. Bring me bright lights, tall buildings, stylish people and something less down to Earth! We had been craving to visit Kuala Lumpur for a while; as it is indeed the capital of Malaysia and would guarantee to fill all our wishes. What kept us stuck in Penang for couple of more weekends was the Formula 1 race they had in KL, and since we did not have tickets, it would have been useless to travel there at that time with millions of other people. Instead we waited and booked Airbnb from there on the weekend after the race. Another good reason not to travel there during a massive tourist event was […] Read More
You know when you set standards in your head and refuse to settle with anything less than what you have imagined? This is how our search for THE perfect beach started with. As you saw in earlier posts, we took a dip at the nearest beach in Langkawi and checked out Pantai Cenang, but we were definitely not yet satisfied. Guess what was our main inspiration for this search? Just dig your memory and see the most common Windows background picture with palms and white sand in front of your eyes, and let me tell you, we found it! After researching a bit, it came down to two options for beaches with that white sand and empty space feeling, both located in the north of Langkawi main island. We found out that one of them is owned by a luxury resort, and they only allow their guests to use the […] Read More
In order to have enough time for everything, we started the second day in Langkawi island early, heading to the North of the island in order to experience something new. We would soon be hanging in the air inside a little cabin, taking us to the top of the mountain. It was time for a cable car ride! Just when we were ready to soar the heights, they told us at the ticket counter that the queuing would take about two more hours. Affected by the heat, we decided to splurge and pay double the price of the tickets (totally 90 RM/person) to get access to the express lane. This is when the process started to speed up and we got royal treatment by passing all the lines, getting free gifts and so on. The journey up the hill in a little wagon was simply breathtaking! The view; beach, boats, […] Read More
Our first school weeks could be just called chaos, so it was a pleasant surprise that after about one week of studying we had an unexpected 10-day holiday. That was because there were a couple of national holidays during the same week, so lecturers thought that nobody was around on the days between anyways, so it was better just to cancel all the lectures from that week. We had heard lots of stories about exchange students travelling from Penang to Langkawi for easy holidaying in the paradise scene, and decided to check out the place. It is possible to travel there from Georgetown by ferry or by airplane, latter not being an option for us since our passports were still stuck at the immigration for getting our long-term Visas. We read frightening stories about the huge waves on the 2-4 hour travel to Langkawi by ferry, making each and everyone […] Read More
Our goals for this exchange period included travelling in and out of Malaysia, gathering more experience of Asian culture, but also more specifically getting to really know Malaysia, Penang and everything local. So when we do not have big plans for the long weekends, we try to explore Penang and locations nearby. This is easy and flexible since we can decide what to do on the day itself, travel there fast and cheap and be back at home by night. As mentioned before, we try to take advantage of our travel book by Lonely Planet as well as numerous maps, brochures and tips from locals on where to go and which places not to miss. So far we have visited the heritage site of Georgetown, Penang Hill, Tropical Fruit Farm and Tropical Spice Garden. This post will tell you more about our journey to never ending fruit buffet. For people […] Read More
School life in Malaysia We have now been attending school here in Penang for 1,5 months, and as funny as it sounds- next week is time for mid-term exams and after that a one-week mid-term holiday. Time has flown past so fast! But to be totally honest, it hasn’t been all easy and nice… Our semester here started with three days of orientation including games, some information about the school and how it works, getting to know each other etc. What we really lacked was actual hands-on information about how to find different locations inside the huuuge campus area and how to step-by-step go through the registration process successfully. This is when we were left on our own. Trouble time! In order to attend a course, one must choose an appropriate course that is allowed for exchange students, conducted in English and not happening at the same time with […] Read More
Penang Hill One of the main attractions in Penang is Penang Hill, 833 metres above sea level. At first sight it looks like a green mountain covered by jungle forest. In real, it is much more than that. Penang Hill is a popular tourist sight but it is also visited by locals wishing to spend a day in the cooler atmosphere, since the temperature on the top is usually 5 degrees less than in Georgetown. The place is easy to reach from the capital since it is only about 6 km away. The next step is to choose whether you want to hike up the hill or use the Penang Hill Railway. We decided to take the train up and hike our way back down. The way up to the top took about ten minutes, and was absolutely beautiful but also slightly nerve wracking, when you realised how high you […] Read More
You know the days when you are just too tired of the endless burning sun and fried chicken with rice? When those hit us, we grab an Uber to Queensbay Mall, RM5 and 5-10 minutes into western heaven. It is more of an entertainment center than just a mall, filled with hundreds of shops, but also having a long list of places to eat in as well as an amazing movie theatre! When we found out that the movie tickets actually cost about 1,5-3 euros, we started going even more often. As for exercising, we decided to invest in gym memberships in a modern and well air conditioned gym inside the mall as well. After working out, we might spend few hours sitting in a lounge area filled with bean bags to catch up with some computer duties, enjoying a free wifi (luxury when you don’t have a connection at […] Read More
After getting settled to our new home, we decided to explore the capital of Penang, Georgetown. We caught a bus quite near our home and paid 2RM for a nearly one hour drive to the destination. After driving for some time we noticed that we have certainly reached a more capital city-like surroundings, which led to us stepping out on a random stop, only to notice that we still have some way to go before reaching the actual sights of Georgetown. So on to the next one. This is where the reality started to hit me. While sitting in the air conditioned bus, outside was waiting a totally different world. Houses with rusted steel roofs, old men sitting in the asphalt peeling vegetables in dirty clothes, burnt buildings – poverty. I was being smacked in the face by culture shock. Just to mention, I am the sensitive type, crying because […] Read More
Hello and welcome to Kia’s and Daniil’s travel blog! This is not only a blog as you will also find our online portfolio full of colourful and storytelling pictures along our travels, information about destinations in Asia that we visited and of course our opinions about those as well as links to our other social media accounts, all filled with different content. Our journey started from Helsinki, Finland, when we left our home, friends and families, as well as university and workplaces in order to experience something new. We decided to really challenge ourselves and chose to move our lives to Penang, Malaysia for the next 5 months. We are here to study business in University of Science Malaysia, and when we don’t study, oh boy we travel! Heads up high we begin our 30 hour trip to our final destination, via Rome and Hong Kong. And so we flew, […] Read More