Trip Region: Southeast Asia
Country(ies): Singapore, Malaysia
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $2445
Airfare Estimate: $1800
Nightlife: 7 • Activity: 6
Looking for a trip that covers metropolitan cities, natural beauty, and beaches? Want to spend 10 days combining culture, amazing food, physical activity, relaxing, and raging? We know what you’re thinking…such a trip does not exist. WRONG!!! If you want the trip that has it all, Sing-a-laysia is for you. We will start in the beautiful metropolitan Singapore, home to some of the best food EVER and the cleanest streets you’ll ever see (seriously though, don’t drop your gum wrapper on the streets there…we hear they get pretty feisty!). After getting ALL of our eating and raging on in Singapore, we will then move on to the magical country of Malaysia. First we will tackle the thriving capital of Kuala Lumpur (KL as known by locals…stick with us, we’ll keep you in the know) for tours, cooking classes, and all around debauchery. We’ll then move on to the majestic Taman Negara National Park, where we will be embarking on night jungle walks, canopy walks and again, all around debauchery in the jungle. Have you ever partied on a boat in the jungle? Surely no other way to experience this pristine primary rainforest. We will then cap off our trip on the beautiful and relaxing Perhentian Islands, where there will be snorkeling, boating, sunbathing, and likely crying because the trip is ending. But not to fret, the Fast and Furious recklessness and adventures will continue in the lovely Ann Arbor.
Travel Day — Friday, Aug 17
Tonight you will start your adventure with a lovely flight to the other side of the world…You are free to depart from Ann Arbor after orientation activities are over around 5pm.
Day 1 — Saturday, Aug 18
...and the travel continues....take advantage of the free booze!!
Day 2 — Sunday, Aug 19
Get ready for a wiiiild ride!!!!! Welcome Meeting at hotel starts at 6pm local time. Whatever expectations, inhibitions, exasperations, frustrations you may have had, get ready to tell them to bite the dust, because you are about to enter Paradise and embark on a sweet adventure of fantastic proportions. If you thought that MBA orientation was amazing (which may or may not have been the case), just know that heading to Singapore and Malaysia may literally be the absolute highlight of your life. We will start by traveling on one of the world’s finest airlines (traveling to Singapore/Malaysia has its perks, trust us. Free alcohol anyone??). Countless bottles of free airline booze and in-flight entertainment later, we arrive at the first destination to blow your socks off… Singapore! Together we will wander the streets of Little India and Chinatown, and visit the renowned shopping precinct called Orchard Road. We’ll also experience the old-world charm of Singapore Sling. An evening in Singapore is not complete without a stroll along Clarke Quay, or even a river cruise to learn more about the fascinating history of this city. Given our hotel’s central location, we can take FULL advantage of all the nightlife that Singapore has to offer. Go to sleep happy tonight (not too early though).
Day 3 — Monday, Aug 20
After enjoying a lazy morning, we will head to Chinatown for our Singapore Food tour!! Fair warning, we like food...a lot...and we like to eat a lot of food...a lot. So get ready to pig out with us in style! Unless of course you’re into eating reasonable amounts of food, which is...totally fine? Either way, get ready to give your taste buds something to be thankful for. Our food guide will introduce us to the hawker center, one of Singapore’s premiere food areas, and help us pick out some of the most authentic, tasty Singaporean treats. We will savor the famous chicken rice along with delicious poh piah (fresh spring roll), after which we will try some mouth-watering local Chinese delights such as chwee kueh (water rice cake) with freshly crushed, ice cold sugar cane juice. While we chow down on our food, the local guide will be sharing with us some Singapore history, information about the city’s rich culture, and some local know-how on how this food is prepared. To cap off day 2, we will have some shenanigans planned to celebrate our final night in Singapore...trust us, all of the food from today will be necessary!
Day 4 — Tuesday, Aug 21
We’re leaving Singapore this morning. Our preferred method of transportation from Singapore to Malaysia is (party) bus, because that’s how we roll. By the time we are done doing keg stands and group karaoke on the bus, we will have arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the gleaming capital of Malaysia, affectionately known by locals as KL. Communities of Indian, Chinese, and ethnic Malay people mingle peacefully here, allowing travelers to get the best of all three worlds - almost like a mini melting pot. We’ll settle into our hotel and meet up later in the day for a brief walking tour and dinner together, with alcohol flowing in generous streams around us as we dine and reminisce about the good times we had in Singapore. But not to worry, we are not quite ready to say goodbye to Kuala Lumpur just yet - tomorrow is yet another day in the big city. Note: Bus to Kuala Lumpur is a public coach bus
Day 5 — Wednesday, Aug 22
Our fourth day of MTrek will be a bit of an early morning (it will be worth it, trust us!!). Around 7am or 8am in the morning, we will be picked up in style and taken to a market tour for light breakfast and an introduction to local ingredients. Why do we need ingredients, you may ask? We are going to a cooking class to see how fresh ingredients transform into the scrumptious Southeast Asian cuisine we just tasted the night before at dinner, perhaps some of the traditional favorite dishes such as Curry Laksa, Nasi Lemak, or Char Koay Teow. We can dig in with abandon and without any hesitations because we know that in the following few days we will be furiously burning off all the excess body mass. Why is this the case, you ask??? Keep reading. It’s time to wrap up our big city experience and get ready for some serious rainforest extravaganza to unleash our inner Tarzan, or Jane.
Day 6 — Thursday, Aug 23
Get pumped because we are headed to the rainforest (accordingly named “Taman Negara”, which not surprisingly translates to “National Park” in English)! But worry not, this is not your grandmother’s park. This oldest rainforest in the world boasts a home variety of wildlife, from elephants and monkeys to hornbills and soooooo much more. Animals freak you out? Not to worry! We’ll bring booze to act as a lubricant for our stay in the rainforest. Extra points go to the trekker that dresses up as a giant bee and scares the s*** out of Kettianne...she’ll likely never speak to you again but to the rest of us, you’ll be a hero! Following a bus ride and a boat transfer, we will find ourselves near the wildlife department campus where we will enjoy some leisurely dinner and take a night jungle walk with our very own nature guide. Get ready to become completely immersed in a world of sounds, sights, and brilliant colors. At this point we’ll realize that MTrek is already halfway over, and suddenly look around to see that our friends have become family to us (and that we likely already have lots of blackmail on our dear family members). One more day to go in the rainforest...can you handle it??
Day 7 — Friday, Aug 24
Today we will be trekking the Canopy walkway and exploring Teresek Hill. Though Jireh is somewhat deathly afraid of heights, he has informed us that he survived this experience once before and assured us that this is one of the most spectacularly breathtaking vantage points he has ever found in his wee tike life. For what it’s worth, we’ve also been told that this is a bird lover’s paradise, as there are many perfect places for birdwatching in this area. Even better than the noises the birds will make are the noises that Becca will have inevitably been making so far all trip and will surely ramp up in the rainforest to compete with these birds of paradise. Quick lunch after this, followed by a boat cruise (party boat anyone?) and additional adventuring around the area. We’ll take a swim in a cooling river if we so choose, before heading back to our accommodations. By this point we will be happy and exhausted, and ready for some unwinding time - beach days are coming...
Day 8 — Saturday, Aug 25
We have been waiting for this day for a while now. Having partied our hearts out in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and having done some serious exploring and jungle trekking over the past few days in Taman Negara, our final destination will be the beautiful Perhentian Islands, one of the hidden gems of Southeast Asia. We will use the first part of the day to get to our island oasis, and upon arrival at our beachside resort, it’s our time to take it easy...can you say rosé?? Feel free to walk around and explore the island, lay out, take a swim, and take solace in the fact that tonight, no monkeys will be waking you up (unless of course Jireh and Cristóbal decide to get a little crazy...stay tuned for their strange antics). Tonight we’ll feast on a lovely island dinner, drink some more, and relax. What a life!
Day 9 — Sunday, Aug 26
It’s snorkeling day! Not to worry, no experience required, just a willingness to take all the pictures with your snorkel gear and Papa Smurf (aka Cristóbal...story to come later). Today we will be exploring the island’s underwater world. Be prepared to fall in love with bustling marine life, and when you need a break from the magical world down under, we can stroll along the pristine white sandy beaches and wonder why we chose to go to school in the middle of a large continent and not near a white sandy beach. Except we’re totally kidding because who doesn’t want to be in Michigan...right?? Despacito the rest of the day and get ready for some final team bonding activities coming up.
Day 10 — Monday, Aug 27
This is our LAST full day in Malaysia! Please spare us the tears, we’re way ahead of you and out of tissues already. We’re leaving today open for people to do what they want after a whirlwind of a trip. Want to booze cruise it up on our last day? We are DOWN. Want to drink copious amounts of alcohol on the beautiful sandy beaches and pass out early? LOVE IT! Want to go kayaking and act all athletic in hopes that we’ll remember you that way and not as the debaucherous human you’ve become with us? All for it! Call it our self proclaimed create-your-own-adventure day. No matter what we choose to do today, be sure to take in the sights one last time because we are literally in one of the most exotic places in the world, easily one of the farthest distances away from the United States you’ll ever get. Cut loose and enjoy the island and the beach and prepare for an epic last night on the island!
Departure Day — Tuesday, Aug 28
Time to say goodbye! Check out of the resort around 11am to ride a boat to Kuala Besut, then transfer to Kota Bahru Airport and fly to Kuala Lumpur. It’s time for you trekkers to head back to Ann Arbor and learn ALL of the things and to represent our Fast and Furious trek. We know you’ll make us proud!
THAR SHE BLOWS!! Sorry guys, this is just one of the MANY odd phrases you’ll be hearing from this crazy lady on our trip. Don’t fret, you’ll get used to it and will end up adopting some of her strange terminology despite your best efforts. Becca is known for her high spirit and energy – despite the fact that she’s never had a cup of coffee in her life – not that this girl needs it. Trust us, she has got enough to keep us all going for these 10 days together. Need a 5 hour energy to get you through our activities, touring, and raging? No worries, Becca’s got the sauce. Speaking of sauce, while on the Sing-a-laysia trip, follow Becca and the trip will consist of a LOT of food, given that food is all she talks about, nonstop. It’s always on her mind. It’s even how she plans her days. If she’s not talking about her love of pickles, then she is likely discussing her greater love of chocolate chip cookies. What to expect from Becca’s wild side? She will either be the grandma who wants to pass out after a good meal or that wild one who won’t remember her night. And while she used to run cross country in high school, she will certainly not be joining Jireh’s early AM runs, “Yeah no, don’t put me down for cardio” (she expects that you know this reference). Finally, we should warn you that one of Becca’s preferred methods of communicating is by making a LOT of weird noises. Don’t worry, she’s fine, but expect to hear a lot of “merp”s, “meep”s, “welpppp”s…you know, regular sounds! Traveling with Becca will certainly be exciting, entertaining and wild…
Don’t let this gal’s size deceive you. Kettianne’s petite frame hides her Incredible Hulk complex, ready to be unleashed on this trek. And despite consistently being mistaken for a 16-year-old (if we’re held up for anything it’s because she’s being carded!) she has the experience of many of us combined – after growing up in Boston, her joy for travel and new adventures led her to make 4 other countries her temporary homes. Before Ross, Kettianne worked in nonprofit but has transitioned to consulting in order to fuel her fine wines lifestyle. This energized world traveling nerd comes with her weird phobias, allergic to anything’s nuts (yes people too!), afraid of burps and terrified of bees. Besides phobias, this one is always up for an adventure, she may get you lost but you won’t regret the people you’ll meet along the way. She’s known for talking to random people all the time. Be warned, there’s no hiding on the dance floor with this one. Kettianne will either be trying to getting everyone on the dance floor or outdancing Cristóbal!
If you’re looking for proof that Malaysia will be an amazing time, look no further than Jireh Pua. He lived in Malaysia for 7 years as a wee tike, and he turned into the charming, funny (co-CEO of Follies oh hayyyy), talented, and ever-humble man that he is today. Oh, and he wants to go back there and rage for MTrek, so that says something about how awesome Malaysia is! While we’re in Malaysia, we will witness Jireh eating the exotic Malaysian smelly fruit called “durian,” a fruit that most Fear Factor contestants could not stomach; word to the wise…do not kiss Jireh that night. He also loves spicy food and will be ordering the hottest items that Southeast Asia has to offer, but he tends to perspire a bit; word to the wise…do not sit too close to Jireh when he eats. While he will undoubtedly act shy and hide his skills, Jireh loves to break it DOWN on the dance floor, so be sure to buy him an extra shot or two to see those moves. Just beware, he tends to be a sweaty person in general, so don’t stand too close. Speaking of sweat, Jireh is an avid runner and will inevitably be the person you all hate when you’re hungover and useless and he’s already run a marathon by 9 am. After his run, he will nap FOREVER, because that is one of his favorite activities. Despite Singapore being one of the food capitals of the world, Jireh will likely be dreaming of the cheesy bread at Garage Bar and will be begging us to go home to Ann Arbor. We’ve got a class act on our hands ladies and gentlemen – take note.
Cristóbal Cevallos is not the hero you may want, but he is the hero that you need. Born in the land of mariachi music and tequila (in case that wasn’t enough for you, he was born in Guadalajara, Mexico). If you were watching the Oscars you would also know that this is the birthplace of a famous film director, whose name was not Cristóbal but is quite close. This dashing young man with hot curls for hair and a radio broadcaster knock-off-your-socks voice and smile will crush any and every activity out there with the philosophy of “”work hard, play hard””, simultaneously updating his LinkedIn profile, creating his new DJ playlist, bowling a perfect strike, playing AoE2 (it’s a video game, look it up!), and shotgunning Malaysian beer while doing a handstand and listening to your favorite EDM station. Every hero has his achilles heel, and Cristóbal has his. He has been afraid of clowns ever since he was a young lad, and cannot eat any food without good salsa. Speaking of salsa… Cristóbal has terribly refined taste (aka he is a very picky eater), and will not eat any foods that have mayo, dairy, or avocado on it… though he may have recently changed his mind about avocados. Cristóbal’s Mexico and USA ventures have been so successful that he has even been invited to aid other countries – for example, when he lived in Beijing in the year 2007 he once appeared in a Chinese TV ad, increasing their revenues by 1000000% percent (the revenue increase may have been a rough estimate).
A risk-taker at heart, Yuvika is ironically scared of more things than you can imagine (planes, rollercoasters, clowns, jalapenos to name a few). The product of a Catholic high school and severe Indian parents, Yuvika has never ceased to disappoint the conservative values that were the backdrop of her childhood. Yuvika sees no limits, having travelled the world and having used her secret power of adapting into multiple distinct personas in many a situation. One minute you will find her dancing drunk on the dance floor and the next minute, you will see her gorging falafels like no tomorrow. Clumsy, reckless, kind and bashful, Yuvika is easily entertained and entertaining.