26 episodes

As night falls, join me on 'Sleepless in Singapore' for a laid-back journey through my daily life in Singapore and tales from travels around the world. Then, fall asleep to the soothing sounds of Goethe, Schiller, or Kant being read in a calming voice.

Sleepless in Singapore Julian Lindner

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

As night falls, join me on 'Sleepless in Singapore' for a laid-back journey through my daily life in Singapore and tales from travels around the world. Then, fall asleep to the soothing sounds of Goethe, Schiller, or Kant being read in a calming voice.

    Episode 26: World Trip I (pt. 17) – Guam, Seoul & Kyoto

    Episode 26: World Trip I (pt. 17) – Guam, Seoul & Kyoto

    In this episode of "Sleepless in Singapore," I take you through the last stretch of my journey that began in April 2017. From the stark American feel of Guam, complete with fast food chains and wide roads, to the culturally rich experiences in Korea and Japan, my travels have been a whirlwind. In Seoul, my friend Yijoo introduced me to the unique Korean sauna culture and local delicacies, while in Japan, I explored hidden gems with a native friend, indulging in everything from bamboo forests to raw chicken dishes.


    Returning to Singapore for a brief yet memorable evening with friends, I reflect on the transformative nature of this trip. The journey's end is bittersweet, filled with gratitude for the people I've met and the experiences I've had. As I prepare to share future adventures, including a US road trip with my friend Markus, I cherish these moments that have profoundly shaped me.
    Links:
    Guam — Comprehensive information about Guam.Bukchon Hanok Village — A Korean traditional village in Seoul with a long history, composed of many hanoks (traditional Korean houses).Arashiyama Bamboo Forest — A natural forest of bamboo in the Arashiyama district in western Kyoto, Japan, known for its scenic beauty.COMMENTS

    • 28 min
    Episode 25: World Trip I (pt. 16) – Brunei, Palau & Yap

    Episode 25: World Trip I (pt. 16) – Brunei, Palau & Yap

    In this episode of "Sleepless in Singapore," I recount my whirlwind visit to Brunei, a spontaneous detour after returning from Bali and Timor-Leste. My stay at a hostel run by a former dentist named Bel set the stage for an immersive experience. Bel, a knowledgeable guide, took us on a boat tour down Brunei River, showcasing everything from the local fauna to the majestic Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque with its legendary golden rooftop. The adventure included a visit to a stilt village, a bustling wet market, and a memorable, budget-friendly haircut complete with an unexpected massage.


    From Brunei, I hopped over to Manila, where a rainy arrival led to a brief but enjoyable exploration with a newfound Polish friend. Soon after, I journeyed to the remote island of Palau, where I was embraced by a warm Chinese couple at a cozy hostel. Despite a mishap with my drone, the dive trips revealed breathtaking underwater landscapes and pristine beaches. The camaraderie and stunning natural beauty of Palau left an indelible mark, making it one of the most remarkable and cherished destinations of my travels.
    Links:
    Omar-‘Ali-Saifuddien-Mosque — A stunning mosque in Brunei with a golden dome, often mistaken for being made entirely of gold. It is one of the most impressive landmarks in the country.Royal Brunei Airlines — The national carrier of Brunei, offering flights to various destinations including Manila and other parts of Southeast Asia.Visit Palau — The official tourism website for Palau, providing information on attractions, activities, and travel tips for visitors.The tiny island with human-sized money — Information on the BBC about the unique stone currency of Yap, which is still used in traditional transactions and is an important part of the island's cultural heritage.Sam's Tours Palau — A diving center in Palau offering various dive trips and courses, known for its excellent service and beautiful dive sites.Brunei Tourism Official Site — Offers guided boat tours along the Brunei River, showcasing the local fauna, the king's palace, and water villages.COMMENTS

    • 47 min
    Episode 24: World Trip I (pt. 15) – Singapore, Bali, Timor-Leste

    Episode 24: World Trip I (pt. 15) – Singapore, Bali, Timor-Leste

    In this episode of "Sleepless in Singapore," I recount my second visit to Singapore, a stark contrast to my first underwhelming trip in 2012. Invited by my friend Hama, I dive into the vibrant nightlife, savoring steamboat dinners, partying at Clarke Quay, and enjoying shots at Chupitos. The whirlwind tour continues with visits to Gardens by the Bay and local hawker centers, where I indulge in Singaporean delicacies like laksa and chicken rice, creating a tapestry of newfound appreciation for the city.


    Our adventure doesn't end there; we spontaneously decide to explore Bali and Nusa Penida. Despite a brief setback with a friend's illness, we relish the island's beauty, riding scooters and enjoying the serene villa life. My journey then takes a solo turn to Timor-Leste, where I navigate the unfamiliar terrain and cultural quirks, culminating in a memorable, if slightly perilous, motorbike ride back to Dili.
    Links:
    Ah pang Steamboat — Ah pang Steamboat offers a delightful steamboat dining experience in Singapore with a variety of fresh ingredients and flavorful broths.Clarke Quay — Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore, known for its vibrant nightlife, restaurants, and entertainment venues.Gardens by the Bay — Gardens by the Bay is a stunning nature park in Singapore, featuring the iconic Supertree Grove, Flower Dome, and Cloud Forest.1-Altitude — One Altitude was a renowned rooftop bar in Singapore, offering spectacular views of the city skyline from one of the highest points.Nusa Dua — Nusa Dua is a luxurious resort area in Bali, known for its pristine beaches, upscale hotels, and world-class amenities.Nusa Penida — Nusa Penida is an island southeast of Bali, famous for its stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and adventurous activities.Cristo Rei of Dili — The Cristo Rei of Dili is a 27-meter tall statue of Jesus located atop a globe in Dili, Timor-Leste, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.COMMENTS

    • 27 min
    Episode 23: World Trip I (pt. 14) – Laos, Thailand, Myanmar

    Episode 23: World Trip I (pt. 14) – Laos, Thailand, Myanmar

    In this episode of "Sleepless in Singapore," I recount my first trip through Southeast Asia, covering Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. The journey begins with a memorable flight to Luang Prabang, Laos, on a small prop plane with a unique laminated boarding pass. The landscapes below are a breathtaking mix of green mountains and the brown flow of the Mekong River. Once in Luang Prabang, I explore the local market, savoring street food, and visit the stunning Luang Prabang waterfalls, capturing their beauty through my camera lens despite some technical challenges.


    Moving on to Chiang Mai, Thailand, I reunite with Karen, a friend met earlier in Cambodia, and we embark on various adventures, including visiting an elephant sanctuary and making onsen eggs in hot springs. The journey continues to Chiang Rai, with its winding roads and unique charm, before heading to Myanmar. In Myanmar, we delve into the rich cultural tapestry, visiting ancient pagodas in Bagan and experiencing local customs like chewing betel nut. Each destination offers a distinct flavor of Southeast Asia, creating a tapestry of vivid memories and immersive experiences.
    Links:
    Luang Prabang Night Market — This market is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, offering a variety of street food, local crafts, and souvenirs.Kuang Si Waterfalls — These stunning waterfalls are a popular tourist attraction, featuring multiple levels of falls and natural swimming pools.Mount Phousi — A hill in the center of Luang Prabang offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape, dotted with Buddha statues.Rantong Elephant Sanctuary — A sanctuary focused on the well-being of elephants, offering visitors a chance to interact with the animals in a humane and ethical manner.Hot Springs in Chiang Mai — Parks with hot springs where visitors can cook onsen eggs, a unique and popular activity in the area.Pai, Thailand — A small town known for its relaxed atmosphere, natural beauty, and a winding road that is famous for its numerous curves.U Bein Bridge - Wikipedia — The oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world, located in Myanmar, offering scenic views and a glimpse into local life.Bagan — A historic city known for its thousands of pagodas and temples, offering breathtaking views, especially at sunrise and sunset.La Terrazza Bagan — An Italian restaurant in Bagan known for its authentic cuisine and a welcome break from local food, offering dishes like pasta and wine.COMMENTS

    • 48 min
    Episode 22: World Trip I (pt. 13) – HCMC & Siem Reap

    Episode 22: World Trip I (pt. 13) – HCMC & Siem Reap

    In this episode of "Sleepless in Singapore," I take you to the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City. My journey begins with a near-miss on a scooter taxi, a thrilling initiation into the city's chaotic traffic. At my hostel, I join a communal dinner, savoring spring rolls and beer with fellow travelers, creating memories that would draw me back years later. My exploration includes a visit to the Cu Chi tunnels, a labyrinthine network that once sheltered and supplied soldiers during the war. Crawling through these narrow, dark tunnels, I feel a mix of claustrophobia and fascination, a stark contrast to the amusement park-like atmosphere of the site.


    Next, I venture into Cambodia, landing in Siem Reap with the majestic Angkor Wat on my itinerary. After a serendipitous encounter with Fortunata via Couchsurfing, we meet a local taxi driver who takes us to an unexpected yet delightful restaurant experience. Despite initial skepticism, the evening turns out to be a culinary adventure, complete with impeccable service and unbelievably low prices. The following day, Angkor Wat's grandeur leaves me in awe, and a chance meeting with Hama, who would later invite me to Singapore, marks the beginning of a life-changing encounter.
    Links:
    Common Room Project — The hostel we stayed at in HCMC.The Bugs Cafe — Blog post about the bug cafe in Siem Reap. (Nice weblog in general.)Pub Street, the Center of Siem Reap's Nightlife Scene — Officially titled “Street 8”, Pub Street is the center of action as the night falls in Siem Reap.Pronounce "A" in Vietnamese — A short YT video with an explanation.COMMENTS

    • 47 min
    Episode 21: World Trip I (pt. 12) – Hanoi

    Episode 21: World Trip I (pt. 12) – Hanoi

    In this episode of "Sleepless in Singapore," I recount the continuation of my Southeast Asia trip, focusing on my experiences in Vietnam. I remember opting for a cheap flight from Bangkok to Hanoi, which, in hindsight, I regret due to the discomfort and long queues. Upon arriving in Hanoi, I stayed in a charming boutique hotel in the old quarter, where the hospitality was heartwarming. My first night in Hanoi was memorable, not just for the delicious local food like pomelo salad and pho, but also for a pivotal text from my friend Nikki, which eventually led me to cut my trip short and return to Germany for a new job opportunity.


    Exploring Hanoi, I was captivated by the city's vibrant street life, where tiny chairs and Heineken beers became the backdrop for life-changing conversations. My journey took me to significant sites like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Hoa Lo prison, where history felt both real and surreal. A bus tour to Sapa introduced me to the lush, green rice fields and the warm hospitality of a homestay, despite the muddy trails. My adventure concluded with a visit to a quieter bay near Halong Bay, where the beauty was somewhat overshadowed by the throngs of tourists. Returning to Hanoi, I treated myself to a luxurious stay by West Lake, offering a peaceful end to my Vietnamese escapade.
    Links:
    Singapore Driving Licence — Official site for obtaining and converting driving licenses in Singapore.Banh mi 25 — Popular spot in Hanoi for authentic and delicious Banh Mi sandwiches.Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum — Wikipedia site for the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a significant historical site in Hanoi.Hoa Lo Prison Museum — Official site for the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, offering insights into its history and significance.Hoàn Kiếm Lake — A central lake in Hanoi, known for its scenic beauty and cultural importance.Indochina Junk - Luxury Cruises to Halong Bay & Bai Tu Long Bay — Offers various cruise options in Halong Bay, known for its beautiful landscapes and luxury services.Sapa Sisters Trekking Adventures – Trekking and tours in Northern Vietnam — A local tour operator offering guided treks and cultural experiences in Sapa.InterContinental Hanoi Westlake | Luxury Hotel in Hanoi — Luxury hotel located on the serene West Lake in Hanoi, providing top-notch amenities and services.COMMENTS

    • 41 min

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