Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia

Faculty: David J. Martínez
Class meeting time: Mondays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

A view of a hut in a forest


Southeast Asia is a region that represents a unique melding of multiple cultures and religions, as well as providing a rich array of natural beauty and opportunities for adventure. This course is intended as an exploration of these factors for the cross-cultural formation of students who are likely unfamiliar with this region.

We will explore the political, social and religious history of the countries we will travel to, namely Singapore (including some time in neighboring Malaysia), the Philippines and Indonesia. Along with the cultural components, we will also bask in the beauty of untouched, remote island beaches, swim with whale sharks in the open water, view the sunrise from Mt. Batur in Bali, and “monkey around” at the Sangeh Monkey Forest. Additionally, we will enjoy white water rafting and ziplining in Bali. This trip has something for everyone!

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Singapore
Day 2 Walking tour around Singapore, visit Gardens by the Bay, night safari
Day 3 Visit local seminary (Trinity), tour grounds, meet and interview Christian leaders from different denominations
Day 4 Day trip to Kuala Lumpur to visit local Buddhist and Hindu temples, hike the Kuala Lumpur Eco-park, and take a tour of the eclectic architecture of the city
Day 5 Cultural day: Peranakan Museum, culinary tour, with focus on famous Hawker stalls
Day 6 Long travel day to Palawan, Philippines
Day 7 Puerto Princesa, Palawan. We will visit the Palawan Special Battalion WWII Museum and other cultural memorials.
Day 8 Travel day to get to El Nido, Palawan
Day 9 Swim with whale sharks! We will spend the morning, six people to a boat, jumping into the open ocean in search of the giant whale sharks.
Day 10 Rest/beach day. This free day will provide an opportunity to enjoy some island hopping or, if so inclined, head out to the open waters again for more whale shark swimming.
Day 11 Overnight “beach hopping” excursion. We will head out in the afternoon and spend the night on a remote beach/island.
Day 12 Enjoy the morning in the remote beach/island and travel back to El Nido in the afternoon.
Day 13 Travel day back to Manila. In the afternoon we will visit Quiapo, the downtown markets of Manila
Day 14 Cultural day: We will visit historic San Sebastian Basilica, we’ll enjoy a walking tour of Old Manila, and visit the National Museum. Time permitting, we will also visit Rizal Shrine.
Day 15 Travel day to Bali
Day 16 Bali: relaxing day at the beach. Snorkel, water sports, sunbathe, boat tours, etc. Note: Go to bed early because we have an early start the next day.
Day 17 Bali: Mt. Batur sunrise trek where we will enjoy spectacular views, enjoy the beautiful sunrise, and swim in natural hot springs.
Day 18 Bali: Today we will be “monkeying around” at the Sangeh Monkey Forest. Afternoon/evening free.
Day 19 Adventure day! We will participate in whitewater rafting and ziplining for a fun-filled day.
Day 20 Travel day to Singapore. In the afternoon, we will take a boat tour and visit the Botanical Gardens.
Day 21 Singapore: Free day to shop for souvenirs or any other activity
Day 22 Return for Portland