Since my childhood days, I would say much earlier even as a five years old toddler I heard and saw commercials on television about the tourism development and wonders of Malaysia. The famous title truly runs true to its meaning, ” Malaysia – Truly Asia”, went the popular words. I spent about four and half days in Malaysia and my experience was as thrilling and excellent as celebrating my first travel at the age of two to an unknown land. I get the gift and love of travel from my father, he always taught me to venture out alone and explore the world out there to your best capacity because a human being learns and inhibits much more than learning at a school through a well-versed and planned or even serendipitous experiences.
We planned a joint trip to Malaysia and Singapore but I will be dividing this record into two parts, one with Malaysia and the other with Singapore so I do not discriminate in terms of writing space or cut down short of any experience that I had in both the amazing countries of the Asian continent. This was my first Asian experience after India and Sri Lanka, long back, I had the privilege of going around Europe for a good time of two years and this year I decided to embark upon some Asian adventures too. Malaysia is the ultimate travel destination for many. Travel means so much variety to different people. Some people like soaking in the sun, some people want to integrate in cultures, some like jumping out of their comfort zones and for some it is simply trying out the culinary scenes of different countries in the world. Malaysia has everything to offer you from lush green hill stations, to pristine, relaxing beaches, from high-tech fashion malls to the urban metropolis, and from vast rubber plantations to meandering highways that lead to nowhere but peace. A multicultural melting pot of Asian culture, with strong influences from China, India and the rest of Southeast Asia, everywhere you look there are fusions of influence.
Kuala Lumpur fondly called KL in Malaysia is one of the world’s greatest cities and has everything you’d expect, and hope, to see and experience in a legendary capital, all with a unique Malaysian twist. Sample tasty street food, get lost in busy shopping centres, haggle at market bazaars, get a fantastic view of the Petronas Towers and try out the ever bustling and fast KL Monorail, hop in and explore the night life of Malaysia through an extraordinary experience. A few miles away from the city lie the historical Batu Caves that are situated high up on the mountain. Kuala Lumpur is a perfect conglomerate of Asian cultures and you find many Indian, Thai and Chinese influences on the food and living style in Kuala Lumpur. KL is also one of the fastest developing cities in the world. There is the famous China town to try local street food and then another huge tower in the form of Kuala Lumpur tower will take your breath away. You can get a glimpse of Indian culture in China Town at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, the oldest temple in Malaysia, known for its intricate and elaborate designs. Interestingly Malaysia has close to 10% population that speaks Tamil and is of the Indian origin. The KL tower on the other hand offers the full view of the KL city with vibrant lights and shimmering vehicle lights in lip-tight movement making it a sight to behold. Close to Petronas Towers is the Aquaria KLCC also known as the KL Bird Park popularly that has over 100 species of marine and bird life thriving in the park. The currency used in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit which will be equivalent to 17 or 18 Indian rupees (fluctuating) as of 2018.
On another wonderful day we headed to Sunway Lagoon, one of the largest theme water and amusement parks in Asia and experienced a one stop place for fun. There are exciting and thrilling rides in the Extreme Park and Scream Park, as well as a dedicated Wildlife Park dedicated to taking care and adopting lost or injured wild life species and making life better for them. Do not forget to carry a pair of extra clothes and undergarments as you are headed to the water park and swim wear can cost you a bomb inside the park. Outside food is not allowed in the park, and it would in your best interest to just keep medicines, chocolates and baby food as required in your sacks to avoid being checked and bear the extra cost of keeping your eatables in the locker. For the vegetarians there are many options available at Subway and certain pizza corners where vegetarian food is available. For the non-vegetarians Malaysia is a paradise of food, name it and you will have it except bacon and varieties of pork as predominantly Malaysia is a Muslim dominated nation, this is one of the reasons why a part of Singapore was separated from Malaysia in order to form secular and democratic international laws.
Our next stop was at the Genting Highlands, faraway from the hustle-bustle of the city. It is a natural relief after all the urban bash that you have in Kuala Lumpur, interestingly it also holds a casino and the world’s largest entertainment and shopping center in the premises of the First World Hotel, the largest hotel in the world, in terms of number of rooms. The only second close competitor they have is The Venetian, Las Vegas. Enroute Genting Highlands on a adrenaline filled ride of the cable car, you can take a pit stop at the Chin Swee Caves Chinese Temple and get to know about the story of death to enlightenment through the ten chambers of hell in the ancient caves. The temples have elaborate designs and decorations in vibrant colours depicting the devotion and glory to Chinese Gods and Gautam Buddha. This temple is situated amidst lush green forests and majestic mountains that form the green aura of Genting Highlands. Try your luck in the casinos of Genting or head to the life saving malls to shop the best of Malaysian chocolates and products. Our stay at the First World Hotel was relaxing and automated, yet I would suggest that a customer -friendly service requires a tint of smile and courtesy which the staff in this hotel totally lacks. The Malaysian Food Chambers in the hall serve a variety of shrimp and salmon options with various types of noodles, and there are many rice and noodle dishes to choose from. As mentioned earlier if you are the non-vegetarian food buff you will go crazy and be spoilt for choice like my husband Kris was. Chicken Satay, Nasi Lemak and Beef Rendang are some of the famous options here.
The next day we headed to Singapore via Malindo Air from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and there ended our four and half days adventure in Malaysia. Malaysia is a place to relax and rejuvenate. There are a few trekking options here as well. Some other famous places include Penang and Langkawi. As an avid traveller I did not feel like planning Langkawi on my travel agenda because a similar experience also awaits you in Bali, Indonesia – so I have heard, and so we decided to skip the island and keep Bali a surprise for a next time.
If you love the above experience do plan your next adventure to Malaysia and keep exploring. For pocket friendly deals and other options, please leave a comment below or mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org for any travel related help and hack. Follow this space for more exciting adventures and travel hacks.
Stay tuned for Singapore until next time.
Photography Credits – KrisEngel Navneet
Rucha Sudhir Khot