2 weeks in Malaysia

Trip Start Aug 21, 2007
1
9
25
Trip End Jun 2008


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Where I stayed
75 Travellers lodge

Flag of Malaysia  ,
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hellooooo...

Alot has changed during our time in Malaysia, but not our preference for "western" toilets.  Neither of us has exactly welcomed the "squat" toilets as of yet, and we have both done our best to avoid them whenever possible.  But enough about toilets.......(although we did upload a pic of a squat toilet, before I used it!)...........I know, gross!  Like I said, enough about toilets.......

So, we started our time in Malaysia with a bus ride from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.  On the way, we were able to see how green and beautiful Malaysia is- massive green mountains, palm trees, rolling hills, and lots of open space unlike elsewhere in Asia.  Halfway through the busride, we stopped for lunch, which was our first opportunity to try Malay food, which is awesome!  Not only is the cooked food great, but the fruit is truly unbelievable, especially the mango and coconut (I've been drinking/eating two coconuts a day).  Food is so inexpensive here, as is everything for the most part.  Even McDonald's was cheap (4$ Can for two supersized meals!), so we had to keep our streak alive of trying McDonald's in every country we visit.  However, we only had it that once as the local food is too good to pass up.  For most meals, we go to the street stalls, which cook you up pretty much anything you want on the spot.  We have yet to to try duck embryo, peanut satayed intestine, sea cucumbers in oyster sauce, or fishhead soup, but don't these all sound yummy? 

We've spent a total of 4 nights in Kuala Lumpur- our first two nights here, and our last two as well, before flying to Bangkok tomorrow.  "KL" is an impressive city- very modern, lots of green areas for a city, great food, lots to do, and most importantly, the world's best coconuts!  I'm not kidding, Malaysian coconut has replaced the teriyaki chicken from Mr. Bill's as my favourite food.  Anyway, we are staying in an area called the "Golden Triangle", which is close to Chinatown, Little India, great shopping, and the amazing Petronas Towers, which happen to be the second largest buildings in the world.  Normally I would not be too interested in large buildings, but these ones have a beautiful Islamic design (as most buildings do in Malaysia), and look magical at night.  Not sure if the pics we uploaded do them justice, but the towers are absolutely amazing.  We just stood there and stared at them until our necks couldn't take it any longer as they are so damn tall. 

From KL, we took the bus to the Cameron Highlands, an area about 2000 meters up in the mountains/hills, for a bit of relaxation and cooler weather.  The bus ride was a bit scary up the hill, but I am sure we will encounter worse while in Asia.  Stepping outside the bus, it was like a different country, as the humidity was gone, replaced by a clean, crisp air more like Canada in the spring.  We spent three nights in the Cameron highlands, where we befriended some Brits- Michelle, Lisa, and Mark.  We did a tour of the tea plantations (see pics), and learned how hard the people work to harvest the tea.  We also did a walk through the rainforest/jungle, which happens to be the oldest in the world at 230 million years.  Against better judgment, we left the cool weather of Cameron Highlands, for Georgetown, a city on the island of Penang.  Here, we stayed on "Love Lane" at a place called 75 Travellers Lodge, which only cost 4.50 Can a night with free internet!  The owners treat you like family, making sure to get to know you and remember your names.  We stayed two nights here, and when we returned after 3 days in Langkai, Jimmy (the owner) said "Tyler!  Bonnie!  You are back!  You remember me?  You do?  Ah, great!  Tyler......Bonnie......Bonnie and Clyde!  Same room?"  Awesome people all over Malaysia.......

Malaysia is a multi-cultural country (Malay, Chinese, Indian).  Most Malay's are Muslim, and most practice a fairly relaxed form of this religion.  Very little alcohol is consumed in Malaysia, and as a result beer prices are very high.  In recent years, a more extreme form of Islam is becoming popular, and as a result many of the women now wear Islamic dress from head to toe.  While at the beach on the island of Langkawi (a popular vacation spot for Europeans), it wasn't uncommon to see Malay women walk by with only their eyes showing, while girls sunbathed topless on the beach.  Quite an odd contrast, but I guess South East Asia is full of contradictions.

After Penang (notice I didn't write a lot about it), Langkawi was a dream!  A beautiful beach, surrounded by green mountains- perfect?  Well, pretty close, except for our bug infested room that we managed to survive for 3 nights.  It is funny what one can get used to, especially when the price is right!  Thank God for our mosquito net. 

A highlight of our time in Langkawi was going up the mountain in the cable car, a shaky little "pod" that you can see from the pics.  The view from the top was stunning, and there was also a huge suspension bridge to walk from one mountain to the next.  While up here, we were approached by some school kids who wanted their picture taken with us- Malays have a way of making you feel like celebrities!  If you check out the pic, notice how the girl is even holding Bonnie's hand! 

Our favourite thing in Langkawi was the 7 well waterfall, although I think they should maybe offer helicopter rides to the top.  After 600 gruelling vertical steps (half a km upwards) in the blistering sun and sickeningly humid air, we reached the top of the waterfall, and we were very excited to see that you could swim in the cool water!  Even better, there was a natural "waterslide" like the ones in Samoa.  We uploaded a video of us going down, but for some reason it is sideways? 

 The water in Langkawi is WARM!  Our first day there we spent about 2 hours in the water, and when we came out we both noticed our fingers were wrinkled!  Because the island of Langkawi is on the westcoast of Malaysia, it was an excellent spot to see beautiful sunsets (See pics).  Words can't explain how  it feels to be in bathtub-warm waters watching a vibrant red/orange sunset..........

Well, our time in Malaysia is done.  Great country, great food, great people, great time.   We are off to explore Kuala Lumpur for the rest of today. Malaysia has been a good place to help us transition to life in SE Asia, so hopefully we are prepared for Bangkok..........
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Comments

peerwillem
peerwillem on

Hello from Holland
Hi Guys,

Again, great stories and pics!
We've been to Malasia 3 years ago and indeed it's a very nice country! Did you go inside the Petronas building as well? We had to wait in line for 4 hours to stand on the 47th floor for only 2 minutes!
But the view was nice...
By the way, we don't have to go to Tonga to see the whales any more! They have spotted 1 humpback near the coast of Holland (Ijmuiden).

Jorinda & Willem

ty.and.bonnie
ty.and.bonnie on

Re: Hello from Holland
Didn't realize you guys had been to Malaysia before; where haven't you been Will?!! The towers were great, but we didn't get to go up to the viewing platform as there were no more tickets available.

Whales in Holland? At least you don't have to travel half way arond the world to swim with them! take care

azrulazmie
azrulazmie on

malay girl showing only eyes?
are you sure... haha... i don't think the one you saw was even a malay... she is most probably an arab honeymooner... we have influx of them after sep 11...

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