This is our neighbour country that we never gave too much attention. Lots of advents on TV would talk about Malaysia being truly Asia and it was only in the last few months that we got to know this amazing and diverse country.
The first destination was actually Kuala Lumpur which we spent a couple of days at. The main purpose of our visit was to spend the weekend with friends that live there – Mara and Roger (Lud’s parents). It was a great family weekend. We were able to spend a lovely time with them and also discover a little bit of KL. Our first impression is that it is a very green city with a strong cultural background both Chinese and Muslim. This mixture jumps to the eyes in the city centre where the old Muslim market is crammed next to China town. Like a lot of the big cities in Asia, it also has a massive shopping focus and a touch of megalomania that is illustrated by the Petronas towers. If you are passing by on your way to any of the other wonders of Malaysia sure stop over but for us it was more important to see our friends than the city itself.
Now, on to the big one! Mount Kinabalu! This 4,095m mountain is situated in Borneo in East Malaysia which is actually a territory within a mostly Indonesian island south east from Singapore. Borneo is a natural haven with lots of attractions – wild life, diving, trekking and hiking. We went to Kota Kinabalu with one mission only: climb Mount Kinabalu and WE DID IT! It was possibly the most difficult thing I have ever done but it was totally worth it. We also had a chance to visit the orangutang reserve which was actually part of the hotel we were staying at – Shangri-la Rasa Ria. That was also quite nice to see.
Next stop was Pulau Redang. An absolute last minute decision to use our Easter break to do our PADI certification. What a pleasant surprise! We wanted to enjoy the under water wonders of SE Asia so we needed to get certified as open water divers. There are several options of places but Redang seemed to be the one that united diving with a nice holiday. It did indeed. We had an amazing time and it is so far the best beach holiday we had in the region. Totally worth it!
Our most recent destination was Penang. We went to this island looking for local food and culture and that’s what we found. It was by far not the best place we had been in Malaysia but certainly an interesting place to get to know the Peranakan culture a little better.
Certainly this list of destinations in Malaysia will grow. We already have our eyes on Sipadan, Cameron Highlands, Batu Batu and Langkawi. For now, click to read the details of each of the locations.