After a brief respite from all the humidity and warmth of South East Asia whilst in Japan and South Korea I am back in it in Malaysia. Annoyingly long travelling day where my flight was delayed 2 hours, which meant we encountered a storm above Kuala Lumpur preventing us from landing for 2 hours, meaning we run out of fuel and have to go to a different airport (which was still near KL) refuel, and then fly back to KLIA. Seeing as I was only staying there for a night before going to Melaka it was pretty inconvenient.
That aside everything else was pretty darned positive when it comes to Malaysia, food is nice being a mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay, met some lovely new people, as well as some old friends. But lets try and keep it short, sweet and with lots of pictures.
I went down to Melaka on my first day, and firstly I want to say how cheap and comfortable Malaysian buses are in general. A few delays here and there but never more than 30 minutes (in my experience at least). Melaka is one of those places that is very pretty and that’s why lots of people go there. Walking around is generally pleasant, it reminded me of Hoi An in Vietnam in the way that it’s set up for tourism but it wasn’t as garish which I preferred. I just wandered around really, taking some pretty pictures, relaxing, eating and that was it really. There is stuff to do there for sure but I couldn’t be bothered (y).
After Melaka I got a bus all the way north to Georgetown. It was a long journey but I had plenty of podcasts to listen to and books to read. I also met another couple of travellers, Hugo from France and Adam from the Philippines. I mentioned I already had somewhere booked so we all went to the same hostel together. We ended up just hanging out, chilling, and meeting a few others. Chris from England who’s now working in Thailand and Fahmi from Malaysia who’s an author. There were lots of other people there, a few who were regulars from what I could tell, and the place just had a really nice atmosphere. Everyone was very friendly and it was very chilled. I met another Patrick, from America, who also played Peter in his high school production of JCS just like myself which was pretty funny. Then there was Stanislav from Moscow, who had his birthday on my last night (when I was actually meant to leave!).
Like it said it was mostly chilling and eating but we did go for a couple of outings. One to the national park in the north west of the island and then to a temple called Kek Lok Si which, as it was a very lovely (and hot) day, offered some lovely scenery.
Another long journey later and I was in Kuantan to visit Pipi who I met in South Korea. I ended up doing VERY little whilst there taking some time to sleep on the first day and then just catch up on some reading and a nice light lunch rather than all the curry I had been eating. Pipi and I met up on the second day and grabbed some food and just had a little chat about travel and education (her being a teacher as well) we also had immense waffles at this very trendy little coffeeshop. From what I understand Kuantan is kind of a gateway to a lot more places on the east coast but given the amount of time I spent on a bus and how little time I had there unfortunately I didn’t get to explore those options before heading back to KL.
Now during my travelling I received a message from my favourite Canadian couple Jonathan and Camille telling me they would be in KL while I was. Considering we thought that Thailand was goodbye it was a nice surprise. I was also meeting another Adam, who I met in Latvia last summer.
There are lots of things to do in KL and the first thing I wanted to do was go to the walk in aviary. I like birds. They’re bizarre. Not much to say really other than there were lots of pretty birds, photos do them more justice than my words. Following this we again just indulged our appetites with various foods and all went out for dinner with Adam’s sister Nadira. The next day, which was the day of my departure to New Zealand, we went to Batu Caves.
Oh before I mention the Batu Caves, brief side note. Adam and I went to his sister’s university as there was a job fair thingy going on. Whilst walking around I bumped into two of the girls I was working with in Japan, Cindy and Chong. Very random, I mean ok, they’re from Malaysia, but the odds of me being there were very low, and there are obviously multiple universities. This has happened quite a few times during the trip which whilst not unbelievable is definitely worth noting.
The Batu Caves is a series of caves consisting primarily of limestone. This results in lots of lovely structures being carved into the surrounding rock. Inside is a Hindu shrine and lots of monkeys and pigeons. I’ve never really had to worry about this, as I don’t wear short shorts, but for some people (and I think it only referred to women actually) their clothes were too revealing. Don’t want to get into that whole debate (because I will be talking about this in the future in my Emma Watson post which is being redrafted) just wanted to point out that at the bottom they were offering rental cloths to cover yourself which was nice as I’ve seen in other countries at other tourist attractions that some people are simply turned away. At least here they allowed you to rectify the issue rather than having to just leave.
Malaysia was really nice, even if it was too hot for me, and I would like to go back again with more time and see some of the islands etc. It’s a lot more lush than I expected and transport is pretty solid.