A major bonus of my 3rd year teaching English in South Korea has been the opportunities for international travel. 2017 had some major ups and downs, but my passport has been getting a workout. This past year alone, I’ve managed to see Taipei, Tokyo, Jeju, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur! While each place was beautiful and exciting in its own unique way, Malaysia totally stole my heart. In fact, I’ll be back in Malaysia one week from today!
My first memories of Malaysia are of being promptly picked up by the friendliest GrabCar driver and told all about the excitement of Kuala Lumpur. He told me all about the best ways to get to the Batu Caves, Jalan Petaling (Chinatown), Brickfields (Little India), and where to go out for “Ladies Night” (Jalan Alor and Bukit Bintang, by the way)! On my first night in KL, I dug into some insanely good Nasi Lemak at our fabulous hotel, too…
The Batu Caves are a must-see in Kuala Lumpur. Just make sure to steer clear of monkeys!
The Central Market has tons of stunning street art. Can you believe this was commissioned by Oreo cookies?
Speaking of cookies, ever had afternoon tea in a room full of glorious orchids?
For a thrill in Malaysia, make sure to check out HeliLounge – a bar on a helicopter pad in Kuala Lumpur. From here, you can get an amazing view of the Petronas Towers and KL Tower all while dining al fresco!
My last day in Malaysia was a Friday – the most sacred day of the week for Muslims. I took a solo trip to Putra Jaya where I saw the Pink Mosque and the Iron Mosque. It was the most at peace I’ve felt in a while!
Malaysia on My Mind
I’m not just going to Sabah for the sunsets, but they certainly help! On February 7th, 2018 I’ll be traveling to Kota Kinabalu, or Malaysian Borneo. Here I plan to make the most of my trip staying near Jesselton Point.
Kota Kinabalu is a nature-lover’s retreat. There’s so much to see and do I’m kicking myself for only saving 3 of my vacation days. While in the Northern part of Borneo, I hope to do some jungle trekking, see the famous floating mosque, hit the Filipino night market (one of the most famous open food courts in the world), and relax on the beach (island hopping?).
Above all, I’m hoping to see the orangutans, proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, and Bornean sun bears. The weather forecast predicts thunderstorms the entire time. What are the odds I’ll get to do any of this? Keep your fingers crossed!
Maybe Next Time, Malaysia!
I’m sure that Kota Kinabalu will not be my last destination in Malaysia. On my way to Bali in March I’ll have a long layover in Kuala Lumpur. I’ll make my way to Port Dickson and hopefully even Melaka! Melaka (or Malacca), Malaysia has a vast history. Since the 1500’s, it has been under Portuguese, British, and Dutch control before Japanese occupation in World War II. In 1946, it became part of the Malayan Union. In 1989 it was designated a historical city, and in 2008 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visiting Malacca Means Visiting Malaysia
A popular mini-break trip for Singaporeans, Melaka’s tourism slogan is: “Visiting Malacca Means Visiting Malaysia”. The city has stunning hotels available at bargain prices. In order to preserve all the historical sites and buildings, Melaka has become Malaysia’s museum paradise. Malaysia is a multi-faith country, and Melaka is a multi-religious society. In addition to visiting a beautiful coastline, I hope to visit some of the 87 night markets, Christ Church, A Famosa Fort, the public squares, Malacca Straights Mosque, and most notably: Malacca Chinese Mosque.
Did you know the movie Entrapment was filmed in Melaka? Have you ever visited Malaysia? What are your favourite cities? Before I leave Asia for good, I’m dying to visit Penang, Georgetown, and Langkawi in Malaysia. Leave your recommendations in the comments section below!