When I first entered Malaysia, I had no expectations whatsoever as I had done zero research and no one I knew had visited before me. I feel that it’s quite good not knowing where you’re going as you won’t be disappointed when you get there. I know I felt quite disappointed with some of the cities I visited beforehand, such as Bangkok and Hanoi.
I started of my Malaysian adventure in Penang where the main attractions here is the street art that lines every road. The unique thing about the street art here is that it encourages on goers to become a part of the artwork. An example of this can be seen in my photo where there is a pretend swing and some paintings are ‘sat’ on one and you can sit on the other. I found all this art work really interesting as art is dying and this is helping keep it alive. Another thing I did here was visit the mountain that is in the centre of Penang. During the day I visited it to go to the temple with a huge buddha statue that overlooks the whole city. This was really interesting as I really enjoy learning about different religions even though I’m not religious myself. In the evening I went back up the mountain via a train to watch the city transition from day to night. You are unable to watch the sunset here as it sets the other side of the mountain however the views are spectacular. At the bottom of this mountain a short distance away are the botanical gardens which are relaxing to walk around and spot some monkeys.
After all the main sight seeing things were completed we decided to branch out and visit different attractions. We visited an upside down museum which was very cheap and very funny. You walk around the museum in stages and at each stop the workers make you pose and get a photo. This museum probably took around 40 minutes and was a perfect thing to do to escape the heat. Not too far from the upside down museum is the blue mansion which is the most photographed building in all of Penang. This blue mansion is a place where you can learn all about Chinese fenschuay.
My next stop in Malaysia was the Cameron Highlands where I spent the night at a homestay. I love homestays and encourage everyone to do a homestay wherever you go as it is the best way to learn about their culture and how locals really live. We stayed in tree houses, learnt how to make sarongs, we were walked around their village and ate dinner out the palms of our hands. These type of experiences always makes you feel humble as you really appreciate what you have at home and how little these people have but are still so happy.
In the Cameron highlands we also visited their famous tea plantations, hiked mossy forest which is one of the oldest forests in the world and also learnt how they make their tea here.
After the Cameron Highlands I was then off to Kuala Lumpur which I fell in love with. There were endless things to do, beautiful sights and amazing food. The number 1 sight to see here are the Patronus towers which are twin towers and have a bridge connecting each one half way up the buildings. At night these towers lights up and are the centre point for the city. At the bottom there are loads of men selling fish eye lenses for your phone for cheap so you can fit the whole of the towers in your photos, it might be an idea to take your own to avoid the harassment. If you take a short walk away from the towers there are sky bars which provide amazing views of the towers from a different perspective, including a heli pad bar. A final viewpoint I visited was Kuala Lumpur tower which allows you to have a 360 view of KL, there are glass boxes for you to go inside which you can stand on glass and see the whole of the city below you.
In KL you can do loads of shopping as there are shops and markers everywhere. In chinatown you can take a walk and get lots of fake clothing items for cheap. One of my favourite things I saw here was Nike style shoes with an Adidas logo. Along with cheap markets there are also proper shopping malls with many designer brands, in one of the shopping malls there is the largest indoor rollercoaster in south east asia which is an experience to go to. There are many street food markets to dive into their delicacies, if you are ever in doubt about street food as you question the hygiene, only eat at places you can see the food get cooked. When in KL try some laksa which is their speciality. The Batu caves are here in KL which are hundreds of steps leading up to a temple within some caves with monkeys protecting it. There is a man where you can buy food off of to feed the monkeys but please don’t feed the monkeys because:
1: the food isn’t a part of their natural diet
2: they become dependent on the food therefor ruining food chains
3: they become aggressive
4: the wrappers on the food you give them becomes litter
The final stop of my 10 day Malaysian visit was Melaka which is a UNESCO protected world heritage sight due to the history of the french architecture. Most people visit here as a stop before traveling into Singapore and that’s what we did as well. You only need a day here in Melaka as there isn’t a lot to do. After walking around the red buildings that line the streets we had pretty much outlasted everything there is to do. The main attraction here are the rickshaws that have been designed to different cartoon characters and blast out terrible music, so of course we had to go in one. They are so cheap and it’s just a very funny experience. There is Jonker walk which is great to visit at night with street entertainment and market stalls you’re able to barter at to get discounts. The ‘number one view in Malaka’ (as quoted by my grab driver) is temple Masjid selat melaka, which is a mosque. The best time to visit is at sunset where you can watch the sunset behind the mosque and watch the building light up and become a silhouette in front of the sun. It is beautiful and free. The best way to get here is by by a grab as it is a little out the way.
Next stop.. Singapore!