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January 28, 2019
To say I was excited about visiting Malaysia would be an understatement; the echoes of “the food is amazing” and “cycling is very popular” feeding my excitement.
Getting to Malaysia from Thailand is super easy, with numerous options. I’d only decided the day before that I would take the ferry direct from Satun, Thailand, to the island of Langkawi, where I could get my 3 month Visa On Arrival.
I’d planned it pretty well to leave Thailand with no Thai currency whatsoever, so, having paid for my boat ticket, a reasonable 300baht, or £7.50, I felt a little awkward when the lady collecting the tickets when boarding asked for another 150baht for Surly Temple, with me raising my hands up in surrender saying, “I’m sorry, I have no money”.
In my short time in Malaysia already, the one thing that really stood out for me, unlike other countries I’ve visited, was just how ethnically diverse it is but also just how well that diversity seems to work in harmony and unity.
Cultures, beliefs and traditions seem largely respected by each other and life seems to move at a beautiful pace, something I find quite rare in this day and age.
Then there’s the food, oh my, the food
With this ethnic diversity brings the opportunity to eat a whole range of foods. Malay, Peranakan, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya and the amalgamation of all of them. In one day, I could find my self eating 4 different cuisines, but the strange thing was, these didn’t feel all too far away from each other like they do when eaten in your own country. There’s the odd cross over and similarity in textures and ingredients, which, like the culture, work together in a sort of harmonious taste bud jamboree.
Malaysia part 3: Kuala Lumpur - Johor Bahru
Having battled the highways and the heat leading into Kuala Lumpur, I arrived just in time to take shelter from a torrential thunderstorm. If you’ve experienced them in KL you’ll know they are quite impressive.
I would be spending the next 3 days in Kula Lumpur to see in my birthday, watching a bit of rugby and spending a fair amount of time planning the next few months.
Although I actually saw very little of KL, it wasn’t somewhere I felt I wanted to spend much time. With one of its most popular tourist attraction being the Petronas Towers, it did little to inspire me. That said, I could be proven otherwise, and hope to re-visit Malaysia when visiting India and Bali on a personal development retreat. I also didn’t visit Batu Caves, one of the most popular and highly regarded Tamil shrines outside of India, just outside of KL , but I would like to visit during Hindu Tamil festival, Thaipusam.