Food and Travels, Posts in English

Malaysia, truly Asia

While I was studying in Asia, I ceased the occasion to travel around as much as I could. One of my favorite destinations was Malaysia. I really enjoyed discovering different cities and atmospheres. Here is a summary of what I enjoyed about Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur the cosmopolitan city

It will probably be your first stop if you intend to travel to Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur (aka KL) is the capital city. It is a modern and cosmopolitan city of 1.7 millions of inhabitants. Public transports are well developed so you will be able to go around the city by train, subway or bus. You will find below a couple of famous sites in KL:

The twin Petronas Towers

With almost 15 feet and 88 floors, the Petronas are the highest twin towers in the world. They were imagined by an Argentinian architect and inaugurated in 1998. Inside the towers are offices, boutiques, a mosque, and even a concert venue. Visitors can access the towers, especially the steel bridge that links the two towers, from the 41th and 42th floors. There is a nice park next to the towers that is appreciated by runners during the evening. And you can take a beautiful picture of the Petronas at night when they are lightened up.

The Batu caves

These are several caves with some converted into temples. These caves are the biggest Hindu sanctuary outside of India. Like any other religious place you’ll have to leave your shoes at the entrance. Hindus being very close to nature and animals, you will see many monkeys and chickens running around. Be careful not to touch them especially the monkeys and don’t leave food in your backpack they will definitely take it from you!

Perdana botanical gardens

The gardens are located right in the center of the city. There are the largest botanical gardens of KL. You will find in this area different sections such as the hibiscus park, the Orchid garden, Sunken garden, the herb garden, the boat House and an amphitheater. I love the fact that nature is an important part of the city even when its economy keeps growing. It is a peaceful and great place to hang out and have a picnic.

The National Mosque

Malaysia being mostly a Muslim country, you will find several mosques and religious monuments among which is the famous National Mosque in KL aka Masjid Negara. You will be able to visit the mosque for free outside of the prayers hours, of course. Some clothes are lended at the entrance if you are wearing something that shows your legs or arms. It is a magnificent building with green and white ornaments. The rooms are opened and the ceilings are often very high so that you will be caught up in the majestuous aspect of the building. Its minaret – the tower in the middle – is 2.4 feet high. You could also get a free guided tour to learn more about the history of the mosque and Islam in Malaysia.

Melaka and its Chinatown

Melaka is indeed renowned for its chinese community, antiquities boutiques and night market. We were there exactly during Chinese New Year. Therefore, many activities and events were taking place. In the evening, we witnessed a Chinese concert. There was a stage in the middle of a big square and people who sat there, on plastic chairs that they took from their home or restaurants’ terraces. Everybody talked Mandarin even the singers on stage. Older people remained impassive but with my friends we were very enthusiastic and snapped up by the atmosphere. So we began dancing along with the chorists and dancers on stage. The singer decided to invite us on stage with them. This was the best moment of my trip. We did not understand a word they were saying and yet we shared the same energy and joy for a moment. That is the reason why I say traveling is magic!

Moreover, Melaka architecture is very different from what I previously saw in Malaysia. You will see these typical red buildings, such as the Melaka Church built in the 18th century.

Langkawi’s island life

After discovering Kuala Lumpur and Melaka for the first time, I decided to go back to Malaysia a couple of weeks later to visit Langkawi. It is an archipelago of tens of islands located on the North Western coast of Malaysia.

Long strips of sand, a cocktail, some music, a sunset…these are the little pleasures of life that await you in Langkawi. I felt at peace and was surprised that the beaches were not more crowded.

Pregnant maiden island

But, since you are not only there to tan on the beach, you could also take a small boat to visit the archipelago. One famous island is called the pregnant maiden island because of its shape. If you like tales, let the locals explain you the origins of its legend. Besides, you will be able to stop at some point, a couple of minutes before the sunset to admire it before going back to the main island. The view of the sun “dropping” under the sea while the moon is calmly watching is priceless.

Langkawi Sky Bridge

This is a 410 feet cabled, curved, suspended bridge. It is situated in the main island of Langkawi called Kedah. The construction was finished in 2005. The view you get from the mountains and the sky will leave you speechless. I hope you are not afraid of heights because this attraction is truly a must do during your stay in Langkawi.

There are much more things to say about Malaysia. I found the language beautiful, as well as the mix of religions and peoples. Not to mention that the food was amazing. Malaysia is truly Asia because it took the best of traditions and modernity and enable you to discover a unique and authentic side of South East Asian culture.

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