Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur & Melaka

If there is one country on our tour de Asia that I feel like I didn’t have enough time in, it’s Malaysia.  Honestly, I’m not sure why this isn’t more of a tourist attraction for people, but guys Malaysia is a wonderful country and is so beautiful!  Unlike, the rest of Southeast Asia, Malaysia has a slower vibe, it’s less chaotic, and the Malay people are super down to earth and chill.

I had picked Malaysia as a respite stop in between our trips from Phuket to Bangkok.  Also, NYE in KL looked legit so the choice was easy.  Upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur airport we had read the easiest way besides Uber to get to KL is through a coupon taxi.  This is a super genius idea BTW.  You just tell the person at the taxi kiosk where you’re going, they print a coupon, you pay the kiosk person, and then hop into a cab.  It was less than 10USD to go one hour to the city center of KL.  More reasons to love Southeast Asia.

Our first day out we spent most of it exploring the city.  KL is super modern, clean, and we were hard pressed to feel like we were in Southeast Asia.  There is an abundance of restaurants, shopping, and cultural activities going on here.  Also, for the budget traveler Uber is so easy to use to get around the city on a dime.

Obviously one of our first stops was the Patronas Towers.  I believe they are currently the tallest twin towers in the world.  They’re pretty impressive.

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Melaka

NYE we decided to take a day trip to Melaka, because well the whole city is a World Heritage site and John wanted to see the Straits of Melaka.  So we hired a guy to drive us two hours south to visit this colorful city.  First, let me just say the tour guide we hired was an interesting character.  Almost, immediately he started telling us his world views with a sprinkle of Malay history in there.  I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t a bit put off at first, especially since we were stuck in the car with this guy for two hours, but eventually he grew on me.  John particularly found him interesting, which was a good thing for me since I started to zone out at some point.

Any who, back to Melaka.  Melaka is a super colorful city and appears to have overcome some hardships over the years.  It used to be one of the worlds’ largest trading ports and I think could have potentially become the capital of Malaysia, but lost out to KL.  Also, Melaka is only about a two-hour drive from Singapore, so I think some of its luster was lost.  However, since it’s now a World Heritage Site it’s back to being a pretty decent tourist attraction.  A lot of Malaysia’s history lies within in this city and it’s interesting to see the influence of other cultures that once tried to conquer this country.  Everything from the British, to the Dutch, to the Chinese.  Regardless, there is a lot of history in this little city and definitely worth checking out.

One regret I have is not taking a ride on a Trishaw, similar to a rickshaw except there are three wheels.  They really glitz these things out and they’re everywhere.  Anything from Pokemon, to Hello Kitty, to Disney, just take your pick.

Check out some of our pictures from day.

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Back in KL and ready to ring in the New Year, we headed to Trader’s Hotel to spend the evening at their famous Sky Bar.  The view of the Patronas Towers was unreal and the firework show at midnight was amazing.  I won’t lie it was a pretty spectacular way to bring in the NY.

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Here is a video of the fireworks…Sorry for the sideways glance, but you get the idea!

Our last full day in KL we decided to venture out to Batu Caves, as it’s the largest Hindu Temple outside of India.  It’s only a 45 minute train ride from Central Station and a nice little half day trip.  Even if there are a ton of stairs to get into the cave, it’s worth checking out…starting the new year off healthy 😂.  Also, thinking this might have been a tourist trap, it turns out it was a super active temple.  It was really neat to see how many Hindu people were there on New Years Day and to see the temple in action.  Traveler’s tip: there are monkeys everywhere and they are used to tourists feeding them, so be careful with your belongings.  Once the monkeys take hold, it’s not coming back!

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Of course like any other Asian country we’ve been to, the nightmarkets are always a must.  Jalan Alor is a famous night market in KL with food stall, after food stall, after food stall.  Of course this was a must.  Malaysia is known for a lot of things, but it’s also known for its food and it hit the spot.  After almost two years in Asia we’ve discovered stepping out of our comfort zone and trying new foods is always a good idea.  So we went for the BBQ’d stingray this particular night, and let me tell you AHHHMAZING! I highly recommend a try when visiting!

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Well there you have it, our short three days in Malaysia.  Like I said in the beginning I seriously wish I had more time in this country and probably would have dedicated a whole vacation to it.  Alas, I’m just going to have to go back!

Next up our adventure in Bangkok, which will likely be my last travel post for a while as we are moving back Stateside on the 29th this month.  But who knows adventures is always calling my name so stay tuned!

Until next time! Ja Mata じゃまた!

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