In this blogpost I want to share with you my summer trip to Malaysia. I will describe you my impressions of this beautiful country, recommend some accommodations and excursions which are really worth it.
First stop: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
When I landed in Kuala Lumpur, I was a bit unsure about this city. It looks like a typical Asian city: Too many cars, polluted air and not really pedestrian friendly streets. If you want to see the city, take an Uber and not a teksi (means taxi in Malay), because they are much more expensive. Beside the above mentioned less beautiful things there are impressive buildings like the famous Petronas Towers. These two towers are even more unique when you stand in front of them than on the pictures I’ve seen. I personally love the design of them more than the Emipire State Building or the Eiffel Tower. In full splendor they shine in the center of the city. The Petronas Towers also attract many tourists. Everyone tries to take a perfect picture in front of the huge towers. Next to the towers is an artificially grown pond or lake, whatever you might call it. I’ve personally liked the somehow special trees which are around the lake. The huge roots tell you how old the trees really are. It’s very magical!
In addition to numerous shopping opportunities you can also find beautiful parks in the city and of course the famous food street „Jalan Alor“ which you should visit in the night. You will find typical Asian food there and the prices are completely reasonable. Due to the tourists the prices have risen but it’s still cheap.
In Kuala Lumpur we were really lucky with our accomodation. We had a very comfortable arbnb which was near de Jalan Alor Food Street. I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a good price-value.
Learn how to scuba dive: checked
The Perhentian Islands were our next destination. We had two possibilities to get there: either we take the bus to Kuala Besut or fly by plane to Kota Bharu and then take the taxi to Kuala Besut. By the bus we would have had about 10 hours. For this reason we booked a flight in advance. This flight took only an hour and was extremly cheap. From Kuala Besut we took a speedboat to the Perhentian Island. The ride with this speedboat was really fun. We were about 15 people in the speedboat including many backpackers. In this regard I have to mention that we were also traveling only with small backpacks this time. On the island we booked the Shari-la Island Resort. The hotel was okay for the condition of the island. It was probably even one of the better resorts on the island. However, we went to this island mainly for scuba diving. The Perhentian Islands are perfect for scuba diving. The crystal clear sea, a great reef, ideal water temperatures and excellent diving instructors make it the perfect place. We took our dive course at the Quiver Dive Team which is a dive school right on the island. You can take the PADI dive course there for only 1100 MYR which is about 240 Swiss francs. This is comparably cheap.
Our teacher Christine was very professional and she had a lot of patience with us. After three days and four nights we left the Island.
Into the wild
Our adventure continues by bus. We travel approximately five hours to Jerantut. The Hotel in Jerantut was called WAU Hotel. I can only say positive things about this hotel. It is a hotel with attractive prices, friendly staff, good service and extremly clean rooms. Everything is well organized! We booked the WAU Hotel mainly to visit the big national park Taman Negara. In Taman Negara there was unfortunately no rooms available that was the reason why we booked the WAU Hotel in Jerantut. Looking back we were glad about this decision. From the hotel to the park it was only one hour by car. In Taman Negara we were a total of two days. On the first day we visited two viewpoints, made a little boat trip through the river and walked the canopy walk. On the second day we had a six-hour hike through the jungle. We walked 12 kilometers. We climbed over fallen trees, crossed rivers and saw some incredible animals and in the end we survived ;-). This was a fantastic adventure! Especially the second day was unique. I can recommend you to make such a jungle hike. But don’t forget to take good clothes with you, especially shoes, because as I said you walked through rivers. If you come from a country where there is no jungle you should visit the Taman Negara National Park. However, don’t expect to see tigers and elephants, that happens very rarely. Except a few poisonous snakes and insects we did not see much.
It’s tea time
After Taman Negara we sat again in a bus to our next stop: Cameron Highlands! If you are a tea freak than you should visit the Cameron Highlands. The Cameron Highlands are located in the Malaysian Sultante of Pahang, east of the city. Huge tea plantations make this highland settlement so unique. My boyfriend and me love tea. Therefore, it was clear for us to visit this place. This place has inspired me from the beginning. Pleasant temperatures, hotels, a few restaurants, stray dogs and many tourists were my first impressions of this place. This place is only alive because of the tourists. Somehow I liked it a lot. Probably because it was not too hot here compared to the other places in Malaysia. The climate is very different here. In addition, it was a very clean village. Our hotel (Arundina Guesthouse) here has been the best so far. Our room was verly large and the garden of the hotel was beautiful. In the hotel everyone was friendly. We even had a little balcony where we enjoyed the rain.
Last stop: Penang
When we realized that we had already arrived at our last place, we were a bit sad. Our last stop was the island Penang. Actually Penang is more like a big city than an island. We went by bus to the harbour and then we took a boat to reach the island. Here in Penang we had a typical business hotel with an infinity pool. Every morning we were able to enjoy a huge Continental breakfast. I’m a typical morning person. Hence, I love to have breakfast in the early morning. Mostly I eat sweet pancakes or waffles with chocolate. In the city of Penang there is a lot to do. We visited the Kek-Lok-Temple. This Temple is one of the largest temples of its kind in Southeast Asia and is considered to be the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. The temple is wonderful and a real eye-catcher. You can take beautiful photos. Another sight worth seeing is the Penang Hill. The Penang Hill is a hill resort comprising a group of peaks on Penang Island. From the hill you have a great view over George Town. Unfortunately, we were somehow unlucky with the weather. It was very foggy and we couldn’t see much but we still enjoyed the excursion. I must confess, it is also very touristy here and there were many people when we were there. The best thing about Penang was actually the city itself. Beautiful streets with many Asian restaurants make the city unique. I personally think Penang is much more interesting than Kuala Lumpur. It has somehow more charm and you can walk around better than in KL. The people here are also very friendly and welcoming. I also want to tell you about our culinary highlight. We visited one of the most expensive restaurants here on the island. The restaurant looked like a castle from the inside. The food was excellent and the defnitely worth the money. Compared to Swiss prices the food was still cheap. We had a 4-course menu and paid about 30 Swiss francs. In Switzerland we would have paid easily 100 Swiss francs or more for the same meal.
Now we reached the end of our journey. From Penang we flew back to Kuala Lumpur and from there via Doha back to Switzerland. It was a really nice trip, a wonderful adventure and a great time with my boyfriend. I can recommend Malaysia to anyone who wants to see a lot of different things and is ready to travel around with a backpack.