|Travel Report: 8 Days in Malaysia|
PLANNING & ITINERARY
It was a bit hard for me to find stable resources on the Internet for Malaysia, good thing there is always Lonely Planet and Rough Guides to help me out. Simply enough, 8 days is not enough to explore 330,000-square-kilometer of surface area of Malaysia, so I listed down my goal for the trip, which were to see the rich multi-cultural aspect of the country and experience wonderful but cheap food encounters. I was able to narrow down my list to Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Melacca and Penang.
You may download a copy of our 8-day itinerary in Malaysia via this link.
Day 1-2, 5
Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, was my first stop for this trip. My first task after settling down was to roam around for shopping areas in Bukit Bintang. We were off the next day to Kuala Lumpur’s own Chinatown, seeing what is offered in Central Market and wandering around the religious sites of Guan Di Temple and Sri Mahamariamman Temple.
|the very historical Central Market of Kuala Lumpur|
|the bustling Petaling Street|
|Sri Mahamariamman Temple|
The Petronas Towers proves to be one of the “must see” attractions in the city. Being one of the world’s tallest buildings, we did not pass the opportunity to have a glimpse of it during day and night, at both times looking very grand and magnificent.
|looking so strong by day|
|Petronas Towers at Lake Titiwangsa|
|... and very much romantic by night|
Though not exactly in KL, Batu Caves is also flocked with tourists excited to see not just the famous cave but also to experience Indian culture that is very evident in the entire country. We also did not miss to take a heritage trail consisting of seeing the Merdeka Square, and other lovely pieces of architecture such as KTM Headquarters and Old KL Railway Station.
KL is one of the largest transportation hubs in South East Asia. I took a direct flight from Clark to Kuala Lumpur via Air Asia, but there are also local companies that offer this route such as Cebu Pacific and PAL Express.
|Sultan Abdul Samad Building by night|
Putrajaya, located south of Kuala Lumpur, was very much suited for a day trip as it was only an hour or less away from the central station by the very fast trains of Kuala Lumpur. Though the city had a very quiet atmosphere (almost like a ghost town) feel to us, we still enjoyed its very sophisticated look and seeing the sights it offered. One of the highlights of the trip was being able to go inside the Pink Mosque.
|the lovely Perdana Putra|
|a great view of Putrajaya Lake and Seri Wawasan Bridge|
|Blue Mosque of neighboring Shah Alam|
From Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya can be easily accessed via the KLIA Express Train. Once there, there are buses that can take you to the different tourist spots of the city, otherwise you may also ask a cab driver to tour you around, but negotiate for a good price.
|the unique Pink Mosque of Putrajaya|
I wanted to do more in Malacca, sadly though, we were only there for a day trip. Its slow pace and quiet ambiance is perfect for travelers who just want to chill and relax. The city is very historic, which I can also almost relate to my own country. It is also very easy to traverse, you can get dropped off at the Dutch Square, and start your tour from there. One of my most favorite things in this city is the Baba Nyonya Mansion, night view of Melaka River and food tripping around its long line of restaurants!
|Dutch Square looking so lovely during nighttime|
Malacca takes up a good two-hour journey from KL one way by bus. The coach buses are so comfortable that you can even take a nap on the way!
|my recommended view of the city!|
It was also a lovely treat to visit Penang but it certainly not for people who are on a diet (if you are, you must stop you must stop dieting while visiting here, eating at the hawker stalls four times a day is a must!) Just like anywhere in Malaysia, the local street food is so cheap, tasty and fulfilling, but the ones in Penang and more diverse and have also been raved about by international travel/food critics by the likes of Anthony Bourdain.
The UNESCO-listed George Town is also one of the reasons I wanted to go here. One of the attractions we enjoyed was the Street Art scattered around the place which adds a sense of quirkiness in the area.
|Chew Jetty of Penang|
|one of the many fun street art of Georgetown|
It is also a boosting place of diverse religion. We headed to Kek Lok Si to see one of the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia that is also situated in Penang Hill, a great spot if you want to get a good view of the city. If you have extra time, you could also head out to these Buddhist temples namely Wat Chayamangkalaram, a Thai temple, and Dhammikarama, a Burmese Buddhist temple: both can be found at Burma Road and also feature very artistic and distinct architecture of the countries they represent.
|the reclining Buddha of Wat Chayamangkalaram|
|the relaxed statues of Dhammikarama Temple|
Penang can be reached via bus, train or plane from Kuala Lumpur. One can also transit here from Thailand.
|the Buddhas of Kek Lok Si|
You can never call it a good adventure unless you have done a food trip in Malaysia, it is a must! The mamak stalls are basically everywhere! Aside from it being a great place to observe local culture in Malaysia, you could also taste yummy and cheap eats here, which is good for both the tummy and the wallet. It is open even until the wee hours of the night so if you are craving for a midnight snack, then head out here. It's also a great thing that Malaysia has a large multi-racial community as you can get exposed to different types of cuisine: Malay, Chinese, Indian, and sometimes even Thai.
|famous chicken rice ball of Malacca|
|craving for something too sweet? get an ice kachang|
|this is probably one of my best (and cheapest) Indian meals ever! chicken biryani, tandoori and this apple juice FTW!!!|
|i totalllllly love Assam Laksa, most especially Penang's version of it!|
|char kuey teow, one interesting noodle dishes of Malaysia|
> I was only able to spend 8,000 PHP (around 185 USD) for 8 days stay that includes food, transportation (inside the country and outside going to Singapore), and souvenir shopping expenses.
> It is very easy and convenient to go around basically anywhere in the country. Buses and trains are frequent and accessible to most of all the tourist spots. Get used to haggling with taxi drivers, it will come in handy after you travel outside of KL.
> Be prepared to walk! And also spare change/small bills for buses and trains.
> English is widely used. Due to the diverse culture and many languages of the locals, majority of them can speak or understand English.
> Malaysia is a Muslim country so observe some rules that apply to their religion. When visiting mosques, please dress appropriately (cover legs, shoulders and arms). Otherwise, some mosques will be able to lend some shawl or cloak for you.
|a great view of Penang at Kek Lok Si|
Our trip was focused on culture, religion, architecture and food as you may have noticed with the sights we saw at Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Malacca and Penang. But I believe the country can offer more nature-related attractions in the Eastern part of the country (Sabah) and more.
I regret only having been able to spend 8 days. Anyway, I think I was able to see the highlights of Malaysia and I certainly enjoyed this trip and most especially, the food (which will probably be the major reason for me to come back). :)
Hope this beginner’s guide to Malaysia has been able of help to you! If you liked this article, hope you can help spreading my blog to your family and friends :) You may do so by following me via Google Friend Connect and Feedburner by clicking the buttons below/on the side, or you may also like my page for updates.