Blowing in the Wind

All Over Malaysia

If you haven’t noticed the posts are a little behind. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to float around and catch a ferry or bus whenever we are ready to head to a new place, but it’s hard to keep up with all the places we pass through. Each place always has it’s own charm, and a story to tell but for the sake of keeping the blog up to date I thought I would do an overview of the rest of Malaysia. At some point I’d like to revisit some of the places, because they certainly are worthy of their own posts.

Kuala Lumpur

the streets of Chinatown

The capital city was truly an East meets West experience. Tall sky scrapers, sprawling malls, and hip nightclubs were easily spotted throughout the city. It was just as easy to spot hanging chickens from street carts, rows of shops with knock-off t-shirts, and fake monks begging for money. It’s a city on par with Singapore or Bangkok and was a little overwhelming to navigate in the short time we were there (we also had our first experience with thinking death by crossing the street didn’t seem very farfetched), but we had some fantastic meals and found the people to be all smiles.

Mount Kinabalu

3000 meters up

My ankle wasn’t up to the mountain climb, so Tim tackled the 4000 meter high mountain on his own, even though he wasn’t feeling 100% either. He had some stomach issues that seemed to accelerate with the altitude. Tim set off with his guide and for the next two hours the only movement in sight were monkeys. His early climbing payed off since he was one of only 3 people who made it up to the lodge before it down-poured, making the climb a much more unpleasant experience for most of the other climbers. Unfortunately, the rain didn’t let up, and the steepest part of the climb to the peak was not allowed to be attempted. Tim thought that climbing mountain itself was a great experience, but would probably pass on trying it again during the rainy season.

Kota Kinabalu

Local rice wine

…Meanwhile, Tim left me on the bus to the main city without a western person in sight. Actually, the bus didn’t go directly to KK. I found that out when a woman sat down next to me and laughed at me in broken English. As it turned out the older Malaysian couple who sat in front of me needed to navigate the local busses to the city too, and took me under their wing. They weren’t booked anywhere so they stayed at the same hotel as me and even came with me and another friend to the cultural village the next day. They will forever be referred to as Malaysian Mom and Dad for adopting me at the bus station and taking way too many “family” pictures with us the next day.

KK is a nice little city with a lot to do in the surrounding area. There are several islands that I hung out on for diving one day. Tim joined me after a few days but mostly stuck to the room as he recovered from the climb.

Georgetown, Penang

Georgetown is the type of place I’ve decided Tim and I would live if we ever needed to hide out on the other side of the world. It’s modern, it’s old and full of charm, it has beaches, it has some of the best food in the world, and its a hop and a skip away from Thailand.

My favorite thing about Georgetown was all the older expat men sitting outside their guesthouses on Love Lane, playing solitare or something equally trivial. They all seemed to be dressed like Indiana Jones and I kept waiting for one of them to jump up with a sense of importance and run off to some nearby temple, but that never seemed to happen.


I can’t say a bad word about Langkawi. We loved the beach, We loved our lodge, we loved scooting around the island on our motorbike finding waterfalls. We loved the view from the cable car at the top. We even had our favorite meal in Langkawi. We should have stayed longer, but the problem was there was a whole new country calling to us from just a short boat ride away.

Last Word on Malaysia
Since unlike Thailand or Bali, not many people think of traveling to Malaysia, I want to say this for the country: the country was one of the most hospitable places I’ve ever traveled. The people were open-minded and their English was excellent, making travel almost too easy. There’s more we wish we saw; particularly Sarawak (the other Borneo State) and the east coast islands (preferably when its not monsoon season, as it would have been while we were there). I will confess that for the longest time when I thought of Malaysia the very first thing that would pop into my head was Zoolander, and the tiny little Prime Minister that they wanted to kill. I thought it must be such a bizarre place. It’s not, well…it can be, but in a totally good way. 🙂

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
~Mark Twain


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarahmoyik
    Jan 22, 2011 @ 21:55:11

    I am sad to hear that your ankle is still hurting you, maybe revisit some of those exercises that you learned in Bali that made your ankle feel better. :). I am also happy to hear about your Malaysian adoption.

    You know my passion for food so what did your favorite meal consist of in Langkawi?


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