Monday, April 13, 2009

First Time Visit to Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Malacca

Since I am currently residing in a country which is practically the hub of Asia, while I am here I feel compelled to travel around Asia and beyond once I have the money and time to travel. I have Hong Kong, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and Europe in my 'places-to-visit' wish list.

Malaysia was indeed a place I eventually have to visit as it is near from Singapore but it is not really in my top list because I think I can go there anytime I want. Somehow unplanned, for this Easter holiday, I happened to be invited by a good friend to go to Malaysia. I said, why not? This is going to be my second visit to Malaysia and my first visit to KL.

I always think that traveling is good. It gives you new perspectives. You get to see new places, experience how people live in other country, feel the cultural difference, meet new people, try their famous local cuisine, take pictures, relax and most importantly, detach yourself from office routines.

Malaysia, here I come...!

PETRONAS Twin Towers.

After spending a good 6-7 hours trip inside a business class coach, Aeroline, finally on Friday night I had my feet stepped on Kuala Lumpur land for the first time. It was pretty late, I had not much time to go around as most of the shops were already closed.

Friday, 10 April 2009: Kuala Lumpur

The famous PETRONAS Twin Towers (Finally!)

Dinner: Mexican Food at Carlos Mexican Canteena in the Pavilion.

Lime Sizzling Chicken BBQ.

Saturday, 11 April 2009: Seremban and Malacca

Breakfast: Seremban's Dim Sum

Malacca's Taman Rama-Rama (Butterfly Park).

Possibly the cutest living beings in the park...?

Orange Python. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

Lots and lots of Crocodiles.

Chinaldins - Fish (Monsters) from Amazon, Brazil.

Malacca's Snack House and Es Cendol

Es Cendol.

Malacca City Tour

A different way to take a nap.

Lunch/Dinner: Banya's Malay Food

Banya (Baba Nyonya) Malay Food.

Sunday, 12 April 2009: Seremban - Home

Breakfast: Asia Restaurant's Laksa

Seremban's Laksa.

Oleh-Oleh: Seremban's Siu Pao and Pineapple Tarts

Seremban's Siew Pao.

I like Malaysia. The people and atmosphere are just very different from what I thought. I like the nice and kind people and undoubtedly Malaysia's local abundant good food. Everything is relatively cheap though can't say the food was cheap there as Danny, my host, literally footed all my eatery bills during my whole stay in Malaysia.

I remember Danny asked me why I chose to visit Malacca instead of KL? Usually girls or other first timers to Malaysia would like to go to KL and shop there. Why Malacca? I said, I wanted to see something else than city scenery. I'd love to go to KL one day, shop till I drop, but at this point of time I am just so keen to see something new. Some new places with culture, nature and architecture that can be explored. But, apparently Malacca didn't have that much to explore though. Lucky I canceled my plan to stay in Malacca for 3 days as after 3 hours I felt, we are pretty much done exploring the city. But, Malacca was nice anyway. The architecture is wonderful - mixed Chinese, Malay, Portuguese and Dutch! It made miss Holland again when I saw the wind mill replica.

The main thing that pretty shocked me was the fact that people there are not obsessed with latest trends. Even though they have the purchasing power, most of the people don't mind using old cars or motorbikes as long as these things can transport them from one place to another. This is so different from people in Indonesia or Singapore who constantly racing to keep up with the latest models or technologies on cars or motorbikes. This phenomenon is indeed something new to me - there are people who can still live without following trends in this very day! Maybe we should learn from Malaysians on how to stop running.

In conclusion, how to best learn the culture of a country? Engage a local people to take you around and explain about their place. Much better if you could stay with them at their house. You'll learn a lot more than the place itself offers you.

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