Malaysia is a country where you will find an obvious West /East meeting point – combine the two and you get a crazy mixture – where Dutch clogs go with Indian curry and Portuguese churches.
It is a total mix of both the best and the worst of each culture, and you either hate it or love it, but you’ll never leave Malaysia without a strong impression. I changed my mind about this country many times. At first I hated it, then I didn’t know what to think, and eventually I loved it.
For me Malaysia was one of those countries which grows on you, and will show it’s good side if you just give it some time.
These are my top picks for having the best experience on mainland Malaysia (I have yet to visit my dream location: Borneo)
1. Visiting The Malls In KL
The crazy thing about Kuala Lumpur is that you can basically travel through the whole city never walking OUT of shopping malls! Wherever you go you will suddenly find yourself inside another and then another shopping mall.
When you step off the tram you have already stepped into a mall – to be able to find your way in these mega malls you often need a map.
Visiting the malls in KL is an experience even if you’re not buying anything.
There is always something going on, beauty competitions, runway shows, shows for newly released watches and other luxury items, and in one of the malls they have actually built an indoor roller-coaster..!
2. Tea And Strawberries In Cameron Highlands
People from countries and religions all over the world have shared this land for centuries, and have settled their own traditions and cultures in the city.
In Cameron Highlands you will see the British culture with strawberry plantations, European flora and fauna as well as the tea plantations.
The climate is a lot colder, and I haven’t seen any place like this in South East Asia – a great place to get away from the normally humid, warm Asia.
3. Chilling Out On The Perhentian Islands
These are a group of islands you literally will never want to leave. We stayed there for two weeks instead of the planned 3 days.
It has that typical “hide away” feeling and the islands are far from exploited.
When we went there there weren’t many tourists at all, and they also tended to only stay on the most popular island and only on that very beach, not even looking around to see what more there was on the island.
The water is warm and crystal clear, and you can take your PADI diving certificate, go island hopping or just go snorkeling all day long.
4. Tasting The Food
Malaysia is know to have the best food in all of Asia, and it certainly is diverse. Thanks to all the influence of different countries and their food traditions, Malaysia food is a mixture of it all together. Some food is really strange, but much of it is pretty tasty too. Don’t be surprised if you see Dutch Apfelstrudeln (apple pie) next to Indian Samosa on the menu!
5. Ride A Trishaw In Melaka
These bike taxis outshine all other forms transports from around the world!
For the taxi-bike drivers it is fierce competition to have the coolest bike, decorating it with all junk you could ever find, and the more glitter and lights the better.
To top it, these guys take you around the city with techno music pumping out of their speakers at the highest volume.
6. The Crazy Multi-Culture Connection
People from all religions live together here, in a country with several cultural heritages, and it’s all just a mixture of everything; Dutch clogs, belly dancing, karaoke contests – and temple dance classes.
Everywhere we went in Malaysia they were having dance classes. Men and women, young and old, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu, all practicing dance moves together. This in all sorts of places, all from 90′s pop music in a public garage to “Pussy Cat Dolls” in a temple.
Enjoy your time in Malaysia, if you have already visited – what were some of your fav. things to do in Malaysia?