We weren’t sure what to expect when we opted to visit Malaysia because we’d heard so little about it when speaking with fellow travellers. In the end, it didnʼt matter, we had a great time there and sampled some of the best food on the planet!
It certainly feels that – from a British perspective – countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia prove to be more popular tourist destinations when compared to Malaysia. I’m not entirely sure why that’s the case. But with a hope to maybe inspire some others to visit the country, let me share some bits and pieces from our time there.
We arrived in Malaysia on the beautiful island of Langkawi. Prior to our visit, we spent a month in Thailand, island-hopping south towards Malaysia. In truth, weʼd had our fill of beaches and therefore decided only to spent a short time on Langkawi to get our bearings before heading to Georgetown, Penang.
Georgetown is simply a joy to visit. It hosts a delightful combination of beautiful architecture, vibrant colours, amazing street art and some of the best street food hawkers in the world. From memory, we spent just under a week there. Most days were spent roaming the colonial streets in search of famed street art paintings… enjoying an assortment of food along the way. We had ‘the bestʼ Wantan Mee there for a crazy £1.50 and if youʼre into interesting desserts then try the local Cendol.
From the quaint streets of Penang, we took a trip into the mountainous Cameron Highlands area. The landscape changes drastically en route and gives way to lush green tea plantations. We spent a couple of days exploring the plantations, sampling the tea (and cake) and enjoyed an unforgettable sunrise atop one of the highest peaks in the area. It was quite special being able to watch the sun rise from above the clouds.
Kuala Lumpur was our penultimate stop and like most megacities in Asia, it’s huge! KL is on par with Tokyo and Bangkok, it’s crazy busy and full of life. Sure, itʼs a little rough around the edges, but its packed with a variety of cultures, hosts some amazing skyline views and has some superb shopping spots. But above all… it’s packed with world class restaurants and hawker centres… youʼll notice a theme here…
The last stop on our Malaysian tour took us to the former trade town of Malacca, famed for its Dutch Square. This was a popular shipping town in colonial times and is therefore packed with history, and features a beautiful blend of cultures. Our time there was short and we pretty much stayed close to
the ‘old townʼ areas, taking in the architecture and delicious food.
If you havenʼt already been, then Iʼd certainly recommend a stop in Malaysia… And if youʼre a ‘foodieʼ then its an absolute must!