MALAYSIA: DISCOVERY OF THE CAPITAL AND THE HIGHLANDS

TWO DAYS TO DISCOVER KUALA LUMPUR

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur (KL for friends) at 2pm local time, after a long night at Colombo airport. To tell you the truth, it’s a little bit of a shock to land in Malaysia after Sri Lanka, but somewhere along the way it feels good to find a little bit of modernity. Once the luggage is picked up, we’re right in the subway, and what a subway!

It’s more like a super quiet, clean train, with TVs and where it’s cold! The Malaysians turn on the air conditioning, we go from very hot to very cold all the time! Fortunately, we’re not sick.

After a while at the hostel, we’ll take a walk in the shopping district next door. The opportunity to discover huge 6-storey shopping centres with lots of shops of all kinds. It’s very big and very chic, so you might as well feel a little dirty! In the evening we go to a Chinese street well known for its popular food, we enjoyed chicken with honey. It took us a while to get back because the storm passed just above us and squatted there for a while!

The next day we wanted to get up early to go for a walk all day, finally with the fatigue of the previous day we got up (especially Sylvie) at 10:20 am. We started with a visit to Chinatown and in particular with a market full of all kinds of products made in china of course. We then went near the Independence Square but we were unlucky because there was a bicycle festival and therefore tents and podiums everywhere, so the view was a little spoiled. We then wanted to go to the Indian district but we came back empty-handed because for lack of information we didn’t know that the market was only held in the evening. We continued our walk through an orchid garden but again not lucky because it is not really the season so a large part was not in bloom. Early in the evening we went to the Petronas towers. It consists of two twin towers 452 metres high with again a huge shopping centre at the base and a pretty park with a water jet and swimming pool. We could see them day and night (in the rain) with the lights. It was really pretty!

The next morning, we went to the “Batu caves”. It is a temple that was built in an accessible cave after a 300-step climb. Unfortunate once again, there was work in the cave so the whole thing was a little ruined and to be honest we were a little disappointed we expected a more beautiful temple (which in the end is very small) and more beautiful decorations. The visit didn’t last long!

Overall we really appreciated KL, it is a city that moves all the time and offers a lot of diversity. In the afternoon, we took a bus to Cameron Highlands to get a little green and fresh.

CAMERON HIGHLANDS

We had nothing but bad luck at KL! As we were going to the bus station 200 meters from our accommodation to take our bus to Cameron Highlands as planned, an agent handed us a paper informing us that since November 1st (i.e. the old one) the long short buses had been moved south of Kuala Lumpur to a new station. Well, we don’t really have a choice, but so we’ll take the next bus. The new station is a huge airport complex, so it’s easy to understand why they all put it in the same place. It’s a comfortable VIP bus waiting for us, Benjamin is happy to be able to stretch out his long legs, it’s a change from Sri Lanka!

After 4 hours by bus, we arrive in Tana Ratah under the storm. The evening will be quiet because the next day we have a morning full of activities : visit a butterfly farm, climb to 2026 meters above sea level for a panoramic view of the region, a short walk in a moss forest, visit an agricultural farm and finally visit a tea factory. We were lucky because the sun was with us and we really enjoyed this day of visits !

We were surprised by the diversity of the Malaysian people : you might think you were in both India and China! Unlike Sri Lanka where Sinhalese are all typed in the same way (and therefore where you, a little white tourist, are quickly spotted!), in Malaysia people mix and live in harmony.

However, we have realized one thing: modernity does not necessarily make things easier! Malaysia may be more developed than Sri Lanka, but we have had a harder time finding our way around in transport !