Malaysia was a stopover country for us, an exit route after Sri Lanka and a way to get to southern Thailand. We stayed there for 13 days but in the end, we would have liked to stay longer to go to East Malaysia and why not go through Singapore. A reason to come back next time.
TO KNOW ABOUT MALAYSIA
Only 1 in 2 inhabitants is of Malay origin, the others are of Chinese, Indian or Hindu origin.
There are a lot of Chinese restaurants everywhere and they are all very popular.
Unlike Sri Lanka, there are many more food smells.
There are so many Chinese that we didn’t even know if they speak Chinese or Malay among themselves!
In bakeries if you ask for a glass of water, they will bring you a glass of hot water. Don’t wait until after a tea bag you won’t get one!
Transport is very developed here. The subways are clean and silent and the tickets are actually tokens, a bit like bumper car tokens at the fair!
Burger lovers, don’t be afraid! You will find your happiness in Malaysia! Indeed, KFCs are everywhere but really everywhere and there are also some Macdo. Don’t expect a big choice though, usually there are 2 or 3 burgers and the rest are rice dishes.
The duration of a tailor-made trip to Malaysia depends of course on what you want to see and do, but also of course on the budget you want to spend on it.
THAN EATING IN MALAYSIA?
Honestly, we’re having a little trouble answering that question! We don’t really like Chinese food, every time we’ve tried it we’ve been disappointed: we’ve never had what we asked for, we’ve never had anything on the plate, we never know what’s on it (they still eat weird stuff sometimes!) and the Chinese aren’t very nice in restaurants. We never really found any typical Malaysian restaurants but we still tasted some not too bad things. So what did we eat? Most of the time, European dishes: bolo pasta, burgers, fries, hot dogs, a little rice anyway, ice cream and waffles. Not enough to lose weight anyway!
WHERE TO SLEEP IN MALAYSIA?
In large cities or tourist areas, there is no problem finding accommodation. Prices are quite variable, from one place to another so don’t stop at the first hostel that comes along. The most expensive room we have paid is in Kuala Lumpur (55 RM or about 12€) and the cheapest in Penang (30 RM or 6,4€). We were never disappointed, each time we found clean rooms with the right equipment except for one in Ipoh which was just behind a Chinese restaurant.
HOW TO GET AROUND IN MALAYSIA?
In KL you can easily use the metro, prices vary depending on where you go. For longer distances, there are “VIP” buses that you can take from the bus stations.
To reach the islands, there are ferries with frequent departures. Count 18RM to join Langkawi from Kuala Perlis and 30RM to join Satun (Thailand) from Langkawi.
There is no tuktuk as we have known in Sri Lanka, here it is a lot of taxis. For the scooter rental on Langkawi, we paid 28RM for 12 hours + 15RM insurance. Gasoline really doesn’t cost anything!
OUR IMPRESSIONS OF MALAYSIA
We first appreciated Malaysia because we were returning to a modern country. It felt good to come back to a country where civilizations and cultures mix, and then we really appreciated the fact that we were no longer constantly challenged in the street, we could blend into the crowd without being spotted and that was great! The landscapes in Malaysia are varied and even if we had rain at least once a day, we enjoyed it well. Where it has made us a little more displeased is to sometimes really feel like we are in China, we don’t feel like we have discovered the country’s own identity and that of the Malaysians, but we will certainly come back!