I’ve been in Malaysia for two weeks in June. The places I’ve been were:
- Kuala Lumpur
- Cameron Highlands
- Penang (Georgetown)
I stayed for two nights in Kuala Lumpur and from there I had a day trip to Melaka. For me, 2 days in Kuala Lumpur was more than enough.
The most famous sightseeing place of Kuala Lumpur is unmistakenly the Petranos Towers. Go there in the evening, when the lights are turned on, but make sure you arrive there before 7 p.m. So you can go inside the Twin Towers.
The base of the tower is a shopping mall and it is possible to go upstairs to see the skyline of Kuala Lumpur. In one of the two towers, there is an observation deck on the 86th floor. On the 42th floor you can cross over the bridge between the two towers.
Make sure when you walk to the Petronas Towers, you walk the exact same route back. Don’t do it how I’ve done it. Just don’t. I arrived on one side of the Petronas Towers and decided to walk from the other side back to the hotel. Well. It was a long trip back. Very very long. On one side around the Petronas Towers, you cannot cross over the street because of the highway. We where walking for like half an hour before we realized we weren’t even close to the hotel. While the way to the Twin Towers was only 15 minutes, it took as about 1 and a half hour to get back because the smart idea to walk via another route back.
It is impressive when you arrive there. The huge Buddha, the monkeys and the stairs. It takes 272 steps to reach the top. The cave is beautiful inside as well. Make sure you don’t take any plastic bags with you. There are many monkeys there who will steal your bag, because they think there is food in it. The monkeys can get agressive, so don’t get to close.
For visiting the Batu Caves, one and a half hour should be fine (even one hour if you are in a hurry).
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur
The Chinatown is just like any other Chinatown, so if you want to buy some cheap souvenirs, it is worth the trip to get there. The Central Market is an indoor market where you can eat something or buy some souvenirs.
There are a lot of shopping malls, but the bussiest shopping area I’ve been, was absolutely the Pavilion. I’ve been wondering for one and a half day in Kuala Lumpur where everyone was. The city seemed so quite. Where were all the bars and the people? Funny enough, I turned right every time when I walked outside the hotel (Novotel Kuala Lumpur), but just 2 minutes walk on the left I discovered Pavilion. Sounds kinda stupid, but I really thought that everything would happen around the Petronas Towers :). So if you would like to have a drink somewhere, the Pavilion is a good place. It is also worth to ask for prices, because alcoholic drinks are expensive in Malaysia.
Novotel Kuala Lumpur
I stayed two nights in Novotel. From some rooms you can view the Petronas Towers. I had a small couch near the window to sit and relax and enjoy the view. The rooms are clean, but not very large. The location is great. Is it close to the Petronas Towers (15 minute walk) and close to the Pavilion. On level 0 and 1 there are restaurants and in both you can have your breakfast. During my stay, the restaurant on level 0 was always busy and no one on level 1.
With a private car, we drove from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka. In this town, you will see the influence of the Dutch. You can explore this town by foot. Worth to check out, besides the Dutch Square, the Stadshuys, is also Chinatown.
The way up to Cameron Highlands could be dizzling because of the curvy road, but the view is sometimes very beautyful. You actually can’t miss the tea plantations. Be reminded that the average temperature in Cameron Highlands is a bit colder, thus for the evenings a sweater can be comfortable.
I stayed at the Strawberry Park resort for 2 nights. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, but the part where I’ve stayed didn’t had an elevator. It was nice to have a balcony. There is nothing much around the hotel besides the beautiful surrounding.
We went to Pangkor by Ferry and from the pier by bus to the resort. It is a nice island where you can visit some temples and a Dutch fort. The beaches are nice as well. The fish farms are worth a visit as well once you are already closeby. There are many hornbills on this island and I saw some peacocks as well.
Penang – George town
A nice town that can be explored by foot. Walk through Chinatown and Little India. Also the street food in George Town is good. George Town felt like something in between Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. The international/multi-cultural feeling as in Kuala Lumpur with historical sites as in Melaka. Both Melaka as George Town are inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At the top of the Bayview Hotel, there is the Three Sixty Skybar. Not cheap (but cheap bars are difficult to find in Malaysia, alcohol is expensive), but worth to visit for the view. When you want to explore the city by foot, the Bayview Hotel isn’t a bad choice at all as many sites are on walking distance. Although I didn’t liked the outdoor swimming pool at all, as it was very small and there is a hallway looking over the pool. There was a guy who was walking around all the time to look at ladies in bathing suit. That creeps me out, but hopefully he was a hotelguest…
I heard a lot of good things about Langkawi before I went there. But I was so disappointed. Perhaps because it wasn’t such a nice and quiet island as I thought it would be, especially compared to Borneo and also to other islands I’ve been in Asia. I did a boat trip through the mangroves and some other small islands, which was nice but not very special. The beaches are OK. Tip: take some pills with you against motion sickness before you get into the ferry to Langkawi!