Last year I spent a couple of fabulous weeks exploring Malaysia. It was my second visit – the first time was a few years back where I stayed in the quieter east, in Kota Kinabalu and Sabah. As Malaysia is such an interesting mix of cultures and flavours, this time I wanted to go west and experience the busy cities.
To get the most out of my time I went on a ten day group tour and added a few extra days at the end for a spot of solo seaside relaxing. My stay included visits to Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Cameron Highlands, a Malay homestay, Penang and Batu Ferringhi.
There’s much to see as the country wonderful has a balance of fast-paced cities and rolling mountains with lush tea plantations.
Malaysia has a really chilled and harmonious vibe and the people are lovely. Despite the many cultures and religions, Malaysian’s live together peacefully and there’s a feeling of importance on respecting one another, regardless of heritage or religion.
Southern Malaysia is more modern and western fashions are popular however in the north you should cover your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect for the elders.
With around 80% of Malaysians being middle income earners, cooking is the biggest way to earn a living, with many locals making and selling street food. This bodes well with their universal love of food as locals are known to travel from villages to cities for a good meal.
Local dishes have strong influences of Southern Indian and Chinese cuisines, and there’s a lot of fried food! Our tour guide said Malaysian’s eat out often with daily meals including breakfast, morning tea, lunch, cake and coffee in the afternoon, dinner and a late night snack so it’s fair to say they love to eat.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my Malaysian highlights with you and I hope it will give you a taste of what an interesting place it is to visit.
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