Saturday, May 01, 2010

Travel Stories: Malaysia


I think my brain has finally caught up with my body this week. I have been home for about 3 days now but I couldn't get the words I needed out.

Where was I? I was on a work trip to Malaysia staying 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur and I then spent 2 nights in Langkawi. This was a new thing for me - my first "educational" trip that I have been offered and my first time travelling in Asia.

For those of you wondering where Malaysia is then wikipedia says - Malaysia is a country in South-East Asia, located partly on a peninsula of the Asian mainland and partly on the northern third of the island of Borneo. West (peninsular) Malaysia shares a border with Thailand, is connected by a causeway and a bridge (the 'second link') to the island state of Singapore, and has coastlines on the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. East Malaysia (Borneo) shares borders with Brunei and Indonesia.

For me Malaysia was an eye-opening experience. As a travel agent I send people to Asia all the time and they rave about the beauty, affordability and shopping. To me Asia has always been a stopover to somewhere better - to the UK and Europe and I have only ever spent time in airports along the way. I now think differently. I knew I was going to love my time there when on my first day a girl in a shop told me my hair was "like Barbie" - I don't know what Barbie she looks at that has red hair.

Malaysia is a hot and humid little place but it somewhere that has so much to offer. It's a mix of old and new and modern and traditional. There are new fresh buildings mixed with old dilapidated buildings. I was surprised by just how good the shopping was (and how cheap) and how quickly the landscape changes - you can go from city to jungle in less than 30 minutes.


I was on a trip with 11 other Flighty strangers (I kind of knew 3 of them as they are in the same area as me) who were all lovely and we had a fantastic time wandering around, having fish eat dead skin off our feet (!), eating, drinking, shopping, going on indoor rollercoaster's, hanging by the pool, hanging by the pool bars, eating, haggling in China Town, drinking cocktails that tasted like dirt (oh wait - that was only me), people watching, dancing with Japanese tourists, singing karaoke, nature walking, cable car-ing up into the clouds, sleeping in hotel lobbies (hello Westin Langkawi and your comfy couches), looking at hotel rooms we can't afford, watching female "masseurs" proposition people on the street, feeling too lame for 5 star karaoke, getting caught in torrential down pours, all you can eat seafood grills and relishing the air conditioning.


It was a whirlwind trip but it was a super fun trip - I have learnt that I would love to visit more of Asia after my planned Africa expedition next year. Asia has intrigued me and I'll be ready to see more soon.
Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

P.S I have a few exciting posts coming this week - including my interview with Robert Schwartzman from the band Rooney (!). Keep your eyes peeled!

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