KL · Malacca · Malaysia

Malaysia ( East Coast) – say cheese!

Malaysia is probably one of the easiest Asian countries to travel as a tourist. The roads are good, the tourist buses are luxurious, the food options are great and nothing is too far to get to. The Malaysians also take pride in ‘the biggest and the best’ -meaning a lot of the tourist attractions are world class ( often with a hefty entrance fee). Whilst in KL we visited the Aquarium, Petrosains museum, Petronas towers, a butterfly park and of course KLCC Park. I had read about KLCC Park being something you wouldn’t want to miss if you had little kids and I could see why. The grounds were immaculate and the kids area was something else. Slippery dips, swings and climbing equipment as far as the eye could see. In addition there was a huge fountain-pool to cool off in.

The only down side ( which actually turned out to be quite a laugh) was what I refer to as ‘the b with the whistle’. I made the mistake of wandering over to the fountain area while the kids were still playing in the play ground. Big mistake. Whistle-lady started blowing her whistle loudly, glaring and pointing at me. What the heck had I done wrong? Surely this was a mistake? Was I wearing the wrong clothes? Was I meant to pay a fee? No. I was simply an adult without an accompanying child in the fountain area. Whistle-lady chose to communicate only through her whistle, gestures and pointing at a sign I hadn’t bothered to read. I went back and retrieved the children just to prove I was ‘legitimate’ and explained my faux pas to Murray ( who thought it was hilarious). We then proceeded to get the whistle treatment twice more ( once for venturing too close to the water with our thongs on and once again as Murray got blasted for sitting on a see-saw with Maya- yep no adults allowed on the equipment). The rest of the afternoon was spent laughing as every other tourist who came into the park got a whistle blast and walked away a bit puzzled as to what they had done wrong. It was a bit like watching magpies swoop. Fun times.

Our week in KL flew by super quick before we hopped on a bus to the port city of Malacca. Our apartment had an uninterrupted view of the Malacca Straights and was only a few minutes car ride into Jonker Street. Jonker street is full of Chinese colonial shop fronts selling antiques, handicrafts, Chinese medicines and weird-wonderful selection of local delicacies . It almost takes you back in time with its merchant-town charm. That is except for the lit-up becaks ( Hello Kitty, Frozen etc) blasting cheesy music and the arrival of the Korean and Japanese $2 shops. These are found everywhere throughout Malaysia.

We also visited a local museum which claimed to be an upside-down house. We entered the house and were whisked from room to room and told to pose as our photo was snapped. The kids loved it of course. Murray and I chalked it up to being another ‘Malaysian cheese factor’.

After Malacca we flew straight to Langkawi ( island on the western tip of Malaysia). Langkawi is spruiked to be an island paradise and in parts it is very beautiful, but at the same time it is a bit grotty, overdeveloped and smelly. Our accommodation was a little below the standard we had got used to so far in Malaysia (Maya was not impressed) but it was cheap. The main tourist attraction is the Cable Car/ Skybridge sitting atop a mountain and for those scared of heights (aka Murray), it is a fear conquering experience. In the cable car noone was allowed to touch the bolted-closed door ( Murray’s orders) in case it flung open mid air and we all toppled out. Maya was instructed to hold his hand as he walked the Skybridge ( looked like he was walking a tightrope) and noone was allowed to go near the edge of the bridge ( which we ignored). All in all it was very impressive and a memorable experience. I even bought the ‘family snap’ , which we don’t normally do, to immortalise the moment when we are back home! We also visited a crocodile adventure land where we got to ‘fish crocodiles’ which involved dangling bits of chicken at juvenile crocs from a fishing pole , and we won’t forget the croc show where the crocodile handler kissed and put his head inside the crocs mouth ( accompanying dramatic music playing in the background).We were told the croc was 42 years old which the kids made sure everyone in the park knew was the same as mum. Other highlights of Langkawi were parasailing, cheap beer and dinner by the beach. I probably wouldn’t choose Langkawi if I were planning a 2 week luxury holiday, but it’s been an easy stop over for us and nice to be back by the beach. We look forward to returning to Malaysia and seeking out more cheesy experiences, although can’t say I am tempted to try the ‘oreo cheese cake’…hmmm, is there such thing as too much cheese? Why yes there is.