Malaysia Overview

Malaysia is stocked full of delightful people, gorgeous mountain ranges, crystal clear water, exotic cuisine, and so much more.  Shout out to my college roommate and dear friend Yee Wen for the hospitality!  Her amazing family and her invited me over to visit. I spent two weeks being fully immersed in Malaysian culture.  There isn’t anything sweeter than catching up with a good friend after not seeing each other for almost two years.  Face to face communication really takes the cake in my book. Here is an overview of my favorite activities:

Go to the beach:
You’re gonna’ sweat no matter what in this country so you better do it with a view!  We checked out the beaches of Langkawi Island for some fun in the sun!

Snorkeling/Diving:
We’ve got no troubles, life is the bubbles…under the sea! I’m currently too cheap to get scuba certified, but have it on the bucket list.  For those of you that are certified, grab that equipment and get to it!  For the rest of us, snorkeling and or free diving will fit the bill.  The water in most locations is crystal clear and there are tropical fish for miles.  We checked out Pualu Payar Marine Park and had a lovely day.  

Hiking:
Let me spit out some Dr. Suess and say, “Your mountain is waiting, get on your way!”  Some of the best views can only be seen by climbing.   If you’re not quite used to humidity, be sure to take it slow when hiking.  I sped through a lot of the stairs while hiking in Langkawi all to have an idiot moment where the thickness in the air really caught up to me.  I was feeling like, “heh!  Maybe I’m not in that bad of shape after all…psycheeee!” So lesson learned, don’t be like me.  Hiking in the Cameron Highlands was a blast, and much cooler, but unfortunately rain kept us from making it too far.  

Try new foods and eat rice 100 different ways!:
 Rice, some more rice, and then some more rice.  This country works hard for it and is sure to incorporate it into pretty much every meal.  Be sure to finish every last grain otherwise you can be seen as disrespectful to the workers that did strenuous work in the patty fields.  Malays really love their spice, so brace yourself for that as well.  We went a few places that cooked fish, and the head was still attached.  To Malays, this shows that the fish is fresh.  It freaked me out but I still was sure to try it!

Shopping:
This country fits pretty much every budget imaginable.  Seriously.  You can spend a hot dollar buying couture, or you can spend a few pennies at the little mall shops.  I don’t know that they do thrift shops like the United States, but there are definitely deals galore!  I was a pretty big fan of Asian markets.  We have a lot of street fairs in my hometown, but nothing compares to the excitement of an Asian market!  *The photos above are from Hat Yai, Thailand but they are similar enough to give you the idea.  

Cable Car Ride:
When you need a good thrill, but want to feel safe (ish) this is the option for you!  We had a blast on our ride through the mountains of Langkawi.  There were a gazillion people there that day, but we still somehow managed to get through the line pretty quickly.  They had it organized quite well. Take a plunge, and make sure you experience the rush!

Drink an excessive amount of tea:  
My bloodstream turned to tea during my trip and I ‘ain’t even mad about it!  Green tea, milk tea, hot, iced, drink it all!  If you don’t like tea…well you may just have to learn to like it.  There are plenty of other good drinks but tea trumps all.

Observe Monkeys:
Cute…well, kinda.  Dangerous…little bit so.  Entertaining…totally!  The monkeys in this country have a mind of their own.  Be sure to check some out as they run wild!  Speaking of animals, get used to stray dogs and cats running wild.  Anything goes in Malaysia!  

Experience different cultures:
Malaysia is a pretty good sized melting pot, stirring in Malay, Indian, and Chinese cultures.  Be sure to get out of your comfort zone and learn something about a new religion.  Also, be sure to take the time and visit a museum as you will uncover a wealth of information

Relax:
Talk about laid-back lifestyle!  Malaysian pace isn’t too fast or too slow, it is just right.  The sunshine and outdoor living makes for a great way to kick back and relax.

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