Malaysia : Something Different, Really Trully Asia

I don’t know why but I got pissed off about people who told me that they don’t like Malaysia when the only place they’ve been in Malaysia is just Kuala Lumpur and was there for only 2 days before fly to some other country.
Malaysia is not just Kuala Lumpur, you idiots. Malaysia consist of Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka @ Malacca, Selangor, Perak, Pulau Pinang @ Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Sarawak & Sabah and 3 Federal Territories which is Kuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya and lots of Island like famous Sipadan, Perhentian Kecil, Perhentian Besar, Tioman, Langkawi, Pangkor to named a few.
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Also house of few National Parks and one of them is the oldest tropical rainforest in the world situated in the state of Pahang mainly known as Taman Negara. Penang noted as the #1 street food capital of the world, it is fucking cheap and variety. Malacca is a historical city listed under UNESCO Heritage which is a must to visit. Sipadan is one of the top 5 diving spot in the world leaving all the overrated islands in Thailand, Indonesia and The Philippine. Perhentian Kecil recognized as #13 the most beautiful beaches/islands in the world, leaving the so famous Maya Bay in Thailand behind. Sabah is a original house of Orang Utan and they have the sanctuary there. Sarawak is a house to 2nd the biggest cave (Mulu Cave National Park) in the world that can fit in 40 Boeng 747. Langkawi, Tioman and Labuan are duty-free island for cheaper alcohols & cigarettes (well, I have to agree alcohols & cigarettes are not so cheap in entire Malaysia, probably because the government don’t want to encourage people to damage themselves).
There are so much to offers in Malaysia, not just Kuala Lumpur, aite? So stop telling me and discourage people to come to Malaysia by telling them how you hate Malaysia just because you been there for 2 days or maybe slightly more days and just did a very much just a touristy stuffs. Oh, and alcohols & cigarettes is not the only way you can achieve happiness and I bet it certainly not your main goal of traveling the world, right? And certainly not a culture in Malaysia especially when Malaysia’s official religion is Islam. Modern/liberal Islamic, not fucking stupid moron suicide-bombers/terrorists that too absurd.
Note: Malaysia consists of 3 major races – Malay (the highest majority), Chinese & Indian. Not included more than 32 ethnic minority which is Kadazan, Dudun, Bajau, Melanau, Iban, Dayak (to name a few) which mainly in Sarawak/Sabah. The main (official) language is Malay but many speaks English, Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese/Hokkien/etc.), Tamil too.
It is a pro-claimed democratic country. Well, I have no say on the political issue here (fuck it!). People can practice their religion (Islam/Christianity/Taoism/Hindu/etc.) freely and respect each other. You’ll hear an Islam prayer calls 5 times a day if you live near mosque/surau/musolah and never ever mock it. Religion is pretty much still a very sensitive issue.
The rest, go and explore yourself  Cheers!
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Perhentian Islands, Malaysia : The Paradise On Earth

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Pulau Perhentian Besar (bigger Perhentian island) which suitable for family with kids, honeymooners, older tourists and people who willing to spend more as it is much expensive and quieter

Pulau Perhentian Kecil (smaller Perhentian island) which carter much for backpackers, singles (or couples), younger travelers and have lower budget than those who opted for bigger island.

Both islands has no road, no vehicles, no chain-stores, no supermarket, no cinema, no ATM/banks (cash advance via credit/debit card service available at bigger resorts/dive centers at between 5-10% charge, so bring enough cash if possible before you hit the islands), no electricity (electricity generated by diesel-pump generator which resulted most of the chalets, guesthouses, resorts only have power supplies at night except for the expensive options) and don’t worry about water supplies as the government already installed the clean water piping since 2011.

Surrounded by many other smaller islands like Pulau Rawa Kecil, Pulau Rawa Besar, Pulau Susu Dara Kecil, Pulau Susu Dara Besar, etc. Also houses so many beautiful dive sites like Tokong Laut @ Sea Temple, Batu Nisan, D’Lagoon, Sea Bell, Sugar Wreck & Ship Wreck (for wreck diving), etc. And also spectacular snorkeling site like Light House, Shark Point, Turtle Point, Romantic Beach,Fish & Coral Gardens, etc. And there’s also a semi-modern local fishing village situated on the smaller Perhentian island.

The Perhentian Islands is more likely envisioned the likes of Koh Tao, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui to be more than a decade ago, before the tourism is out of control in Thailand. It is just beautiful, barely developed (although now on Pulau Perhentian Kecil there are walkway made to connect between Coral Bay and Long Beach), crystal clear clean water, white powdery sandy beach, amazing coral gardens, dazzling array of sea life (turtles, sharks, barracuda, clown fish, etc etc etc) and very laid back beach life.. In another word – paradise on earth. To be honest, it’s almost impossible to talk about the Perhentian Islands without descending into holiday-cliche like mentioned above but that’s the reality, that’s just the Perhentian islands!

True, nearly every beach destination claims most of these things, but the Perhentians do the dive/snorkel beach holiday better – and cheaper – than just about anywhere. The sea is clearer and the beaches whiter than Koh Phi Phi or even around the Great Barrier Reef; the travelers are less obnoxious than in Koh Pha Ngan  or Bali; the diving is cheaper than Koh Tao; food and accommodation are basic but cheap. Diving in the Perhentian Islands is top-notch for the money. With single dives as cheap as RM70 (USD $23), getting under the water for an afternoon is a great way to shake off last night’s party.

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It’s nothing like much-hyped Koh Tao – a so-called divers paradise in south Thailand – small islands with more than 50 dive centers/schools. Unfortunately, with a literal fleet of dive boats sputtering around the reefs there for decades – as well as leaking petrol into the water… The Perhentians are far less dived, so no need to battle for parking at dive sites, and friendly shark encounters are that much easier to find.

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Suggestions:-

Dive centers on bigger island – Alu Alu Divers/Watercolors/Sea Horse Divers

Dive centers on smaller island – Angels Divers/Ombak Divers (on Coral Bay area), Panorama Divers/Matahari Divers (on Long Beach area).

Snorkeling centers on bigger island – Alu Alu Divers/Flora Divers/Watercolors.

Snorkeling centers on smaller island – Ombak Divers/Yellow Station (on Coral Bay area).

Budget accommodation on bigger island – Flora Resorts and few others.

Budget accommodation on smaller island – too many!!! Highly recommended:-

Fatimah Chalet, Ewan’s Chalet & Cafe, Tropicana Inn, Panorama Chalet, Matahari Chalet, Mohsein Resort, Bintang Chalet

High-end accommodation on bigger island – Perhentian Island Resorts/Alu Alu Divers Lodge/Awana Resorts/Tuna Bay Island Resorts and well, many others.

High-end accommodation on smaller island – Bubu Resorts/Shari-La/Ombak Resorts/Senja Bay Resorts.

F&B on bigger island – Tuna Bay Island Resorts/Perhetian Island Resorts.

F&B on smaller island – Ewan’s Cafe/Amelia’s/Mama’s/Ombak/Oh La La/Bubu

**(for RM20, you can get an awesome BBQ dinner (consists of rice, baked potato, seafood, fruits, banana cake, choice of sauce & a glass or cordial juice) at Amelia’s or Mama’s on Coral Bay area).

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Note: PERHENTIAN ISLANDS IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC FROM MID FEBRUARY  – MID OCTOBER. THE ENTIRE ISLANDS WILL COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN FROM ANY BUSINESSES DURING MONSOON SEASON WHICH IS FROM MID OCTOBER TO MID FEBRUARY, EVERY YEAR.

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : KLCC Park @ Petronas Twin Towers

KLCC Park is a public park located in the vicinity of Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The park has been designed to provide greenery to Petronas Twin Towers and the areas surrounding it.
The 50-acre tropical landscape in the heart of the KLCC development provides an urban sanctuary for all. The public park reflects the tropical greenery, vibrant colours and patterns of the country’s rich cultural heritage while its calm setting help dissipate the tensions of city living.
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The park is unique in its theme and concept. This verdant area accentuated with specially designed water features is a work of art.
It features various amenities such as a two-acre children’s playground, symphony fountain, wading pool, jogging track, shelters and benches, patterned foot-paths and sculptures.
            
Approximately 1,900 indigenous trees and palms representing 74 species are planted to encourage bio-diversities within the park areas. Out of this number, some 40 trees were preserved and transplanted from the former Selangor Turf Club.
Another striking feature of the park is the Lake Symphony which comprises two water fountains. Located at the esplanade outside Suria KLCC, the Lake Symphony is programmed to provide 150 magical dramatic animations. The total effect is a light hearted and gregarious atmosphere.

Putrajaya F.T, Malaysia : Goverment City & Mosques

Putrajaya is one of 3 Federal Territories in Malaysia. It also where most of the government offices located including Prime Minister office. It is 45mins drive out of Kuala Lumpur. Most of the building architecture are amazing with the combination of modern and Islamic influence. Also in Putrajaya, there is amazing mosque known as the “Red Mosque”. Great architecture inside out. Very calming – that’s what my friend, Ken, an American-Korean said.

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The Putra Mosque, or Masjid Putra in Malay language, is the principal mosque of Putrajaya, Malaysia. Construction of the mosque began in 1997 and was completed two years later. It is located next to Perdana Putra which houses the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office and man-made Putrajaya Lake. In front of the mosque is a large square with flagpoles flying Malaysian states’ flags.

The pink-domed Putra Mosque is constructed with rose-tinted granite and can accommodate 15,000 worshippers at any one time. The basement wall of the mosque resembles that of the King Hassan Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco.

The mosque consists of three main functional areas – the prayer hall, the Sahn, or courtyard, and various learning facilities and function rooms. The prayer hall is simple and elegant, supported by 12 columns. The highest point below the dome is 250 feet above ground level.

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The Sahn, landscaped with several decorative water features and bordered by colonnades, provides a huge yet welcoming and beautiful prayer space.

Its impressive minaret is influenced by the design of the Sheikh Omar Mosque in Baghdad. At 116m, it is one of the tallest minarets in the region and has five tiers, representing the Five Pillars of Islam.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : Metropolitan City With A Soul

Kuala Lumpur’s very own Petronas Twin Tower or known as KLCC with the locals is a significant trademark of Malaysia. RM64 (student price) – not complaining. Might sound pretty expensive but for the view and the experience to be on the sky bridge at 41st floor and the view point at 86th floor, it worth the price. I mean, come on, it is not you gonna go up there everyday unless you work there, right? Well, go, if you have a chance to go. A must-visit place if you come to Kuala Lumpur or your visit to Malaysia will be incomplete no matter how many pictures you take below/outside the twin towers.

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I stayed in Serendipity Backpackers that situated in the middle of Golden Triangle – Changkat Bukit Bintang – where all the bustling nightlife comes alive when sunset down. RM20 (without breakfast) in a 8-10 beds dormitory room. Pretty OK; with a/c, shared bathrooms/toilets with hot/cold shower. I like the common area where most of the backpackers who stays there hangout chit-chatting, online, watching movies and some just nap!
I also love Travel Hub Guesthouse situated in Chinatown @ Petaling Street. RM22 for a/c dorm, inclusive breakfast. Quite spacious compare to Serenity Backpackers. All beds comes with own power socket and reading lamp. The wifi much better here, too. The fact it is in Chinatown, it is pretty much easy excess to everywhere as the LRT and bus station is nearby.
Batu Caves is a must-visit place if you come to Kuala Lumpur. It is a sacred place for Indians/Hindus. It gonna take a little bit of hard work as you gotta climb up 272 stairs to reach the top.
The rest, ask me. Too many to write about Kuala Lumpur! It is a metropolitan city with soul!

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : Graffiti & Street Art

If you are backpackers and your mode of transportation to around is LRT and you stay somewhere around Chinatown area, I am sure this creative graffiti is no alien to your eyes.

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Also, I  was walking down the street to Changkat Bukit Bintang (to go back to my hostel – Serenity Backpackers) and on the way there, I saw a very interesting wall art on side of the 2-storey building. The art of the famous faces like Audrey Hepburn, Queen Elizabeth (with cigar, LOL), Amy Winehouse, Cleopatra, Eric Cantona, etc. I was pretty awesome. I like it.

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Applaud to the city council to allowed creative soul to paint the pale grey walls along the river near the train station 🙂 and many other boring white-wall buildings around the city.

Langkawi Island, Malaysia : Duty Free & Party Beach

When beer is cheaper than coca-cola… When vodka, tequilla, jagermaster, and all that (alcohols – spirits, champagne, wine, etc) slightly cheaper than back home… you know what time it is? Its time to PARTY!!!
Situated up north on the west coast of Malaysia, Langkawi is part of the state of Kedah. Locals said Langkawi is owned not by the government but Malaysia’s former Prime Minister- Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad. Oh, wow! Really?!
From Kuala Lumpur you can either take an airplane (Fireflyz/Berjaya Airways via Subang Airport or Air Asia via LCCT) or a bus to Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis and then take a ferry to Langkawi. If you are in Penang Island, you may also take a ferry which gonna take a little bot more time.
There are plenty of things to do, places to visit in Langkawi. From beaches, waterfalls, night markets, eateries, cafes, bars, jet-skiing, paragliding, diving, snorkeling… you name it. Or just rent a scooter and drive around the island – don’t forget to buckle up your helmet and bring together map of Langkawi – you might want to stops somewhere!
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You MUST go and visit the hanging bridge between two mountains at Langkawi Ecopark or people call it Cable Car. Cenang Beach might be popular among travelers/tourists because of it lively party atmosphere but if you really wanna lay down, sun bathing and experience the nicest beach in Langkawi, go to Tanjung Rhu – situated on the north part of Langkawi Island. The waterfalls in Langkawi are not that super WOW but Durian Perangin Waterfall worth a visit as the water is super refreshing and the surrounding really chill and calm. At night, backpackers normally jam-up Babylon Mat Lounge or Little Lylia’s at Cenang Beach area and when these beach bars close down at 1am, most of them will move either to Sunba or One Love.
When the first time I came to Langkawi back in 2003, not much happening there but now, they even have a mall with KFC, McDonalds and Starbucks! Oh my… *facepalm* Soon, Langkawi gonna be like Phuket, I believe so.
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Definitely one of my favorite places/island in Malaysia. Well, the beaches are not as superb as in Perhentian Island or Mabul Island but still it worth going and… party!!!