Amazing Malaysia

Ian Walsh 23 May 2013
I was thrilled when I got the invitation to visit Malaysia as it has been on my bucket list. Flights were courtesy of Malaysia Airlines. Arriving in the morning we were warmly greeted by our host and promptly taken to our hotel the Royale Chulan. It’s an impressive hotel and is beautifully decorated and very well located. It's within walking distance of one of most attractions in Kuala Lumpur. That evening we were treated to a Cocktail Dinner Reception. Here I got my first taste of Malaysian cuisine and all I can say is WOW. The flavours, spices, sauces and various meats and veggies were fantastic.

Day 2: we did the Kuala Lumpur City Tour. The city centre is quite compact and really accessible on foot. However, if you don’t fancy walking about there is also a free bus which runs throughout the city called Go KL. Later we visited the Royal Selangor Pewter Company, the largest pewter manufacturer in the world. Here they made a stunning array of products ranging from cufflinks, to pots, cups and amazing jewellery. We had the opportunity to make a pewter bowl. Next, we visited the world renowned Petronas Towers. These iconic twin towers are very imposing and they stretch into the sky at 452 metres! There are spectacular views that await you from level 86. That evening, we had a few drinks at the Skybar at the top of Traders Hotel. This is a vibrant hangout and has a direct view of the Petronas Towers lit up at night time.

Day 3: we visited the Batu Caves, a wonderful experience. It’s a Hindu temple and shrine, and attracts thousands of worshippers and tourists. It’s a limestone outcrop located just north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves has three main caves featuring temples and Hindu shrines. Its main attraction is the large statue of the Hindu God at the entrance. Oh beware of the wild monkeys here, they are bold as brass and have a very hungry appetite, if you have any food at all, they will just steal it from you!! Later that evening we were special guests of the Colours of Malaysia Festival in the city centre. This was attended by the King and Queen of Malaysia. It was a parade of colour, celebrating the ethnic and cultural diversity of Malaysia.

Day 4: we had a one hour flight to catch to Terengganu in the northeast of the country. We stayed at the beautiful Tanjong Jara Resort, a luxurious retreat on the coast. We were treated to most amazing hospitality. I particularly loved breakfast time here as your eggs were cooked to order. On our second day we visited the islands off the coast for some snorkelling around the coral reefs, this was one of my highlights of the trip. I saw so much sea life such as turtles, clown fish, huge tropical fish, eels, sting ray all up close and personal!

Day 5&6: We flew west to the Island of Langkawi. With stunning beaches, fantastic nightlife and so much to do, we were kept busy. We stayed at the Berjaya Resort. It has a private stretch of beach and a stunning swimming pool area. Breakfast each morning was al fresco, with beautiful views over the sparkling blue Andaman Sea.

Day 7: I met with some hoteliers from all across Malaysia.

Day 8: we visited Kilim Geo-Forest Park. Taking a boat ride around the mangroves and then the towering limestone stacks in the bay. If you heard of Halong Bay in Vietnam you will know what I’m talking about. This was very similar but on a smaller scale. While there we saw the red eagles fishing. This was a sight to behold; these birds have a wingspan of up to 2.8 metres and were spectacular to watch. That evening, The Westin Hotel and Resort hosted dinner on the beach. It was an amazing setting overlooking the islands, a warm breeze blowing and with the sun setting as a backdrop made it magical. After dinner we had the opportunity to experience the nightlife in the town of Kuah.

Day 9: was our final day, we spent this day at our leisure before heading flying back to Dublin overnight.

The Malaysian people are some of the most friendly I’ve ever met. I would be delighted to help you plan a trip to this amazing country and I would be delighted to share my experiences with you. I know you won’t come home disappointed.