Diary blog Malaysia: our time in Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Langkawi!

We are in Malaysia! It is not our first time in this country. In 2017, we already spent four days in Kuala Lumpur, but this time we decided to get to know the country better. In total, we spend a whole month here. This time, we have plenty of time to backpack through Malaysia. In this diary blog, you can read more about our experiences with the first weeks in Malaysia.

The night flight to Kuala Lumpur

With small eyes, we arrive in Kuala Lumpur, last night we flew from Sri Lanka to Malaysia in three hours. Tired as we are, we take the bus to the centre and then a taxi to our hotel (Oakwood hotel). Fortunately, we can already check-in at 10 a.m. I stumble to bed and have just received a major upgrade: we sleep in a suite with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers! What a great start to our road trip through Malaysia!

The Eco Forest Park and KLCC park

A few hours of sleep later, we committed ourselves to go to the city. Our first stop in the warm Kuala Lumpur: the Eco Forest park. This is a small park, full of threes, in the middle of the city. A cool sight, all that green surrounded by skyscrapers in the background.

Our next destination is the KLCC park. We have seen this during our first time in Kuala Lumpur, but this time we want to take a closer look. The KLCC park is located at the foot of the Petronas Twin Towers. You probably know these towers, they are the famous towers of Kuala Lumpur. In front of the entrance is a huge pink decorated Christmas tree. It feels weird: Christmas decorations while it is 30 degrees outside.

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

In the evening we spend a few more hours in one of the large shopping malls. Kuala Lumpur is a true shopping paradise. I shop a number of new outfits: skirts, jewellery, dresses and more. A late birthday present from my parents that I am very happy with!

Batu Caves and Rainbow stairs

After almost twelve hours of sleep, we wake up rested! We take a quick breakfast, and then take the Grab (taxi) to the Batu Caves. We are there a little after 10 am and it is already full of tourists. It was to be expected that the coloured stairs make this a popular hotspot that attracts many people.

We walk upstairs and experience a ceremony in which a baby is lifted up by his parents in a sort of sling construction. Once, at the top the ceremony continuous inside the temple in the caves. Very special to be part of this cultural tradition.

A guided tour through the Federal Territory Mosque in Kuala Lumpur

A big contrast with the hustle and bustle of the past is the Federal Territory Mosque. The tourists can be counted here on hand and that while this mosque is very beautiful. With blue domes inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and influences from the Taj Mahal and Moroccan mosques, it is a special place. We get a private tour from Rose. A Muslim lady who speaks good English. She tells us more about the architecture of the building and her faith. At the end of the tour, she hopefully asks if we would like to be converted to Islam.

Kuala Lumpur Mosque

Send clothes back from Malaysia to the Netherlands

It is Sunday! After a nice sport session (there is a gym in our hotel) and an extensive breakfast, we go to the post office. For Nepal, we had a lot of warm clothing, NOMAD sleeping bags and more with us. We want to send this back to the Netherlands. Six kilos is our package, it will reach the Netherlands in about three months. Less luggage travels much easier, especially if you are travelling with a backpack.

Rain and getting some work done at The Row

Unfortunately, it has been raining all morning, so we decide to work for a few hours in a café in the fancy Row street. When hours later the rain still has not stopped, we buy an umbrella and walk to China Town. We have also been here before, but it is nice to walk around again. After an hour we go back to our hotel, where we spend the rest of the evening editing photos.

Click here for the travel guide of Kuala Lumpur with eight cool free activities!

Ries’ birthday!

What the hell, it is Ries’ birthday! We sleep well, I surprise him with tiramisu and chocolate tarts, and we watch our favourite series in bed. Unfortunately, the rain has not stopped yet, so there is no afternoon at the pool.

A food tour through Kuala Lumpur

Fortunately, it is dry in the afternoon. We visit the Thean Hou Temple, from where we have a beautiful view of the city. The temple itself is also very beautiful, and we take dozens of photos. In the evening, we participate in a food tour, a gift from my parents for Ries. Six delicious snacks through the centre of Kuala Lumpur later we walk with full bellies to the Hotel Grand Hyatt. Not for staying a night (unfortunately, that is above our budget), but to having drinks here on the 38th floor. A nice way to end the day!

Off we go to Melaka

The weather is finally getting better, perfect to spend a few more hours at the pool of our hotel. Then we board the bus to go to Melaka. This is a city in the south of Malaysia, known for its colonial buildings.

Three hours later we are in the centre of Melaka. We admire the street art that you see everywhere here and walk along the Malacca River. Here, we come across a food hall where only local people are eating. We eat satay and Malaysian spring rolls and then walk back to our hotel (Ola Lavanderia). We still feel yesterday’s drinks, so we are asleep before 9 p.m.

Trying out restaurants and cafés in Melaka

The next morning we sleep a bit in and then walk into the city in search of a place to work. Fortunately, there are more than enough nice restaurants and cafés in Melaka! We work for a few hours, have lunch at a tiny local restaurant and decide around 3 p.m. that we deserve a massage.

Melaka Straits Mosque

Relaxed, we board a taxi an hour later. The sun is almost setting, and we want to take some pictures during sunset at the Melaka Straits Mosque, a mosque by the sea. It is a beautiful picture, definitely worth a visit when you are in Melaka!

Dutch Square and the Stadthuys

The alarm clock is set early the next morning. We want to be at Dutch Square during sunrise. This is a square with all Dutch buildings. Melaka was a colony of the Netherlands for almost two centuries, so you can still see a lot of influence in the streets. The well-known Dutch Square contains an old post office, church and town hall. It is all bright red and beautiful to see.

Melaka is a beautiful old town near Kuala Lumpur. Click here for all our Melaka tips!

Street art and the ancient fortress of Melaka

Then we walk further along the river in search of beautiful street art, while enjoying the old bridges. Sometimes it feels like we are in Europe, the buildings are that old. But Melaka is also very clean and structured, which could also be Japan!

Our last stop on this self-made tour is St Paul’s Church and A Tamoasa. Both were built by the Portuguese and were previously part of a hilltop fortress. We see the harbour with the sea behind it. Back in the centre we get breakfast, change clothes and then visit some nice souvenir shops in Melaka.

In the evening we walk again along the water of Melaka, everything is pleasantly lit with lights and people are eating everywhere on the waterfront. What a surprisingly nice city is Melaka!

Off we go to the Cameron Highlands!

A long travel day later, we arrive in Tanah Rata, in the Cameron Highlands. Due to the altitude, it is much cooler here and nature is completely different. You will find many tea plantations here and the mountains are somewhat reminiscent of England.

The tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands

Early in the morning, we leave for our first hike. This runs through the forest towards the top of a hill, the Gunung Jasar. From here, we have a beautiful view of the city and surroundings. In the distance, we see the tea fields for which Cameron Highlands is known. The second part of the hike runs partly through those tea plantations and wow that’s beautiful!

We have visited tea plantations more often in recent months, in Rwanda, Uganda, Sri Lanka and now in Malaysia. Even though Malaysia is not a big tea producing country, the fields here are perhaps the nicest of all four countries we have seen. That can of course also have to do with the weather. The Cameron Highlands are praised for the heavy rain, but after a shower upon arrival, we only have beautiful weather!

Cameron Highlands sunrise

Find our in-depth travel guide to the Cameron Highlands here!

Explore the Cameron Highlands by scooter

On our second day, we rent a scooter and visit the most beautiful tea plantations. We drink tea at BOH Sungai Palas Tea Center and a few hours later it’s time for tea and fresh scones at The Lord’s Cafe. We also visit a strawberry farm, a butterfly farm and a museum.

After three fresh days enjoying the tea plantations and the hilly landscape, we are ready for warmer weather. And so we travel on to the island of Langkawi!

Read our extensive Langkawi travel guide with useful tips here.

Celebrating Christmas on Langkawi!

Langkawi is one of the northernmost islands of Malaysia. It is an archipelago that consists of 99 islands, and we are on the main island. We are so close to the Thai border here that we can even see the neighbouring country, a crazy idea.

Langkawi is a fairly large island and because we want to get a lot of work done in the coming days but at the same time want to see the island itself, we have set aside a week for this place. We also celebrate Christmas here at Langkawi! We are not the only tourists, it seems that all Malaysians have a month off around Christmas and have gathered here on Langkawi. Fortunately, we soon discover places and sights that are more pleasant to visit.

Pulau Kentut Besar Island Island hopping Langkawi

Relaxing on Christmas Eve

It seems like we only do fun things while travelling, but appearances are deceptive. We have also worked extremely hard in recent weeks! Every free moment and until late at night, Ries was editing photos and translating blogs, while I rattled off the keys of my laptop to write about Sri Lanka.

The alarm clock rings almost every day at 6 a.m. so that we can take pictures early in the morning or work for an hour or two before breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, we love to do and enjoy (almost) every moment! But today on Christmas Eve we have a day off: we are just going to relax.

Are you planning your Malaysia trip? Check out our Malaysia itinerary for three weeks travel!

Eating pizza on the beach

After a good night’s sleep, we stroll through Pantai Cenang, the tourist centre. We have an extensive lunch, walk into some shops and then continue to the beach. First, read a few hours and play in the waves, then continue to a wonderful beach club. Everything first: a huge swimming pool with DJ booth, large sunbeds and alcohol! We take it easy because a cocktail in the sun comes in hard.

It is especially wonderful to look a little at the people around you. From drunken English ladies to elderly people to Chinese who take selfies in the swimming pool in make-up. And from noisy Dutch fathers making funny moves in the swimming pool to Australian teenagers drinking a lot of beer!

After a few hours, we walk back to the centre where we buy a huge pizza and a good bottle of white wine. While the sun slowly sets we drink wine from plastic cups and enjoy the pizza that is really surprisingly tasty. A special but nice Christmas Eve!

The steepest cable car in the world!

The following days are relaxed. We ride a scooter along the most beautiful beaches of Langkawi, we go island hopping and hiking to various waterfalls. Every day we do yoga in our small hotel room and work on new blogs for a few hours. We often dine at a street market or at a local restaurant.

Being the first on Langkawi Ski Bridge: wake up early and get more!

A few days after Christmas we do something really cool: we go up with one of the steepest cable cars in the world to the Langkawi Ski Bridge. This bridge is built in the mountains of Langkawi and from here you have a staggeringly distant view.

We are already waiting half an hour before opening time in front of the entrance and then we succeed in being the first to cross the bridge. The result is very cool photos.

Not much later, the bridge is full of hundreds of tourists (and perhaps as many selfie sticks), so being on time is definitely worth it!

After seven wonderful days, we are ready for our next adventure: on to George Town Penang. But more about that in the next diary blog!

Read our guide on 3 days in George Town with 15 fun activities.

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  1. by Robbin on 27 July 2020  10:48 Reply

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It's a great place and glad to read this post.

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