Malaysia Journals

The Melting Pot of Malaysia

A December 2003 trip to Malaysia by Purple Mais

Canopy walkway Photo, Malaysia, Asia More Photos
Quote: Two weeks were spent travelling around Peninsular Malaysia where we tried to sample a bit of everything, from rainforest to beach, old town to modern city.

The Melting Pot of Malaysia

Overview

Quote:
Walking on the bouncy suspension bridges of the canopy walkway in Taman Negara is not for those with vertigo, but great fun for kids. However many times you've seen it in pictures, one still has stand at the base of the Petronas Towers in KL.

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

The 3-hour boat journey to the entrance of Taman Negara is a good way to get acquainted with the rainforest. Public buses seem very well connected and there's plenty of choice, although the main terminus at KL is very chaotic.
Quote:
We stayed at the Tembling river hostel and chalets which were up the stairs from the jetty and to the right along the river. The chalet had an a double bed with mosquito net, fan, and bathroom, but the real treat was the seating outside on the terrace which had a wonderful view of the river and the rainforest beyond. Whilst sitting there one morning we saw 3 hornbills in the tree right next to our chalet. There were dorm rooms available in 2 hostel rooms within the site with shared outdoor toilets and shower facilities. The hostel also had a restaurant that would be open all day serving breakfast of pancakes or rotis, fruit shakes, soft drinks (no alcohol, since it was Muslim-run), snacks, and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2004

Quote:
We had a nice and clean double room (RM50 per night) with en-suite including hot power shower (!), air conditioning, and terrace where you could sit out in the evening. A system was set up so that you could chose whatever VCD/DVD you wanted from a huge collection and this was routed through to the TV in your room. You could pay an extra RM15 for a cooked buffet breakfast, although we opted not to. The hotel also had a bar area where the owner would whip up some great fruit cocktails. The papaya and lime shake was fantastic. In the evenings, the hotel also did food and the daily barbecues with fresh fish were immensely popular. The owner was really friend...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 8, 2004

Eastern Heritage Guest house Photo, Malacca/Melaka, Malaysia
Quote:
The Eastern Heritage Guest house is an old Melakan (Paranakan) building converted into a guest house. From the outside, it is a pretty merchant’s house with colourful tiles and wooden shutters. The reception area looks like a 1920s bar complete with barstools and ornately carved Chinese-style wooden paneling. The dark wood panels screen off the communal area behind, where films are shown every night and oddly enough, a small plunge pool. This pool became alluringly tempting after a hot and sticky day’s sightseeing around the traffic choked streets of Melaka. There was also an eating area where you could get breakfast (not included) and snacks. Shoes have to be removed before venturing upstair...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 8, 2004

Eastern Heritage Guest house
8 Jalan Bukit China
Melaka, Malaysia 75100
+60 (4) 283 3026

TJs Restaurant

Restaurant

At TJs Photo, Malaysia, Asia
Quote:
By far the best place to eat at Telok Nipah was TJs restaurant. We found ourselves coming back here time and time again. They are open for breakfast (ranging from the usual bread, butter, jam, pancakes, fried eggs, and fruit) and lunch (a selection of different noodles), closed in the late afternoon and then open again for dinner. The seating arrangements are quite quirky with tables and benches named after countries. One has to pick up a menu, paper and pencil from the serving hatch at the back of the restaurant and write your own order, making sure you put the name of your country/table at the top. Then when you’re happy with your order you take it back to the serving hatch and wait. The wa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 8, 2004

People's Museum

Attraction | "The People and Beauty Museum (muzium rakyat dan)"

Quote:
On the road that loops around the base of Bukit St.Paul is the People’s museum. Adult entrance charge is RM2 each for an eclectic mix of exhibits. The ground floor is full of photos of Melaka’s town development and a nice model of town. The second floor is dedicated to spinning tops (gasing), apparently a national obsession and taken very seriously particularly in the north-eastern states of Malaysia. One would never have guessed at the range of styles, materials and colours of a spinning top, which are not just for kids. Its not just about how long you can get them to spin for, but there are also knock-out competitions set in arenas.After learning all about sp...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 8, 2004

People's Museum
Jalan Kota
Malacca, Malaysia 75000
+60 6 282 6526

Arriving in KL

Story/Tip

Quote:
Having transited through KL the previous year on our trip to Sarawak (see A biologist in Sarawak travelogue) we knew that a quick and easy way to get from KLIA airport was to take the KLIA Ekspres train (70RM return, every 15 minutes) which takes half an hour to get to Sentral station and then the Putra LRT line to either Pasar Seni for the Chinatown area or Masjid Jamek station to the north of Chinatown. Since we had not pre-booked accommodation, we opted to try the budget guesthouses along Jalan Silang, so hopped off at Masjid Jamek station. I have to say that we weren’t impressed by any of the cramped stuffy box-rooms on offer at any of the guesthouses along there and so trudged all the way do...Read More

Getting to Taman Negara National Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
We had been told that there is a daily direct minibus that left the Hotel Istana for Taman Negara which arrived at Tembeling jetty in time for the afternoon boat. However, after being directed to the ticket office, a 10-minute walk away at the Kompleks Antarabangsa, we were told that the bus was only available for customers staying at the rather expensive Taman Negara resort. Since the cheapest bed was RM50 each for a dorm bed, we decided to go by public transport instead. The Pekeliling bus station is to the north of the city, but conveniently right by the Titiwangsa stop on the Star LRT line. We took the 10am bus to Jerantut, which cost RM 10.85 each. Other passengers on the bus wer...Read More
Canopy walkway Photo, Malaysia, Asia
Quote:
After a hearty breakfast of banana pancakes, we set out across the river and into the park. Although the trails start at the park headquarters, the first five minutes is spent just walking through the grounds of the resort. We decided to head straight to the canopy walkway, which was a pleasant half hour stroll following the river. Gibbons could definitely be heard, although they were too far away to try to spot. Half way to the walkway, we did see the remains of a flowering stem (spadix) of a titum arum (Amorphophallus titanium), the largest composite flower in the world. The spadix measured about a metre from the ground and its single leaf looked like a small tree. In flower it looks...Read More
A Rattan Palm Photo, Malaysia, Asia
Quote:
We had considered staying in one of the many hides dotted throughout the park, some of which are a bit of a trek to get to, but being further out, have better chances of spotting wildlife. However, given the extremely muddy nature of the trails, and how one would have to carry everything that you needed, ie sleeping bags and food, we declined heading over to the Kumbang hide (which the wardens recommended as being the best hide to stay in) and opted for a day walk to the Tabing hide instead. The walk took us back past lubok simpon swimming area, but alas we didn’t see or smell any evidence of the black panther this time. Although a bit further on we happened to chance upon a pair of arg...Read More

Pulau Pangkor – Nipah Bay

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Story/Tip

Nipah Bay1 Photo, Malaysia, Asia
Quote:
After overnighting in KL, we took the bus from the confusing Puduraya bus station, to the town of Lumut in the north. It cost RM26 each and took about 4 ½ hours. From there one gets a ferry to Pangkor Island (RM5 each), getting off at the second stop, which is Pangkor town. A shared taxi then dropped us off at Teluk Nipah. Our first impressions were one of disappointment. The strip of beach was quite narrow, made narrower by the rows of tat stalls which were installed between the beach and the main road which runs along the back of the beach. After looking round several guesthouses, some of which looked out over an unsightly building site, we finally installed ourselves in the Nipah Bay Villa...Read More
Quote:
Since there is a preponderance of stalls along the Nipah bay road hiring out snorkels, flippers and canoes, one would think that there may be coral close to the bay. Erroneously thinking this was the case, we hired some snorkels for the day and climbed over the rocks to at the northern end of nipah bay to get to what we thought would be the aptly named coral bay (when the tide comes in, or if you don’t fancy clambering, the main coast road loops round connecting the bays). The first thing that one cannot fail to notice is the now derelict half built concrete stalls and cafes that sit uncomfortably under the trees of coral bay. Perhaps this was a failed attempt to extend the Nipah bay st...Read More
Pangkor town1 Photo, Malaysia, Asia
Quote:
One could hire motorbikes/scooters or peddle bikes to get around the island, but bearing in mind that the coast road is quite hilly in places, we decided to take one of the luminous pink minibus taxis that queue up along the road by the beach. Pangkor town is the main town on the island, where there are shops, banks, internet cafes, hotels and plenty of garages to fix your motorbike. There’s a small travel agent that will sell onward bus tickets from Lumut at RM5 cheaper than our hotel was charging. Since this is mainly a fishing town, there were numerous shops selling dried fish of all shapes and sizes. The small ones (ikan bilis) are particularly more-ish when piled on top of ...Read More
Quote:
To save us from having to stop over in KL again, we took a bus that went from Lumut to Melaka. The 9am bus run by the SE Ekspres company cost RM26 each and took 9 long hours. Luckily it was a plush sleeper bus, so large reclining seats and plenty of food stops. Unfortunately it did crawl through the highways into KL, sit in Pudaraya bus terminus before crawling back out again, adding another 1½ hours onto an already long journey. The bus eventually pulled into Melaka (express) bus station which is to the north of Melaka city. The footbridge over the muddy and rather polluted waters of the Sungai Melaka River takes you south and within a 10 minute walk you are in the centre of town. ...Read More

Historic Melaka - temples and buildings

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Story/Tip

Melaka1 Photo, Malaysia, Asia
Quote:
The historic buildings of the Dutch town hall (Stadhuys) and Christchurch are centred around the town square. The pink/red wash on the outsides of these buildings are perhaps a bit overdone to ram home the historic nature of these buildings, which are actually quite old; the Stadhuys is about 350 years old whilst the church was built in 1752. Souvenir shops line the pavement along the wall of the Stadhuys where you can also pick up a cycle rickshaw, complete with gaudy flashing lights, for a tour of the town. The post office is usefully situated behind the Christ church with post boxes outside. From the town square, it’s a short climb up steps to the top of Bukit St. Paul where the rui...Read More

Petronas Twin Towers

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Attraction | "Kuala Lumpur – The Petronas towers"

Petronas Twin Towers Photo, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Quote:
We took an early bus (RM8) from Melaka to KL to take us back to where we started. After installing ourselves in another hotel in KL, we set off to see the definitive landmark of KL that can be seen wherever you are in the city, and we had glimpsed on many occasions transiting through, but we had not yet visited – the Petronas Towers. We took the Putra line metro to KLCC station and nothing can prepare you for what you see when you step out from below ground into the shadow of the towers. You are first met with the wide curvature of glass and steel of the base of one of the towers, and that was just the back view. The eyes are automatically drawn upwards and it is at first difficult to comprehen...Read More

Petronas Twin Towers
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Kuala Lumpur 50088
60 3 382 8000