Malaysia, something for everyone
Palm Trees lined the tarmac of the airport. I saw the leaves fluttering in the wind as the plane took off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. With mixed feelings I sighed and pulled out the airline magazine and flipped through it. Malaysia had been absolutely fantastic in the last couple of days, with its ethnic mix of Malay, Indian, Chinese communities friendly and approachable. Though I had a great time I felt I had just scratched the surface of this multi-cultural country.
I had gorged myself with Indian food at the various joints in Little India, stood on the skywalk of The Petronas Towers and basked in the happiness of my niece’s results in her Xth grade (I got a call from India out there on the skywalk), watched the newlyweds walk the roads at Putrajaya, climbed the steps to Batu caves and taken the rides at Genting.
This country has so much to offer and explore that every region has a surprise for you and there I was flying back with a feeling that my visit to Malaysia had been incomplete with many more attractions yet to be explored. I convinced myself that I would be back someday to see the unseen.
Here I have managed to note down my top five Malaysia bucket list from it’s never ending and interesting destinations that I am yet to visit. It is indeed a potpourri of heritage, culture, adventure, art and colors.
- Taman Negara, Pahang for adventure, heritage and culture– Somehow I do not seem to get enough of forests. The more the merrier. Thick, dense with a canopy of trees, impenetrable, rich with flora and fauna that has stood the test of time, this virgin expanse has been a mystery since ages. Rain forest with geological and ecological diversity has allured me since my last visit to Malaysia but unfortunately I couldn’t visit her. She is more of an enigma, virgin and mesmerizing. She reveals little and shrouds the rest that leaves you wanting more. Meeting the local Bateq tribes and getting to know their way of living, culture would give a completely different perspective. Living close to nature surrounded by river, trees, waterfalls, birds far away from the concrete city life, is a fulfilling and serene experience that clears the cob webs off your mind. A refreshing tonic to replenish the soul.
|Source – Malaysia Tourism|
- Mount Kinabalu for the adrenaline rush – Since long I have heard of the tallest mountain in Malaysia that talks of the vertical limit. Breathtaking views, a beautiful sunrise and a fulfilling experience filled with excitement, fear, thrill, surge of anxiety and finally a sense of accomplishment. Borneo doesn’t stop to mesmerize you at every step and I am waiting eagerly to conquer this alp.
|Source – Wikimedia Commons|
- Putrajaya for architecture and culture – There is something unique about this place that has left a permanent mark in me and I keep visiting it mentally every now and then. Vignettes of this calm, beautiful, serene place keeps flashing in my mind that I visited a year back. This intelligent garden city with its well-planned layout of mosques, administrative centers, shopping centers, lakes gives a feeling of east meets west. A blend of Islamic and modern architecture with splashes of colors be it the pink minarets or the blue ripples of the lake is mesmerizing. Watching the sunset from the various bridges each an architecture marvel is serenity at its best. Newlyweds getting their photo sessions in their best Malay outfits, walk the paths of this modern city. This time around I would want to have an aerial view of this city by being part of the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.
Putrajaya has the calmness and a eclectic mix of art with its steel and marble structures that leave a lasting impression. It is awe inspiring and each a masterpiece that stirs that deepest recess down your heart.
|Source – Putrajaya Official Site|
- George Town, Penang for food, colors and culture – Being a foodie I love to explore and titillate my taste buds with world cuisine. I try to experiment and savor the local cuisine to get a taste of its culture. George Town with its colonial influence is considered a food haven to tuck in some Malay delicacies. I would say it’s the Ambrosia of Malaysia and a Food Paradise. Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Char keuy teow, Satay are in my hit list, not to forget the Kaya Toast, Keh Tarik and Air bandung. A culinary trail by taking the food excursions in this heritage site is a must in one’s itinerary.
George Town is a gastronomic delight for the food connoisseurs of the world that plays with your palate and provokes a epicurean.
|Satay being cooked; Source – Wikimedia|
- Shopping at Kuala Lumpur to explore art and culture – Malaysia has always been famous for electronics, perfume, fashion clothing. Last time around I had picked up a LED television for a friend who had requested for one and a tablet. This time I would want to buy clothing with Batik prints, Pandanus Mat, Beaded accessories from Sabah and Sarawak pottery all promoting arts and crafts by the skilled village artisans. After all sustainable living is the best part of promoting handicrafts.
|A Batik craftsman Source – Wikimedia|
Not to forget it is a taste of their culture that speaks volumes of Islamic influence. Natural elements like leaves, flowers and animals are prominent in this space. Tribal motif pottery, Chinese dragon kiln ceramics, Songket and Tekat rich and regal for the elite Malay. A riot of colors and designs that leave you mesmerized.
Malaysia entertains every age group and also enthralls people with different interests. Be it a nature lover, an adventurist, food and art connoisseur, culture seeker or the carefree. It has something for everyone. This country has intrigued, pampered and impressed me. I would want to rekindle it, go on an adventure spin, celebrate its culture and escape into a paradise, that is Truly Asia.
How I long to hear and see the board with the greeting Selamat Datang. Malaysia, do you hear me?
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