Malaysia is quite a different country by South East Asian standards. Rather than having one predominant ethnic group that calls the country home, Malaysia has multiple populations. In fact, the Indian side of the population is so large that visits to “Little India” in the major towns seems no different than the rest of the city, except that there is music playing and two more shops.
The feeling of having all of Asia in one place seems especially true in Penang, where there is just about every little population in one tiny little city (Georgetown). For a chilled out country with every nation imaginable represented, it felt like my whole trip rolled up upon itself and was entirely unsettling.
Even though I didn’t make it to Malaysian Borneo, I really enjoyed my time in Malaysia. Next time I definitely would like to get off the beaten track, over to the Eastern islands, and Borneo. The ads for wild and peaceful Malaysia have me enticed. Adventure awaits for the next go around.
Like with all the countries I’ve visited and all the posts in this series, there are just some things I noticed that don’t warrant their own post. So here is the collection of the random musings: Malaysia edition!
-Cost of traveling in Malaysia changes based on the direction you travel if doing the tourist trail. North to South becomes cheaper, South to North becomes more expensive.
-I went to the Cameron Highlands for the strawberry fields, only to find that there are no fields, and all strawberries are grown hydroponically.
-Hydroponically grown strawberries in the Cameron Highlands, and all berry products, taste amazing.
-The Boh’s Tea Plantation is amazing. Sometimes there are no words for things like seeing a tea plantation that goes on forever. Apparently they have one massively larger somewhere else in Malaysia. I cannot fathom how gorgeous it must be.
-Indian Food. Nom nom nom nom nom.
-A meteorologist in Cameron Highlands has the easiest job in the world, especially in rainy season. Rain will begin between 1 and 3pm and continue all night, every day. 100% guarantee.
-Langkawi was disappointingly expensive, but only because I enjoyed it immensely and wished the prices were more reasonable to stay longer.
-Attempting to circle Penang on motorbikes with a group of 5 people on 3 bikes is a lesson on indecisiveness, why I like to be alone, and why it is always a good reason to have one bike per person.
And the important stuff follows!
Cities Visited: Langkawi, Penang, Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur, Melakka
Favorite City: Cameron Highlands
Favorite Foods: Indian Breads
Favorite Alcohol: Oops, didn’t try any
Favorite Hostel: Red Inn in Penang
Least Favorite Hostel: Ringo’s Foyer in Melakka
Best Attraction: Boh’s Tea Plantation in Cameron Highlands
Offbeat Must See: Kek Lok Soi Temple in Penang
Biggest Disappointment: Langkawi Prices
Must Visit Cities: Langkawi, Penang, Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur (if just for a day)
Most Expensive Meal: At a Western Musical Themed Chain that I am ashamed to write about.
Cheapest/Most Expensive Sleeps: $3.50 at Ringo’s Foyer in Melaka and $26.50/night Sweet Inn in Langkawi
Number of Pictures Taken (Overall): 1,202 (10,165)
Duration of Videos Taken: ~35 minutes
Total Spent Over 18 Days: $729
Average Over 18 Days: $40.50
My predicted budget in Malaysia was estimated to be $35/day. I came out roughly $5.50/day higher than the planned budget, primarily due to massive souvenir purchases, which I always excluded from daily budget predictions when planning and Langkawi being over priced. Not factoring in visiting Langkawi before leaving, I probably would’ve adjusted my predicted average higher. Still, $40/day, eating, seeing, and doing whatever I wanted. The bare bones traveler would have a field day in Malaysia.
For more information regarding my spending in Malaysia, check out the updated On the Road Spending spreadsheet which has a breakdown of the daily figures for things like food, site seeing, transportation, hostels, and more!
Don’t think that just because I left Malaysia that my postings are over! While I am keeping up real time postings in the various countries that I am in, I have a significant backlog of posts ready for the break in between travel time at home. Some topics we’ve published since launching this post include:
Malaysia for Families
BOH Tea Plantation – A Gorgeous Spot in the Cameron Highlands
The Great Durian Quest Part 3 – Durian Fruit
The Great Durian Quest Part 2 – Durian Chendol
The Great Durian Quest Part 1 – Durian Cream Puff
Have a question about Malaysia or my time spent in the country? If so, please comment below and I’d be happy to respond to all inquiries.