Malaysia Holiday itinerary

On Sunday night I fly to Melbourne to begin my next jaunt. After overnighting at an airport hotel, I fly on Monday to Kuala Lumpur.

I tell you, I’m struggling to decide where to stay! I loved Chinatown when I was last there several years ago. The street food, the night markets, the people everywhere…there was a real buzz about the place.

But should I stay there again? Or should I stay nearer Bukit Bintang, since I do want to go to the almighty Berjaya Times Square to visit the Gothic Lolita store i-socks, amongst many other stores? After all, in Bangkok now, I’ve had enough of Khao San Road and prefer to stay in Sukhumvit when I go.

But I do like a beer, and would love to find a pub or bar that plays rock music (as opposed to most venues that seem to play r&b; or lay down “phat beats” – euwww).  Maybe I have more chance of that in the Golden Triangle, with its multitude of nighlife options. I’m still researching, poring over various food and travel blogs – and I’ll let you know what I opt for! Do drop a comment if you have opinions or recommendations for KL.

Anyway, after a couple of days in KL I move on to Langkawi, and it’s my first visit there. I’ve virtually decided to stay on Pantai Tengah instead of Pantai Canang, as I don’t want to feel like a sardine, and want a bit of beachfront to myself. I’m looking forward to eating at the Matahari Malay restaurant.

Following that, it’s Penang to which I head – unless I discover the ferry is running to Ko Lipe, in which case I may well sun myself of that Thai island for a few days!

On the 19th I return to Melbourne, and on Friday 20th I’m seeing the band ‘Hanzel und Gretel’. I’m back in Sydney on Saturday the 21st and have no idea what I’m doing that night, but it will definitely involve drinking beers with my husband and friends.

I will certainly be posting pics of the food I encounter, the fashion purchases I make, urban sights, hopefully gorgeous beaches…and possibly humorous signs.

Now to finish packing and make sure I have everything I need…

My travelling past

While I’ve been to the UK four times, and Ireland twice, it’s Asia that always draws me back to herself.

It started 23 years ago with my first trip to India. Boy, did that explode my world! Scared shitless my first day in Bombay (as it was then called), I nevertheless grew to love the chaos and colour, the smells and the buzz of the place.

I went four times to India, each time for three months or so, adding up to a year there. I can still speak fluent Hindi (well, to the level of a 3 year old), largely getting my practice in via cab drivers here in Sydney. I stayed in Delhi, Lucknow, and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh; Patna in Bihar; Bhopal, Jabalpur and more in Madhya Pradesh; Bombay, Nagpur and small villages nearby in Maharashtra; and Bangalore and Hyderabad down south.

In Patna I rented a house with some friends in a Muslim part of town for a month and lived amongst them, wearing the chador when out of the house, buying at the markets, cooking for ourselves and just experiencing Indian life. In Nagpur I spent a week living in a slum. I’ve slept on the pavement with the locals at the airport, when we landed at an inconvenient hour and no hotels would be open. I’ve had yummy dinners at Gond villages, been Christmas carolling under the stars, spent too many hours on trains, had things nicked. But what experiences and memories I have.

Ten years went by and I didn’t travel. And then I met Dom, and it all started again. He’s English, and we had a long distance relationship for three years while his visa application for Australia was being processed. Each time I’d go to the UK I’d visit Thailand or Malaysia on the way there or back. I stayed on beautiful Phi Phi Island before the tsunami, and the lush green Tioman Island, and got acquainted with Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

We honeymooned in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys song!), seeing the spectacular Angkor Wat, the lush green Battambang, the bustling Phnom Penh, the beautiful ocean off Sihanoukville. Then we flew to Vietnam, exploring the cultural heritage of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, trekking in the stunning mountain area of Sapa in the north, cruising Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta, eating the best food ever at Hoi An among centuries-old houses, and checking out beaches in Mui Ne, Nha Trang and Cua Dai. What an adventure.

More recently we’ve travelled in northern Thailand and Laos. We’ve had a cold beer Lao in Vientiane as the sun went down, seen the natural beauty of Vang Vieng, strolled through Luang Prabang with its gold-topped wats and temples, trekked in Luang Nam Tha, marvelled at the ruins of Wat Phou in Champasak, and enjoyed the river rushing past our bungalow in Si Phan Don.

We’ve seen the beautiful islands and beaches of Thailand too – had bunglows on Ko Samui before they got bulldozed and developed as lush resorts, and swam, snorkelled or dived at Ko Phangan, Ko Tao, Krabi and Railay.

We threw in a holiday to Fiji (Yasawas, Mamanucas, Nadi, Suva, southern coast) and one to Western Australia seeing Perth, Monkey Mia and Ningaloo Reef, just to mix it up a bit.

But it’s back to South East Asia we’re returning for Christmas. There’s a little island off the coast of Sihanoukville in Cambodia, and it hasn’t been overdeveloped yet. In fact, there are only 25 bungalows on the island. We so want to go while it’s still small, and quiet.

And before then, I head back to Malaysia in November – KL, Penang, Langkawi and maybe even Ko Lipe, here I come!