Kuala Lumpur – Langkawi – Georgetown, Penang – Cameron Highlands
Here we were in Malaysia! Arriving at 4:30am! First stop KL. Dean was here for 2 weeks for the ICC cricket tournament. He played against Malaysia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Guernsey and Fiji. The first week in KL Dean was playing practice matches and the Jersey team was getting acclimatized to the Asia heat coming from the cold UK summer! While they had their practice matches I met up with Kathy the cricket coach’s wife, their daughter Lauren and Gemma from Jersey who works for Jersey cricket and was on her way to Australia.
We all met in KL at the Istana Hotel. This was the hotel where all the cricketers were staying and where we decided to stay for 2 nights as a treat! It sure was after the hostels we were staying at in China. Istana, meaning “palace in Malay” was a great change! Kathy, Lauren and I all shared a room. We were in KL for 2 full days while we waited for Gemma to arrive. We enjoyed walking the city, visiting Chinatown, Little India, the malls and the area around the Petronas towers.
Our next stop was Langkawi. We took an overnight bus from KL to Langkawi, well to the port and then had to catch a boat over to Langkawi. The bus ride was smooth and comfortable just freezing! At our first stop I had to get some more clothes out of my pack and put on as many layers as I could and wrapped myself as well as my head into my silk liner! We spent a few days touring around the island of Langkawi. The best day was the day we got a driver and drove around stopping at a waterfall and swimming in it as well as a few different beaches. We also enjoyed the local market where we ended up getting a whole bunch of local produce to share and had a picnic on the beach one evening. As it was the start of the rainy season the weather was not that clear, however this meant it was low season and we had the beaches pretty much to ourselves!
From Langkawi we headed to Georgetown, Penang. A UNESCO heritage site. We stayed in a great hostel, brand new and in a great location! We enjoyed walking the heritage old streets, visiting some temples, local markets, Chinatown as well as Little India. A highlight was being invited into the VIP section for a free lunch. There was a festival going on and to celebrate they had free food stalls with local foods to sample. We were invited to the VIP tables, Kathy was interviewed on our behalf, and it was hilarious! We enjoyed great Malay food and got to sample the “must have” dessert, consisting of crushed ice, ice cream, beans, sweet corn, condensed milk and syrup! What a combo! Worth a try, not to order again J We enjoyed strolling the gorgeous streets in Georgetown.
Next stop, Cameron Highlands, the tea “capital of Malaysia!” Gorgeous tea plantations and fresh air. We were even chilly in the evenings! One of the days we were there we went on a tour of the tea plantations and learnt all about the growing of tea as well as the process! A few interesting facts:
- Tea plants can live over 200 years! Best for 100 years in the production of tea.
- Best to stay away from using tea bags and using fresh tea leaves as they use the “leftover” tea and “dust” in tea bags
- All tea plants are the same it is just the drying and fermentation process that determines what type of tea it will become.
A great tour and guide and we got to walk in the rainforest as well as got to see a lots of different species! Although it was raining it was still a great day! We did not seem to have much luck at any of the look outs we went to in Malaysia, we seemed to have rain or it was overcast weather! We sampled a lot of tea and local foods in Cameron Highlands and had a great time! The place we stayed was not great! Kathy was not a fan at all J She had to keep using my tiger balm to mask the musty smell in the room!
We headed back to KL after Cameron Highlands as we wanted to watch and support Jersey. We were no longer staying at the Istana, the Palace, no longer in our budget and stayed at a guesthouse close by, very central to “food alley” great cheap local food as well as the shops and market area.
We enjoyed watching the boys play cricket against Malaysia, Kuwait, Fiji and Nigeria. They were all VERY close, stressful games to watch! Loved the match against Nigeria as the ground was great, had a great lookout point where you could get a fantastic perspective of the game and of course loved this game as Dean got man of the match! We really enjoyed spending the day at the cricket, got free lunches as well and they were delicious! In the evenings we enjoying walking around, having some great food and getting massages! A great few days in KL.
I was also very happy as I got to see Harri again after 5 years and meet Duncan and Dean got to meet them as well. Harri and Duncan had just moved to KL and we enjoyed a great day and night out with them. We started at the Pavilion mall, then moved to The Beach Bar and ended the night at the Sky Bar. Sure great to catch up with Harri and will get to see her again as well as Duncan when we stop over there a few times as all our Asia flights go via KL.
I had a fab 2 weeks in Malaysia. So great to spend time with the girls! We were a great team! Terri the accountant, Rice, Creamy and Coconut! Thanks for a fab trip girls and all the laughs! Terri ringgit barter misses you all! It was also great fun to watch Dean and the Jersey boys play cricket and spend time and get to know the Perchards, De La Hayes, Kays, Bissons and Alan Stevens! Thanks for inviting us to the VIP lounge! I won’t forget the night I got a free bottle of white wine to celebrate Gemma’s birthday! What a laugh.
Onto the Philippines next…