What we loved…
New and Old – Malaysia has done a wonderful job of welcoming the modern world into their lives, while still maintaining a strong hold on the rich traditions and culture. From posh rooftop bars and the brightly lit Petronas Towers to traditional recipes and century old temples (of all religions), Malaysia is a perfect balance of old and new.
Food – Flavors galore! From Georgetown to Kuala Lumpur and everything in between, Malaysia is a foodie’s paradise. An unparalleled eclectic mix of flavors that represent the diversity of the Malaysian people can be found from night markets to 5 star restaurants. No matter what you order or where you find it, you can’t go wrong when traveling Malaysia.
Diversity – Malaysia is a unique melting pot of cultures and religions. That’s not something you find in a lot of other Asian countries, making it that much more special. You might have a girl covered from head to toe in a full burka on one side of you, and on the other a girl in full makeup, high heels, a mini skirt and a tank top – but they totally respect each other’s choices, religions, and cultures. Hindu, buddhist, muslim, Malay, Chinese, Indian – this is Malaysia.
What we didn’t love…
Batu Caves – It’s probably the most recognizable attraction in all of Malaysia. It’s the quintessential “I’m having a great time traveling Malaysia” Instagram picture. It’s just a quick train ride from the city center, so it’s no wonder it’s super overcrowded and completely underwhelming. I feel like everyone that goes there (for non religious reasons) feels a bit duped yet nobody wants to admit it. There’s nothing so bad about Batu Caves, there’s just nothing so great about it either.
The Kuala Lumpur Airport – Even if you’re not planning on traveling Malaysia, if you’re touring the rest of SE Asia, odds are you’ll have a layover at The Kuala Lumpur Airport. It’s so clean and pretty and new, yet somehow it is the absolute worst airport to have a layover. The layout basically guarantees miles of walking to get out of your gate, through immigration and back to your next gate. All the food is in one “central” location – not centrally located, but way off on one side of the airport. And there’s a bizarre lack of people movers to try to help this problem. Be sure to wear your sneakers and give yourself plenty of time between flights.
Air Asia – I know this is a bit of a cheat, but Air Asia is based in Malaysia and happens to be the biggest piece-of-shit airline. DO NOT fly with them. I know they offer great prices, but so do a number of other airlines throughout Asia. Another Malaysian based airline Malindo Air, happens to have great customer service. Here’s the lowdown, Air Asia has pretty new planes and great prices. They also have crappy routes, all kinds of hidden fees, and shady policies. Worst of all, they have horrible customer service. You can’t deal with them over the phone, unless you also want to pay for that service. This opinion is a series of bad experiences with zero good experiences to counterbalance.