“Travel doesn’t become an adventure until you leave yourself behind”- Marty Rubin
If one year ago someone told me that I would find myself in faraway Malaysia, this could seem like a real illusion for me. But sometimes even fantasies become realities, and so it happened: in February this year, a strong wave of wanderlust took me to a piece of truly Asia - Malaysia.
It was February 14 this year, and I was on the plane flying to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Fuelled by determination and high expectations, I arrived in a jungle for the very first time in my life. From the moment I stepped into Kuala Lumpur Airport, I felt as if monkeys birthed this land. The huge palm trees created an atmosphere of freedom; a freedom that was devoid of human influence. For a moment, it seemed to me that humans have just stepped into this land, while monkeys have been inhabiting here for ages and building the story of Malaysia as it is.
Nestled fancifully in the Malay Peninsula in South East Asia, Malaysia is an open-hearted country luring travelers from West and East, from South and North. The whole terrain of the country consists of 13 states and three federal territories. Due to the closeness to the equator, Malaysia enjoys a tropical climate year round, which makes it especially attractive as a seaside resort.
The first place you will want to visit in Malaysia is for sure its capital city Kuala Lumpur- a diverse cultural, economic center filled with liveliness. But what I had in mind before coming to Malaysia was that I wouldn’t leave the country without getting a taste of its island life. In February this year, I applied for a press trip in Penang Island. After a two-hour train ride, I arrived on the Island with intriguing thoughts in mind. As it was the first time in my life to encounter myself in an island so close to the equator, I had endless questions in my thoughts: What does it feel like to be in a tropical island? Are there sharks swimming close to the beach area? And when will I eventually see the Sea?
It was a cloudy day, and George Town greeted me with tears. An hour or so traveling by bus, I finally found the beautiful Hotel on the beach which had a pretty unique vibe. When you enter the Hotel, it seems you enter into another world, and the view from the balcony was enchanting.
Penang Global Tourism and George Town Tourism Office generously offered a richly-cultural tour through George Town, a colorful and delicious lunch made of Nyonya Food and endless impressions that I will carry with me wherever I go. Due to Penang Island considered as Asia’s food capital, it was quite natural that my press trip had a culinary focus. But in line with culinary delights, we tasted the cultural vibe of the town as well, visiting the Armenian street and spotting the fancy wall arts.
And then there was Langkawi. From Penang Airport, I took a flight via Air Asia to Langkawi. I might confess that it was the most scenic and cheapest flight I have ever had in my life.
Oh, Langkawi you have occupied such a prominent corner in my heart. The azure blue Andaman Sea, white sandy beaches, and small islands floating in the sea created sceneries of wonder. The sunsets, those breath-taking sunsets of Langkawi that leave you endlessly admired.
Getting back to the capital city - Kuala Lumpur, let me suggest some of the highly-valuable places to visit:
Petronas Twin Towers - the most photographed spot in Kuala Lumpur. According to the facts, the architectural design of the towers belongs to Cesar Pelli- an Argentine American architect. The construction of these impressive towers began in 1993. Interestingly, they were sought to be the highest buildings in the world for many years. Now the Petronas Towers are the tallest towers in the world, with the highest point of 375 meters. The two fancy towers are connected to one another with a Sky Bridge. If you really want to go up and have a dramatic look from the Sky Bridge, you have to wait in a long queue or buy the tickets online in advance.
When in Petronas at night, make sure to have a glance at spectacular water show that takes place every evening in the park just behind the towers:
KL Tower or else called Menara Kuala Lumpur is yet another eloquent attraction site in Kuala Lumpur.
The price for a lift up the tower is cheaper than the one for Petronas, but the view is something worth to be captured. KL Tower is nowadays the 7th tallest telecommunications tower. Standing on top of it, there were two kinds of feelings escorting me on that day: fear and rapture. There were strong thunderstorms and rain that day. The height of the tower was sure to intensify the outcry of the clouds, which evoked a sort of fear inside. While in parallel to fear, a sense of rapture was there to illuminate my day. The scenic view from the tower was something of an extravagant one. No idea why, but for a moment, it seemed to me that I was in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. At this point, I realized the possibility of confluence of the West and the East: when two grand capitals from two distinct ends of the world may have things in common.
Botanical Garden and Butterfly Park
In the wake of even more green, I found myself in a butterfly paradise. Settled inside the Botanical Garden in Kuala Lumpur, the Butterfly Park or Butterfly Garden is a true heaven on Earth. This secret natural heaven is the largest butterfly garden in the world, recognized as the most beautiful one by Discovery Channel.
And for shopping lovers, there is a quite messy district where you can buy cheap clothes and other stuff- the China Town in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur, as a vibrant capital city continues to modernize constantly. One thing that I noted over and over again while traveling through the city was the abundance of green. Along with everlasting constructions, the city preserves its green soul in between those high buildings. If in many big cities of the world, they cut trees in order to build houses, to create cafes and other leisure spots, in Kuala Lumpur the green areas grow in line and inside the new buildings. For instance, in many residential areas, you can see a small garden with palm trees and flowers on the second floor or the rooftop of the building. This way the importance of greening of the city goes side by side with high-scale construction needs.
As the final days were approaching, I had pretty contrasting thoughts in mind to sum up my travel to Malaysia.
While thinking that I might leave myself behind to rejoice in the adventurous spirit of Malaysia, in essence, I felt truly involved in this very adventure. A week or two after my arrival in the country, it seemed to me as this was my natural habitat as if I always lived and grew up in between those lush palm trees and the echoes of tropical romance. And the strong bond with Langkawi- the island of joy reaffirmed my feelings of belonging to this place. Now I know for sure: Malaysia has captured my heart in such a deeply special way.