There it is! Our first country in Southeast Asia: Malaysia. From Seoul we fly to Kuala Lumpur. In Kuala Lumpur Sentral we meet our couchsurfing host Nadzim and it immediately feels like we already know each other for a long time. Since it’s the only option for food, we order a big menu from the McDonald’s. Maartje gets so excited: it’s SO cheap! Guess what we’ll be doing the next weeks in Malaysia…
EATING of course! We love food, especially Indian food. Lucky for us, there are many Indian people in Malaysia. That means lots of Indian restaurants, or, HEAVEN. Nadzim isn’t a host who likes showing us around the touristic places, but loves showing us the fun local spots. He takes us to the best restaurants and some fun bars. Apparently Thursday is the best night to go out, because that’s ladies night! Almost the entire night we drink unlimited free drinks, cheers! Nadzim also invites us to join one of his free diving classes, how fun!
We also meet up with Joanne, the sister of our friend Jessica who’s living in Amsterdam, who is happy to show us some more touristic stuff. We walk around the Petronas Towers, China town and have drinks at the helipad bar. It’s on top of a huge building and during the day it’s still being used as helipad. And we are so lucky to catch an amazing sunset!
After Kuala Lumpur we travel south, to Port Dickson. Port Dickson? Yes. When we tell people we are going there they look surprised and ask why we go there. There’s nothing to do there and for the beautiful beaches you need to go to the other side of Malaysia. But a guy on couchsurfing offered us his beach house there, so we simply couldn’t resist! Time to relax and work a bit near a pool & beach! There’s almost no one except us in the condos so we have a great time!
Back in Kuala Lumpur there’s something about to happen! My mother and brother will join us for two weeks in Malaysia. A bit nervous we wait at the airport with our ‘Rutger and Ellie’ sign. And there they are! We haven’t seen each other for almost 6 months but it immediately feels like we saw each other yesterday. Together we explore Kuala Lumpur, visit the Batu caves and travel further to the Taman Negara jungle.
After a long bus and boat trip we arrive in the jungle and find a jungle trek for the next three days. We decide for the ‘easy’ one and thank god for that. It is NOT as easy as expected. Six hours long we walk, and walk, and walk with our backpacks filled with water bottles, clothes and sleeping equipment. We are not so lucky with the weather, in the morning it rained so hard that all paths turn very muddy. And that’s when thousands leeches decide to surprise us. They are so very happy to see, smell and eat us. We are only not so happy. I got the first bite on my calf, so everybody is relieved and think they just like me. But when we have a break and I ask my mom if she bumped into something – because of lots of blood on her pants – we see they like all of us. There are probably five leeches sucking my mom’s blood. After the tough and leech-y trek we arrive at our sleeping place: a cave. Not everyone is as happy we reached it. My mom definitely did not expect is to be this basic… But we all survive and the next day we are trekking again, lucky fewer hours this time. We end our trek with a refreshing swim in a river and stay the night in an observatory. The third, and last, day of the jungle trekking we do a cool canopy walk and go back to our guesthouse by boat. A shower never felt so good as it did after this trekking.
We definitely need some time to relax and what’s a better place to relax than on a tropical island? So we travel to the Perhentian Islands for a few days. We enjoy the light blue waters, underwater world and the beautiful beaches and nature. Maartje spontaneously takes a dive course and she turns out to be a diving-lover! Rutger and I do some fun dives as well and we end our time on Perhentian Kecil with a dive with the three of us. It’s so much fun to dive together! We are already looking forward to many more dives all around the world.
Next stop: the Cameron Highlands! It’s COLD, around 10/15 degrees Celsius, how weird is that? We are not used to those temperatures anymore, as we have been wearing shorts and t-shirts only for quite a while now. So we get our long pants and long sleeved shirts out and take a tour through the tea plantations of these highlands. We like it a lot: it looks so beautiful! And, it’s the first time ever to see tea plantations, so we’re easy to impress.
After the Cameron highlands our paths separate for a couple of days. Rutger and Ellie go to Langkawi island and we are off to Penang for our first housesit! We are super excited! We’ll stay on Penang for 5.5 weeks to take care of a cute dog and his house!
Check out our Malaysia gallery for more pictures!