Last known location: London, England

Archive of posts about Malaysia


Prayers and Pork Buns

From Kuala Lumpur we took the short bus journey south to Melaka, a port town and another colonial outpost from days gone by. At various times it has been ruled by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British all of whom left their mark, and, if you believe the museums, did their best to run the place into the ground in different ways!

Like everywhere in Malaysia the town was a mixture of Chinese, Tamils, and Malays with some Portuguese thrown in, along with Chittys and Peranakan (varying mixtures of the above!). We were staying in Chinatown, but on a short walk down our street we heard the bells from the church, passed the Chinese temple which seemed to be burning a huge crate of incense all at once, as well as a Hindu temple and a Mosque blasting out the call for prayer. In short, quite a mixture of cultures! Click here to read more…


High Towers and High Temperatures

We left the Perhentian Islands early on Thursday morning. The boat back to Kuala Besut was a bit smoother this time, although we did manage to get rather wet! We were running a bit late and our bus to Kuala Lumpur was due to leave at 9am so at the port we bade a hasty farewell to Imogen and Olivier before dashing to the bus station (which was actually more of a car park and taxi rank). We needn’t have worried, however, as we were left hanging around for nearly an hour. But when the bus did finally arrive we were thrilled; it had seats like armchairs and was by far the most comfortable bus we’d travelled on so far. Good thing, too, as the journey to KL took 9 hours! Click here to read more…


Island Idleness

From Penang we travelled East across the country to the Perhentian Islands, a group of small islands on the far north-eastern coast of Malaysia. This involved a very early 5am start, swiftly followed by some treacherous driving through the Malaysian countryside. Our driver (who looked no older than 17) seemed not to have learnt the art of taking corners and we were thrown about the minibus like rag dolls. It was so bad that on the 1st toilet stop all of the passengers begged him to slow down and drive more carefully. Despite protesting that we’d miss our boat he did actually slow down. I even managed to get a snooze in! Click here to read more…


Georgetown: Colonials and Curries

Our first stop in Malaysia was Georgetown on the island of Penang, in the north-west of the country. We ended up flying as there were very cheap flights available, but i wished we hadn’t as we bumped along for the hour and a half journey – Gem claims it was all in my imagination but at one point i was fairly convinced we were doing a nosedive to oblivion! Apparently this wasn’t actually the case and we arrived perfectly safely.

Georgetown was one of the three British Straits Settlements (along with Malacca and Singapore) in the area, and was founded in 1786 by the British East India Company to control trade through the area. The town is full of old British colonial buildings, and a lot of the original buildings from the time still survive. Our hostel was in a traditional shophouse with high ceilings and wooden floors; it was lovely. Click here to read more…