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Malaysia

November 2014

Malaysia was the last stop in Asia on our trip around the world in 2014/15. As a melting pot of Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai and so many other influences, it is a little best-of all the cultures and cuisines, Asia has to offer.

Penang Island

Fourteen hours on the train brought us from Singapore all the way up to Butterworth, another short ferry crossing further to Georgetown. As we are fans of the varieties of Asian cuisine, this buzzing colonial town is just heaven on earth. The daytime restaurants in Georgetown are great, offering everything from Indian via Thai to Chinese food. But real foodies' dreams come true after sundown, when hundreds of street food stalls open all over the town. Who needs a star rated restaurant, if you can have such amazing things for less than a dollar?
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Markets

Supermarkets are no big thing in Georgetown, but markets are everywhere. Even the butchers do their business on the street or in the market halls.
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Street Art

In Penang you will find the famous murals of Ernest Zacharevic. No tourist leaves without a photo of "Boy on Bike" or "Little Children on a Bicycle".
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Behind closed doors

Walking around the old colonial quarter of Georgetown during the day is a rather lonely experience, if you don't stumble across one of the murals. Doors are closed to keep the heat out, so there is much less street life than in other South East Asian cities.
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Langkawi Island

As it was rainy season, there was no chance (and would probably have been no joy anyway) to visit the amazing islands of Malaysia peninsula's west coast. So we decided to give Langkawi a chance. While we took the fascinating, yet terrifying speed ferry from Penang, most other visitors arrive with dozens of cheap charter airlines everyday.
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Beaches

The thing with spontaneous decisions is, that they lack a bit of research. Langkawi turned out to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in South East Asia – mainly visited by people looking for a week of sunburning and drinking. But to be honest: after two months of traveling, a few laid-back days there were not too bad after all.
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Fishing

As laying around on the beach gets boring quite soon, we rented a scooter and started to explore the island away from the massive tourist resort hotels and discotheques along the beaches. The smaller the road, the closer you get to the island's original soul. Fishing plays a major part in it.
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Waterfalls

For an island so small, Langkawi has surprisingly high mountains. Some of them are home to waterfalls, which are perfect places to cool down from the heat. A true paradise in the mountains – just don't forget to peel off the bloodsucking leeches afterwards…
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Night Market

Towns on Langkawi are too small to held a permanent market, so there are street food stalls and other vendors touring around the island. As we were pretty bored by the tourist restaurants close to our cozy family-owned hotel, we followed the traveling market around the island every night.
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Cameron Highlands

We were still stoked from the amazing tea plantations in Sri Lanka a year ago. So there was no question: we have to visit the Cameron Highlands. And we were not disappointed: Not only are the highlands a wonderful retreat from the coast's tropical heat, they are also home to the expected huge green patterned hills of tea.
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Into the wild

We did everything by foot the first days – which means, to visit the plantations close to Tanah Rata, you either follow the mountain highway with all its trucks and buses, or you take some amazing jungle trails. Of course we took the jungle trek!
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Early Morning

I desperately wanted a sunrise photo of some tea plantations, so we rented another scooter to go to the Boh Tea Estate in the early morning. When we arrived, there was nothing but clouds and fog… But after 20 minutes of waiting, the sun finally honored us with its presence – for less then two minutes and the only time on this day.
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Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur was not more than a stop over on the way back to Singapore, where our plane departed. So it was our last chance to taste all the treasuries of the Malaysian cuisine. Mmmmm…
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© 2017 Benedikt Altschuh