I will admit, when I first got the invite for a press trip to Malaysia, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into by saying yes, but I knew that no matter what, it would be an opportunity of a lifetime. Prior to traveling, we didn’t really get a concrete itinerary. So besides knowing we would be visiting Kuala Lumpur, Meleka and Kutching, and Googling all the things to see and do in those cities, I knew little more. But I was confident that Tourism Malaysia would take great care of me. I was right.
Malaysia, Truly Asia
There will be many posts to come sharing some of the places I visited and the experiences I had, but I wanted to give kinda an overview of Malaysia, as a country and what I walked away with.
I haven’t traveled enough to be a world expert, but I have to say, for me, I have never experienced being somewhere where people really don’t see race, religion or culture as anything more than a way to embrace each other for the differences rather than find a reason to hate. In light of the current events going on all over the world with race and/or religion being a focus of hate, I wish I could somehow bring to you the love I felt of the people of Malaysia.
I wholeheartedly feel that Malaysia is a wonderful blueprint of what the world should look like. While in a Melaka, I saw something that was possibly life changing. To be able to walk on a street and experience temples and mosques of the three main religions of Malaysia that are located peacefully in the same small street. The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is the oldest Chinese Temple in Malaysia and Sri Payyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple is oldest Hindu temple in Malaysia. The third religious house of worship is the Kampung Keling Mosque. Right there, all together. I appreciated watching all different people from all walks of life experiencing each one of these sacred places to pray, take photos, share stories and faith, or like me, watch. One thing in common was the peace and love you could feel from the people. There will be more to come on this.
Holy amazing food alert. Going to another country you have to be prepared to experience all different types of food. Lucky for me, I am a pretty adventurous eater, even though I was sticking to my vegetarian diet during the trip, I don’t feel I missed out on any of the flavors and the connection the Malays have of their love of food. One of the many sweet people I met said something very true. In Malaysia, they don’t ask how are you, they ask if you have eaten. Not only is the food so good, but it’s also very inexpensive.
While in Kuala Lumpar (KL), I had the opportunity to experience the show MUD. This live award winning musical takes you on a journey of the history of Malaysia. Explaining the history and culture of KL and how it was a melting pot for immigrants from all around the region. The hardships that the people endured to make KL what it is today is truly a great to learn. MUD was perfect for that.
Melaka is so rich in culture and history that it was amazing to take a walking tour to learn so much of this intoxicating multicultural world of heritage architecture port city. The photos I have from the time in Melaka, they tell a some great stories on their own. I am looking forward to sharing those!
One of the many memorable places for me was in Kutching where we visited the Annah Rais Longhouse. It was fascinating to not only envision how people lived a long time ago, but actually still live today. A village made of bamboo and a look at a life so simple, I loved learning about life of the families in the longhouse.
With a melting pot of religions and races, you can imagine the culture is one that is a mixture like no where else in the world. Malaysia is predominately Muslim, but there is a mixture of Hindus, Buddhists and Christians throughout the country. It was very unique and quite special to be around so many different cultures and religions living in harmony with one another.
I have hundreds of stories I could share from all the things I did while in Malaysia, so be on the look out as in the coming weeks and months, as I give you a look at the amazing things I experienced while hanging out with some of the coolest writers on the other side of the world.
*I was invited by Tourism Malaysia to visit and share my experiences with my readers. Most expenses were covered and as always, all opinions are my own.