During our press trip to Thailand, we also visited neighbouring country Malaysia as part of a dual destination trip for 24 hours and if you are ever visiting a country in Asia it is a good way to see two countries in one trip by flying between the two and back.
Upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, we headed to Melaka first by car and then returned to Kuala Lumpur the next day before catching our flight back to Bangkok.
We flew from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and then drove down to UNESCO World Heritage site, Melaka, which took around 2 hours. Melaka is the unofficial historic capital of Malaysia, with Baba-Nyonya culture. You can see a blend of old and new, as well as lots of Portuguese influences in this city.
Whilst walking around you could almost mistake it for a European city, complete with a Windmill!
It even has a canal which made it seem so much like Amsterdam!
Coffee at Calanthe Art Cafe
Coffee at Calanthe Art Cafe is a must. They are the First and Only One Cafe in Melaka which serves Malaysia 13 States’ Coffees. The menu is extensive, the decor is super cute and artsy and the coffee is absolutely delicious.
Refreshments from Roadside kiosks
Throughout Melaka we saw lots of cute kiosks selling refreshments such as coconut ice cream or watermelon. It is so hot and humid that these are a pleasant comfort.
Going for a ride in one of the crazy Tricycles
All over Melaka you will see Tricycles decked out in decor ranging from the minions, to hello kitty and blasting popular pop tunes. If you need to get from one place to another, hop on one of these! They are definitely a slightly crazy way to get around Melaka.
The Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple
This was probably the highlight of the trip for me, alongside the Calanthe Art Cafe, as it was so fascinating to learn about the rituals and beliefs of the people that came to pray here. It is also the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia, and practices the Three Doctrinal Systems of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.
It was fascinating to try some of the rituals out. For example, there was one ritual where you shake a container which holds several bamboo sticks, each of which was marked with a number, until one of the sticks falls out. This is then used to tell your fortune. Mine was a rather interesting fortune but will leave it at that.
A’Famosa is a fort that was built in 1511, and originally constructed by Alfonso de Albuquerque. The remains of this fort is now a crumbling whitewashed gatehouse that can be found at the foot of the hill from St. Paul’s Church.
It reminded me a lot of Fort Jesus in Mombasa, Kenya, which was also built by the Portuguese.
St Paul’s Church
At the top of the St Paul’s hill is St. Paul’s Church, which is a historic church originally built in 1521, making it the oldest church building in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
Try Nyonya Food
My favorite way to enjoy a new place is by experiencing the local food. The local food here is Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine which has been passed down from early Chinese migrants who settled here and resulted in a mix of Chinese and Malaysian cuisine.
Durian Puffs – if you are brave enough!
This stall made me giggle with its instructions on how to eat a Durian Puff. Admittedly I haven’t tried it myself but if anyone has I would love to know what they thought!
Wander through the colourful streets
The buzzing streets in Melaka are filled with lots of shops and cafes and really interesting to stroll along and see everything that each vendor sells.
I loved all the colourful buildings and people watching as we walked by and discovered the various vendors and unique dishes being sold.
Other must do’s
Unfortunately due to delays at the airport we missed out on trying the chicken rice balls, which were highly recommended, so if you do visit make sure you try that.
I also read that they have a Huskitory and a Hello Kitty Cafe, which we didn’t get time to do.
For our time in Kuala Lumpur we literally only had a few hours and so we visited the landmark buildings in Kuala Lumpur as our first stop, The Petronas Towers. I had visited KL, an incredibly diverse city, almost 10 years ago, and so it was lovely to see how different it looked and had developed since then.
One of the most iconic sights in the world, the Petronas Towers, or the PETRONAS Twin Towers as they are also known, are an architectural delight.
The design features Islamic influences due to the Muslim majority in Malaysia. You can walk over the sky bridge that joins the two towers together and you can admire the breathtaking views that stretch across the city of Kuala Lumpur, or be mesmerised by it in its entirety from ground level.
Masjid Negara – The National Mosque of Malaysia
The National Mosque of Malaysia is a large and spacious mosque, with a capacity of 15,000 people, and has a rather fascinating design.
It has73 meters high minarets and a 16 pointed star concrete which is its main roof. This was inspired from the idea of an open umbrella while the minarets were like a folded umbrella.
It is surrounded with greenery and a nice architectural structure to admire whilst in Kuala Lumpur.
The National Monument
The National Monument is located close to the famous Lake Gardens Kuala Lumpur. It is a sculpture built in remembrance of the soldiers who died fighting for the independence of Malaysia. This historic sculpture has also marked its place in the book of records for being the tallest freestanding group of bronze sculptures (not pictured).
There you have my whistle-stop trip to Malaysia. I would have loved to visit the Batu Caves but we were very short of time, so one for my next visit.
Have you ever done a dual destination trip? I would love to know in the comments section below.
If you would like to read about my Bangkok trip, click here.