An Introduction to Malaysia

The last hurrah of Chinese New Year Celebrations
The last hurrah of Chinese New Year Celebrations

As you know by now, I am currently in Malaysia, sitting, resting and sitting some more. It’s bliss. I loved this country from the moment I stepped off the plane, and it seems to be getting better and more interesting with every day. I know I am incredibly excited, but you know, I feel like I’ve earned that. My last few months in Korea were incredibly cold and a little bit a lot tiring, and Malaysia for me was the light at the end of the tunnel. It really felt like I wasn’t going to make it at some points, and yes that’s very dramatic, but it’s also true.Β 

Anyway, I wanted to document my first few days in Malaysia and tell you my thoughts so far. Please bear in mind that I am living in Kuala Lumpur, and this is a particularly cosmopolitan and international city. There is English everywhere, a whole bunch of different religions and of course, any kind of food you desire. My heart is so happy (my belly, too… My hips, not so much). Of course, there are other cities in Malaysia, and these would be (I imagine) much moreΒ Malaysian. Kuala Lumper, as far as I can ascertain, is sort of an island, without the water. You know what I’m saying?

So, first things first, the people here are awesome. So kind and helpful. I have been trundling my way through everything like a bit of a dunce, and everyone has been very patient with me. And this is even without the language barrier! I didn’t weigh my bananas at the supermarket, and so had to go and do it with a whole line of people waiting behind me (not my finest hour). However, everyone was quite forgiving of the silly white girl (I think). I also take a while to count the beautiful, colourful money, and I seem to go in the wrong direction a lot. I love this place because there are already so many different types of people here, so it sort of seems like everyone lives and lets live.

Another thing? The food. Drool. Seriously, the food here is not playin’. It’s intense and amazing and I love it. Gavin is particularly fond of the nasi lemak food stalls near our house, in which you can get a plate of nasi lemak chicken, rice, sauce, veggies) for something like 5 ringit ($2.50). Plus, it’s delicious. Our apartment is next door to a very fancy complex, so I have been lingering around there and trying out the different food joints. Of course, everything is a liiiitle bit different to home (Australia), but that’s because it’s Malaysia, and not Australia (just your regular geography class over here).

As I write this, I am sitting in a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (authentic, I know) in Sentral Nu Mall, which leads me to another thing I love: the malls. Because it’s so humid and hot here, it seems that a lot of the shopping and hanging out is done in the malls. I know this is a very Western, touristy perspective, and I am really open to trying out the more authentic, down-to-earth street restaurants and shops, but I just haven’t been here that long. Plus Gavin is at work as we speak, and I don’t feel comfortable doing those things by myself (at least not at first). As cosmopolitan as this place is, I’m still eliciting a lot of stares and unwanted attention, which is understandable (I’m very white) but still not desired. And so I shall sit with my iced americano and feel pretty proud of myself for doing so by myself!

What else? Our apartment is amazing, again not really “authentic” Malaysian, but hey, we’re still paying our way. I am thinking I’ll do a little apartment tour for you guys when all of our stuff is packed away. The view is pretty incredible, as are the pools (yes, there are multiple pools).

That’s about it for my initial impressions, I’ll be sure to update you as I go along. Overall, I get the vibe that Malaysia is a very inclusive, open country, and I really like that. I feel really comfortable here, although obviously I’m still settling in and don’t know much about anything. But I’m learning! I have faith that I’ll fit in yet… even if I do still stand out.

That’s it for now! See you next time,

Steph x

6 comments
  1. As I was reading this blog, memories of my trip to Kuala Lumpur some time ago flooded my mind :p I have come to love this place too, the food, people, and of course shopping malls XD would love to go back, hopefully one day soon! πŸ™‚

    1. Yes it’s amazing! I agree with everything you mentioned (particularly the food hehe) and I’ve also been loving the warm, tropical weather. Of course, being on vacation the whole time doesn’t hurt πŸ˜‰ I hope you can come back too, there is a lot of development going on so it could be even better next time ^^

  2. Bangsar is one of the ‘it’ places to hang out at on weekends. And yes, shopping malls are our refuge from the crazy sun πŸ™‚

    1. Yes I’m learning that quickly! I’ve had a nice time swanning around many malls, currently in Langkawi it’s super sunny (and the UV index is “extreme”) so I’m looking forward to getting back to KL… Although it’s so beautiful here too ^^

  3. Dear Stephanie,

    Just a Malaysian blog reader here who stumbled upon your blog via googling for Korean skincare routines. Welcome to Malaysia! Glad you love our food, people and malls(haha)!

    One thing to take note of, is that street crime in Malaysia is more rampant than the official reported crime statistics. Everyone I know has a close friend or relative who has been a victim of snatch thefts/pickpocketing/petty theft. As a local, I would advise you to be mindful of your belongings when out in public especially when out on the open streets, as well as to avoid walking alone when dark.

    There are lots of good food to be found here from local dishes to Western style food. We have many independent and rustic artisan coffee/breakfast food joints. Google “VCR”, “Acme Bar & Coffee”, “Artisan Roast”, “The Bee”, “Brew & Bread”, “Paddington House of Pancakes” and “The Red Beanbag”, etc.

    Must try desserts include “Sangkaya” signature coconut ice-cream which is served in a coconut shell, as well as Korean chocolate shaved ice at OW:L Espresso Cafe. Both places located at SS15, Subang Jaya.

    There is also delicious Thai boat noodles and grilled pork at “Thailicious”, the famous “Uncle Seng Handmade Noodles” and “Jojo Pan Mee” all of which are at SS15. “Chilli Pan Mee” in USJ 9, Taipan Subang Jaya is also a popular venue for pan mee noodles.

    We also have a type of open-air restaurants unique to Malaysia called mamak restaurants in general. They open from morning till 2/3am and offer a mish mash of local and localised Western food such as tomyam noodles, nasi lemak, nasi goreng (fried rice), mee goreng (fried noodles), roti canai, roti naan, black pepper/mushroom chicken chops, etc. One particularly popular chain of mamak restaurants is called “Murni Discovery” which has many branches and locals like eating there and hanging out till late.

    Hope this mini advice/food list would be helpful for you! πŸ˜€

    Cheers,
    Nicole.

    1. Hi Nicole! Wow, thank you so much! Firstly, I love mamaks and eat at them very often πŸ™‚ So delicious! I’ve also been to Acme, but none of the other cafes you recommended, so I’ll keep them in mine!

      We had some coconut ice-cream in Jalan Aloor and it was amazing, so I’ll definitely be happy to try more πŸ˜‰ And regarding safety, I find it pretty safe here, as long as I’m paying attention and using my common sense, like you said.

      Thanks so much for all these tips! I’m going to refer to this next time I want to try somewhere new and delicious πŸ™‚

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