South East Asia Leg I - Malaysia
Chapter I - Struggle to begin the Journey
And Journey to South East Asia began!
Oh! Not so soon. Bummer! Flight got delayed by 20 hours at least and I was stuck at Bengaluru Airport. “Wo Kehte hai na, Jo Hota hai ache ke liye Hota hai. Sahi kehte hai” I met these wonderful people. I felt like I knew them from months. Finally, after all the drama, I was in the flight. Hurray!!! We started clapping as soon as flight started its ascent. We were all happy and sarcastic at the same time ;)
Chapter II - Amazing Langkawi
Beautiful Island Langkawi was my first destination of the trip and Bhups, one of my best friends was waiting at the airport to receive me. Plan for the day was to visit the Sky Bridge via SkyCab Cable Car and 3D Art museum which is the world’s 2nd Largest! I was pretty excited for this because after my childhood days, this was the first time I was going to ride the Cable car. Entire Journey was scenic. When you look ahead you could see mighty mountains & in the back Panoramic Langkawi Island view. It was breathtaking. Sky Bridge was the main attraction of the day and it hadn't disappointed me. View from the bridge was amazing. Funny part was, there were monkeys harassing tourists just like they do in Indian hill stations :P
After Sky bridge we went to the 3D Art Museum. This was the first time I was visiting such a museum. I was amazed to see the thought they had put in all of the paintings and 3D artwork. The child within us woke up and we started posing with 3D Paintings with all kinds of funny poses
In the evening we went to a sports bar, where we played TT and snooker. Playing with the champ Bhups is always fun. We also watched Man United play accompanied by Coronas! Man united didn’t win the match as usual but that was the only disappointment of that day. :)
I was very excited about the next day because I had planned Island hopping but rain was like, "Aise kaise???". It rained so much that we werent able to go anywhere and directly went for some local and duty free shopping ;) Post that, we took a ferry for Penang Island where Bhups was going to host me. But due to high tides, it was the most uncomfortable ferry ride ever. I was so happy to reach the shore because I was able to sit finally without feeling pukish :P
Chapter III - Peaceful Penang
I was still tired due to the Malindo Airlines blunder, and therefore decided to rest for a day. In the evening, me and Bhups went to play snooker like we used to do back in bangalore. Somehow by pulling off some trick moves (in hindi - panauti laga kar ):P I was able to beat the champion Bhupesh Lohani. After that we went to Chuliya Streets at George Town. It was one of the most happening places of Penang. This place had a lot of bars and restaurants with live music. Definitely my kind of place. After exploring few places, we found a place with best live music. Chilled beer, Live music and my 2 precious friends, the night could not have been any better. Had an amazing evening :)
Time for somesite seeing around Penang. Plan was to visit Penang Hill, “Kak-Lok-Si“, A Chinese Temple and if time permited Monkey Beach. Around 10 AM, I reached the Penang Hill Base Station. It was a 5 minute train journey from Ground Level to 740m above Sea Level. This train journey was completely different from any other train jounrnies I have has. It was almost a vertical track and with every passing minute, I could see more and more of Penang Island.
The place was having the best view of Penang and maybe even one of the best views of Malaysia. A 270° view of Penang city from the top will definitely amaze anyone just like it amazed me. While roaming around the hill, I found a Temple and just beside that, a Mosque! wow!!! A major problem of the world isn't even a problem in malaysia. Suddenly, I found a place with lot of locks attached to a grill. Ranbir Kapoor in Ye Jawani Hai Deewani movie visited a similar place somewhere in Europe and that scene had a great effect on me. I always wanted to copy his pose. Finally I found a similar location where I was able to strike the same pose :P! After that I found a good restaurant with an even better view and decided to have a brunch there. Just Look at it, isn’t It amazing?
It was time for me to say Goodbye to Penang Hill and head towards the next Destination, “Kak Lok Si” Temple. It doesnt matter if it is a Hindu, Buddhist or a Chinese Temple, a temple always gives me peace of mind. It was a huge temple with a gigantic Buddha Statue at the top. At the first stage, there was a huge temple. Inside it, were 2 statues. One was Buddha and rest were his devotees. And that's how any Buddhist or chinese temple looked like. Next to it, there was small Pond and a tall Pagoda. From there, staircases took me to the second stage of Kak Lok Si. Another temple but with different statues. One of them looked like a Laughing Buddha to me. Then came a small cable car which took me at the top of the temple, the third stage and the main attraction “The Gigantic Buddha Statue”. There is a ritual of tying Wishing Ribbon at the tree. These Ribbons were available in different colors with different type of wish. For example Yellow for Happiness, Green for Family wellness, Red for Love, and some other color for Marriage etc. For each Ribbon I has to donate 1 YMR. Took five of them and tied them to a tree. It was a fun thing to do and who knows trip ke baad mummy bole beta maine bahu dhundh li hai kyunki tumse ye bhi na ho paya!!!
It was 4 PM by the time I came down. For this trip I has decided to visit a lot of beaches in Vietnam & Thailand, so I decided to return to my friend’s apartment and rest for a while. I wanted to try Segway ride so we went to a place where we could do that in the evening. We rented a Segway bike there and I started riding. It was challenging and a bit tough in the beginning as I had to maintain the balance but once I learnt it, tt was one of the most cool thing I had done so far. After becoming comfortable with it, I decided to try out some stunts such as driving without holding the handle and also jump while driving. I injured my left knee in the process :P . Yes, I deserved to fall from It. But its ok, crazy stuff is mandatory in all my trips.
Chapter IV - Crazy Kuala Lampur
After spending amazing time in Penang with my 2 precious friends, I left for Kuala Lumpur - the Capital of Malaysia. This was the solo leg of the trip. I reached KL in the Evening and after I had freshened up, I called Avy. We met at Bengluru airport and that 20 hours of delay had made us good friends. Plan was to meet at KLCC and then walk around the park until Navenya(another friends made during Malindo blunder) became free. As soon as I got down from the cab and looked up, I was completely awestruck by the Petronas Tower in front of me. Never thought a man made building could amaze me so much. After spending an hour and taking hell lot of pics, Navenya called us and we left for Jalan Alor for Dinner. While walking towards Jalan Alor, I enjoyed a lot of live music performances across the streets. They were singing Arbic, Malay & English songs. Jalan Alor a heaven for foodies and must visit for anyone who calls themselves that! Post Dinner we went to Chankar Street, A Hub of countless Bars & Loud Music. We had lot of conversation on various topics like travel etc over chilled beer. It was midnight and we decided to call it a day. Another evening well spent!!
Next day’s plan was to visit the very famous Batu Caves, Thean Hou Temple and later in the evening visit Halipad bar. Avy forced me to go to Halipad bar. She told me that it would be one of my best experiences of the trip.
When I got down from the cab and saw outside, I was like... what the hell? Did i took a flight back to India or what? It was a typical South Indian Place. While visiting Batu caves, not for a moment I felt like I was in Malaysia. It was all India and Tamil Nadu. At the entrance they built a huge Golden statue of the lord Murgan. I love these kind of gigantic statues. well ek selfie Murugan ke sath to banti hai so took it ;). After that i climbed few hundreds steps and reached to the Batu Caves. Inside the cave two South Indian temples of Indian god was built. They were beautiful but I had been to many such temples so it didn't amazed me the way it was amzing the foreigners.
Post Batu caves, places to be visited list had the Chinese temple named Thean Hou Temple and I grabbed a Cab. It was the most colorful thing I saw in this trip. The place was really peaceful. I went inside the temple, prayed there quietly and maditated there for some time because it was really peaceful. That back ground chinese music with maditation was like an addiction to me. later i did some shopping from the temple's shop. Later I grab a Cab and went to Little India - "Malaysia ka India", I felt like dude... it was not little india but little Tamil Nadu. Tamil songs were being played at the street and Tamil food was being served everywhere. Btw being an Indian when ever you travel abrod, the thing you will miss is Milk tea. I was happy to drink actual indian milk tea even better Ginger Tea :)
It was time for the main event - evening at Halipad Bar. Halipad Bar was a Bar at 37th Floor on a Halipad. As soon as we reached at the halipad and saw the view, I was like Insaneeeee.... I had never been to a place like this and Indeed, Avy was right, It was the best experience of my trip. that 360° Panoramic view including Petronas Tower from the halipad was really Incredible!!! Chilled Beers at this amazing ambience, Ed Sheeran’s songs and amazing Avy’s endless talks had made my evening the best one of the trip. We eneded our day by getting high on food. We went to a nice restaurant and had the famous malaysian cuisine - Nasi Lemak. It was delicious!!! Ahh.. here came the moment to say bye to this amazing country and this amazing friend of mine...
“Farewell Malaysia, you gave me amazing friends and countless memories!”
End of Malaysia Leg. Time to create new travelogues in Vietnam - South East Asia Leg II - Vietnam