Being back in Malaysia makes me happy. It's that sense of belonging and familiarity that comes from no where else. We did not end up visiting relatives in Sabah, but we did manage to spend a good 3+ weeks in the country. During our first few days, Alvin found an optical shop that was able to make his specialty lenses. They were known for good results and great customer services including gifting customers with homemade carrot cakes (We love carrot cake!). 2 weeks were needed to wait for them (glasses and cake) so we took the opportunity to fly to Kuching, Sarawak south of Sabah on the island of Borneo for 10 days. When we came back and Alvin paid for the glasses. There was no cake. I was so looking forward to it, i even asked for it. Nope.
It's been 3 months since arriving in Malaysia. We've been in Singapore, India and presently, Turkey. Due to time, lack of motivation and general laziness, it is with joy that i send you Emma's post on Penang as she did such a marvelous job of describing our visit there. Happy reading!
Old George Town, Penang is a part of the city with beautiful aged walls and hidden gems. This is my second visit to the city and i'll be happy to go again. A highlight was spending time with Fung Hain, a childhood friend from Sabah. She lives on a different part of the island but came a few times to meet up. :)
The highlight in Kuching were the people. There seems a wonderful air of equality between Indigenous, Malays and Chinese both in marriages, jobs and friendships. I do not recollect having Indigenous or Malay friends in my childhood or even the previous times we've visited the country but in these short 10 days, we've had such friendly and unreserved exchanges, it's made me greatly value this part of Malaysia.
We made various trips outside Kuching to enjoy the lush rainforests. As it was not a busy season, we often had entire beaches and hikes to ourselves.
We squeezed in a 3 day stay at Bako National Park. Emma will write a post on this soon!
We thought it amusing to go to Singapore for 3 nights. The cheapest hostel room we could find was $100cad for 3 bunks. For food, we kept our budget to around $5/pp. We visited the National Museum, some galleries and the excellent BattleBox Museum to learn about the last days in Singapore before the British surrendered and the Japanese took over.
After Singapore, we bused to Kuala Lumpur for 3 nights. We bought some good deals to Kochi, India after keeping an eye on tickets for the past months.
Three of us needed updated photos for visas. It was an intense 48hrs to get our paperwork ready and online glitches worked out. phew!
Unfortunately, it was not mango season... but! it was for passion fruit and mangosteen! Love. Love. Love.
Highlight in KL was my cousin, Dave Chung and his family. In the short 2 days we were there, he took good care of us with driving, yummy meals and great company.