‘Malaysia is Truly Asia’ – We hear it quite often but I have returned back from Malaysia nearly convinced to its theme.
28th August to 3rd September– The duration in which I experienced my first and beautiful trip to Malaysia. Yes! it turned out to be enriching, fascinating and truly refreshing one. The theme on Merdeka was fabulous and I felt honored to be a part of 57th Independence Day celebrations of Malaysia. Apart from the big day celebrations, each day of the trip was full of memorable experiences.
Theme of FAM trip: Merdeka celebrations
So what took me to Malaysia!!
It was a FAM trip that I had a won as a prize in the ‘MalaysiaJao 2014′ blogging contest.Kuala Lumpur Gallery
What is a FAM trip?
I had never been on a FAM trip until this one happened. What I only knew was that FAM was an acronym for familiarization. The veteran bloggers did guide and shared their pleasant experiences but honestly I had never thought FAM trip could be so awesome.
Before the travel I had my set of apprehensions. I was nervous, not sure about many things. The itinerary was all to be taken care by someone else and the thought made me quirky. But now I know when its organized by the tourism of a country, its got to be the best. Malaysia Tourism rocked all the way. They pampered us to the core. (We were three bloggers who traveled from India for the Merdeka theme)
And the ride went this way…
DAY 0: Ragini (fellow blogger) and I flew from New Delhi to Kuala Lumpur. We were super excited. By the time we arrived in Kaula Lumpur it was night. At the exit we were met by a guy holding the placard of my name. He introduced himself as Jeevan and told us that for the next 6 days he was our friend and guide. As we headed to our hotel, he ensured he told us many new things about Malaysia since we both were visiting it for the first time. Later, we were only left to have dinner and settle ourselves in our hotel rooms on the 21st floor. We stayed at Seri Pacific, Kuala Lumpur. It was a comfortable stay with great breakfast buffet.
It was the only day that we started comfortably at 11 a.m. On all other days, our itinerary demanded early rise. At breakfast, another blogger friend Vaishakhi arrived from Mumbai to join us in the FAM. Together we all started our trip and first place where we headed to was the iconic Batu caves, dedicated to Lord Murugan. The huge statue shining in bronze and gold amazed us. The climb up the 272 stairs was fun. Next we visited the KL Bird Park. Bird watching turned out to be a great experience indeed. Never ever had I seen such colorful varieties of birds at one place. In the evening we drove around the city to see Masjid Jamek, Police HQ, Dataran Merdeka and how the city was preparing for the Merdeka celebrations. The view of the Petronas Twin Tower was mesmerizing from all angles and KL tower ensured that it followed us everywhere. The day ended on a musical note with dinner at Saloma Bistro. Must visit place.
After breakfast, we left early morning for Half Day City Tour. First we went to the National Museum and then to the National Monument. It helped us to acquaint ourselves with the country’s history. Next we were supposed to visit the KL tower. Our luncheon was planned at the revolving restaurant along with the presentation of certificate of participation to Mega Fam Participants. The Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Y.Bhg.Dato’Mirza Mohammad Taiyab arrived and handed our certificates personally. It was a great feeling.
After the lunch, we departed to the National theater to catch up Musical show MUD KL. It was a vibrant show which introduced us to the history of evolution of KL. The concept of this show started with a simple word ‘lumpur’, that means mud. We also learnt that KL came into existence at the convergence of two rivers, Gombak River and Klang River. I loved the show.
In the evening we went to check out Bukit Bintang Jalan, (Jalan means street). The walk around the entertainment hub of KL was enjoyable. I loved checking out the Malay fashion. Bukit Bintang seemed to be a hip place for sure. Since it was time for dinner, we were off to the Indian restaurant, Olive. There was a fixed menu here offering good Indian food and tomato shorma was delighting.National Monument
DAY 3: Independence Day it was ! We were up and done with breakfast by 6:30 a.m. and by 7 we were already at Merdeka Square. Bang on! No matter which country you are in, the feeling of independence is always exhilarating. As we sat there among the elite in the special designated seats, it felt amazing to get a great view of all celebrations. And from the arrival of the His Majesty The Supreme Head of Malaysia, the ministers, the embassy officials, national anthem, parade and procession ceremony we sat through each and every part of the event. It will always remain the most memorable and exquisite part of the complete trip.
Post end of programme, we walked around the nearby areas. We walked to Kuala lumpur Gallery and had Chinese lunch at the Central Market, the very old shopping arena of the city. In the evening, we were once again off to check out the vibrant shopping scene of KL. Petaling Street aka Chinatown was where we started. At the edge of Chinatown, we visited the beautiful Sri Mahamariamman Temple. After picking some goodies from there we headed for our dinner at another famous restaurant Songket. And before retiring to the hotel, we visited the Petronas twin towers once again. The fountain dance in the nearby mall is a fun thing.Merdeka Day Celebrations at the Merdeka Square
DAY 4: We departed for Melaka at 10 a.m and the 2 hours road trip was refreshing. Melaka came out to be a quaint but equally charming city. It is a UNESCO heritage state and has a rich trading history. There was a time when 84 languages were spoken in the state. It introduces one to the cultural diversity of Malaysia. I loved the serenity of the place. One who wishes to recluse will fall in love with the place. We checked in Hotel Equatorial and post lunch headeded out to check out Flora de la Mar Maritime Museum which was in the form of a huge ship. Later our trip to the Jonker Street was the highlight of the day. We visited a Chinese temple, Hindu temple, church and a mosque on the harmony street. This is a super cool place to hang around for some shopping in a peaceful environment. Later the Maleka Cruise was a simple and fun boat ride in the Malacca River. In between, before the dinner we never missed a chance to check out the huge shopping malls of the town.
DAY 5: After the breakfast we were all excited to stroll and check out the beauty of Meleka. Also there was so much to know and learn about its rich heritage. Since our hotel was centrally located, we walked down to the Kings’s palace which had been burned down. Malacca’s Sultanate Palace was an opulent facade in true sense. Then we walked further to see the Portuguese fort, Porta De santiago, Ruins of St. Paul church and Dutch Stadhys. One shouldn’t miss the Trishaw ride at the Stadthuys which is very colorful and whose drivers love to play loud hindi bollywood numbers.
To get a bird’s eye view of the town, Menara Taming Sari is one to take a ride on. It is a moving tower that gives a 360 degree view and takes you up climbing and rotating. The glass cabin goes up to the height of 80metres from the ground and gives you the most spectacular view of the city. I would definitely share my video of it. My favorite was the Sea view, right into the Strait of Melacca.
The Melaka Duck tour came as a surprize where we boarded a bus on the road and later it took us for a ride into the waters of Strait of Melacca. I loved the adventurous part of it though I am always very scared of water. The lunch at the authentic South Indian restaurant was one of the best of the whole trip. It was amazing. You just can’t return from Melaka without digging in the banana leaf there. Later we returned to Jonkers street to discover Chinese culture through the famous Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum. The evening was spent on shopping and collecting some super cool refrigerator magnets, earrings and T-shirts.JONKER WALK Melaka River Cruise
DAY 6: It was pack off day. We got up late but soon ran to the shopping malls nearby to buy some more Malaysian stuff. And in the next two hours we were on our way back to KL airport to enjoy the lounge fun. Malaysian Airlines hosted us well once again. And in the night, we were back to Delhi.
Throughout the trip, an official from Malaysia Tourism and Jeevan, our guide followed us like a shadow to every nook and corner of the trip. They were very hospitable and accommodating. We made great friends with Jeevan and he was always ready to answer our non stop queries with a great smile. Thank You Malaysia Tourism India for making a great itinerary.
This trip will always stand very SPECIAL not because it was a free international trip or a trip to a hot favorite destination but because I won it through my writing/blogging. The happiness is about my passion taking me to places.
Happy Traveling, Happy Blogging!