After much thought, we as a family decided we should voyage on another family holiday, and after having travelled to Asia, Africa, Europe and the West before, we thought it would be epic to see the Far East for the first time.
We thought about where exactly in the East we would go and in the end it was a family friend who persuaded us to commence our trip by visiting him in Malaysia, and so we did.
It was a truly fascinating adventure. We had planned a two-week trip which would start in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, then travel to Phuket in Thailand, followed by a short stay in luxurious Singapore and finish with a trip back to Kuala Lumpur. 3 destinations, 5 flights, 15 days.
We started our trip very different to my own little European adventures by actually planning our holiday. When I travel without the family, I tend to favour much more spontaneous ventures and yet I found that both types of holidays had their own benefits.
We started our little tour of the Far East in Malaysia, home to many diverse nationalities, great food and welcoming culture.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A wonderfully diverse city with vasts amount of history and scenery is where we started our trip, the warm welcoming city of Kuala Lumpur. A city built around tourism, one that has many attractions to offer and we were not disappointed! An added bonus to us as a family was being able to eat almost anywhere considering all the food was halal :).
Our first excursion out to the city saw us study and explore the many species the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park held. The bird park which hosts over 100 different bird species has become a very key tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur. It was a beautiful day which made our trip that much sweeter, the sun was shining and the birds seemed in high spirits. Unlike many other bird parks and zoos, the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park allows some of its inhabitants to roam around and fly amongst the humans, we were even lucky enough to pose for a few snaps with them!
One thing which we were not prepared for was the sudden but dramatic changes in the weather, one moment it could be 35C heat with ceaseless humidity followed by the most ferocious rain shower which could last a few hours!
On the Friday we visited the grand mosque of Kuala Lumpur which hailed an age-old construction triumph. With its marble flooring and walls, the mosaics etched into the supreme structure boasting a monument flourishing with elegance was perfectly blended with the inner peaceful open prayer space which was illuminated my the most grand chandelier and graced with the most handsome calligraphy. A spiritual wonder.
Did you know: Have you ever wondered why places of worship/schools of magic/masonic lodges are shaped in a dome, pyramid or star-shaped building, and often find themselves surrounded with minarets or towers? It is because these structures where worship or magic is conducted requires the transfer of energy, and domes/pyramids/minarets etc are the best structural vessels to allow the harnessing of that energy. It is dependent on the activity within those structures that determines whether the structure will be harnessing good or bad energy.
What was most pleasing to see was that even though this city has and will continue to rely on tourism for much of its income and attraction, it has remained true to its roots with maintaining key cultural trends as well as modernisation, in its quest to becoming a complete city. For me personally, I found the locals some of the most polite and helpful people who I have ever met. They were very selfless and would go beyond the norm for no other reason other than being ambassadors of this great city. The pride that existed was honourable.
We found the local taxi drivers to be the best of tour guides, providing us in-depth history and thorough personal insight into the city. We found majority of all drivers held a very strong grasp of the English language and were very helpful. Although there is no harm in entering into a little bargaining.
The best feature about KL was that even though it holds a status as the nation’s capital city, it possesses many areas which are designated to nature itself, or provided a sanctuary to nature. To our delight, the next day we ventured out to the hillsides of the city, to embark on the famed Canopy Walk. It is a three-hour walk/hike through a hugely underestimated woodland which edged a mountain and holds numerous waterfalls and rocks. This challenging route takes you up the hillside to the highest point upon which one would cross the bridges between the trees which are named The Canopy Walks.
We were blessed to have one of the fittest and most experienced tour guides who took our party up and down safe and sound which simply cannot happen that often! A most pleasant man whom seemed to have a touch of Pocahontas about him, we did have a few stragglers in the camp that held us back, it came as a humorous surprise to know that the one person falling behind was our own family friend!
Let the pictures tell you more!
After a brief few days in Kuala Lumpur we took a flight to an island on the South West coast of Thailand known as Phuket. Immediately as we landed and ventured to our resort, we noticed the stark comparison in our first two destinations, this island was up and coming, yet in the early stages of development, heavily reliant on tourism and although heavy investment could be seen, it had a journey to embark upon.
We travelled most evenings into the city and found it to have something for everyone, it provided good food, entertainment and even speedy tuk tuks! Our recommendation would be to travel to the shopping centre Jungceylon which holds the best variety of food and shopping available.
It was at this plaza where we booked our first trip – a boat trip to James Bond Island, named after the famous 007 movie which was shot there with Roger Moore. I won’t say much more other than to say it was most definitely Hollywood worthy.
The second day we embarked on an elephant trek which involved rafting on the waves and zip lining. Another fantastic day, one which will remain in the memory bank for years to come.
The local beach which could be viewed from the resort was a welcome lunch time visit, a perfect serene beach with masses of space and perfect sandy beaches. There are many activities to choose from when at the beach, from jet-skiing to parachuting, all wild and fearlessly awesome!
As a tourist venturing across the world, my ideal holiday is packed with things that cannot be done easily in the UK, and this has to be a key attraction to Phuket. Phuket is a very small island but yet it is filled with almost any water sporting/activity, one is even able to try trekking up the mountains or even tan by the beach. One could do anything they wanted, and could enjoy its breathtaking scenery whilst they do so.
I had been pleasantly surprised all throughout this holiday with the sheer beauty of the many places we visited, and Singapore was no exception. It was an unbelievably developed city, a financial capital of the East, one that completely eclipsed Canary Wharf. The buildings were more in number and higher in stature, but the best feature of the city had to be the Marina Bay, which centred a most perfect scene. Surrounded with huge buildings was this oasis which provided an escape to workers by day and attracted tourists in their numbers by night. It was a perfect blend of how a city could be iron in stature but also sleek with elegance.
We would recommend to travel on the tour bus of which there are 6 routes which take you around the city and provide excellent commentary of the history and current status of the city.
Did you know: An average apartment in the centre of Singapore would cost $5million US dollars!
Just as KL had surprised us with its own city & nature combination, Singapore also had its own blend of steel and greenery. Neighbouring the Marina Bay was the Singapore Bay Gardens which held these titanic tree like structures which overlooked the rest of the city, it provided a peaceful tranquil escape to the busy hustle and bustle of the city, a place where people commonly came to relax, sit in the sunshine and chill with their friends and family.
Our final few days in Kuala Lumpur gave us a much needed rest as we had travelled a lot in the past 7 days and we found ourselves doing the whole pool thing during the day and late afternoon visits to places such as Chinatown to feel the culture and seek other eateries.
I wanted to try and show you rather than tell you about our holiday as the pictures captivate the scenes perfectly.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page – Saint Augustine
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes – Marcel Proust
To voyage into the unknown gives the soul humility and the mind openness, for a closed mind and a hard soul provide heartache for all eternity – TSW Proverb