Malaysia? What a jungle!
Penang Travel Blog› entry 24 of 28 › view all entries
January 2nd, 2009 – by: sgoudryagranada
Happy New Year!!
As this is a particular trip, we found a really own way to celebrate New Year: on a train! It was not a funny train, like during the Erasmus times, a normal train where I was sleeping!
I begin with Koh Tao: we had to leave the paradise island, and the transports to south are not so frequent. So, like during the last three months we don’t really care at all about weekdays, given holidays and so on, so we passed New Year’s Eve on a train towards south Thailand and we got the last two free places. I was really happy to fall asleep! In these three months any day is a holiday, and it’s ok like this.
After a long, long, long, but nice trip we reached the third country: Malaysia. And here we found the real tropics: every day there’s a shower rain! Doesn’t really matter: climate is always warm, 30° fixed, and I like walking in slippers getting wet my feet.
Malaysians are good people: someone looks like Thai, someone like Chinese, some like Indian: effectively, these are the main origins of the inhabitants (but don’t call them Thai: they are Malaysian!), and the real distinction is that many women wear the veil, but Islam, the main religion here, is present in a less insistent way than in other middle east countries: everyone is quiet, smiling and there are no taboos in normal everyday life.
As Nico already mentioned it, we had to leave the paradise. No can do, we needed to keep going on as the date for the flight to Australia is getting near. In Koh Tao you could easily pass weeks, as there is no time. Everything is just going on in the most relaxed way without the Western hurry to everywhere.
My first impression of Malaysia was a mix of cultures. It’s interesting to see a country where three ethnic groups that are so different can live peacefully together. The Malaysians are smiling all the time –that was also my first impression- even more than the Thais. In India you could see the suffering also in the faces of people –especially tourists… Here people are calm and life goes on smoothly.
Georgetown was the first Malaysian city we visited. It’s a combination of skyscrapers and colonial architecture plus ethnic areas such as Chinatown or Little India. After having seen so many incredible ancient sights during these months those colonial buildings didn’t impress me that much. I was left a little bit cold I think. For me it was more interesting in this city to see the ethnic diversities and their ways of realizing themselves. We also did some jungle trekking on the Penang Island as there is a small national park with trails in the jungle. That was awesome because it was my first time in this real tropical jungle!
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