Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Pangkor Island
June 2023

Introduction

This is an abridged description of a trip to Malaysia via the Philippines. We, Joy and I, flew with Qatar Airways from Berlin via Doha to Manila and paid 947.56 Euro per person for the round trip ticket. After three days in the Philippines we flew with Cebu Pacific to Kuala Lumpur. Two months before I booked and paid on-line for the ticket 85.00 Euro, i.e. 5050.00 Peso, per person. Following are maps of the Malaysian peninsula (Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo also belong to Malaysia) and the island of Pangkor in the middle of the west coast.

Click the small picture to get it enlarged

Malaysian Peninsula (orangesmile.com) Pangkor Island
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Arriving in Kuala Lumpur

The flight took exactly four hours. But it was an inconvenient arrival time in the middle of the night at 12:50 a.m. It did not matter because we were picked up by Joy's youngest daughter and her live-in partner, Rechelle and Ivan. They did not own a car (yet) but ordering an Uber car was no problem in order to get to their apartment.
View from the apartment on the 25th floor to one part of Kuala Lumpur
It was not worthwhile to check into a hotel for the rest of the night, so we slept a couple of hours in their apartment. But for the next following three nights we stayed at the
Hotel Six Seasons
No. 4 Lorong 1/137C
Batu 5, Jalan Klang Lama 58200
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel.: +6012-618 3769
Email: hotelsixseasons@gmail.com
Internet: sixseasonshotel
and paid per night 205 MYR (R for Ringgit). That's 41 Euro (the exchange rate is 0.20 Euro for 1 MYR). That really was not so expensive for this nice and modern hotel. Also the restaurants were not expensive either.

We all four had a big meal including drinks at Nando's Chickenland Malaysia and paid 38.40 Euro. To place an order was only digital. No paper menu. And that is true at most restaurants. Some even accept only credit/debit cards, no cash.

So, Malaysia is very much digitalized. Also for transport, whether bus or railway, you need a prepaid electronic ticket with enough balance. Whenever you have to get on the bus you have to swipe your card at the entrance door and swipe again when you get off at the exit door. The same works with the turn styles at LRT stations. So fare dodging is not possible.
That was our meal at Nando Want some Rambutans as desert?

First day sight-seeing: China Town, City Center

Rechelle and Ivan were acting as our sight-seeing guides. They had already bought two electronic tickets for us in order to get on the bus and later on the LRT (Light Rail Transit). First we went to Chinatown. From there we walked around a lot until we took the LRT to arrive at another place where we walked around a lot again. Alone we would have gone lost, because Kuala Lumpur is an amazing mess of places and streets. Take a look at the following photos.
This is a congested market street In little Chinatown of KL
That's the Chinatown Petaling street An old Chinese house in one of the other streets
Older Chinese houses from colonial times Newer Chinese buildings with a Chinese restaurant
More old nice buildings More old ugly buildings
Modern buildings round the corner With the old Mosque Masjid Jamek in the middle
The Sultanís Mosque (Masjid Jamek) is on a peninsula at the junction of the Klang and Gombak rivers right in the city center (see photo above). This is where it all began in 1857. A group of 87 Chinese miners went up the Klang river in search of tin. At that time, tin was in huge demand, especially by the British Empire for their industrial revolution.

They found a lot of tin ore and thus founded a village with the name Kuala Lumpur which means "muddy confluence". Within a month all but 17 of the Chinese had died of malaria. It was a devastating beginning to what would become one of Asia's richest cities.
Nice old building, the Industrial Court, beside the "River of Life" Opposite, a tower as part of the previous superior courts
The street leading to the Merdeka Square And even more so to this building in front
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is a late 19th century building. It originally housed the offices of the British colonial administration, and was known simply as Government Offices in its early years. Later it housed the superior courts of the country: the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Court of Appeals and the High Court of Malaya. Now it contains both the offices of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia.
This is the Sultan Abdul Samad building With a parade in front
Malaya gained independence in 1957. The field in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building was named Dataran Merdeka (or Merdeka Square). It has become the location for the official celebration of Malayan (later Malaysian) independence.

With the Independence also Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo have been taken over by the Malayans even against the will of the indigenous people there. When I was in Sabah in 1985 the locals I met there still didn't want to be ruled by Kuala Lumpur and they were still fighting for their own independence. But it was in vain.
And here with Joy and Rechelle in front And here the Kuala Lumpur Library opposite
This is the Old High Court And this is the Royal Selangor Club
The Royal Selangor Club is a social club in Kuala Lumpur, founded in 1884 by the British who ruled Malaya. It was a meeting point for educated and high-ranking members of British colonial society. Later on it also included high-ranking Malaysian civil servants: judges, lawyers and important people in society.
This is the famous Dataran Merdeka fountain This is still part of the Merdeka Square

Second day sight-seeing: Batu Cave

Next day after breakfast we all went to one of the most important sights around KL: The Batu Cave. Batu means rock in Malay. The cave has been formed by lime stones 400 million years ago. It is the most famous Hindu shrine outside of India. Its main attraction is the large statue of a Hindu God at the entrance.
After having breakfast And getting blessings
We had to climb 272 steps To get into the Batu Cave
Here the yearly Thaipusam festival takes place. Hindu pilgrims coming not only from Malaysia but also from all over the world. Ok, also we came from another part of the world to climb up the 272 steps to get ino the cave with all the temples and shrines inside. Take a look at the following photos to get an idea about this huge place.
A real big natural cave Used for Hindu Gods
Diorama of a Hindu story Hindus having a feast
A clearing within the cave With more God statues
With another Hindu God And some Madonnas
A monkey is greeting us This one has difficulties going up
We had no difficulties walking down It is even more easy taking the LRT

Third day sight-seeing: Petronas Towers and Malls

Next day we all went to the second important sight in KL: The Petronas Twin Towers. Each tower is 452m high. The observation deck is on the 86th floor. It is not easy to get tickets. There are several ways. The best way is to buy tickets on-line but it may take a couple of days. We did not have the time. So, instead of getting up we had to look up.

And we saved the cost of the tickets: 20.00 Euro for a foreign adult, 10.00 for a foreign senior citizen, Malaysian nationals pay less. You can take a look at following photos for free.
A woman wearing a shopping bag on her head Ivan and me are heading to thePetronas Towers
Little Joy in front of the high towers So is Rechelle
KL has so many malls I cannot remember all. One is more fantastic than the other one. In the following one, one of the ladies wanted to get treated in a beauty parlor. What can the gentlemen do in the meantime? Not necessarily going on a rollercoaster but playing billiard in the sports department.
Instead of climbing up the Towers Riding the Roller Coaster at Berjaya Time Square
Another fun at the bowling lane Or playing billiard

From Kuala Lumpur to Pangkor Island

On Monday after the weekend we left from the bus station with the Plusliner at 09:30 a.m. and paid 27.60 MYR per person only, that's 5.50 Euro. After around five hours we arrived in Lumut. There we took the boat at 3:30 p.m. and around half an hour later we arrived on the island. The boat ticket did cost 20 MYR per person, that's 4.00 Euro. It also included the price for the return trip. So we had to keep the ticket.
Next day after breakfast Going by bus to Pangkor Island
The island's name is translated as "Beautiful Island". It is located on the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsular, halfway between Penang and Kuala Lumpur. We could have continued up the west coast to the island of Penang where I stayed two times before. We also could have gone to the east coast where I once stayed in Cherating long time ago. But to get to either location would be too far for just five days. And by the way I wanted to experience something new.

After we did get off the boat we were lured by a guy to his taxi in a parking lot. All taxis looked the same: pink vans. So I assumed that you can trust him. Even more so. He helped us to find the right resort to stay. My guide book says that the best area is Teluk Nipah on the west coast. And one of the best places to stay was supposed to be a resort with a name with the word beach in it. But I was disappointed: Not at the beach and very dark in a side street. The guesthouses along the beach also did not look very inviting. Then the driver had an idea.
The first glimpse of the beach in Teluk Nipah looked ok. But we could not find a nice resort there
Many resorts in side street we also did not like And the restaurant on the beach was also not inviting
We found a nice sea side resort beside this fishing village This resort must be good if a hornbill comes for food
The driver drove us to the other side of the island to a resort in Teluk Dalam which looked more inviting. It was the
Casuarina Resort
Jalan Roa
Pangkor 3, Taman Dusa Pangkor
32300 Pulau Pangkor, Malaysia
Tel.: +6016-529 9738
The published rate for a Superior Room was 400 MYR, but the Walk-in-Rate was 200 MYR. I did negotiate the price down to 180 MYR (36.00 Euro) per night, but only for the first four nights. The last night was a Friday and thus already the weekend rate of 210 MYR (42.00 Euro) apply. The reason is that it is getting more crowded with Malaysians who are mostly only coming on weekends. All rates include breakfast, a really big one on order plus buffet.
This is the Casuarina Resort And this is the Ombak Cafe of the Casuarina
This was the breakfast in the Ombak Cafe of the Casuarina Resort And this one of our dinners in the Daddy's Cafe
There was a beach around the Casuarina Resort we tried for a swim but the best beach was the Coral Beach just 2 km away at the opposite coast of the island. How to get there? The resort provided a shuttle service whenever we wanted to go to the town of Teluk Nipah or to that Coral Beach. Just in front of that beach is the Daddy's Cafe. They served food cooked in western and local style all day. The prices are very cheap. Most evenings we even ate dinner there. To get back to our Resort we just have to call and the car came within 10 minutes. We also could have eaten dinner in the Ombak Cafe of our resort.
This Satay was just for lunch And this Banana Split only for the sweet tooth
The Daddy's Cafe Right on the Coral Beach
You can swim or just relax Or rent a boat to get to Giam island
There you can even rent a sunbed for the whole day for 1 Euro. It's very relaxing to lie down with a full stomach in the shadow under a tree with a view to the sea while having a drink.
Or walking on the beach Or just being lazy
Relaxing with a drink But we are being watched
By a monkey stealing our drink Monkeys roaming all around in the tree above us
It`s time to call our resort for a lift Waiting for the shuttle car in front of Daddy`s cafe
Joy wanted to do some shopping in the next village called Teluk Nipah. But almost all the shops were closed. It looked like a ghost town. No traffic, no people. It was during the middle of the week. We have been told that on weekends it would be crowded by Malaysian people. So this island has not been detected by many foreigners to roam the streets and beaches. Penang and Langkawi and Cherating are still a better place for them, supposedly.
Back to the main street of Teluk Nipah All deserted. Waiting for the crowd on the weekend
A lot of actions offered But canceled because not enough tourists
Many houses and apartments owned or rented I saw close to our resort. Many local people also residing all over the island, of course. But they don`t seem to walk around and doing a lot of shopping. So most shops are for the tourists.
A house close to our resort A Condominium compound close to our resort
This is not an inviting place close to our resort And this construction seemed to have been stopped of whatever reason

Day trip around Pangkor Island

Instead of being lazy all day we decided one day to make a trip around the island. We could have rented a bike but then we did not have a guide. Not that we would have needed one. The best choice was to take a taxi and expecting the driver to bring us to the most interesting places. The ordered taxi picked us up early in the morning. And yes, it was a pink van. Though our driver looked very strange, like a pirate from Sandokan. But it turned out that he was a very nice guy who spoke English very well.
Our taxi for the island roundtrip The fishing harbor on the east coast
The first stopover was a fishing village on the eastside. There you even could learn how a fishing boat was built. Also you could see what kind of fish the fisher boats caught in their nets. A lot of fish. They could not sell all at the fish market but had to be dried. This is a real dried fish industry with even export to the rest of the world, especially South East Asia.
A dock for building fishing vessels A paradise for Joy: Dried fish
Since Islam is the main religion in Malaysia visiting a mosque is a must. It was not the only one on our trip. Take a look and read the description if you can speak Malay. That's really a problem in Malaysia. Despite the fact that Malaysia had been ruled by the British there is hardly any description in English. Also the proficiency of English is declining. Starting in the Seventies of the last century KL forbid English schools. The last one I visited in 1985 when I was staying with a Chinese family in Sabah (look it up).
Next: A Mosque The Masjid Al Khairjah Mosque
Then we continued down south until we came to the Fu Lin Kong Temple in the Chinese settlement Kampung Cina. It is the biggest Taoist temple on Pangkor Island and is more than one hundred years old. Inside the temple are some Buddhist statues.

Then we did get to the next mosque, the Masjid Terapong or so called Floating Mosque. Actually it is not floating but is a fixed structure on stilts and can be reached via a long pier.
The Chinese Temple Fu Lin Kong Another mosque: The Floating Mosque
Before we walked to the mosque we encountered a stand where following stuffed or blown up fish are displayed. To know more then you have to read about the plaque and the articles about the "Angry Fish". It says that it is a handycraft and made of a so-called "Puffer Fish" and they are sold at prices ranging from RM30 to RM150 each depending on the size. RM means Ringgit Malaysian and is the same as officially MYR. So it is very cheap with from 6.00 Euro to 30.00 Euro.
No swimming fish But stuffed "Puffer" fish
Info if you can read Malay More info in Malay
Next stop was at the Dutch Fort. The fort was built by the Dutch in 1670. It was destroyed in 1690 by the Malays. Then it was rebuilt by the Dutch in 1743 and used until 1748, when it was abandoned. Then the fort was reconstructed by the Malaysia's museum department in 1973 and declared as an ancient monument and historical site. So that was a very short description for a very complicated history. You can find more information in the internet.
The famous Dutch Fort Destroyed and rebuilt again
It is a museum now In a nice park
Next stop was the last stop but an important stop. The some kind of a roofed market with a lot of shops. A Dried Fish Dorado for Joy. Not only that: The sacks of dried fish are backed up by lots of sweet Kinder products like Nutella and Bueno. What a combination.
Now it's time for shopping First of all: Dried fish
Dried fish by the kilo Or dried fish by the sack
Chinese angling fish to be dried? Our suspicious looking taxi driver also looked suspicious
On Saturday we took the boat at 06:30 a.m. from the jetty on Pangkor Island to Lumut. Before we could board the boat we had to exchange our ticket against a new one with the seat numbers. Our taxi driver was so kind to do it all for us.

After we arrived in Lumut we went to the bus station where we arrived from KL but there was no bus. One counter opened around half an hour later, but all tickets except one have been sold out. What to do? Fortunately one guy helped us to find another bus leaving from another bus station. What we did but we had to take a taxi to get to another town close by with the name of Manjung. We were lucky that a bus of La Holidays was just leaving at 8:00 a.m. The fare was 30 MYR, very cheap for 6.00 Euro.
Our bus going back to KL A relaxing and comfortable trip
After we arrived in KL we stayed at the Six Seasons Hotel for another two nights. Same room, same price. We spent a nice weekend again with Rechelle and Ivan. On Monday we went again to the same bus station and fetched a bus leaving for Singapore at 08:30 a.m. The price was 70 MYR (i.e. 14.00 Euro) per person.

This was the end of our trip to Malaysia. As it was said before and will be said again: There could have been seen and done a lot more. Also I could have written more. If you want to know more all about the places we have visited, then just look up any of the many guidebooks or the internet.



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Created December 2023