First Destination: Malaysia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For the first leg of our vacation, we wanted to relax and recharge our batteries and not have anything to worry about. Our friend had recommended Pulau Pangkor as the perfect island beach retreat so that's exactly where we chose to start off our getaway. We left our apartment at around 7:30pm on Saturday, January 14th and took the airport bus to Incheon, a red eye Air Asia flight to Malaysia, a shuttle bus to Sitiawan, a taxi to the Lumut wharf, a ferry to Pulau Pangkor, and finally a taxi to Nipah guesthouse, where we arrived around 3:00pm on Sunday; a journey of close to 20 hours but well worth it! The only mishap happened when we arrived at LCCT. As we were awaiting my brand new backpack, everyone seemed to find their luggage except for me. When the conveyor belt finally stopped, only one bag remained... and it was identical to mine, only it wasn't. I knew right away what had happened so I asked for some help. With a stroke of luck, it turns our the girl who had mistakenly grabbed mine had just turned on her cell phone and the airport attendant was able to reach her. As we exchanged bags, we were both very relieved to have sorted it out before leaving the airport.
We were extremely impressed with our guesthouse and the staff. Alicia and her husband took care of everything and were very helpful whenever we had questions. Our A-frame cottage was also exceptionally clean and proved to be the perfect place to spend the first nights of our adventure. If you ever find yourself in Pulau Pangkor, make sure to check them out!
|My faithful backpack I nearly lost before even using (70,000KRW)|
|Our table at Big Daddy's|
|That's the life|
For lunch, we returned to Big Daddy's on the beach and ended up spending the rest of the day there, reading, napping, sunbathing (or burning), and once in a while dipping into the Malacca Strait. When the sun started to set, we got back on the scooter to try and find a better vantage point. We also attempted to find another restaurant for dinner but, since nothing caught our eye, we ended up returning to Big Daddy's! And why not? A beach-side restaurant with great food, great drinks and an incredible serene atmosphere was as good a place to dine as we were likely to find. With the votive candles burning on the tables, the sounds of the surf and soft music serenading us, the setting was truly romantic and relaxing.
|Some local cuisine (Satay and pita sandwich)|
|Candlelight and spring rolls. Doesn't get more romantic than that|
|A millipede decided to come great us. It wasn't the grossest bug we'd seen|
After a 5+ hour ride, we got off the bus at Puduraya station and walked over to our hostel. In the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown is where Reggae Mansion is located. Just like Nipah Guesthouse, I can't praise this place enough. The atmosphere was simply incredible. Upon registration, the staff went above and beyond to make sure everything was taken care of. We even signed up for a city tour for the next day that they organized for their guests. The rooms were kept clean and our "pods" were very comfortable and private. Reggae Mansion also boasts a restaurant, a sports bar, a cinema room, and a rooftop bar. The ambiance here is unparalleled and really sets this place apart from other hostels... and all for $13 a night. This place is a must if you are planning on staying a night in KL.
|Our sleeping pods @ Reggae Mansion|
|View from the rooftop @ Reggae Mansion|
|The restaurant/bar @ Reggae Mansion|
|Enjoying a beer and some onion rings|
|Monkey enjoying a 7up @ Batu Caves|
|Local buffet-style cuisine (pick and choose what you want)|
|All this cost me 3$, including a fresh squeezed juice|
At around 4pm, we took the LRT to Sentral Station and a shuttle bus to LCCT in time to make our flight on to the next part of our adventure. We left Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia and a deep sense of appreciation and relaxation. We absolutely loved our time here and would not hesitate to come back in the future!
|300 steps to get up to the Batu Caves|
|Nasi Lemak - National dish of Malaysia|
|@ Matay village - notice the contrast of wealth|
|Jen had to cover up at the National Mosque|