On a lazy Sunday afternoon, came a call from my friend Savita was in Dubai to announce that she would be soon landing in Kerala for her holidays. Her trip to Kerala was synonymous with a holiday trip for our girl’s gang. All of a sudden, all hell broke loose. Multiple group calls and group chats were discussing all possible travel locations and itineraries. Finally, after a week of intense research and discussions, we finalized Malaysia, our first outbound tour together.

Excitement swelled up and pensive moments followed. A detailed itinerary was chartered out through our friend Vineeth and his wife Haritha’s venture “Destinations Calling Tourism”. Tickets were booked and visa secured and we kept our fingers crossed and vigorously prayed not to get covid infected, after having stayed clear from it all this while.

Finally on 13 Aug 2022, we were on our way to Kochi via road from Trivandrum to board the midnight Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur. We merrily made our way through the serpentine queue at the Air Asia Counter and finally at 11.30 pm, was on board the flight, seat belts secure and off to our dream destination.

After a 4hr flight, we were jostled out of our sleep by the flight attendant’s announcement that we would soon be landing at KL. We were on schedule and got through the immigration formalities in no time soon after landing. Our cab was waiting for us and lo! We were on our way to explore Kuala Lumpur.

After a sumptuous breakfast at an Indian joint, having gobbled up some fine idli-dosas and poori-bhaji, we navigated through the KL roads taking in the breathtakingly beautiful skyscrapers and well-kept roads and pathways. Hibiscus, the national flower of Malaysia, was embossed most colourfully on the street lamps. ‘Putrajaya’, the office of the Prime Minister was the first stop. A magnificent building and a national monument, Putrajaya was a stop for photo clicks. Shutterbugs clicked away to their heart’s delight and we as usual tried all our antics and pranks in getting the craziest photographs and Insta Reels.

The next stop was at the Kings Palace Gate. Though entry was denied to tourists, we sneaked our heads in between the gate bars to have a good look at the grand building that lay ahead of us. A Black royal limousine was seen speeding to and fro through the pathways that lined up the meticulously maintained meadows. And I was left wondering if it was a bored young member of the royal family who was out to take the car on a wild spin and have some fun.

We had a birthday girl in our midst. At midnight we sneaked into her room to cut a cake which we had arranged with great difficulty. Birthday songs, cake cutting, and photo moments followed before we finally hit the bed. The next morning, I woke up with a pleasant view of the KL Tower through my hotel room window. After a quick breakfast, we hopped into our waiting cab to go to Genting. We stopped at the Batu caves on the way and climbed up the 272 steps to pray at the shine on top navigating our way
through the countless monkeys of all sizes who had so adapted themselves to the tourists’ inflow and went on their monkey business without a care. Batu caves is a limestone hill cave and groundwater kept drizzling in from the cave top. The Gold painted 140 ft Murugan statue, at the foot of the hill, is a must-see destination.

We were soon cruising through the lanes to Genting and I was deeply impressed with the way they had maintained the roads and the sidewalks outside the city too. Being someone who is crazy about driving, how I wished I could step on the pedal on these roads!! We soon arrived at the Awana Skyway for the cable car ride to the Genting Highlands. We grabbed a quick burger and soon were squeaking and yelling on the 10min ride on the skyway gondola which is the quickest and easiest way to reach the Genting Highlands. The primary tourist attraction here is the Resorts World Genting which is famous for its casinos and amusement parks. We tried out many of the rides in the park, watched live shows and watched the wilder rides from a safe distance listening to the screams and yells of its occupants. We took the same Skyway back to the base and soon were on our way back to KL.

The Gold painted 140 ft Murugan
the statue, at the foot of the hill, is a must see
destination in Malaysia!

Our next destination was Jalan Alor Food Street, one of the best Culinary street stalls in KL. Locals and tourists occupied the restaurant seats on both sides of the pavement and the place was full of live music, jovial talks and laughter. We found seats and ordered some authentic Chinese food while listening to a street musician. It was our friend’s birthday and we got him to sing and wish her a happy birthday which made the moment all the more special.

The next day, we flew to Langkawi, an island destination. On landing, we had time only to grab a quick bite before starting the half-day Island hopping tour. It was a thrilling speedboat trip to the various islands and beaches that includes watersports, eagle feeding and the like. By evening, we checked into the resort and were soon in the swimming pool relaxing with a drink in our hands. The cable car ride and sky bridge were closed for maintenance and hence we had to do a visit to the underwater aquarium and the crystal clear beaches.

On the final day, we explored a bit more of Langkawi before boarding the flight to KL and back to Kochi.
Malaysia was truly an amazing experience and true to its tagline – ‘Malaysia – Truly Asia’ was a special holiday experience for the 4 travel enthusiasts– Jessy, Deepa, Savitha and Manju. More adventures follow!!!

A Travelogue by Manju Nair

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