Monday, February 2, 2015

A trip to neighboring Malaysia

The long-awaited trip to Malaysia with my in-laws has finally materialized in December last year. This was the shortest planning and preparations we’ve ever done so far. And it turned out quite fine for a week-long retreat in three of Malaysia’s famous cities.

We didn’t start booking for flights until it was already the last week of November. Everyone was busy with their work or family matters that we only got to really sit down and discuss details towards the end of November (thru Viber!). After a week or two, we’ve finally booked our flights (and we got a good deal, too!), hotels, coach seats, ferry tickets and shortlisted places to see.

We’ve decided to go to Kuala Lumpur (one of my sisters-in-law hasn’t been there), Langkawi and Penang. These were some of the more famous places in the country and were geographically close to each other. We needed to save time with the limited days we could go on a trip before Christmas. We ended up spending Christmas in Penang after all.

We had to coordinate the days when we would book our plane tickets (and we almost weren’t able to fly with them because the airfares increased when it was our time to book our tickets) and hotels (we ended up staying in different hotels in Penang and Langkawi). That’s the challenge of planning and travelling with other people and coming from different countries (we’re from Singapore, the others are from the Philippines and Belgium) but, at the end of the day, we pulled through. This was just a one week holiday, and the last time we planned together with them was actually a 3-week vacation in Europe, so we were quite confident we could do this.

In a week we covered several modes of transportation: by coach from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur then flying off to Langkawi and taking the ferry to Penang. We also tried the KL metro trains, Langkawi taxis and buses in Penang. In the limited time we had in Malaysia we’ve seen the Petronas Twin Towers up close, went on a banana boat ride in Langkawi and walked along the World Heritage Streets of Penang. Of course, we had to try some of the must-eats in each of the three cities we've visited. That’s city, sand, sea and food all in less than a week.

Here’s our 6D5N itinerary, a week of food, sight-seeing and island-hopping:
Day 1 (Dec 20) – Overnight at Kuala Lumpur
Day 2 (Dec 21) – Whole day sight-seeing in KL before flying off to Langkawi
Day 3 (Dec 22) – Langkawi sight-seeing                             
Day 4 (Dec 23) – Ferry to Penang
Day 5 (Dec 24) – Penang sight-seeing. Christmas Eve dinner.
Day 6 (Dec 25) – Flight back to Singapore on Christmas night

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