Malaysia is separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo). Populated by a blend of Malays, Chinese, Indians and indigenous groups, Malaysia boasts a rich cultural heritage. Many cultures from within the country and from surrounding regions have greatly influenced the cuisine. Much of the influence comes from the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Javanese, and Sumatran cultures, largely due to the country being part of the ancient spice route.
A fascinating fusion of eastern and western influences, Penang is Malaysia’s most tourist-visited destination since the capital, Georgetown has been accorded a listing as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The island’s real attraction lies in its culture, history and cuisine. I was lucky enough to meet amazing local family who have invited me for celebration of Chinese New year. One of the best changes I’ve ever made traveling around Asia was becoming a vegan. Meeting like-minded people is priceless and inspiring. Having been invited by the same family to visit them in Ipoh, my adventure was already planned right after completing the Vipassana meditation course.
Ipoh is located in a valley and surrounded by a huge number of limestone cliffs full of caves. In some of them, temples were built which gives a unique value to the area. I have to admit that I had the best hosts – they taught me the Art of serving tea, took me on a 60km cycling tour showing beautiful nature sites outside of town, cooked delicious food and so much more, making my trip full of memorable experiences.
Arriving in Kuala Lumpur, a good friend of mine (also vipassana meditator) organized for us a trip to Malacca. It is a center of trade and cultural exchange, history and art; a place where many culture meet and fused. One of the most pronounced influence is the Portuguese architectural that one can see around Malacca. Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s capital, packed with historic monuments, steel-skyscrapers, lush parks, bustling street markets and mega-sized shopping malls. What I enjoyed the most from KL was having a great host.
February 23, 2016