Goodbye Malaysia. Truly Asia?

Off to Thailand tomorrow morning! A morning mini bus to Hat Yai, then perhaps onto Trang (apparently there’s some cool caves there).

It will be interesting to leave Malaysia, considering its technically our first stop and all that we currently know.

I’ve been a bit confused by the country. It’s predominantly a Muslim country, governed by its Muslim rules. At times I’ve felt a bit odd wearing a sleeveless singlet, while Muslim women around me wear hijabs and sometimes, even full burkas.

On the other hand, you have some major cities and islands in Malaysia, where people wear next to nothing. H&M, Topshop and Zara stores advertising skimpy skirts and tops, catering to either Western tourists (thinking they’re getting a bargain) or a growing local market.

Interestingly, a friend of ours who lives in KL, but studied Uni in Melbourne with us expressed great concern for the safety of the women in this country. She also told us that politics is mixed with religion, and that Muslim males and Muslim females can still be busted, and fined(!) if they are looking a little too friendly with each other.

This is all so foreign to me. So different, and I’m still getting my head around it all. We even heard there’s some supermarkets with different counters for males and females! Though we never saw this in our travels.

I don’t think I will miss the 5am prayers being broadcast everyday from the mosques, but I will miss the prayers in general as they were quite comforting and pleasant to listen to.

I’ve also quite enjoyed being in the country during the election time. The various parties’ flags flying in the wind will be something I’ll miss. We’ve seen them wrapped around some coconuts in a tree, we’ve seen motorcades beeping and tooting as they drive past waving their flags, and we’ve seen a few rally’s; blasting Gangam Style on the PA system in an attempt to draw a crowd.

All in all, I’m glad Malaysia was our first stop as its slowly easing me into the backpacking life. It also helps that we started with the more expensive country, and from here on out, there’ll be cheap beer!


  • _TheAprilWorld

    Hi Emma!

    You have visited the wrong Malaysia I guess. HAHAHA. As Malaysia divide into west and east, the west Malaysia are more Muslim since Islam are majority there, but in the east, it’s totally different. Try and visit East Malaysia (Sabah & Sarawak) or known as Borneo! Muslim here are friendly. If you love both nature and island, visit Sabah is the best! If you prefer nature, come to Sarawak.

    Hugs from Sarawak,
    Valarie xx

    • emma

      Hi Valarie,

      Thank you for the comment and for explaining a bit more about Malaysia. I will admit we didn’t spend long there, and we are due back for sure! I will definitely look into your recommendations as we are very interested in checking out Borneo for the diving and the nature!! Thanks again. đŸ™‚ x

  • Lisa

    I was watching Don’t Tell My Mother last night and he went to a town in Indonesia where they will fine/cane you if you show too much skin, so maybe you should just always wear those crazy pants in muslim countries.

    • emma

      These are the best pants ever. I wear these when we travel, on the bus, train, boat and when we eat at hawker centres etc. Then my legs don’t get dirty. Just wish they had pockets!

      Also, every other backpacker is wearing pants like these but mine are like, the tamest in pattern.

  • Lokit

    I’m pleased that you two are having such a good time in Malaysia, remember to be more alert when out of your comfort zone and take care of each other. I’ll follow your daily events and so very proud of you. Xx

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