Malaysia Part 2 – Langkawi NYE on our Around the World Voyage with Niko.

Our around the world voyage brings us to Langkawi where we welcome the new year in style!

During our trip to Malaysia we headed to Langkawi Island which is a short three hour boat ride from Penang. Also known as the ‘land of one’s wishes’, Langkawi is the laid back cousin of tourist-oriented Penang. This archipelago of 99 islands offers breathtaking white sand beaches, comfortably warm yet murky waters, amazing mountain-top views and beautiful waterfalls. Most of our stay was centered on Panai Cenang Beach.

Langkawi Beaches 2012

Living life island style

With the sun, surf, yummy seafood and cheap beer – this really is paradise! (Langkawi is a duty free island) We ate prawns that weighed over 500 grams! Can you believe that? There’s lot of other delicious cuisine ranging from Malaysian, Indian, Middle Eastern and even organic. When you travel with kids it helps to find a wide range of food!

Langkawi delights (Malaysia) - Around the World with Kid

We rented out a car and it took us only five hours to get around the island as there was surprisingly very little traffic. It was an exhilarating ride as we got a chance to explore some beautiful beaches such as Tanjung Rhu and Pantai Kok as well as some waterfalls such as Air Terjun Temurun. Don’t forget to carry cash as there are only a few ATMs on the island and they may decide to stop working on the same day! Yes, that happened on our third day there.

Beach bound New Year’s bash

Living like locals, we celebrated New Year’s Eve on the beach amidst airborne lanterns and spectacular fireworks. When you travel with children you’ll enjoy all the little things as well. On seeing the splendid (but little loud and scary) fireworks display, Niko said ‘Thank you fireworks for going boom high up in the sky!’ With bright bonfires and little tea-lights in beach holes spelling ‘2012’, there was certainly magic in the air. We felt blessed to welcome the New Year in such a joyous and relaxed atmosphere.

Langkawi NYE 2012

Things to do with kids on Langkawi – Niko finds fun and friends on the beach!

Travel with kids is always fun but it was also nice to see him being independent and making friends on the beach. He really had a blast building and breaking sandcastles and frolicking in the warm waters. The Langkawi Underwaterworld was another hot favourite and I’m guessing he wanted to stay a lot longer! During New Year’s he loved his new glow-in-the-dark shooting arrows which we bought from the vendor on the beach.

Making our way to Melaka

For a different experience on our round the world trip we decided to take the 14 hour night bus ride to Melaka, a colonial trading post of the English, Portuguese and the Dutch. Although we didn’t get much sleep on the bus, we headed out bright and early to explore this World Heritage Site. You’ll find a strong colonial influence in this location especially in the architecture. We loved walking down the narrow alleys of the heritage centre at No 8 Heeren Street which were filled with art and antique shops running along the river bank. With beautiful sights, affordable street food and communal harmony, Melaka is a worthy stop-over destination even when you travel with children.

Flower Bikes in Melaka

A bucketful of Malaysian memories

Due to the monsoons, we were unable to visit the amazing Perhentian Islands beaches, Borneo and neighbouring beautiful Sipadan island. However, we’re happy that we have a reason to return to this wonderful and culturally rich country. We’re continuing on our round the world trip and carrying away happy memories of this Asian delight. What a great way to spend Christmas and New Year! We’ll cherish these experiences for a life time.

If you have similar or relevant around the world with children adventures, please share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Here are some of our photos from our Langkawi and Melaka trip:

To see all pictures from our Malaysia voyage, please go to here

Part 1 – Malaysia on our Around the World Voyage with Niko.

Christmas –  Far away from home yet enjoyable on our around the world trip.

Our around the world voyage brought us to the kingdom of Malaysia, a country that exemplifies beauty in diversity. You’ll see a riot of differences in dress, cuisine, music and rituals yet there’s an underlying bond that brings different ethnic groups together to truly reflect their motto ‘Unity is Strength’.

Kuala Lumpur - New and Old together - Merdeka Square

Malaysia is a perfect fusion of ethnicities, cultures, religions and landscapes and we thoroughly enjoyed every aspect that makes this country truly Asia! Once under colonial influence of Portugal, Holland and Britain, today, Malaysia stands free and houses close to 30 million people.

The Exciting Capital City of Kuala Lumpur

We were happy to spend our Christmas holidays in Kuala Lumpur on our around the world trip. As one of the Top 10 most visited cities in the world with almost two million people, we came across different ethnic groups such as Malaysian, Chinese and Indian;

Highest twin buildings in the world Petronas Towers

all living in harmony. Once a young tin mining town, Kuala Lumpur has grown to become a huge metropolis, popular for its towering skyscrapers like the Petronas Towers. The largest in Southeast Asia, these towers were inspired by Muslim architecture.

The name of the city comes from its two Gombak Klang Rivers and you’ll see the beautiful Jamek Mosque at its confluence. When you travel with kids, you’re almost always looking for places to eat! We headed to Jalan Alor for a grand Christmas feast, which featured delicious Thai style fried fish. Simply awesome! The street food is affordable and very tasty. If you’re in the city, do take a stroll through the central market and visit Masjid Negara (National Mosque), which can hold up to 15,000 people.

The Architectural Delight of Georgetown and Penang

A world heritage site showcasing colonial architecture and unique cultural diversity, Georgetown is one of Malaysia’s richest regions and is well-developed and very tourist friendly. Penang (Malaysia) Temple You can easily get around town using local transportation, or walk (as we like to do) taking in the historical and architectural sites around town. You’ll find it easy and economical to travel with children as many of the attractions are highly subsidized.

If you’re looking for scrumptious cuisine, head to Little India. We loved the naan!

Amazing Indian cuisine in Kuala Lumpur

The city has other equally good places to dine out and the food at hawker stalls is especially tasty and cheap. Many tourists come here to enjoy the sun and sand but we didn’t think the beaches were that big of an attraction. However, a real sight to behold would be the Kek Lok Si Buddhist temple, which is not only the largest in Southeast Asia but also one of the most interesting and beautiful.

Malaysia offers plenty of things to see and do for kids

Travel with kids is easy if you can keep them occupied! In Kuala Lumpur, Niko loved the Planetarium and especially the walk in a ‘no gravity room’. The Christmas festivities included as always a happy Santa, plenty of presents and balloons that lasted for days! The temples at Penang were equally entertaining and Niko was very impressed!

Kuala Lumpur Planetarium (Malaysia)

A Well-Developed Malaysia with So Much to Offer

If you’re planning to travel with children, take the free tourist bus in Penang which takes you by all the major attractions. However, if you want to take your time at the attractions, you can opt for public transportation or buses which are quite inexpensive.

Malaysia welcomed us with true Asian hospitality. Even when so far away from home we managed to celebrate Christmas and truly enjoy it with a mini Christmas tree and symbolic gifts. The country’s friendly locals and delicious cuisine made this location a home away from home.

If you have similar or relevant around the world with children adventures, please share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Here are some of our photos from our Malaysia trip:

To see all pictures from our Malaysia voyage, please go to here