My Impression from Malaysia
From 10-13 September, 2012; I spent time with my family visiting Malaysia on the way back from Singapore. I was in KL several times before and my first stop over visit was in early April, 1996. This time, I brought along my father and other family members, in a tour package. We passed the border check-points between Singapore and Malaysia, at around 9pm on 09.09.12. We traveled 45 minutes to stay overnight in one hotel inside Malaysia. The next day, we traveled through ASEAN highway; visited Malacca, the famous Dutch buildings, passed by KL and reached the top of Genting Mountain at around 5pm.
Along the highway, it is fascinating to see how green the landscape is; beautified by palm oil trees, planted trees, small parks, gardens and lots of flowers. Malaysia is well known as big producer of palm oil and natural rubbers. No space left without green plants, at least along the way or what we have seen. The infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and electricity grids are highly developed, at the level of European countries. Congratulation! In comparison to Singapore, there are more cars allowed, due to space availability and the goods price is much cheaper. Malaysia is a federal state and has about 25 million population.
We stayed one night in the First World Hotel complex on the Genting Mountain. The hotel is the largest in the world, in term of room numbers, and was built in 2005. There are 6,118 rooms in total. Several hotels are on the top of this highland, which makes this place more attractive for Casinos visitors and theme parks lovers. The resort was developed by Lim Goh Tong. Our guide told us that he partly owns the NAGA World Casino and Hotel complex in Phnom Penh.
We reached the top half way by bus, and half way by cable car. Along the trip, the scenery of the natural forest catches our attention tremendously. The fresh air is much appealing. It is 19 Degree Celsius inside the building, outside it is a bit cooler. In the next morning, we had breakfast in the largest mass eating hall, I have ever known.
People competed to get something on the plate, or even for the spoon or forks. There were plenty food to get, just there were too many people at the same time. Unfortunately, some people took too much and just left over on the plate to be thrown away. I observed that there are 99% Asian tourists who came here, may be half of them for Casinos.
The next days, we came down to visit KL, Putrajaya and its surroundings. Putrajaya, the artificial city, is named after the first Prime Minister after the Independence. My father enjoyed looking around to see the beauty of the city, the cars moving squad, the high-rises, the people, the shops, the mosques, the Chinese temples and some historical places. Of course, in term of modern architecture the Twin Tower is the most attractive building to visit. We have made group photos in different places for our souvenir.
The Chinese connection seems strong: our Cambodian guide speaks Chinese and the guides in Singapore and Malaysia are all ethnic Chinese. In the last six days, we have eaten only once Malay food. Most of the time, we were organized to have our meals in the Chinese owned restaurants. It seems to me that we were traveling to visit China. One thing, which is quite obvious to me, there are fewer Lexus or Landcruiser on the streets, in comparison to Cambodia. It does not mean that we are richer, but we have now more iron on the streets than wood in the forest.