China National Day is upon us again which means mass migrations of Chinese all over China and the world. For my week-long break, I pinpointed two more new countries in SE Asia on my list, bringing my country count to 40. My plan is to explore Malaysia and Brunei in a week!
As I started researching the two countries I found that there was a lot more to see than I originally thought. Malaysia is a huge country and a really well developed one. It is split by the South China Sea on two different landmasses, with Singapore on the tip of Peninsular Malaysia and Brunei nestled in Malaysian Borneo. It is a huge melting pot for all the SE Asian countries, mixing Chinese, Malay, Indian, Arabic, etc.
For Malaysia, I decided on focusing on the peninsula landmass since I will be heading to Brunei which is on Borneo.
Highlights planned in Malaysia:
- Kuala Lumpur: Explore the capital.
– Petronas Towers: Cross the SkyBridge on the 42nd floor.
– Shopping Spree! Feel like a teenage girl on her sweet sixteen and explore the vast malls.
– Local Food: Eat my heart out
– Batu Caves: Go into the depths of the Hindu cave.
- Langkawi: Malaysia’s premier holiday location, get pampered at 5-star resorts and sunbath on white sandy beaches.
- Taman Negara: The national park with jungles and rivers that I wanted to see, but I probably won’t have enough time. Hopefully the jungle in Brunei will make up for it.
Knowing almost nothing about Brunei, I was curious to see what the tiny country had to offer. One of the first things I found out was that this was a Muslim country meaning it was dry. Not dry like a desert, but dry like an AA meeting. Fortunately, foreigners ARE allowed to bring in and consume alcohol. The country is also sitting on some serious oil fields meaning it is very wealthy and the standard of living for the citizens is quite high comparatively.
Highlights planned in Brunei:
- Bandar Seri Begawan: Explore the capital and check out the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Brunei Museum, and Royal Regalia Museum among other sights.
- Ulu Temburong National Park: Get a speed boat to Bandar followed by a trek through the high level forest canopy and stay overnight in the jungle.
- Empire Hotel and Resort: Stay at this 5-star resort for the ‘royal treatment’.
The travel is going to be intense as always, with 8 flights (including connections) in less than 7 days you’ll wonder when I would actually do any sightseeing.
The brief flight itinerary for October 4th – 11th is:
Beijing – Hong Kong (connection) – Kuala Lumpur – Bandar Seri Brunei – Kuala Lumpur – Langkawi – Kuala Lumpur – Hong Kong (connection) – Beijing
Overall, I’m really excited to explore a new corner and looking forward to some warm weather before the bitter Beijing winter sets in. I will try to update when I can, though I’m sure it’s going to be a challenging with this schedule.
Stay tuned and follow me for the Malaysia and Brunei experience!