The Must-Do’s Of Malaysia

There is nothing better than planning a vacation. Sitting and trawling through the travel websites for the most far-flung places that offer the biggest adventures and cultural experiences is all part of the fun. If there is one place that should be on your list to visit, it’s Malaysia. It’s a beautiful place to visit and one that welcomes everyone with open arms, regardless of background and culture. If you’re going to travel to Malaysia, there are some must-do’s that absolutely have to be on your bucket list of places to visit, and we’re going to walk you through each of them in turn.

Kuala Lumpur, Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia, Klcc

[Photo courtesy of peternguyen11/pixabay.com]

Kuala Lumpur

Starting in the cultural melting pot capital, Kuala Lumpur, you’ll be wide-eyed and amazed with what you can find. You will be able to visit shopping malls that have so much more than just the standard shops and boutiques, but rollercoasters winding their way through them. You’ll walk down the street and see monkeys hanging around in the trees above you. Kuala Lumpur is a place you’ll find the Petronas Twin Towers, which has an amazing skybridge running right between the two giants. You can head to the top and go onto the bridge at certain times during the day, and you can read more about it here. The fact that all the shops and museums for the capital are all in the one area makes your days out so much simpler to plan. With everything so close it makes it so much easier to rent a house nearby for your whole stay. Hotels are wonderful, but seeing as Malaysia is food paradise, it can be easier to self-cater!

[Photo courtesy of Chmouel Boudjnah /flickr.com]

Food Culture

One of the biggest reasons to visit the far corners of the world is the food. Most people expect restaurants abroad to be better when they’re pricier, but the thing about Malaysia is that the street food is just as glorious as the food you find in the best restaurants. Whether you’re hungry for traditional Malaysian cuisine, Chinese, Indian or Thai food, there are food courts that hold so much flavour you won’t be able to choose just the one dish. Head over to Penang; the south-east peninsula has the best food in the area. The amalgamation of different cultures means you have so much for your taste buds to discover.

Batu, Malaysia, Asia, Temple, Lumpur, Travel, Cave

[Photo courtesy of maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com]

History & Culture

We mentioned earlier that Malaysia is a place that welcomes everyone, and it’s absolutely correct. The acceptance is immense, and you’ll find temples built beside mosques with churches on either side. You can head to Malaysia to experience Ramadan, the Indian Holi festival and even Christmas. The art scenes are vibrant, and Penang has so much to offer those who are seeking out a little culture and excitement.

File:Romantic sunset at the beach in Malaysia.jpg

[Photo courtesy of epSos.de/wikimedia.org]

Beaches

It’s not all about the capital in Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur has so much going for it. Malaysia may not be known for the beaches it has to offer, but that’s what makes it so great. These little secret spots of tranquillity are simply breathtaking. Langkawi Island is in the Northern Malaysia region. It’s talked about as ‘the Jewel of Kedah’ and is something to be awed by. It is made up of nine different islands and it is covered in wildlife, so not only are you able to sit by the tranquil and clear oceans, you can enjoy animals in their natural habitat. If you want white sands, Perhentian Island is the place to visit for a truly awesome snorkelling experience. Get under the water and into the quiet and watch a whole world unfold before you, with ancient sea turtles and marine life of all colours.

File:Malaysia-tea plantation.jpg

[Photo courtesy of Chmouel Boudjnah /wikimedia.org]

Cup Of Tea

Malaysia is one of the many places in the world that has famous tea plantations, and The Cameron Highlands is the place to go to enjoy some. The flora and fauna here are eye-wateringly beautiful, and you get the chance to try authentic tea right from the plant. It’s not an experience one should miss out on, and it can show you the sheer diversity of the landscape in Malaysia.

File:Mount Kinabalu on Cloudy Morning.jpg

[Photo courtesy of Dcubillas/wikimedia.org]

Mountains

Kinabulu National Park is somewhere for the adventurers among you to sink your teeth into. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site, which means it’s a popular destination for visitors every year. You can climb the heady heights of Kinabulu, which has its peak at 4,095 meters high. There are over 6000 species of plants and almost 400 species of birds, so you bird-lovers out there should ensure you bring your binoculars with you!

[Photo courtesy of Chmouel Boudjnah /flickr.com]

Caving

Malaysia is a place thriving with UNESCO sites, and you can see them all listed here. One of the places you should absolutely try to get to, is Gunung Mulu National Park. It’s in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo and it’s got the largest cave chamber known to the world. It’s said you could fit over forty 747 aircraft in there. The natural beauty that are caves gives you the chance to view the world from a different angle, and the only way to get there is a short flight. Take yourself out of the malls and the built-up areas and get stuck into nature. Bring the right equipment and experience a once in a lifetime opportunity.

File:Lewis Hamilton 2012 Malaysia Qualify.jpg

[Photo courtesy of Morio/wikimedia.org]

Sports

The sports enthusiasts among you will already be well-versed in the motorsport names that visit Malaysia every year, but for those of you who don’t you need to get your research done! F1 Grand Prix season sees Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso arrive in style. The weather may be unpredictable to track, but you can get yourself tickets to beside the track in March and watch some of the driving greats make a name for themselves up close and personal.

There’s nothing so beautiful as visiting a country as diverse as Malaysia. The sheer variety of things to do and places to see means that you could spend weeks there and never get bored. Get yourself online and start planning!

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , , , ,

Protect Your Vision: Health Warnings for Travel Weary Contact Lens Wearers

Every person who is handed his first pair of contact lenses sits through an instruction session with the eye care professional in which he learns the importance of meticulous hygiene when handling lenses. The first time you hear the routine, it can seem easy enough. You’re supposed to find a clean workspace next to the sink. When you finish washing your hands, you need to turn the tap off with your elbow, dry your hands on a clean towel, take one lens out at a time, clean it with a little contact lens solution in the palm of your hand and then put it in a clean lens case filled with fresh solution.

In practice, though, these rules can seem very demanding. Practically no one follows all the rules (a study published in Optometry and Vision Science puts the number of people taking lens care shortcuts at 98%). They reuse lens solution, clean their lenses with saliva at times and use their disposable lenses for far longer than they are rated for. In short, people don’t take the advice they receive seriously.

Medieval Caves in Vardzia Cave Monastery

[Medieval Caves in Vardzia Cave Monastery, Georgia]

While the temptation to take shortcuts is always strong, it can be overwhelming when you travel – when you are too tired or too busy to pay attention to fussy rules. When you travel, you may not have all the resources and conveniences necessary, either. Here’s what can go wrong.

You forget to pack your supply of disposable lenses

When you don’t have a supply of lenses with you, it can be easy to tell yourself that it’s okay to keep using the pair you have. The fact that you save money in the process can feel good, too. The problem with using lenses for longer than intended is that they begin to biodegrade. They begin to shed material that mixes with your tears and forms a sort of mucus. Warm mucus can be a very attractive growing place for bacteria. If your travel takes you to far-off places, you may be exposed to disease-causing bacteria that you don’t even have the resistance for.

You need to make sure that you pack the proper supply of lenses. Shopping at outlets like the Lenstore website, you’re likely to find very competitive prices. If you do forget to bring a supply convoy, you should shop for new supplies when you reach your destination.

You decide to reuse your contact lens solution because your current supply won’t last you until you get back home

If you don’t have enough contact lens solution with you, it can be tempting to simply reuse what’s in the case or to top it off with a few drops of fresh solution. After the chemical cleaning agents in lens solution are spent with one use, though, the solution can begin to grow microorganisms. When you drop your lenses into a case filled with stale contact lens solution, you’re only getting your lenses properly saturated with bacteria. When you put these lenses on, the bacteria can get into your cornea and give you a serious eye infection.

It’s important to travel with a generous supply of contact lens solution and cases. Most travel mistakes involving contact lenses are easily avoided with a generous supply of daily disposable contact lenses, though.

You use saliva or tap water to clean your lenses

If you’re tired or out of contact lens solution, you may be tempted to simply clean your lenses out with saliva or run them under the tap. Saliva is always a bad idea, whether you’re traveling or not. Your mouth is full of bacteria. Tap water is a bad idea, too. As this kind of practice can be risky at home, it can be doubly so when you’re traveling to a place with microorganisms that you have no resistance against. It can be especially dangerous to take a shower or go swimming with your lenses on. The news is full of stories of travelers who take a dip in the hotel pool with their lenses on and get infections so serious that they risk losing their sight.

All of these mistakes are easy to make. It can be hard to understand how it can be all that dangerous to take shortcuts with your lenses when they don’t cause you any pain at the moment. You need to remember, though, that these problems don’t show up the very first time you bend a few rules. When you run out of luck one day, the consequences can be terrible.

Jon Carson constantly deals with the realities of travel. He frequently blogs about his practical experiences of traveling, dealing with hygiene, mental health, and planning.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , ,