From Singapore, we hopped on the KTMB train for a 7-hour ride north. After an exhausting three days of walking around the city, we eagerly anticipated a long commute (in first class!) to sit back and stare out the window at the tropical Malaysian countryside. To our surprise, first-class on this railway was nothing more than some extra leg room and wide seats with moldy-upholstery and rickety hinges. The train schedule was also on “Asian time”… and hour late here, an hour late there. Nevertheless, we watched the palm trees fly by the window, our bags loaded with snacks, and let our headphones drown out the old-school Looney Tunes cartoons chiming in the background.
As two of the last people on the train that evening we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. One sleep at a funky hostel and then we were off to spend two nights in a beach resort & spa by the sea (thanks to a sweet deal at “the first eco-friendly sea-hotel in the world”, we found on travelzoo.com). So far in the trip we’d stayed in some interesting budget guest-houses (with shared bathrooms), not all worth a high rating. Escaping to a romantic Malaysian resort overlooking the water is just what we needed to keep our spirits high! It was a stunning view of the Malacca Strait, to say the least, from our private villa on stilts. Ian even got creative with a decorative ladder and fit in a quick workout on the balcony.
In March, it seemed as though we were the only western tourists staying at this resort in Sepang. It wasn’t crowded, that’s for sure. One interesting aspect about the resort (which is not advertised on the website) is that the tide goes waaaaay out to sea, about every 4 hours. When we first arrived and walked out to see the view our jaws dropped, “where’s the water?!”, we gasped. The man at the front desk shrugged his shoulders, grinned, and said in his funny Malaysian accent, “it’s missing…” ha. When the water receded to its furthest distance, we could see people walking out across the soggy sand to catch the waves. We tried it for ourselves, our feet sinking in the mud.
We got lots of R&R, ate delicious food (room service, baby), and even indulged in some western TV cravings (“The Dog Whisperer” on Animal Planet- Jenny was in heaven). Ian also successfully completed a job interview from Skype at midnight, halfway around the world; oh, the wonders of modern technology!
Our RATINGS: (out of 10)
- Transportation: 8 (arranged pick-up from KL was little complicated)
- Weather: 9 (sunny skies & showers are common this time of year)
- English Proficiency: 9 (thick accents were sometimes difficult to understand)
- Cleanliness: 10 (it’s a 5-star resort. Better be spotless)
- Resort Pulse: 7 (at the time of year, a little sleepy. No problem.)