As part of our Princess Cruise of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam we stopped at three Malaysian destinations – Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu.
In Kuala Lumpur we did the Malaysian Highlights shore excursion organised by Princess Cruises. We had an excellent guide that led our coachload of passengers on a whirlwind tour. It’s a 90 minute journey from the ship to the city.
We stopped at the National Museum which has a number of galleries depicting various aspects of Malaysian history. On the outside of the museum there were displays of transportation and older style housing.
We were able to see the Moorish architecture of the Old Railway Station and glimpse the blue domed National Mosque. The mosque was built in 1965 in honour of Malaysia gaining independence from Great Britain. Its key feature is the 73m high minaret and 16 pointed star on the main roof.
We went to the National Monument that honours Malaysia’s war heroes.
The ship moors quite close to Georgetown, the capital of the island of Penang. We decided not to book an excursion and to explore on our own. There are plenty of local guides that would like to have your business and a hop on hop off bus is available. We chose the bus but would not choose it again as it’s infrequent appearance at the stops was frustrating.
We visited the Reclining Buddha Temple (Wat Chayamangkalaram) is also known as the Sleeping Buddah. the Buddha is 33m long and is gold plated.
The Dharmikarama Burmese Temple is across the road from the Reclining BuddhaTemple.
One of the stops on the bus was the Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. On a hilltop at Air Itam, near Penang Hill, the more intrepid of us decided to get a closer look. (I stayed on the bus and went back to Georgetown) The climb up the hill was hard work and the funicular for the last part was welcome – but all worth it to see the temple and the view.
Georgetown itself is a bustle of markets, people and motorbikes. The street art is amazing. It’s scattered about the town and it was fun happening upon it. I found myself a bit lost and took a pedicab ride back to the ship. An experience not to be missed!
The ship had had some engine trouble on the way to Kota Kinabalu so we only had a few hours ashore. We did some exploring via taxi.
We stopped at the Tun Mustapha Tower, a 30-story circular tower with a central core that supports the tower’s floors only by steel brackets, making each floor column-free.
We also stopped at the City Mosque that appears to be floating on water. It was built in 2000 and can hold up to 12,000 people.
We then went to the Handicraft Market. There was a large area for food – spices, grains, chicken, fish, cooked food stalls and eating areas. The handicraft market part was in a series of the narrowest aisles I have seen in a market anywhere. Lots to see.
Categories: Asia - Cruise