Malaysia Airlines flight 178 was about to take off from the Bandaranayaka International Airport Colombo. Onboard were the very excited Mazarins, looking forward to a fun filled extended weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
I woke up around 6 am when the aircraft hit some turbulence. After a good stretch, and getting the sleepiness out of my system I looked out of the window to one of the most amazing views I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. The aircraft was flying out of a light thunder storm above the Indian ocean, and slowly creeping into the air above the Malaysian Peninsula. The horizon, jagged with mountainous silhouettes, painted in shades of orange, red, and yellow was a scene straight out of a postcard. I looked back at the dark rain cloud, as I witnessed two flashes of lightening in quick succession. The first was a cloud flash, which just light up the dark cloud. And the next was a ground flash(technically it was above the sea), where I saw the bolt of lightening pierce the sky from my elevated vantage point. Soaking in the picturesque view, we touched down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 30th May 2015. The Mazarin excursion to Malaysia was now officially underway!!
First order of business, breakfast!! We made our first stop at the Putra Palace Restaurant just outside Putrajaya for an Indian breakfast. This waterfront restaurant gave way to a quick photo session. Being a Saturday, the empty streets, and calm surroundings gave us an opportunity to recover from the hustle and bustle of air travel.
We flocked into the tour bus and started the journey to our hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Before we got onto the highway leading to Kuala Lupmur, we had a guided tour of Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia.
Upon arrival to the Swiss-Garden Hotel, AKA ground zero for the remainder of our stay in Malaysia, we freshened up and had lunch. Lunch was followed by the much anticipated Mazarin Summit which set the tone for the Gala dinner, appropriately named Stellar Night 2015.
Day two began with breakfast at the hotel, and a short bus ride to the Petronas Twin Towers. The Mazarins were thoroughly excited snapping photographs and selfies in every possible angle as we waited for our pre-assigned time slot to go up to the sky bridge. After briefing about the Sky bridge, which I must say, was very well presented by an exceptionally energetic individual from the Patronas tour staff, we spent about 20 minutes enjoying the view. We then went up to the 86th floor, to gaze upon the cityscape from an even higher elevation. The 86th floor also housed the information center, where they used augmented reality to engage with and relay information to tourists such as ourselves.
The rest of the day was wasted. We spent most of our time cooped up inside the tour bus as we traveled to Melaka. One good thing about the Mazarins is that there is never a dull moment when the gang is around. We sang songs, related stories and jokes to pass time, and of course getting some Zzz’s. After lunch, and a bit of loitering around the Dutch square, we set off on highly overrated Melaka River Cruse. Again we boarded the bus, and headed back to ground zero. Tired, but hungry we quickly freshened up, and took a short walk to the famous “Jalan Alor” AKA the food street. Feeling a bit adventurous, a select few tried a local delicacy… Frog Legs. As we anxiously waited for our order to be prepared we had to endure the jokes and squeamish remarks from the rest of the gang. Finally we were presented with a platter of Batter Fried Frog. My father, in his youth, had tried Frog on one of his business trips to Japan. And he was right, it did taste like chicken!!! it was very tender, slightly slimy but yummy nevertheless!!! After dinner, and a midnight stroll along the streets which were busy with activity even at that time at night, we headed back to the hotel.
Day three also began with breakfast at the hotel, after which we boarded the bus for the guided city tour. The first stop for the day was the National Palace(Istana Negara), followed by a visit to the National Monument(Tugu Negara). Next we spent a few hours at the Kuala Lumpor Bird Park, after which we went to the Cocoa Boutique, the chocolate factory visit that was a little disappointing, as we expected it to be more interesting that what we were able to experience. We had lunch, and headed off on a shopping spree!! I managed to find the Camera shop that I Googled, YL Camera, and got a good deal for a Lowpro Backpack and Sirui Aluminum Tripod. The day ended with another awesome experience when a few of us visited Malaysia’s largest indoor Theme Park at Berjaya Time Square to ride the Supersonic Odyssey ROLLER COASTER!!! This 800m long ride, boasts of being the longest multiple-inverted roller coaster in the Asia-Pacific region. And it was CRAZY!!! I wish I could have gone again…
The fourth and final day of our stay in Malaysia, again started with breakfast at the hotel followed by more shopping. Three hours of shopping later, a few of us, took a cab to the Petronas Twin Towers to visit Aquaria KLCC. It was yet another amazing experience!!! I was able to touch a Shark(a species known as the “Bamboo Shark”) which was swimming in a shallow Rocky Shore Touch Pool. I love Sharks and Rays, and when walking through the Oceanarium, a 90m transparent underwater tunnel, I was up close and personal with Sand Tiger Sharks, Giant Stringrays and Green Turtles! There were some amazingly beautiful creatures on display at the aquarium, and the curators have done a wonderful job trying to recreate the natural environments in which there majestic creatures live. The last activity on my checklist for the trip, was to ride the Mono-rail. And ride it we did!!
All good things must come to an end, and it was time to end the Mazarins excursion to Malaysia. As we boarded Malaysian flight 179 bound for Colombo, we brought with us some amazing memories, souvenirs, handbags, shoes, clothes, car parts, electronics, chocolates, other assorted treats and much more..
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All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.