Friday, November 18, 2011

God's gift to Malaysia



Hello from a beautiful resort about two hours out of Kuala Lumpur.

Today began with another really early morning in Manila to catch the first flight out to Malaysia for the weekend. Yes, I was just in Malaysia about three weeks ago for a dinner with the Queen of Langkawi and Keddah -- who will be Malaysia's next Queen next month -- and some fantastic R&R in Langkawi. Now here I am again for a quickie weekend jaunt.

Malaysia is indeed proving to be pretty irresistible, with the relatively short travel time, great tourist infrastructure, an efficient and yet very green environment, and reasonable prices.

OF KINGS AND QUEENS

On the way over, I’d brought a couple of DVDs to watch including the boxed set of The Tudors, a story of Henry VIII and his many wives. I bought this set over 18 months ago and I really like it, even if I think they’ve taken lots of liberties with the filming to make it more dramatic.

I’ve read tons of books about British history so I really know all about Henry VIII and his wives -- and lots of facts were definitely added and changed for television. Still, it’s enjoyable to watch this dramatic tale of a king who thought he was God's greatest gift to his people (or at least to women!).

Unfortunately, in this never-ending Travelife, I somehow never found the time to get past Season 1 even if I loved watching the first few episodes; so I was thinking of giving myself a break and actually watching a couple of episodes on the plane.

WORK GETS IN THE WAY

But you know how it is when you open the computer. Or maybe it’s just me? But the moment I flipped open my laptop onboard, after drinks had been served, email and editing stuff beckoned and I was completely into work. Before I knew it the pilot was announcing arrival in sunny Kuala Lumpur and my precious DVDs were still in my handcarry, Season 2 unopened.

After coming here so many times in the last 24 months – this year alone, it’s already my 4th visit – Malaysia sort of feels like home, and especially the very livable city of Kuala Lumpur.

And over the course of visits, I’ve made friends, created ties and found favorite places to hang out in. What I especially like about KL is that it feels like a much greener and cleaner version of Manila, except that everything works. There's probably also much less pollution because there are so many trees!


DONE IN AN HOUR

So today, upon arriving at KLIA, a driver picked me up and straight we went to an appointment in the picture-pretty Damansara/ Sri Hartamas/ Mont Kiara area. I’m actually in Malaysia to have some fun, but I had a bit of business to deal with since I’m already in town, so I asked the people taking care of my business to get everyone together so that I could get things done and over with in about an hour.

Talk about efficiency. I drove up to Damansara and the entire retinue of people I needed to meet were lined up and waiting with everything I needed. On time. As promised. No fuss. Everything done in one place in just about an hour. This is why I love Malaysia.

LET THE FUN BEGIN

Then, with business over and done with, it was off to lunch so that I could start as quickly as possible with the real business of R&R at a lovely resort that’s been making waves for its picturesque location and holistic approach to health.

The trip's only for the weekend, and it's quite far to go for only two days if you think about the three hour flight and the two hour drive, plus the hour it takes from KLIA to the city; but somehow -- even to someone like me who so dislikes long drives -- this was pretty painless.


Almost the entire way from KL on the highway, it was a most picturesque scenery of limestone crags, verdant greens, giant leafy ferns, and almost poetic rocks -- and it was pretty much like this within minutes of leaving the city perimeters.

And yes, this is a highway I'm talking about, but it's one of the prettiest I have ever seen in developed Asia, with very few billboards or ugly buildings to spoil the view. Since we're on the subject of God's greatest gifts in this blog -- well, God certainly gifted Malaysia with natural beauty and the early foresight not to cut down trees for quick profit. The result is a country full of lush greenery almost wherever you look -- from KL to anywhere in Malaysia. If only all drives could be like this.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend from all of us at Travelife Magazine -- wherever in the world you happen to be.

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