Malaysia is an amazing country. It developed, much like Singapore, very rapidly and is fast becoming one of the financial centers of South Asia. It is currently going through a plan called “2020” where the goal is to launch Malaysia into the forefront of business and development and revamp the whole country by the year 2020. It’s a young nation that’s making strides towards progressive development.
After our stay at Phuket, we went to the Malaysian island of Langkawi – one of the most beautiful places in Malaysia. There, we stayed at the Langkawi Lagoon – another gorgeous waterfront resort. Two activities that are really popular here are the river boat rides (running day and night, rain or shine) and the famous Langkawi cable car (the highest one in the world). We then proceeded to mainland Malaysia and finished off our stay at Kuala Lampur – the capital city of the country. There, I visited three main masjids in the surrounding areas.
The cable car was pretty amazing – I’ve been on a few, but this was something else entirely. There is high, then there is HIGH. Yes, I did have my eyes closed most of the way up and down. The observatories are very nice and the views from up there are breathtaking. It just so happened that while we were up there, rain clouds moved in on the mountain top and we had the pleasure of sitting through an actual cloud for about an hour.
The river tour was a lot of fun and it took us through previously crocodile infested caves, narrow creeks through mountain cliffs, a stretch with densely populated eagles, and much more. On the way back, we had to race back to the docks as a huge thunderstorm started to come in – we got caught going 50-60 knots on a choppy river going into oncoming heavy rain.
The Langkawi Lagoon is one of the most awesome places I’ve had the opportunity to stay at. It’s so simple in its beauty – definitely recommended if any of you ever visit Langkawi. The best thing about it is that it’s located five minutes from the airport and ten minutes from the cable cars, river boats, and ferry pier.
The following masjids are located in Kuala Lampur and surrounding cities. The first one we visited was the Putra Masjid in Putrajaya. This masjid has huge basement level facilities featuring state of the art class rooms, auditoriums, and community centers. It also has a waterfront strip of multicultural restaurants. Needless to say, this masjid is an absolutely enormous structure.
The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Masjid is located in the state of Selangor and is their state masjid. It is the country′s biggest masjid and also happens to be the second biggest masjid in Southeast Asia after Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia.
This is the Sultan Mizan Masjid in PutraJaya, also known as the Steel Masjid. The reason for this title is that thousands of tons of steel are used in its construction and steel acts as the primary surface material found within the masjid. What is amazing is that you will get chilly drafts inside even if it is 85 degrees outside with a high level of humidity. The architecture is laid out in a way that makes the corridors, windows, and balconies all act as wind tunnels – all funneling air to the main prayer area. It was very hot outside, but inside the main room, it was extremely comfortable – without any type of electric air conditioning. Due to logistical reasons, I didn’t get a chance to photograph this masjid as a whole from the outside.
These are the Petronas Towers – two twin towers located in the heart of Kuala Lampur. The last picture was taken from the Kuala Lampur Tower – a needle type observatory located right next to the Petronas Towers. I know there’s some shadow banding in the pictures, but I took these late at night with very low available light and no tripod – so, go figure.
And this is a picture of us us after we had a lobster and tiger prawn dinner – seafood in this part of the world is on a whole different level of good.