We have been in Thailand a couple of weeks now and love it. Malaysia, however is still on our minds and in our hearts. We visited 4 places in Malaysia: Kota Kinabalu, Bintulu, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. We loved Malaysia! So time for a comprehensive BOLT review.
We are changing from a stars (*) reviewing system to hearts. Our last name means ‘beloved heart’ so ♡s seem perfect for BOLT reviews. Plus, I just figured out where the ♡s are on my keyboard, LOL.
So, on with our 7 criteria review :
We look for small, clean, affordable, centrally located hotels. We got that and more in both Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown, Penang. We loved our spot in KL, the 1000 Miles Inn, especially because of the helpful and polite staff.
The Merchant Hotel http://www.merchanthotelpenang.com/
in Georgetown was especially luxurious with beautiful rooms and a full buffet breakfast. Both places were less than $30 per night.
The food in Malaysia is some of the best in the world. With Indian, Chinese and Malay influences there is an incredible amount of choices. We loved the variety and the spiciness. Malaysia has a proud Hawker tradition. There are stalls everywhere with everyone wanting you to try their specialty.
The American dollar is very strong in Malaysia. Meals for $1, hotel stays $30, taxis $2, Sleeper car train travel $16, and the Malaysian experience priceless!
Cultural Relevance? ♡♡♡♡♡
One of the things I love most about Malaysia is the ethnic and religious diversity. We saw children: Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian all attending school together. There were great museums and beautiful religious buildings everywhere. Of course, we would need a longer stay to truly grasp the intricacy of Malaysian society but as visitors we enjoyed a sense of ease and harmony everywhere.
We are not giving Malaysia any hearts in this area. This is not because we personally experienced any problems, we didn’t. However we saw this information (see link). We would need to stay much longer to get a better idea personally. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Malaysia
Elder Appropriate? ♡♡♡
Frankly, Malaysia was not the physically easiest country for me. There are lots of uneven sideways, few traffic lights or crosswalks for pedistrians, and a lack of elevators in some hotels. We love to walk but I learned in Malaysia to be much more mindful of traffic and where I am stepping. I tripped and stumbled quite a bit before realizing I needed to be more careful and slow my roll.
Black Folk? ♡♡♡
We didn’t see a bunch of people we recognized as being from the African diaspora (what I mean when I say black folk) but we saw lots of people we recognized as being ‘our’ folk…people of color, women and men working hard to build a better life for their children. Many Malaysians look like Kathy and I. We often saw native Malaysians who looked like brothers and sisters from home. We felt comfortable and welcomed.
So, in conclusion, Malaysia gets 4.3 BOLT hearts and a definite plan to return!