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Is Malaysia on your bucket-list? If not, do yourself a favour and add it now.

It might not be the most popular destination amongst South East Asia’s backpacking crowd (I have no idea why) but believe me, you won’t want to miss out.

Here are 7 experiences every traveller should have in Malaysia:

1. Blend in with Georgetown’s interactive street art

Georgetown is an Instagram addict’s dream come true. Not only is there cool street art everywhere, but you can actually become part of it. Yeah, that’s right. The city is covered with mural paintings of children by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, complete with real-life swings, motorcycles and other items you can pose with. Wanna know more about Georgetown? Check out this post.

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2. Admire Melaka’s salmon pink church

It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? Melaka’s Christ Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is definitely a sight you won’t want to miss. It’s the oldest functioning Protestant church in Malaysia and one of Melaka’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s not difficult to see why – just look at that colour!

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3. Walk through tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands

The tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands are an extraordinary sight. They’re bright green and never-ending. Standing in the middle of it all is an experience like no other. You can also enjoy a yummy cup of local tea and delicious cheesecake in one of the restaurants nearby. Once you’re done exploring, that is.

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4. Get Fat

It’s official: you can’t come to Malaysia and not put on weight. There’s so much food everywhere and you can’t help but just Eat.Every.Single.Thing. Every region has its specialities, but Hainanese chicken & rice is a must-try no matter where you are. Gourmet food is also available, like this delicious fried duck that tastes ever better than it looks.

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5. View Langkawi from above

No visit to Malaysia is complete without a couple days on the island on Langkawi. Take the cable-car to the second highest peak on the island and enjoy the spectacular view. There’s also a pedestrian sky bridge nearby if you wanna take sightseeing to the next level.

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6. Walk through Little India In Georgetown

Another Georgetown favourite (can you tell I love this place?). Little India is an assault to the senses, but in a good way. Think blasting Bollywood music, bright colours and overpowering spicy smells. What’s not to love?

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7. Stare at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Last but definitely not least: the famous Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. They really are one (or two?) of a kind. The KLCC park behind the towers is the perfect spot to admire the towers in all their glory. Make sure you also visit at night to see them when they’re lit up.

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Have you been to Malaysia? Do you have any other experiences to add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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Georgetown_Malaysia_Street_Art

If you’re into the whole hipster scene (like I am, although I’m a total poser), you’re going to love Georgetown.

Georgetown is the capital city of Penang, an island off the coast of Malaysia.

It’s colourful, cultural and the dictionary definition of cool. Think quirky cafes, awesome street art and the obligatory bicycle shop.

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It might as well be the South East Asian equivalent of London’s Shoreditch neighbourhood, except it’s like 100 degrees hotter and you won’t see any dudes with questionable beards and even more questionable haircuts.

In other words, it’s basically hipster heaven (minus the hipsters). Here’s why:

Georgetown’s a multi-cultural melting pot

No hipster town is complete without a multi-ethnic community.

Much like the rest of Malaysia, Georgetown’s a multi-cultural haven, with Malay, Chinese and Indian communities living side by side.

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It’s a place where majestic Chinese temples co-exist next to Indian DVD shops blasting Bollywood music all day long.

And speaking of Bollywood, the city’s Little India district is one of the most fascinating places you’ll set foot in.

Think non-stop music, bling-tastic goldsmiths and jewellers, pastel-coloured shop houses and overpowering smells of spice.

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There’s interactive street art everywhere 

There’s no shortage of street art in Georgetown.

The city is covered with wall paintings of children. These artworks have been commissioned by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic – he created them for the 2012 Georgetown Festival.

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Georgetown_Penang_Street_Art

The best (and most Instagrammable) thing about these artworks is that they’re interactive.

Not only can you admire Zacharevic’s street art, you can also become a part of it. How awesome is that?

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But Georgetown’s street art scene doesn’t just end there. In addition to Zacharevic’s wall paintings, the city walls feature 52 mural caricatures made of steel.

They were created by Sculpture At Work and depict funny situations and stories.

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Georgetown has a camera museum, and it’s awesome

Because every hipster town worthy of such a title needs a good camera museum.

And Georgetown’s got it covered. It’s famous Love Lane is home to Malaysia’s first-ever camera museum.

It happens to be the first camera museum I’ve ever been to. Bear in mind that I’m an avid photographer (in the making). What took me so long?

Georgetown’s camera certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s got everything from modern SLRs, vintage cameras and disposable old-school Kodaks (remember those?).

The museum also has a dark room – complete with lots of pre-digital age photo developing equipment you never knew existed.

The town is filled with cool, quirky cafes 

One thing’s for sure: you won’t go hungry in Georgetown. From Hawker Centers to Chinese restaurants to quirky little cafes, Georgetown’s got something for everyone.

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Speaking of quirky cafes: they’re everywhere, and they’re effortlessly cool. The food also happens to be effortlessly delicious.

Take Guang Seang, a cute little eatery serving mouth-watering Laksa (a famous Malaysian/Chinese spicy noodle soup).

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And of course, there’s Junk Cafe, where you can find the tastiest gourmet burgers in Georgetown. They just melt in your mouth. Seriously.

The inevitable #foodgasm can be enjoyed in the comfort of this awesome interior. It almost distracts you from the food.

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Final Thoughts

Georgetown is most definitely South East Asia’s hipster capital. Well, as far as looks are concerned, anyway. But one thing’s for sure. A visit to Malaysia isn’t complete without a couple days in Georgetown.

Have you been to Georgetown? What did you think of it? 

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