Our first stop was of course Kuala Lumpur and then a visit to the Petronas Towers is a must. We also climbed the stairs to the Batu Caves and had a look at the Central Market. One day of city tripping was enough so we went to the Cameron Highlands. Some degrees cooler which was a nice and welcome cool down, especially for us. This region is known for its tea plantations and strawberries but also for the many hikes you can do here. We decided to do the climb to Gunung Brinchang. Eventually it was a steep climb with a lot of puddles of mud and even ropes to help you clamber up. So we hoped we at least would get rewarded with a nice view once on top. Unfortunately the weather gods weren't on our side that day and we only had fog and rain on the top. Well, nothing we could do but make our way down again. While going down, we did get some nice views of the tea plantations. After a little break for a hot beverage and a taxi for the last few kilometers, we finally arrived back at the hotel, tired but satisfied. Furthermore, we enjoyed the good food here and a loooot of strawberries in all kind of shapes, edible or flip flop or key ring.
From here we made our way to Taiping. This was surprisingly a nice city with beautiful water gardens to wander around in. Our hostel was a very original place and for this alone we would have wanted to stay another day. When you only have a limited amount of days to spend, it is better to plan ahead. Unfortunately we only had time for one day in Taiping.
Our last stop on our tour with Ellen was the island Penang. We enjoyed the architecture and the murals, took a bike to cycle around and walked around the botanical gardens. In the sticky weather we also made a hike in the national park to Monkey beach. Once we arrived on the beach it started to become rather gray and it even rained. We didn't feel like swimming anymore after that. Going back we took a little boat. Ellen wanted to experience this and with one broken hiking boot it was also easier for Joyce. It got a bit exciting when suddenly a big wave came rolling in, but we all survived.
Those ten days flew by and so it was time to hop on a plane to Kuala Lumpur again. Here Ellen did some souvenir shopping, had her hair cut and we drank our last delicious coconut shake. At our favorite dinner spot in the city she also met Ellyza, a crazy but wonderful Malaysian girl who we met thanks to our travel buddies Tessa and Nicolas.
The next morning it was an early wake-up. After we said goodbye to Ellen on the airport, it was just the two of us again. Always a little adjusting again. We decided to go the Melaka the next day, a town about two hours south of Kuala Lumpur. It was a cozy city with a lot of old architecture, snug little streets and even modern temptation in the form of shopping malls. Here we also made the decision that it was time to go home. We lacked the energy and motivation to keep on going and exploring new things. Travel sick... We booked a flight to go home a week later. So after eight months of traveling we were home again, but not without thinking about a next trip already.