Wednesday, 15 January 2014

My Malaysian Experience: Talon Windwalker of 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure

Photo © 1Dad1Kid.com

Sometimes when we plan to travel to a foreign country, we need something more than just glossy brochures, beautiful photos, captivating images and videos to convince us to travel to that country. We need to hear unbiased stories and recommendations from our fellow countrymen or at least from other fellow travellers who have visited the country. It is with this in mind, Ramble and Wander is coming up with an interview series entitled "My Malaysian Experience", to invite friends from around the world to share their personal experience while travelling in Malaysia. 

For this first interview, Talon Windwalker of 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure shares with us his experience travelling in and around Malaysia together with his son, Tigger.

Q ]  When was the first time you came to Malaysia and what made you decide to visit Malaysia in the first place?

[ a ]  We had a brief layover in Kuala Lumpur (KL) in January 2013 but came back for a longer visit in March 2013. I had a good impression of KL on our first visit, but we had friends living in Penang, and we really wanted to spend some time with them. That was really our primary reason for returning for a longer period of time.

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Q ]  What did you think about Malaysia before you came? What was your first impression when you first arrived in Malaysia? Was it different from your earlier thoughts about Malaysia?

a ]  I really didn’t know much about Malaysia before we came for a longer visit, so I really didn’t have any expectations. It was quite different from Thailand where we had been for almost 2 months. I had heard a lot of good things about the food in Malaysia, and I can definitely say expectations were met!

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Q ]  How long were you in Malaysia and where did you go? What did you enjoy the most while in Malaysia? Did you find any place or thing that is underrated or overrated?

a ]  The first time we stayed just over a month, mostly in Penang, but we also did visit the Perhentian Islands, Ipoh, and KL. On our return visit we spent about the same amount of time and visited KL and Langkawi.

We were able to see some wild elephants on a road trip we took, and that was pretty exciting. Malaysians are generally very friendly and welcoming, and it makes traveling within the country that much more enjoyable.

I feel like the Blue Mosque (in Shah Alam) and Batu Caves are probably underrated while the Perhentians are very overrated.

Photo © 1Dad1Kid.com

[ Q ]  Did you try any local food? Which one did you like most and why? Anything you didn't like?

a ]  We ate lots of local food. I especially loved the Nyonya foods, and of course lots of great Indian food. I had already sampled durian before coming to Malaysia, but I would say the Malaysian one is much more potent than the Thai one. Definitely not a durian fan. One of my favorite local dishes is nasi kerabu. So flavorful and pretty.

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Q ]  Overall how would you rate your stay in Malaysia?

a ]  Extremely high. I really enjoyed Malaysia and would definitely come back and stay longer. It’s such a beautiful country, the people are quite nice, the food is excellent, and it’s nice to be able to find so many English speakers so that you can have some really good conversations and learn more about the culture.

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Q ]  What would your advice be to others who are thinking of visiting Malaysia? (Things not to be missed perhaps? Minimum length of stay maybe? Any advantages/disadvantages compared to her neighbouring countries?)

a ]  I would definitely visit Batu Caves and the Blue Mosque. Street food should not be missed. The “off the eaten path” tour done by Food Tours Malaysia in KL is phenomenal and highly recommended. Obviously, one should visit the Petronas Towers at night. It’s such a beautiful sight.

Minimum stay is a tough one. You could easily spend months there. I think if someone really wants to experience Malaysia, though, they should give themselves at least a month. That isn't to say if you only have a 2-week holiday you shouldn't go to Malaysia. Definitely do! However, if you have more time, I’d definitely plan on spending a good amount of time there. The country is so diverse, there is a lot to experience.

Talon Windwalker, from the USA, left his job in 2011 to embark on a life as a full-time nomad. Ever since then, he travels around the world together with his son, Tigger, while at the same time homeschooling him. At the time of interview, they are gallivanting around Central and Eastern Europe. Read more about their journey at 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure

1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Youtube

In conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014, Ramble and Wander would be doing a "My Malaysian Experience" series, which is a series of interviews with fellow travel blogger friends from all around the world to share their personal experience while travelling in Malaysia. This is the first of such interview from the series.

For other blog entries on "My Malaysian Experience" series, click here.

For other www.RambleAndWander.com blog entries on Malaysia, click here.


Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. Even my Couchsurfing friends whom I hosted asked me: "Why does this mosque is not that well-known outside Malaysia?" when I brought them to visit the Blue Mosque. Definitely it is a sight to be seen especially the original architecture, as compared to the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, where almost every part is a copycat from somewhere else in the world, as told by the Mosque guide.

    1. I guess it's because Shah Alam is hardly promoted as a tourist destination maybe? I like how they assign a personal guide to show you around to explain things and answer your questions while you're visiting the Blue Mosque. It's very helpful and informative. This is something that needs to be implemented in Masjid Negara as well, I believe.

    2. Oh, there is no guide in Masjid Negara? That is a shame. They definitely should have guides, at least the visitors can gain a lot more knowledge from their visit :)

    3. They do have someone stationed at the entrance to the prayer hall at Masjid Negara but that is unlike Masjid Shah Alam where you have a guide with you all the time while you're there and one who's ready to answer your questions, if any, at any time.

  2. Nice...I came across his blog before, he stood out as a backpacking parent toting a kid along. Respect.

    So who's gonna be next? Adventurous Kate is nearby in Brunei now ;)

    1. Yes. I met with them a few times when they were in KL. Brilliant kid, I must say.

      Thanks for the heads up. I've got a few lined up already, albeit only in my mind, haha! We'll see how it goes. :)

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