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Published by Afterschool.my on Jan 03, 2019, 11:56 am
You’ve unpacked your things, gone through orientation and maybe made a friend or two. Welcome to the next couple of years of your life… but, what happens next? A foreign country can be scary at first, what with the new languages and the many races that can be found in Malaysia.
It’s tempting to just shy away from it all and stick to going straight back home after classes, but Malaysia has a whole lot more to offer than just that! Here are a few go-tos for other international students in the country who want to let off some steam from all their studying!
Sunway Pyramid, a mall with a skating rink! - Image from GoWhere Malaysia
Across Malaysia, there are 560 shopping malls, and it’s estimated that we’ll have close to 700 malls by the end of next year! Most malls in the Klang Valley are usually located close to a train station, and most public transport in major cities will take you within walking distance to a nearby mall.
Jacklyn Soetjipto, an Indonesian student here, tells us that she only goes to places that are easily accessible by public transport- which means lots of days at the mall! “I go to Pavilion a lot because it’s easy to go to. Grab is a bit expensive, so I usually take the LRT.”
Big malls like the one Jacklyn mentioned, The Curve and Mid Valley are all easily accessible and are usually jam packed with places like a cinema, a bowling alley and an arcade- One Utama has all three! If you’re adventurous, some malls even have rock climbing (One Utama), archery (Sunway Pyramid) and ice skating rinks (IOI City Mall)!
The view from Broga Hill. - Image from Flickr
If malls are not your speed and you’d rather spend time reconnecting with Mother Nature, Malaysia is a great place to do so. Despite most colleges and universities being in the city, one doesn’t need to go far to find somewhere to hike or to simply just take a walk in the lush greenery that Malaysia has to offer.
Canadian student Zak Cunningham is big on marathons and running. “I spend a lot of time hiking and running outdoors. I really enjoy spending time with my friends in Malaysia and going out and doing activities with them.”
Much frequented hiking trails include Gasing Hill, Broga Hill (go early for the sunrise!) and Tabur Hill- both the east and west trails. If you’re looking for something a little more leisurely, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) or any national park across the nation are all nice places to lace up and walk around at.
A bowl of Penang laksa. - Image from Papparich
It’s no secret that Malaysia is the land of good food. With one of the most popular foods here, Penang laksa, being on CNN’s top 10 best foods, our food is somewhat of a national treasure. One just has to visit a night market to savour our char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles with cockles and prawn), apam balik (pancake with cream corn and peanuts) and lok lok (boiled meat or veggies on a stick).
However, if you’re feeling a little homesick, there’s a lot of food here that might just remind you of home. With Malaysia being a melting pot of culture, a lot of the international food here is prepared by people who are actually from that country.
Kalista* from Bangladesh says it best. “I like all cuisines! There is really good Lebanese food in Bukit Bintang, and a good place in Sunway called Star Kebab that’s nice.” She also enjoys the mamak, which is Indian Muslim cuisine that famed for being cheap, accessible at all hours and yummy to boot!
There are lots of places to see around Malaysia, both natural and man-made. In terms of what Mother Nature has given us, the Batu Caves is a must-see- a huge limestone hill with a number of caves in it. The temple there is one of the most popular Hindu temples outside India, and is lead up to by 272 steps.
Malaysia also has lots of natural islands! From Pulau Tioman to Pulau Perhentian, island hopping should definitely be on your list of activities. “During the sem break, my Indonesian friends and I will rent a car and go to different states, different islands. We just have to request for our driver’s license to be changed to an international license,” tells Frisca Simbolon, a 21-year-old Indonesian student here.
Besides our natural wonders, there is also man-made infrastructure. Everyone knows about KLCC, which stands for the Kuala Lumpur City Centre- comprising of a mall, a aquarium, an orchestra hall, office buildings, a convention centre and so much more! It is the tallest twin building in the world and used to be the tallest building in the world.
Malaysia is a country rich with culture, sights and of course, great food! Focusing on your studies is great- but taking time off to have a look-see around this country that you’re calling home for the next few years of your life is definitely worth your time. So get out there and savour it all!
Can’t wait to get started on your journey to study in Malaysia? Let us help you with that- click here!
*Names changed to protect privacy