Our last few days in Malaysia were spent doing more diving, and ended off with a night out on the town in the capital Kuala Lumpur. All in all we did 14 dives over 5 days – we were exhausted, but satisfied at the end of it.
A typical dive day started at 5:30am. Breakfast is served on the beach after the first dive. Then two more morning dives before lunch is served. Then, one last dive before we are taken back to the resort at about 3:30pm for a much needed afternoon nap. We interacted more with the the other guests than we normally would have at a regular, non-dive-focused resort. After every dive, the sightings below were eagerly shared with fellow divers. And during meal times, people tended to relay stories of previous dive trips they had taken. I have started a list of “must-do” dives from everyone’s recommendations.
We loved interacting with people from all over the world. One couple in particular, about our age, caught our attention when they offered to teach us a game of “Monopoly Cards” – it’s like Uno and original Monopoly combined. The guy is South African, and the girl Czech, and they live in Hong Kong. Unbeknown to them initially, we already had our own set of Monopoly cards, which has been our trusted travel companion. We’re addicted to the game! Hence the four of us enjoyed many games over the next couple of days, with some friendly rivalry going on.
We also got to chat to the staff a bit. Surprisingly, many of the them, including our female dive-master, were from the Philippines. But the rest were Malaysian. After we first arrived in Malaysia, the thing that immediately stood out for me was the headdresses worn by the woman. This is due to Islam being the state religion. We even saw Malaysian woman wearing headscarfs, or “hijabs” while they were snorkelling. It must help against sunburn!
While our resort included some Western food on the menu, we also got to savour some local Malay food. The only thing we struggled with was the Asian breakfasts. Noodles and dumplings at 7am is just weird! But that’s all part of the experience. When we got to Kuala Lumpur, we were presented with an array of cuisines to choose from for dinner. Interestingly, there were many Arabic/Middle Eastern restaurants around. We chose to dine at a Lebanese restaurant – the food was fabulous! We ate like kings for for about R200. Mind you, we found the alcohol in Malaysia on the whole to be very expensive, compared to the Philippines for instance. We think it’s due to high import taxes on alcohol?
Here are some funny signs we came across: