I can't believe it has been a month since our Malaysian vacation! Matthew and I had a wonderful time. It was a lovely getaway, with the perfect mix of relaxation and sightseeing. I’m so excited to share all about it with you today.
After 32 hours of travel, we arrived into Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital city.
Twelve hours later, I gave two keynote presentations at Young Living's Asia Pacific Leadership Conference – one on blogging and social media best practices and one on the importance of self-care. It was invigorating sharing messages I am so passionate about on the other side of the world! I still am pinching myself.
The next day we flew to Kota Kimbalu to the Sabah region of Malaysia. We decided to stay at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria and it was so wonderful.
I can’t recommend it enough. First off, the property was gorgeous. I sat at the pool and read every single day and couldn’t have been happier.
The hotel had five diverse restaurants and had a hugely vast array of meal options.
Our spacious room was comfortable and we enjoyed fresh fruit and snacks every day. The outdoor deck had a private bath on it, and I loved reading and relaxing in it every night of our stay.
That first day at the Shangri-La, we did a tour of the jungle that is on the hotel property. During the tour we spotted a pit viper, several long-tail macaque monkeys and a tarantula.
We also had spectacular views at the peak of our climb. We enjoyed talking with hotel guests from all parts of the world including Britain, China and Australia.
We selected Kota Kimbalu because it was on the coast and because I REALLY wanted to visit an orangutan rehabilitation facility there. Orangutans are native to Malaysia and they are my favorite animal. Unfortunately, all the orangutans were moved to another part of the island (Sandankan) about six months ago. It was a 2.5 hour flight to Sandankan, and we felt like it was too much time and energy to fly again when we had just landed in Kota Kimbalu.
We did visit Low Kowai animal preserve (they have orangutans there), but it really was just a zoo and not what I had hoped regarding the orangutans.
A highlight of our Malaysian vacation for both Matthew and me was doing a boat tour of the Mangrove trees that grow along the river and seeing the homes and lifestyles of the Bajau people who live in shacks literally on the river.
It was heartbreaking to see the poverty, but inspiring to learn of their passion for family, community and the river.
Kota Kimbalu is where Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia's largest mountain and the 20th largest mountain in the world, is located. On Sunday we hired a private guide to take us on a tour up part of the mountain and through the botanical gardens located there.
It was incredible seeing the diverse flora and fauna that existed in the jungle. We were especially amazed by the more than 30 types of moss found there. It was a rainy morning for our tour, but the views were still incredible.
Monday we had an afternoon flight, so we spent time at the pool, walking the Shangri-La's private beach and doing a bit of jet skiing in the China Sea. It was SO fun and a great end to our trip.
We flew back to Kuala Lampur and stayed at a hotel on the airport property so that we would have an easy morning for our early Tuesday flight back to the states. When we arrived home, we were greeted by three excited kiddos and my mom who held down the fort while we were gone. We were so grateful for all her help while we were away.
This Malaysian vacation was a reminder of how important quality time is with your spouse. If it’s been awhile since you got away, try to plan a trip together. It doesn’t have to be to the other side of the world!
Have you ever gone on a Malaysian vacation? What tips would you add?