Model and content creator, Bay Doucet shares with us two of her favourite weekend experiences in Malaysia as we focus on domestic travel and rediscover our own backyard.
There’s no better time than now to explore what our unique country has to offer. With international border closures and surges of COVID-19 cases worldwide, domestic travel is the way to go, and it feels like everyone is scrambling to plan their ‘Cuti-Cuti Malaysia’ trips.
This past year I’ve been fortunate to be able to go on a few trips to escape the mundane work-from-home life, discovering fascinating corners of our country that I may not have otherwise travelled to if not for the strange new circumstances that have affected the world in 2020.
Starting with something perfect for a city day trip or weekend adventure, I’ve been loving the recent changes to Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur (KL). The emergence of eccentric new event spaces, experimental cafes and the general pedestrian-friendly layout of Petaling Street and the surrounding areas make it the ideal way to spend the weekend while rediscovering our capital city.
A short 7-minute-walk away from Kwai Chai Hong is another space worth exploring, REX KL. This building was once an iconic old cinema, but after years of neglect, it has now been repurposed into an arts and cultural space that houses an assortment of pop-up stores, restaurants and exhibitions. While the pandemic has slowed down the number of large scale events being held in the space, it still contains a number of tenants in The Back Ground, an all-day urban food hall and marketplace located within REX KL that breathes new life into the once abandoned building.
The Kasturi Resort, located in Cherating, Pahang is a secluded, private and quiet retreat away from the city. The 3-hour-drive it takes to get there from KL brings you through the winding and scenic roads of Gombak and Bentong, before a long stretch of highway takes you straight to the coast. My advice is to take your time with the drive, stopping in Bentong for a late morning snack at Kedai Kopi Kow Po or Kopitiam Thong Kee.
Kedai Kopi Kow Po is a family run business that has been passed down through generations. Famous for their home-made ice cream and shaved ice desserts, it’s a great place to stop for a refreshing treat before continuing on your journey. If the drive has worked up your appetite, Kopitiam Thong Kee on the other hand, is a great place for some noodles, toast and kopi to re-energise you for the rest of the trip.
These little detours out of my everyday routine remind me just how lucky I am to call Malaysia my home. From pristine beaches, to lush rainforests, to big city excitement, this country has it all, so everyone is sure to find a ‘Cuti-Cuti Malaysia’ itinerary that works for them!
Bay Doucet is a graphic designer, model and content creator living in sunny Kuala Lumpur. She’s a mom to two rescued stray cats, loves milo ais, and is probably planning her next beach trip. Follow her adventures at www.instagram.com/baydoucet.