I know you are all waiting patiently for my first post about Melbourne, but I have one more adventure to share first. To save a little cash, we ended up spending another week in Malaysia, this time in the city of Sepang. It is surprising how much money I can save on flights simply by researching my options. I’ll go over this in more detail later, but long story short, I was able to save about $100 by flying from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, staying there for a week, then flying to Melbourne on the first day of my house sit. Here is a quick recap of our week in Sepang, Malaysia.
Sepang is in the same state as Kuala Lumpur, but about 40 miles to the South. It is the city where the main airport is located and therefore very convenient for anyone looking for a KL layover destination.
Our hotel was easily accessible by either the airport train, a 30 MYR taxi for two, or a free airport shuttle (mostly full of employees). This made it incredibly convenient and inexpensive (cheapest option to KL is about 70 MYR). In addition to the cheap transportation, the hotels are cheaper, and so is the food. Sepang proved to have a much more local-friendly price range.
Our hotel was in a small suburb near the train station. We counted about five restaurants, three grocery stores, six laundromats (?!), two barber shops, one hotel, and that’s about it. Literally. Imagine a block-sized strip mall packed with practically identical shops, a parking lot wrapping the whole thing, a street surrounding that, then jungle. Just jungle. That is where we were. It was… odd.
Breakfast? Dessert? Who cares!
We became quick regulars at the five restaurants in the neighborhood. As soon as the staff saw us, they would call for whichever server spoke the best English and he would come running and start offering us all of the same things we had the day before. We quickly learned that our dining choices were the talk of the town. It wasn’t our fault. The server would hand us a menu three pages long, we pointed to what looked good, he would giggle for an unknown reason, then we would eat our delicious meal. We did eventually discover that we were eating the dishes in all of the wrong orders: dessert for breakfast, breakfast for dinner, dinner for lunch, etc. Whatever. It was amazing!
Let’s put it to the world. The above dish is a deliciously fluffy bread. It is covered in a sweet glaze. It tasted like a heavenly breakfast or a light dessert to me. BUT it is served with savory, curry dipping options. So is it dinner? What IS it?!
Aside from our continual faux-pas or ordering off the wrong page of the menus, we had an amazing time returning to the delightful dishes of Malaysia. We ate as often and as much as we could and enjoyed every bite. We were particularly excited to have another chance at our favorite, three layer tea.
It might be noticed that I haven’t mentioned the name of our hotel. That is because we were very torn about our opinion of it. It was cheap, but extremely clean. The internet didn’t work very often, but when it did, it was lightning fast. The staff wasn’t particularly helpful, but they were incredibly friendly. It was just sort of “meh”.
We were put in a windowless, white room. The only thing that wasn’t white was the tiny desk in the corner of the room (the major selling point to the room), but the desk didn’t have any accessible electrical plug-ins, so that was a bust.
What do you do in a windowless white room with random internet? Sleep. A lot. After a couple of nights, completely losing track of time and our tans, we finally came out and started to explore again. Who knew fresh air could feel so good?
One night, our neighborhood hosted a night market. We grabbed one of just about everything and had a small feast of crazy flavors for less than $10. I also purchased my second souvenir of the trip, a beautifully decorated head scarf in the local style. Maybe not my most practical purchase, but I really liked it.
Nasi Lemak Burger
If it sounds like I am giving off the impression that all we did in Sepang was sleep, work, and eat, it is because that is exactly what we did. So the story of our Sepang adventure ends with yet another story of food: the McDonald’s Nasi Lemak Burger.
That’s right, nasi lemak is one of our go-to meals in Malaysia as it is filling, varied, delicious, and usually cheap. Most often, it is a plate of coconut milk rice, paired with dried anchovies, cucumber salad, boiled peanuts, sambal, and either fried chicken or lamb curry… or both. It seemed like an odd combination at first, but we warmed up to it.
Luckily enough, we passed by a McDonald’s on the launch day of their new Nasi Lemak Burger. In line with our previous American fast-food chain adventures around the world, we went in for a taste.
It was a little more expensive than we would usually pay for lunch, but totally worth it. The bun was the star of the show, a coconut milk bun with pepper flakes. Next, a layer of sambal, cucumbers, and caramelized onions. Finally, a fried egg and large fried chicken breast. We were very happy with this burger and the flavors paired very well together.
To Melbourne… Finally!
As we travel full-time we can sometimes get caught up in the “can’t wait” loop. “I can’t wait until we get to China! I can’t wait until we get to Malaysia!” etc. This is a horrible habit that keeps us from appreciating where we are here and now. We are absolutely excited about Melbourne and we know our readers are too, but I can’t let my excitement keep me from posting about an entire week we spent in Sepang.
But now that the time has come and gone, it is time to get stoked for our next adventure. Good-bye SE Asia (for now) and hello Australia!
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