Backpacking Malaysia - A Malay Welcoming

We drove down a dirt track, which was covered with deep ditches and lined with lush banana trees. We were almost there. Siti's Husband had been driving north from Kuala Lumpur for nearly five hours and seemed sleepy from the thick, humid weather. I was finding the heat intense and almost unbearable, with most of my skin hidden by a long-sleeve top and slacks.

I had met Siti in Amsterdam . After explaining to her that I was visiting Malaysia in two weeks, she immediately invited me to stay in her apartment, with her and her husband, in Kuala Lumpur .

Kuala Lumpur was much too touristy for me, and I wanted to see something a little more traditional, so after a few days, Sity and her husband invited us to stay for a few nights at their parent's house.

The house was remarkable! There it stood, on four large stilts, covered with flashes of green swaying canopy. Chickens pecked their way from the side of the house around to the back, as we made our way up the stairs to the front doorway where the family was sitting.

I was warmly welcomed with plenty of smiles and traditional handshakes. To everybody's amusement, instead of palming my hands together, I accidentally demonstrated the "man" handshake. But it didn't matter they all seemed excited and delighted by our presence.

We spent our days eating meals with our fingers, and communicating to each other with gestures. Although the rooms were surrounded with netting, the thirsty mosquitoes remained relentless.

When I took walks around the area, locals from the village would constantly stare. But I didn't mind at all... it only made me realise that no tourists ever ventured here.

Thanks to Siti and her husband, I managed to become completely immersed in true Malaysian culture, with a traditional Malay family... even if only for a few wonderful days.

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