"A fortnight in Malaysia" Malaysia by Callavetta
Malaysia Travel Guide: 27,840 reviews and 69,540 photos
I work for a Silicon Valley based company with a huge manufacturing in Ipoh, Malaysia. Although I have run the global Human Resources function for four years, I am ashamed to say that until now, I have only spent 24 short hours in this amazing country.
I could say that it's because the HR department there is so professional and runs so flawlessly that it hasn't required a visit from me. I could make excuses that it's a very long trip and I'm very busy. I could come up with lots of reasons. But it's still a shameful fact.
This year we scheduled our annual Global HR Summit in Malaysia so my excuses came to a halt. And I have to say, it's about time.
This is a travel page, so I won't expound on how the professionalism of the Malaysian HR team and how top knotch they truly are. Rather I will try to share my impressions, and hopefully some travel tips about this very diverse and very interesting country.
I arrived in K-L after a 14 hour flight to Hong Kong, a quick overnight stay at the Airport Regal Hotel, and then another 3.5 hour flight. Stepping out of the airport my first impression was the oppressive HEAT. Hey, I live in San Francisco. It seldom gets in the 80s, and it's a relatively dry area. The humidity and heat of most of Asia hangs on one like a cloak and doesn't ever lift, even at night.
The GM of our Ipoh factory wanted to pick me up at 3:00 for a tour of K-L and had arranged a room for me at the JW Marriott. From my handy iPhone I emailed him from Hong Kong. I know it's a long drive (3 hrs), I said. I know you've got a lot to do! And truthfully, I'm tired and didn't sleep well on the flight over or last night. Please don't feel you need to take me touring. Nonsense, he said. "I will show you all of K-L in two hours. You rest. I'll pick you up at 6:00."
I have to admit he delivered. First of all, he arranged a private limo for me from the airport. Air conditioned and very polite. (I didn't count how many times the driver called me "Miss" but it was included in every sentence.) When we arrived at the hotel, there were THREE hotel staff waiting outside to greet me by name. Other people were standing about looking to see who the heck I was! They scooped me up and rushed me to my room where the hotel manager checked me in in the privacy and comfort of my very nice suite. Now THIS is not a bad introduction to Malaysia. So first impression: incredible service.
And when my colleague picked me up, he in fact took me to the K-L Tower where we in fact did see all of K-L in two hours; the two hours it took the restaurant to do two full revolutions while we enjoyed a delicious dinner in airconditioned luxury. The timing was perfect as we watched the sunset and the lights go on all over the city. Sure we talked business, but this IS a business trip!
The Malaysian team took the whole global group to the Cameron Highlands. What a change from the cities. We climbed for two hours up to about 1500 meters to a much cooler climate (some were even cold, but I thought it was perfect) to the beautiful green mountains where we visited the BOH tea plantation.
After 3 days in Ipoh and a full day in the factory, the team moved offsite to Langkawi where we discovered the tropical island version of Malaysia. We spent four full days at the wonderful Berjaya Langkawi resort. I hated leaving!
- Pros:Hugely diverse in geography and population
- Cons:Oppressive heat for anyone not used to it
- In a nutshell:www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my
Malaysia has three primary races; Malays, Chinese and Indians. The Malays far outnumber the others and the government... more travel advice
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