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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Plexman

Unforgettable Adventures in Malaysia

Embarking on a journey from the landscapes of Canada to the vibrant streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been so far, an adventure I'll never forget.

My wife and I flew to Malaysia two weeks ahead of the armwrestling tournament where I will be defending my world champion titles, giving us enough time to rest, recharge from our trip and explore this beautiful part of the world.
However, little did we know just how eventful this trip would be. Before embarking on this adventure, I was busy with work and training and was looking forward to the day I could leave the daily worries behind to enjoy travelling.
The anticipation was real as my wife and I boarded the first leg of our journey. A 46-hour travelling plan followed while we changed continents, North America - Europe - Asia and new time zones awaited us. The trip was long, but the promise of new experiences on the horizon kept us keeping on.

Recovery - Reset - Recharge

After reaching Kuala Lumpur, it immediately became clear how physically demanding the travel was. The first two days were dedicated to recovering and resetting our bodies to the new time zone and weather conditions. A short walk to the Petronas Towers, interacting with a few locals on our way there, and later on in the evening, a stroll to the busiest street food market, was enough for our first day.

Trying new Tastes

The market was a symphony of sights, sounds, and scents. A celebration of food! Following my adventurous spirit, I decided to try something truly out of the ordinary – fried scorpion on a stick!
It was crunchy and surprisingly similar to the taste of fried chicken.

Click to watch the video.

Derailed Plans in Penang Island and Ipoh

Eager to explore Malaysia, the next day we met up with Simon. Simon is a kind and friendly local that we hired to be our tour guy for the next 4 days as we were setting off for Penang Island, and then making our way down to Ipoh before returning back to Kuala Lumpur a week later.

We started with breakfast at a local food court market that not many tourists know about. We learned a different way to poach eggs and tried chicken broth.
One hour later, we were sitting on the top deck of a bus, for a five-hour drive to Penang Island. Penang Island is known for its artistic capital city, Georgetown, and for its cultural richness and picturesque landscapes.

However, fate had other plans for us. Sudden illness struck! I felt tired and weak like I was hit by a bus! I managed to sleep for a while and although I did feel better, I was by far feeling great. Once settled in our hotel room, the real deal became evident. We started experiencing severe symptoms of the Influenza A virus. Sore throat, eyes watering, back pain, muscle pain, migraines, exhaustion, fever, stomach pain, vomiting..., the list goes on.

Together in Quarantine

For the next week, we found ourselves confined to our hotel room, quarantined under the instructions of the Ministry of Health. Our world shrank to the dimensions of a hotel room. Resting, sleeping, and trying to feel better, together, after 7 days, we finally weathered the storm.
It was a challenging period, and as the days passed, there were moments when I was worried. The tournament was only a week away, and I couldn't help but wonder if my strength would return in time for my fight to defend my title.

A Glimpse of Kuala Lumpur:

Recovered and determined to make the most of our time, we returned to Kuala Lumpur. The cityscape of Kuala Lumpur offers a breathtaking view of modern architecture, with the Petronas Towers standing as towering icons.

Observing the city from the 86th and 89th floor of the Petronas Towers, while learning that "Kuala Lumpur" means "muddy estuary", added depth to our appreciation of this thriving metropolis.

Kuala Lumpur is surrounded by natural beauty and jungle. We felt we had to meet the silver fall monkeys and witness the mesmerizing fireflies illuminating the night, before the end of our trip.

We spent one day visiting temples, feeding monkeys, meeting more locals and cruising on the Kuala Sepetang River to watch the fireflies.
The big day is here!

Tomorrow the 2023 International Federation of Armwrestling world championships begins!

As I reflect on my first visit to Malaysia, I am struck by the resilience and adaptability that this journey demanded. From the long travel to the unexpected health challenges, every moment was a lesson in fortitude.
Malaysia, with all its twists and turns, has not only enriched my understanding of a new culture but also strengthened my quest to defend my world champion titles. I feel strong, I feel ready!
Let's do this!

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