At the beginning of August, we took a trip to Malaysia and Singapore for our summer vacation. Our first day of vacation is always a travel day, and we spent the majority of a Friday & Saturday traveling from Japan to Hong Kong, and then finally to Malaysia.

I posted our vlog above, but if you don’t feel like watching that, I’ll give a breakdown of our first day down below:

Funehiki to Tokyo to Haneda: 

We live in Funehiki, which is kind of like a suburb of Fukushima Prefecture. Like with most international flights that we take, our flight to Malaysia left from Tokyo. To get there we:

  • Took a train from Funehiki to Koriyama : 20 minutes
  • Took a bullet train from Koriyama to Tokyo: 2 hours
  • Took a local train to Haneda Airport: 25 minutes

This, of course, was after working a full teaching day, and we left for Tokyo straight from the office. We were already exhausted by the time we got to the airport, but when you only have ten days of travel, you make the most of every second of vacation time you get.

Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur: 

Unfortunately, our flight to Malaysia wasn’t direct, and we ended up with a layover in Hong Kong. We arrived before the most things were open, and we sat in an exhausted stupor at our transfer gate.

The Hong Kong airport was pretty big, but we stuck to our gate for our three hour layover. There wasn’t enough time to explore outside of the airport, but we ventured through the food court for a coffee, and then boarded our plane to Kuala Lumpur.



We had pretty ambitious goals for our first day in Kuala Lumpur. Our plan was to check into our Airbnb, and then head over to Little India for dinner. We took the KLIA Express from the airport into the city, and then rode a local train to the Putra Station which was right across the road from our Airbnb.

We were really tired, but knew that if we laid down, we would crash, so we forced ourselves to get back outside and find food.

A few minutes from the apartment we found a mall, and our first official meal in Malaysia was Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken and a cold Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Not the best food we had on our trip, but we were content with not having to walk very far to search for sustenance.

As soon as we got back to the apartment, we crashed pretty hard.

We probably could have slept through to the next day, but we woke up to find that the aircon in the apartment has stopped working. In Japan, this wouldn’t have been a big deal, but in the humid Kuala Lumpur air, we knew that it was going to be an uncomfortable night if we didn’t get it fixed.


Once we realized that the air conditioning had stopped working (and also shorted out the rest of the apartment every time we tried turning it on), we contacted our host….to no avail. If you ever find yourself interacting with Airbnb hosts in Asia, be prepared to use the LINE App. Unfortunately, the app wouldn’t cooperate with us, and we couldn’t figure out how to message her through it, so we sent messages through Airbnb and hoped for the best.

While we waited to hear back, we took another walk to the nearest 7-Eleven, and bought water, a few instant ramen bowls, chips, and Mountain Dews for dinner. It’s funny (and borderline sad) how often we eat at 7-Eleven when we travel, but it’s faster and usually cheaper than going out to restaurants.

A Long Night: 

Unfortunately, the air conditioner was never fixed. Our host wasn’t able to contact an electrician, and even though she offered to move us to a new location, we didn’t think it was worth it – especially because we were tired of traveling, and just wanted to go to sleep. We kept the fan on throughout the night, and thankfully made it a somewhat bearable sleep.

First Impressions: 

At this point, I think we were just grateful to have arrived. Malaysia was never really high on my list of places to visit, and it took a while to get used to the busyness of Kuala Lumpur.  We knew very little about the country, but found ways to immerse ourselves in the culture and learn more about what makes Malaysia unique.

If you choose to continue to read these posts or even watch our vlogs, you’ll see that Malaysia turned out to be better and more rewarding than we ever expected.