- Maybe just prepare yourself, this is a long one…get yourself a warm beverage and a little snack and you should make it through!
- We visited Kuala Lumpur before we went to Melaka and also one night after, before flying to Borneo, but I wanted to write all my experiences in KL in one go. So excuse the slight muddle up…here goes
We took the 8:00am bus from Cameron highlands to Kuala Lumpur (KL) with the journey lasting about 4 hours. We arrived in the city and after some confusion with the bus driver we exited the bus luggage in hand in the middle of the city. Fortunately, we were only a short walk from our hostel. The trusty “maps.me” did us proud and we reached our hostel, Raizzy’s Guesthouse, 10 minutes later.
On the way to our hostel we walked through the bustling China town. Here the pedestrianised streets were brimming with market stalls. The stalls were mostly selling every “brand” of trainer, bag, makeup and watch you can imagine. Most of the goods had the Nike tick backwards or the the wrong Kylie on the make up. This was amusing as was supposed to be a Kylie Jenna lip kit had a photo of Kylie Minogue plastered across the front. Someone in the packaging department got their
Kylies’ mixed up. Bless em.
We settled into our room and changed into clothes that would be less sweaty in the city’s heat. After how great Penang’s Little India was we were keen to see the scale of KL’s. We walked from our hostel about 20minutes to Little India. There was far less of a buzz in this area than in China town and it was slightly underwhelming compared to Penang. Nonetheless we found some Indian snacks and then headed to a nearby park. We reached the park and although it was warm the sky was a mean grey. We sat in a pagoda in the park to eat our snacks. Shortly after we arrived a local man joined us, using the pagoda for exercise activities. For us it was a samosa later and for him it was maybe 10 squats in when it started to rain.
The rain we had experienced earlier in our trip was usually in heavy but short bouts. For this reason we decided to stay put in attempt to stick it out. Within minutes the heavens had opened and rain was plummeting from the sky, fog was closing in and hiding the skyscrapers outside the park. The local bloke was clearly keen to leave but didn’t want to get wet, he continued to squat, jump and stretch as the rain fell. Louise and I decided that we couldn’t wait it out and that we would have to make a run for it. We parcelled our phones and cameras in the plastic bags our Indian snacks came in and set off. We sprinted from the pagoda to the park pavilion where there was better shelter. In those 50m we got completely drenched. It was clearly a kids birthday party at the pavilion with balloons and decorations. But the major give away was the, slightly bedraggled, clown. He was dressed up and with face painted ready to perform but the down pour had trapped him on the wrong side, away from the party. I felt for the guy as his make up was bound to be ruined in his dart to the other building. After all the hilarity around the clown and our local exercise fanatic, we decided it was time to make the major dash. We knew our nearest shelter was about 400m or so away so we’d be getting wet no matter what. What I learned from that run was that flip flops are not only hard to run in, but it becomes exponentially harder the wetter they/you get.
We reached the shelter of the MRT station where we caught the monorail to KL Sentral station. Here there was a huge mall which we took shelter in and were shownour first proper Malaysian shopping experience.
Still slightly damp we headed back to the hostel to dry off and we re join with Tabbie and Olivia who had arrived the day before us.
We decided that, after the trekking in the Cameron Highlands and Rain Gate the day before, we deserved a treat. We wore some of our nice(er) clothes and headed to the swanky shopping malls in the city centre. We spent most of the day strolling round the shops most of which were international brands like H&M, forever21, Levis and MUJI. We ate lunch in a swanky vegetarian restaurant where the portions were HUGE. Although it was pricier than a lot of our other Malaysian meals it wasn’t real life expensive… a huge meal still cost us around £3. After lunch we caught the free GoKL bus to the Petronas Towers. Here we sat in the park and waited for the fountain symphony show. In the meantime we discovered the mall beneath the towers had a MARKS AND SPENCER’S. This was a little taste of home and Louise and I got pretty much excited about it. Once the sun had set the lights came on at the fountains and at 8pm the show began. This consisted of two pieces of music accompanied by the fountains and lights, all in time to the music. After the show we went straight back to the hostel as we were pretty tired from our long day out, treating ourselves. Shopping is tiring work.
Day three in KL we decided to visit The Batu Caves with Tabbie. We had planned to get up and go really early however when we woke up at 7am it was pouring with rain. We decided to sleep for another hour and then get on our way. We caught the train there, turns out the station is right on the caves doorstep. The Batu Caves is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and also home to the worlds tallest statue of Murugan. Before reaching the cave itself you have to climb all 272 stairs. After the huge Murugan statue, the interior of the cave was rather under whelming…don’t get me wrong, the caves themselves were stunning. Sadly it felt like some of the beauty had been ruined by the tacky souvenir stalls, LED lights and poor kept buildings inside the cave. We’d seen what we wanted to see at The Batu Caves before lunchtime so we headed back into KL city centre for the rest of the day. We left Tabbie as we wanted to do different things. Louise and I walked a short distance from our hostel to the National Mosque. Having never actually been inside a mosque I found it really interesting. The architecture was stunning, with a lot of gorgeous symmetrical tilling. From the mosque we walked to the national monument.
This evening was the last time we’d see Tabbie before she left for the Philippines. Louise, Tabbie, Olivia and me all ate dinner together which was really nice as we’d been (sort of) traveling with them for so long! This was the evening before we set off for Melaka leaving Olivia in KL.
We arrived back in KL from Melaka in the morning to the same hostel we had stayed in before. We spent the morning strolling through the city tree walk and gazing up at the Menara (KL) tower. For lunch we managed to find a little restaurant which sold hummus!!! This was a proper treat, and we found out it pairs surprisingly well with roti bread.
We went back to the hostel to freshen up ready for our trip up The Petronas Towers. We took advantage of the 99sen (18p) uber rides and cruised into town and were dropped off right at the front doors of the towers. The first part of the tour was the sky bridge between the towers. The bridge is found on floor 42 and joins one tower to the other. We timed it so that we’d be up for sunset, although it was raining the sky still began to twinkle delicately. After the bridge we were taken to the top observation deck and by this point the sun had completely set. The view was stunning and you could see for miles across the glittering city. From the Petronas Towers we walked to Heli Bar which is an open air, roof top bar converted from a helicopter landing pad. We arrived just in time for happy hour but soon discovered it was “Lady’s Night”. This meant free wine for girls ALL NIGHT. Had we not of been catching a flight the next day I’m sure we would have taken advantage of this more so than we did. That being said we stayed there until 23:00 talking to people who worked at The University there (the uni that is linked with Uni of Notts!).
All in all I REALLY liked Kuala Lumpur. The city was interesting, busy and beautiful. In comparison to Bangkok, KL is miles better. There were no surprise unexplainable smells, the city felt lived in and exciting. KL gets top marks from me.