Backpacking / Southeast Asia / travel

Kuala Lumpur

Well, after a month on the Thai Islands it was time for a new country, a different pace of life and some new food. I landed in KL airport at around 10:15, and quite easily made my way on the bus to KL Sentral station to for just 10 ringit (about £1.70) for a 60 minute trip, and from there the metro to Psar Senti.

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Sultan Abdul Samad building

My first stop was my hostel, Marquee Guesthouse, which is right next to the Central Market, swiftly followed by my first Malaysian meal in the local Reggae Cafe, where my meal turned up inside a pineapple. Interesting. Feeling sleepy I opted for the easy option and used the maps on my ipad to find my way around the city, jumping on the big red ‘I love KL’ statue for the obligatory tourist photograph, a wander through the markets, which sold the same kind of things as the rest of the markets in South East Asia, and a walk around a gallery learning about the history of the city. I was quite enjoying the time alone after such a hectic month on the island, and soon found myself sitting by the Medeka Square, which is where Malaysia’s independence was declared,with the giant Sultan Abdul Samad building just across the road, it was quite an epic view.

Of course, my peace and quiet was short-lasting, as a huge tour bus of Asian tourists turned up, and the little pale blonde girl (me) was passed around for several family photo-shoots. I find it quite funny so happily obliged along with another young couple who had been pulled into the mayhem.

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Chinese temple

After escaping the madness I found myself stumbling into a huge Chinese temple, where a Chinese man approached me and asked of my knowledge about the images portrayed inside. Shamefully uneducated in this area he looked pleased to have the chance to teach and show me round. He explained about the incense sticks, that they are displayed in threes to represent God, Man (people), and the Holy Spirit, he showed me the area where local students pin up their exam timetables and pray for good luck, and then about the burning furnace situated in the open area of the temple, where you put something in and the smoke sends it up to God, I’m not sure if it had to be an important item, or maybe something to help you recover or move on from something, but either way I liked the idea of it. He was really sweet, and wished me enjoyment for the rest of my trip. I headed back to my hostel and swiftly fell asleep dreaming of incense and all things Chinese.

Day 2 and after realizing the metro I wanted wasn’t working due to repair work and walking forwards and backwards for 40 minutes I made my way to to Haat Yin, where from there I walked to Bukit Bintang, for a walk around one of the many huge malls, including the Low Yat electronics plaza, which is literally 6 giant floors selling anything and everything electrical, where I made the decision to purchase myself a GoPro Hero3+, mainly for when I would be in the Great Barrier Reef, and diving with Sharks in Australia, it was pretty pricey and came with the tourist necessity of a selfie stick, but I was excited to try it out, and would recommend one to any traveler or holiday-goer. I feel my posts are mostly coordinated around my meals, and KL was not a disappointment, Nandos was my first stop, where I sat alone and pretty much demolished my first western meal in months, much to the amusement of the waiters and surrounding guests. They use their hands for eating curry, surely I can use them for chicken?!

Feeling very pleased and full I decided to try and walk off some of my peri-peri chicken indulgence and walked towards the KLCC, where I sat beneath the  impressive Petronus Towers investing in some serious people watching time. Again, the pale blonde girl was an attraction, except this time it was really worthwhile. I was approached by Monica, a Malaysian lady who was interested in where I was from, we got chatting and decided to wander the mall beneath the towers together. I found it quite bizarre that we headed straight to Marks and Spencer’s, reminding me of many a shopping trip with my mum back in England. I learnt that she is a primary school teacher, and had lived in London for a few years, where she studied English, worked in Next and in a local card shop; I really don’t know why I found this so bizarre. She was lovely and offered to be my tour guide, we had a lovely afternoon and I learnt a lot about Kuala Lumpur. Towards the end we ended up running together to catch the pink bus, which I found out from her was a free bus around the inner city areas, together we jumped on the bus, and despite my insisting she headed home she joined me on the bus all the way back to my stop, before staying on and returning all the way back to where she needed to be. Thank you Monica. Of course, my walk home included food, I popped into a small street cafe and with only the smallest amount of cash left after buying my GoPro I ate some more chicken, it was covered in some sort of jam sauce, i have no idea what..but it was interesting, and a lovely fresh lassi to wash it down.

I should probably have mentioned that I had changed my flight from Krabi a few days previously so that I could cross paths with Roxanne who would be returning to Kuala Lumpur for one night only. It was on day 3 I woke up fresh and eager,my bags all packed and headed off the hostel we had agreed to stay in, Sunflower Beds. It was near Bukit Bintang so I knew the area. Opening the door to my room I was over the moon to see Roxanne, having not seen her since our last goodbye in Siem Reap. We had a brilliant catch up, swapping stories from the last 6 weeks travelling apart, of course we headed out for food, and discussed her impending flight home. Her 4 month trip had come to an end, and she was full of mixed emotions about heading back, it made me feel so grateful that I was still able to continue my journey, escaping the so-called reality for a little longer. We decided to hit the malls and found all of our favourite shops, we wandered Zara, Topshop and H&M for hours, picking out horrible outfits for each other to try on, playing dress up in cheerleader outfits and generally messing around.

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dress up in H&M

I had a bit of a spree and treated myself to a few new things ready for my arrival to Australia in the middle of their Winter season. We had such a fun day, we completed 2 Breakout rooms, which is a challenge where you have to solve clues and eventually breakout of the room you are trapped in. We started with a crazy scientist one, where we had a time bomb counting down, periodic tables, strange hidden rooms with computers in, we completed the challenge with just seconds to spare as we climbed our way out of the air shaft tunnel. Our second breakout was called ‘Infinity’, where we were separated into separate rooms and and had to solve clues in order to unlock the keys into the next room in order to find each other, we were running around manically trying to solve the final clue which would lead us out of the locked room. It was brilliant, they are in most big cities now so I cant wait to get my friends into one when I am back home. My time with Roxanne was coming to an end, we had a great final evening sitting infront of the Petronus Towers, playing around with my GoPro and promising each other that this would not be another proper goodbye.

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Peace out RoRo

I decided quite last minute to get up and go the next day, to make my way down towards Melaka, rather than have another day in KL, I wanted to end my time there on the high with Roxanne. It was the next morning where we said our goodbyes again, we kept it short and sweet, confident in the knowledge that we would see each other again, she made her way back towards Bangkok, and I jumped on a KLT metro to where I needed to get the bus down towards my next destination…

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One thought on “Kuala Lumpur

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