Penang to Kuala Lumpur
Apr 5, 2016
|April 5, 2016, Penang to Kuala Lumpur.
Steve is at the hotel with the minivan at 8:30 am sharp to bring us to the bus terminal. At the terminal we squeeze our big bags into the storage space under the bus and settle into very comfortable seats. The bus is air conditioned with bright purple and yellow coloured curtains on the windows - to keep out the sunshine. The bus is not a punishment and we leave promptly at 9:30 am.
The bus is our "space" for the next five and a half hours. We have one pee break in the middle of the trip. Again it has proven to be very prudent to bring toilet paper with us. It is provided in our hotels, but not often available in public places.
Entering Kuala Lumpur (KL for short) with the bus, our first impression is one of amazement. We see enormous high rise buildings, lots of office towers and with all the multi level highways, we realize that KL is a busy, large international city. Lots of construction going on also. KL is a city of 7 million inhabitants.
We arrive at the KL bus terminal at about 3 pm where we collect our big bags and walk over to the local Rapid Line bus stop. The heat is incredible. We all fit in the bus with our big bags. An aggressive group of local men makes sure that they get on the bus first and really push themselves in front of us until one man smiles and lets us go on. The bus takes us to the inner city in about 20 minutes close to our hotel. We walk to the hotel and really enjoy being in an air conditioned space! Our hotel (Ancasa Express) is on top of shops and again the 4th floor is the main floor there the lobby is. Our room is on the 14th floor.
We all go out for a late lunch. Ant has really praised the quality of beef noodles in this small restaurant down the street so that is where we are going. Nothing else but beef noodles and soup is available there so Ant goes with Eke to a bakery close by where she picks up an egg salad sandwich and brings it back to the restaurant where the rest of the group is already eating.
After lunch we have free time and we walk down the street to the Central Market, which is a slightly more modern version of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. We wander around for a while, buy a smoothy and walk back to our hotel to rest and get ready to meet the group for the outing to the Twin Towers later on.
When Eke tries to get ready she feels so weak and dizzy and decides to stay in the room for the evening. It all feels very overwhelming to her. Brian goes and joins the group.
They take the subway which is a very new one (manufactured by Bombardier from Canada). KL has a very extensive public transportation system of highly integrated subways, elevated railways and buses. The subway stop, Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), is immediately beneath the Petronas Twin Towers. We proceed through a huge multi-level upscale shopping centre, Suria KLCC, for an outside view of the towers as the sun is setting. The group decides that this is the best opportunity for us to visit the 86th floor observation deck so five of us buy tickets for the ride to top which is surprisingly fast.
The view is very impressive. We look directly across to the top of the other tower and down to the city below.
We return by subway and find a place to eat in Chinatown not far from our hotel.
Eke sleeps most of the evening and is struggling with the prospect of continuing the trip for another two weeks. Her health is fragile and the oppressive heat exacerbates her condition.
Brian does some sleuthing on the Internet and finds that it may be possible to return to Toronto from Singapore on Sunday.
Tune in tomorrow!