Took an early bus out to Kuala Lumpur, a two hour bus ride into the main bus/train station. Largest station we have encountered on our trip so far. It had the appearance of an airport terminal rather than a bus terminal. From here we caught a train to the Pudu station located central city near China town and little India.
Kuala Lumpur, popularly known as 'KL' is Malaysia's capital city, bustling metropolis - a melting pot of races and cultures, and is home to a population of 1.6 million people. Our hostel is located just outside of China town but centrally located within walking distance of pretty much everything we need to see. 'Step Inn' is where we are staying over the next three days. A little hole in the wall place with three floors of rooms and shared shower/bathroom facilities. Very basic, the rooms are clean, bathrooms are ok but it's very noisy so little sleep is to be had around here.
Dec 27th: Night of - we spent walking around Little India, found an east Indian restaurant for supper. For a total of $5 ringgit per person, which is around $1.65 Canadian - we had a large portion of rice, curry pumpkin, spiced cabbage and pickled radish with crispy chips all served on a large banana leaf. To drink we shared a mango lassi and a bottled water. Grand total coming to $17 ringgit which is less than $5.70 Canadian, how crazy is that?
We walked to the DHL Central Market, which is a shopping complex full of wondrous local stalls made up of crafts, art, clothing and food. We decided to visit the 'Fish Doctor' to soak our feet for 10 minutes in a pool spa full of flesh kissing fish. They feed on the skin of your feet for $5 ringgit/pp. There were two options of foot baths, one with small fish and one with larger, we chose the larger. Nick and Delphine went first, Nick hogged all fish from everyone else in the pool. His feet looked like monstrous masses of fish! Jason put his feet in before mine and immediately started laughing like a little school boy, so funny to hear him laugh like that. It is such a weird feeling for the first 3 minutes, all the fish come over to your feet, latch on and start "kissing" away, eating your dead skin cells. It turned out to be quite nice and relaxing, we were sad it was over.
Dec 28th: we got up at 6:30am to get an early start to the day. We walked to the closest train station and caught a train to the Petronas Twin Towers, arriving at 8am. The Petronas Twin Towers stand at a height of 451.9 meters (88 storey's high), these magnificent towers are a world-renowned icon of modern Malaysia. It is the center piece of Kuala Lumpur city center. It's comprised of a huge convention center, Suria KLCC shopping mall, star rated hotels, a mosque as well as the immaculately landscaped KLCC park. The highlights of a visit here is standing at the Sky bridge on the 41st floor for a breathtaking view of the city skyline.
We had heard and read that if you arrived at 8am they hand out free passes to visit the tower bridge, turns out that they stopped issuing these passes last October. So we had to stand in a HUGE line up of travelers for almost two hours to buy tickets for Friday morning as all passes were already sold out for today and tomorrow! It costs $50 ringgit per person and there are slotted times throughout the day in which you can tour the 41 meter high bridge. Our time is set for 9:15am on the 30th.
Once done at the towers we walked to the Trader's Hotel where we could view the Petronas Twin Towers from the 33rd pool and bar floor. Awesome picturesque views of the towers and city. We walked on to the Golden Triangle mid valley mega mall, said to be one of the largest malls in south east Asia supplying mid-range luxury goods. Continued onto Berjaya Times Square, 12 floor shopping venue with a down to earth character with over 500 stores. It also has Malaysia's first IMAX theatre. There is a fun center as well which is very similar to West Edmonton mall, a rollercoaster and several other rides and games.
We parted ways with Nick and Delphine and we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping. We decided to go to a movie, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol. It's pretty cool, you get to pick your seats in the theatre just like you would on an airplane. The movie started at 9:30pm so we went for supper first, relaxed a bit, had a waffle ice cream cone from Wendy's and bought a mango, passion fruit drink to take into the movie with us. Movie was great, the only thing distracting us were the two (not one) subtitles on the screen the entire time. Malay and Chinese translation. After the movie we walked back to our room and arrived just shortly after midnight.
Dec. 29th: Woke up at 8am, had a shower and started working on the blog. Our travel site is almost a month behind. It has been so difficult to keep up. Everyday we are either visiting the place we are in or traveling to the next destination. Didn’t get the blog completely updated before we went out with Nick and Delphine to the malls and for supper.
We ate at a little east Indian restaurant, I ordered the Mee Goreng and Jason ordered the Rojak. We also shared a garlic naan bread, here when you order garlic you get the real deal - none of the fake stuff. The naan bread had so much fresh garlic in it that I’m sure we will be breathing and tasting it for days after. We also shared a large mango blended smoothie and all this cost us $18 ringgit which is $6 Canadian.
Jason and Nick each ended up buying a remote control 4 way Helicopter as a late Christmas present to themselves. Jason thought on it for almost two days and decided to go back and purchase it. LOL - now it he has to carry it around with him while we travel but every now and then he can take it out and have some play time.
Dec. 30th: We checked out of our hotel at 12 noon and spent the next 4 hours trying to figure out where we were going, what we wanted to see, where we are going to stay over new years and how are we going to get there. In the end we ended up checking back into the same hotel but into a much smaller room for the night.
After much deliberation we have decided to spend New Years Eve here in Kuala Lumpur, extending our stay 3 more nights and leaving for Cameron Highlands on the 2nd of January. We have tickets to go see the elephants in the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Center. The tickets are free and you get to feed the elephants, bath with the elephants and ride the elephants. Free admission as well on the premise that you give a donation to help the center to continue caring for all the orphaned elephant residents. We go there on Sunday Jan. 1, 2012 - what a way to bring in the new year for me, I LOVE elephants.