Hope this entry finds you all well...I know it's been a while since we've added to the website, so now it's catch up time...
Oliver and I spent 4 days and 3 nights in Kuala Lumpur (KL) while our friends Chris and Sheila finished their stay in Bali (our 30 day visa expired).
KL's airport and city architecture were amazing to say the least. We stayed in a hostel in the center of town and were able to get some much needed "supplies" such as toiletries, etc, that couldn't be found in Indonesia. The thing we noticed immediately though was the change in value for money...the dollar goes a lot further in Indonesia than Malaysia. The Malaysian form of currency is the Ringgit (RM). We were getting an exchange rate of about 3.70 RM to the USD (in Indonesia we had been dealing with 9,000 Indonesian Rupia (RP) to the USD).
In KL, there was a very large Japanese tourist contigent. Many restaurants catered to them and sold "shark fin soup" (obtained by fishing for sharks, cutting their fins off and then throwing the rest of the fish back into the ocean!). On one occasion we told the restaurant staff that we would not be patrons of their restaurant because they were serving shark fin soup (though we were starving) and why. Whether or not it got through, who knows, but one must try. I said, how would they like it if someone cut their arms and legs off and threw them into the ocean? They looked at me with utter bewilderment. Probably thought, who is this crazy person?! ; )
KL was also cell phone city! We spent time wandering the zillions of mobile phone shops looking at the new technologies. They are leaps and bounds ahead of the US in that regard...plus, texting is very popular so many of the phones are geared to faster and easier messaging.
We visited Little India (had some amazing Indian food eaten off of banana leaves as plates!), China town, the Malaysian National Museum (absolutely hysterical...only pictures can give this museum justice...will hopefully post them soon), the planetarium where we watched an IMax presentation of the Mayan civilization of Central America (it was the only movie showing and we needed a break from the heat. It was actually far more educational than the national museum).
One thing I can't get over is how fast the pirated versions of movies such as Shrek 2, Spiderman 2, Fahrenheit 9-11, etc, etc, etc, get on the streets here. Also, there is fake everything...Gucci, Prada, Vuitton, Billabong, Adidas, Puma, Northface. The list goes on! It amazes me how many taxi drivers are able to afford Rolex watches ; )
After 4 days we were ready to get back to the islands. We met Chris and Sheila at the airport and headed to Kota Baru, Malaysia where we would take the ferry to the Perhentian Islands...