Having got a full 5 hours sleep after arriving at 4:30am, we got up as early as we could (around 10:45am) and checked out the free maps and info we got at the reception of our hostel, Casavilla Travellers Lodge. Having a ‘things to do’ booklet was a godsend for us as neither of us knows anything about Kuala Lumpur (as prepared as ever) and so we flicked through using the map to put together a little route to get around a few of the best looking sights, of course we didn’t stick to this in the slightest.
To start we thought we would combine seeing China Town with breakfast and so off we set. Now to be fair I’m sure I said to Ian maybe it would be best to go to the viewpoint, Kuala Lumpur Communication Tower (Menara Tower), first in case we wanted to buy anything in China Town and so wouldn’t have to carry it around all day, but this got lost in translation (yes that is possible between to English speaking morons). With this in mind, and with me as key map reader, I led us to the tower. Having gotten near it, it made clear we were now on a food hunt and given that it only took us around 15 minutes to walk to near the tower from our guesthouse it wasn’t a big deal to change course and head to China Town again. From the tower it took around 20 minutes max to get to China Town, where you are greeted with bustling streets of stands, annoying sales people and vivid smells of food. It’s a haven of knock off clothes, handbags, shoes and watches so if you are interested in stocking up on some bargains in Kuala Lumpur this is the place to do it as the rest of the shopping centres are predominantly real designer clothing and are very costly. To give you an idea (and it’s a shame I have to use this one as I hate football) I saw mainstream football team shirts such as Real Madrid and Arsenal being sold for 15 Ringgit, which is the equivalent of £3!!!! Better than what the robbing prick, multi million pound, merchandise riddled, yearly shirt releasing clubs charge for theirs in normal retail outlets………can you sense the hatred???!!!
Moving on, we got ourselves some local food by doing our usual of going down a side street and finding a cheap little setup consisting of a cart and a few chairs. Between us we had sweet and sour chicken, seafood something (just asked him now and he can’t remember because his mind stores more useless information like pointless facts rather than something as easy as what he has eaten) and rice, which all came to a very reasonable 12 Ringgit (around £2.40). Somehow through are walk around Chine Town we stumbled upon one of the attractions in our brochure, the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, which we didn’t go in but took some time to admire (as much as you can for something which is actual really small).
Once we had finished having a look around we headed to the KL Sentral Station which is the transport hub of Kuala Lumpur and where all trains, buses and metros (known as the Rapid KL) go from. On our way we again stumbled on the National Museum which we took a wonder through but not inside. There’s some pretty cool stuff to see and I’m sure a lot more inside but we were wary we wanted enough time to go to the Menara Tower, but defiantly check it out. We had gone to Sentral Station so we could investigate prices to Singapore for the next day. We made our way to the ground floor and asked at the information centre where we were informed that the bus takes 4 hours but costs more than the train (in second class) which takes 6 hours. It’s pretty obvious what we opted for. The train network is called KTM and the desk can be found on the top level. The tickets cost us £6 each, another bargain, and now all we needed was to find the metro part of the station to get to Menara Tower. On the lower level you can find the entrance to the Rapid KL where there are numerous ticket machine and employees ready to help should you get stuck. We were only going 3 stops away (10 minutes max on the metro) and the cost per ticket was 1.60 Ringgit each. That is more or less 25p, unbelievable. I’m no expert on the London Underground but I’m pretty sure the last time I was there I paid around £5-£7 to do a similar journey. The underground in England can go f*~k itself for its ridiculous cost, poor infrastructure and constant overcrowding.
Anyway, another rant over and we can move onto the view point, the entrance to which is only 5 minutes from our stop at Dang Wangi (don’t know why but we found that name hilarious). You basically make your own way to the tower through a series of stupidly long steps and rope/suspended bridges (another sweat ridden walk), there is another entrance to the tower on the other side of the nature reserve (forgot to mention it is in a nature reserve in the city) but the tube didn’t go to there. The base of the tower consists of a few different attractions such as a pony ride (bit old for that I think), simulators e.g. formula one, and a little village of houses demonstrating different building styles around Malaysia (and randomly 2 guys with 2 lizards charging for photos with them). The tower costs around 45 Ringgit, which is £9, to get to the observation deck and is easily worth it. The lift takes you up to around 300m, the tower itself is around 450m, and from here the view is fantastic. You can walk around 360 degrees and see the entire city and there are free viewing stations where there are powerful binoculars to spy in through neighbouring windows in the near by buildings!!!!! Or maybe enjoy the sites of the city….whatever you want! Should you wish to purchase any gifts or memorabilia there is plenty of tat scattered around for you to ogle, I actually bought my mum a post card from here to be fair, although I think she is more concerned with the stamp attached to it!!
After the viewpoint we made our way out onto the street and found a local stall selling spicy foods and proceeded to stuff out faces with rice and chicken (seafood again for Thomo) at the very good price of 9 ringgit all together (around £1.80). The great thing we have found in Malaysia is that places like this just hand you the rice on a dish and you are left to give yourself as much of the meat and sauce as you want, can’t beat that. In order to plan our next move we went to find a coffee and check out the map, but not before going to another awesome toilet consisting of a hole in the floor, still shooting at a near 100% hover accuracy rating for a ‘number 2’, my parents would be so proud. As Kuala Lumpur is predominantly western food joints and hotels we ended up in Dunkin Donuts. Those of you who have read Thomo’s ‘Staying Healthy’ blog will have to shut your eyes for the next bit. It was actually cheaper to get an ordinary coffee with 2 doughnuts than to get a cappuccino….what’s a boy to do……custard and iced doughnut, obviously!!!
That pretty much concludes the day antics in Kuala Lumpur, the evening will continue in part two, see you there.
Love Scotty x