A city that Jamie has never been to! Exciting!!! The flight from Penang was easy, only about an hour and around £30 each. From the airport we hopped onto the KLIA Express into Central, then Bukit Bintang by taxi to our hotel – The Dorset Regency. Our hotel was so nice! It’s opposite the Ritz so we knew it’d be in a nice area. A short walk away there are some high-end shopping malls, some with the kinds of shops I know I can’t really afford to even browse in! Our room looked out over the city and we had a view of the Patronus Towers and the KL tower. We headed out that evening but as we turned the corner the heavens opened and it rained for hours. We stopped in a bar at the end of the road and didn’t get any further! They gave us free tapas all evening but we quickly learned that KL is super expensive… Alcohol prices are on a par with London, perhaps even higher.
Kuala Lumpur is a very beautiful city, the architecture is interesting and really varied, it reminded us a little of Hong Kong. Also, if I wasn’t on a travellers budget I could have spent a couple of days at least in the huge shopping malls!
The day after we arrived was Valentines day and we ordered a room service breakfast. We sat in our window looking out over the city. It was lovely! I’ve never had room service before but I think I could get used to it!!
That evening we ventured out to find the night market at Masjid Jamek. The journey in itself was quite an experience. We did two stops South-West on the sky train, then two stops North on the MRT. To be fair it was early evening on a Saturday, but the train out of Bukit Bintang was absolute chaos, it makes the underground system at Hong Kong seem practically space age. The information displays seem to be stuck on ‘2 minutes until the next train’… Believe that and you’ll believe anything. Buying a ticket took over twenty minutes, even the locals seem a little confused and flustered. It really isn’t an easy system. Plus, the ticket machine at Bukit said the station we wanted was closed, so we had to get off a stop early and walk. What we did was walk passed the station – fully open and in service, we used it in the return trip. When a train does arrive it’s pretty hectic, it’s just a free for all, you literally fight your way on. When we boarded a lady was shouting and banging the door as it closed and the rest of her family were left standing on the platform. She was pretty upset. The MRT was slightly better than the sky train, but anyway, it’s all part of the fun right?
The night market was interesting, maybe not as good as some we’ve been to in Bangkok or Krabi but it’s always fun to wander around the little stalls. We bought a USB stick that never worked 🙂
For dinner we found a little food court full of locals, there was no English menu but we succeeded in getting a couple of plates of noodles that were very good. I think we’ve both been pretty impressed with the quality of the food in Malaysia so far, it’s different to Thai or Vietnamese, I think there’s generally more choice, not just with different dishes but also lots of different cuisines to choose from.
It hasn’t been often whilst we’ve been travelling that we’ve had a hankering for Western food, but Jamie found a restaurant near to us called the Albion, that claimed to offer the best roast dinner in the city. We had a long leisurely lunch – always the best kind – with a yummy bottle of Bordeaux. Jamie had a generous portion of rare Australian sirloin and I went for a lamb shank. So good! That evening we had a quiet night in and an early night.
I’d felt a bit funny the day before and the next morning I woke up with a really sore throat and generally feeling yuck…. I came down with a horrible head cold and didn’t leave the hotel all day. It was unfortunate because it meant we didn’t do a couple of the sightseeing things we’d had planned, but on the other hand our hotel room was really lovely so I guess also that I was very lucky to have somewhere so comfortable to relax in and try to get better. We had room service again, I had long hot baths and slept a lot. It was unlucky but it could have been much worse and Jamie looked after me so well. He went out to Lot 10 and brought me home a takeaway dinner because I was too sick to go out, and throughout the day he kept me well stocked with iced-teas and medicines. I wish we’d gone up the KL tower but I wasn’t up to it so it’ll have to wait for another time.
Overall we both enjoyed Kuala Lumpur, anyway, on our way to Mersing it was a necessary stop. Perhaps budget-wise it’s not the best destination for backpackers, its an expensive city with lots to offer – if you have the money to burn!