Kuala Lumpur

From Krabi we decided to take the long bus journey to Kuala Lumpur, costing 900 Bhat (£21) and taking 18 hours. We were supposed to be picked up from our hostel at 06:00 but a minibus finally rocked up at 06:50. At 11:45 we were dropped at the Hat Yai Top Tour Bus Company headquarters in Hat Yai, a little shop on the side of a busy road. At 12:15 our Top Tour bus turned up, a big spacious bus with 2 seats on one side and 1 on the other. It had reclining seats, a USB port for every seat, a blanket and a complimentary bottle of water. Even when the seat in front was fully reclined there was still plenty of room for my legs. Before we got on the bus they took our passports at the desk and said they would return them on the bus. I wasn’t particularly happy with this and asked multiple times for my passport back, as its quite an important thing for a traveller! However after checking my passport made it on the bus, it was returned to me 20 minutes into the journey. Me and Holly settled down to watch the first Harry Potter film and arrived at the Thai/Malaysian border at 13:25. We were told to leave our big bags on the bus and proceed to be stamped out of Thailand, where there was a bit of a queue, but we made it back on the bus after 20 minutes and drove the small distance to the Malaysian immigration point. This drive of roughly 1km took 40 minutes and I still have no idea why it took so long. Here we got off the bus and were told to take our big bags with us and join the queue to be stamped into Malaysia. After being stamped in our bags went through a scanner, there wasn’t an issue with any of my diabetes equipment and we were back on the bus at 14:45, eventually leaving towards Kuala Lumpur at 15:20, after a guard came on to double check everyone’s passports. We then drove for 20 minutes, stopped for a 30 minute lunch break before eventually arriving in Kuala Lumpur at 23:45, at a different bus station to which we were previously told. The only way to get to our hostel at this time of night was to take a taxi. Not one single taxi driver would take us by the meter, despite on the side of the taxis it stating “metered taxi only, no haggling allowed.” They claimed that it was because it was after midnight, but we eventually secured one for 20 Ringgits (£3.50) split between 3 of us.

We only had 2 full days in Kuala Lumpur before our early morning flight to India and I hadn’t really compiled much of a plan. I knew I wanted to see the Petronas Towers at night, visit one of the parks, try some street food and do some last minute shopping so this is pretty much what I did. The first night at the hostel I got talking to 2 guys, one from Canada called Chase and another from Holland called Marius, we ended up having a few beers and staying up until 3am discussing travels, plans and conspiracy theories. As we trudged off to bed we agreed to meet at breakfast the following morning and explore the city together. Now, none of us made the breakfast but we did eventually all leave together, 2 hours after the agreed time. 

We were staying in Chinatown, a great location for travelling, with plenty of budget accommodation and good links to the major parts of the city. The main thing I noticed about Kuala Lumpur was that nearly everything is a shopping mall, even the bottom of the Petronas Towers! We caught the Metro over to KL central to have a look around and grab some food in the Asian Food Market, before walking to Kuala Lumpur Park. Here we relaxed in the afternoon sun, drinking Diet Coke and looking around the peaceful park. There is plenty to see including a bamboo playhouse, lots of different flower gardens, a deer enclosure, a butterfly park, a lovely lake and a bird garden. From here we caught the Metro back to the hostel to have a shower and dress as smart as we could to attempt to enter the Skybar with a view of the Petronas Towers. We first ate some street food down Tengkat Tong Shin street and then caught a taxi the rest of the way to the base of the Towers for 5 Ringgits (£0.90) by the meter, split between 4 of us, bargain! After taking some snaps and marvelling at the towers, we walked over to the Traders Hotel and took a lift to the 34th floor as it was getting dark to visit the Sky Bar. We were all worried we were under-dressed and that they wouldn’t let us in, but I was allowed in wearing shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops (I was running out of clothes, hence the planned last minute shopping). The bar has a swimming pool and window seats overlooking the Towers, with a great view at night. A pint of Tiger costs 22 Ringgits (£3.90) and the cocktails range from 30-50 Ringgits (£5.35-£8.90). Afterward we went back to the hostel, met some people there and ended up heading to the Reggae Mansion, a cool rooftop bar in Chinatown, and I eventually climbed into bed at 06:00 after a good night with some great people. 

Needless to say I had a lie-in the following day before heading out to grab a few bits and bobs from the many shopping centres in KL. I really enjoyed my time in Kuala Lumpur and I will need to head back to Malaysia to experience the rest of the country at some point. I am however looking forward to my time in India after having a great time in South East Asia! 

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