Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A day and a half in Kuala Lumpur

By the time I got to Kuala Lumpur (KL from now on), I was absolutely exhausted. I managed to sleep about an hour and a half before I had to get up at 3:30 a.m. to get ready and make sure I had everything, then I hopped in a cab.

There was a girl already in the cab but she was going to a hotel that was apparently on the way to the airport, so no biggie. Or so I thought...

Well the guy drove us all around the place and tried to take her to the wrong hotel and then demanded she pay him twice as much as what they had agreed (which was already way too much). 

This was the point at which I realized that I had forgotten to make sure the cabbie was using the meter. (Efffff...)

He ended up charging her 100,000 Rupiah to get to her hotel and then made me pay him another 100,000 Rupiah to get to the airport. Complete crap and so I was really freaking angry. Alas, there was nothing I could do except get cranky about it because my backpack was in the trunk so I couldn't just get out and leave.


When I arrived at the airport, it turned out that my flight time had been changed from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Yep, I could have slept for another hour. Sucks.

From there everything was pretty standard as far as getting on an AirAsia flight. However, getting from KLIA into the city takes a million years so and hour after going through customs and immigration I finally arrived at my hostel.

I dozed in and out the entire time in the cab so by the time I got all checked in to the hostel, I crawled into my bunk bed (the top bunk) and passed out — even despite all the people who were in the room chatting and the fact that the light was on. I was that tired.

After a four-hour nap (someone was nice enough to turn off the lights when they all left so I lost track of time), I decided it would be a good idea to make the best of my time and start walking. I was told KL is a walking city, so I took the map that my hostel gave me (way better than LP's map) and I went to Kompang Baru — a Malay food market. 

It's essentially just like a night market, but it's nothing but food!

Drinking out of a bag is an art that takes practice.

I sampled bits of food as I walked up the street and then I sat down on a bench under the monorail and just watched traffic while I ate. I ended up following the monorail lines until I got to the Petronas Towers where I took a bajillion pictures of myself before I finally got one that was acceptable.

Then I went shopping in the Petronas Towers Mall which is like the Taipei 101 Mall in that it has lots of designer stores (Fendi, Gucci, Dolce and Gabana) along with stores that are actually within my budget (The Gap, Everlast, Starbucks). 

Acceptable, though it could have been a better picture.

Then I cruised back through Kompang Baru back to my hostel. 

The next day was pretty similar except I was on a mission to find the post office. I didn't realize there was a small one nearby my hostel so I walked down to the main post office. This turned out to be a good thing because the main post office actually has flat-rate boxes whereas the other post office didn't according to others at my hostel. 

From there, I sent tons of souvenirs home to the family so that I could finally get them out of my bag. I figured they would probably be cheaper to send from Malaysia than anywhere in Europe anyway.

Walking all the way down there worked out though because along the way I got to see Little India, Merdeka Square and a couple of other big sights. After that I tried to go to KL Tower. By "tried" I mean that I got there and I started walking up there stairs, which go through a national forest reserve park, and it started thundering and raining a bit. 

Merdeka Square (place where independence was declared) and surrounding government buildings.

I had my rain coat with me but I still wasn't quite excited about going to a really tall building when it's raining. What's the point?

So I opted instead to go back to the city center and window shop and read.

Overall my time in KL was nice. It was easy. I didn't make a big deal of seeing everything mostly because other than the Petronas Towers and a few others things I had no idea what I wanted to see. 

It was nice to just have some relaxed time in the city though.

1 comment:

  1. I JUST discovered your website, after how long since you've been gone?! When did you start this project? Verrrry cool, mind if I share with my students? Be safe Jimmie!


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