Arriving in Kuala Lumpur and hopping onto the fast train into the city that was equipped with air con and wifi was a vast contrast to our time in Laos. We had fallen quickly and hard for Laos but as with some romances it burnt out a bit too quickly.
The pace of life is certainly a lot more hectic in this modern city, we tried adopting it despite the shock to our systems! After finding our lovely room from an Airbnb host out in the suburbs (well 15 minutes by train out) we dumped our bags and headed straight back into town. We visited during Merdeka (Independence day celebrations) and also during a massive protest about the government. I have no idea if it made the city busier than normal but the streets were very quiet at night on the first day of the protests.
Resurfacing from the train station to this view was pretty great:
The Petronas towers are probably the biggest tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur and it’s hardly difficult to see why. On the tour up then you get to go to three different levels, including the bridge that connects the two towers but is apparently not actually connected to either of them (a fact only told to us once we were standing on it). The day we had booked our tickets turned out to be bit hazy. Apparently this is a pretty common problem in Kuala Lumpur with air pollution being caused by both forest fires over in Indonesia and from the excess of cars and other fossil fuel burning engines within the city. The haze didn’t disrupt our visit too much, it was fun just being up that high. From the observation deck you can play with some binoculars or just wander around taking in the view. The last viewing area is more of a holding pen, designed to deal with the crowds and it lacked any exciting views.
View from the towers:
On our second day in the city we went to the Bird Park, getting to see ostriches, owls and many other types of birds. The park is well laid out and despite it being boiling hot we had a good time walking around for a couple of hours.
So many birds:
The sleepy owls were my favourites:
The bird park is close to the Masjid Negara National Mosque, we were already hot and sweaty by the time we walked past so we didn’t go inside. I had also seen this schedule of visiting hours for non-muslims and we hadn’t arrived at a good time. I’m not sure if this is still up to date and this is another schedule i’ve found. After our time in the bird park we headed back to KLCC (the area with the towers), we wandered around the massive mall that is right at the bottom and then went outside to the park and watched people taking a lot of selfies, got asked to be in a selfie and then took our own selfie.
Too many selfies (this one is from inside the towers):
An early dinner and discovering that there was a Marks and Spencers in the mall that sold cheap wine and orange squash (our favourite non alcoholic drink from home) meant we made the most our Airbnb space and spent the evening in.
Our third and last day in the city was consumed by one of the main hobbies of tourists there, mall hopping! This is an excellent way to think you are actually back in the UK for the day. They are absolutely freezing!
A dance performance at just one of the many malls we visited:
We needed to buy a new portable hard drive and had heard Bukit Bintang was the place to head, more specifically Low Yat Plaza. This place was manic, with people selling pretty much every electrical item you could ever want. You can try and haggle in some shops but others are more like PC World from home. We got our hard drive at a good price and escaped as quickly as we could, Pinion has a bit of an electronics addiction and our budget and backpacks won’t stretch to carrying a PS4 for the rest of the trip. I have no idea of the names of some of the other Malls we visited, they started to blur after a while and our feet started to ache. We ensured that our backpacks would remain bursting after visiting H&M and then went back to the Petronas towers to finally get a photo in front of them.
Us and almost all of the towers:
Our final night in KL was spent going up the Menera tower, whilst it offered some good views of the city I wouldn’t really recommend bothering unless maybe you go to the open viewing platform. I couldn’t get any good photos up here cause of all the reflections, instead we spent our time locating the best hotel pools nearby using the binoculars.
Kuala Lumpur is a fun city, its a lot cheaper than Singapore and is maybe slightly less polished (not a bad thing). We had some awesome Indian food there and tried some Indonesian food at a mall stall. The mall food stalls are super popular and are a good way to see if you are a fan of a certain dish for not too much money. If we had more time (and less of a fear of monkeys) we would have ventured to the Batu caves but as usual we like to save something for when we come back.