February 15th, 2008 – by: stephandadam
Adam and our first "banana leaf" veggie set lunch (the mound of food in front of Adam is his lunch only, Steph had her own!!!)
After the excesses of our Valentine's dinner we slept in nice and late then went down to our free breakfast, to be honest it's a bit sparse but the coffee was more than welcome!! Partly recovered we headed into the shopping mall area where we'd discovered a cheap, fast and most importantly, airconditioned internet cafe. We spent a couple of hours emailing and updating our blog and before we knew it it was 1.30 and time for a 'veggie set lunch banana leaf curry' at at little indian restaurant near our guesthouse called Estana. We really didn't know what we were getting other than the fact it would all be 'pure veg' as the indians refer to vegan food. A banana leaf was put in front of us and the next thing we know a seemingly endless procession of staff were spooning blobs of curries and tasty morsels onto the leaf.
Adam in front of the "Eye on Malaysia"
Not only was all of the food delicious it was a huge amount and by the time we'd finished a single grain more of rice would have made us burst. So much for all the weight we'd lost through China and Japan. At this rate they'll be rolling us across the border to get us out of Malaysia. After lunch we took the monorail heading to a park called Lake Titiwangsa (stop the snickering, we're not making it up). The ride on the very modern looking monorail was surprisingly bumpy, but gives you great views as you speed above the streets, it's incredibly cheap and like everything else we've encountered so far in Malaysia, super efficient! From the monorail terminus we could have walked the 1km or so to the park except that it meant crossing a six lane super highway so we ended up getting in a taxi.
View of the Petronas Towers from our gondola
All of the taxis here have meters but some of drivers like to try and con tourists and overcharge them off meter. Best ploy if they say that is mention that you'd heard there was a place on the tourism Malaysia site to report the registration of drivers refusing the meter. They change their mind in a flash. We have no idea if there really is such a place to report them but it works so who cares. The original RM20 quote actually turned out to be RM2.40!!
The main attraction at the lake is the 'Eye on Malaysia' a big wheel of the London Eye variety although considerably smaller but you do get to whirl round four times for you RM15 fare. You get some good views over the city but it's not as spectacular as a trip up the towers. They obviously lost count with us as we ended up doing five laps unless it was a buy four get one free type of deal.
View of Titiwangsa Lake from our gondola
The lake is a popular jogging, sports and recreation area and is apparantly very popular with courting couples and there were very amusing signs up around the lake of the things you cannot do. Try to picture the signs for no kissing, no petting and there was one that looked like it was banning having sex standing up. So if the fancy takes make sure you lay down or you could get in real trouble!! After the wheel we had a very interesting pressed sugar cane juice drink which was very refreshing and very sweet.
Returning to the happy hour deals theme, Malaysia is home to some very bizarre deals. We think the best we've seen is buy two get the third at 50%. Honestly, you need to be a maths professor to work some of them out. Not only that but many bars add a 10% service fee and then there is a government tax so for example you see signs advertising jugs of beer at RM32++ so you need to calculate 32 plus 10% total it then calculate 5% of the new total and then add that.
Adam and our first sugar cane drink at Titiwangsa Lake
No need to do those Sudoku puzzles here just pop out for a few beers to keep the mind sharp.
We had yet another superb curry in the evening before setting of for the KL Tower. The 4th tallest communications tower in the world as they proudly claim. It was a short walk from the restaurant and there is a free shuttle to the tower at the entrance as it's built on quite a steep hill and the walk with our full bellies would have been a nightmare. Some hardy souls did it but they looked very jealous when we rode past in the aircon shuttle. There is currently a competition to be the 10 millionth visitor up the tower with a free prize of a trip to Paris. We asked if it was worth letting the people behind go first but the nice lady on the counter said it was still quite a way off so we figured we wouldn't wait.
Eye on Malaysia on Titiwangsa Lake
The tower is unbelievably beautiful inside, crazy glass and crystal ceilings and at night the outside is lit up breathtakingly. Once again Adam had his penknife taken away through security so it's good to know they're on the ball! Once at the viewing deck the views are spectacular, great views of the city and the Petronas Twin Towers. They have a list of all the other tall towers and we've now been up three of the top four. Looks like we'll have to pay a visit to Moscow to complete our set.