A happy reunion in a wicked city

Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog

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Vicki, Markus, Julia and Me at the Petronas Towers

People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Markus (Finland)


I was looking forward to visiting Kuala Lumpur, with one exception - i'd heard it was rat infested. From my perspective it was something that i didn't like the sound of, but from Julia's, it was something that sent her into a cold sweat! Other than the sights, there was another key reason to be visiting Malaysia's capital and that was to meet up with our Finnish friend Markus.


When we entered the hostel that we had arranged to meet in, he was waiting for us at reception, with a big grin on his face and ready to take us out to explore the city a little bit. An English girl called Vicky accompanied us as we set out for the Petronas towers, which dominate the skyline.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Merdeka Square
Lit up at night, they are a real sight to behold and used to hold the record for the World's tallest building, until Taipei 101 took over the mantle. Walking around the base of the towers takes around 20 minutes and the different angles that you see make it completely worthwhile.


It was already pretty late and all the restaurants inside the Towers were quite expensive, so we decided to just grab a quick KFC. Julia and I looked on in amazement as Markus, a strict vegetarian, came wondering back with a chicken burger! Under close supervision, we watched as he took his first bite, before tearing into him about what the hell he was doing! He informed us that surfing required a lot of energy, which he could only really obtain from meat and thus he had decided that he would now eat meat on the occassions that it suited him.

KL Tower at night time


Before i had chance to point out that he wasn't surfing in KL, he hit me with the sucker punch of 'shall we go to an Irish bar that i know for a beer'. Now i knew that aliens were in possession of him, as he barely ever drinks beer, especially in expensive tourist traps. The 20 minute walk ended up taking about 1 hour as rather than taking us by the pedestrian path, he took us by the one way system that cars would follow. I watched him closely all the way, half expecting something to spring out of his stomach and attach to my forehead!


After a beer and several games of pool in the pub, we grabbed a couple more cans to take back to the hostel with us. Le Village Hostel has a nice rooftop terrace to sit on with sofas and a music system, so it was a good place to chill and catch up.

A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL Tower (Petronas Towers central)
Unfortunately the rats also seemed to dig the place and not long after settling down, they started scurrying all around us. The regulars just laughed, whilst Julia and I just couldn't get over how many rats there were! After finishing our drinks, we went to sit in the living room, but couldn't even settle down there. The rats seemingly looking for a bit of company followed us down, one jumped into the waste basket next to Markus' chair, whilst another kept wandering down the corridor and popping into the communal area, just to show its face, or so it seemed :)


When we eventually went to bed, Julia was very thorough in checking the room for holes or rat entry points. As i only dislike the things and don't fear them, i obviously comforted her by telling her that they would come and sleep in her bed no doubt :))) This went down like a lead balloon and i was pleased that the only room that had been available was a twin and not double.

A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL Tower (Petronas Towers central)
...


The following day was spent meandering around chinatown and hanging out with Markus. He showed us a really nice little cafe, where we had Dinner and also ogled the wonderful looking cakes on display. A note was taken about their promotion between 15.00-18.00, where you got a free coffee with your cake and i was forced to promise Julia that i would take her back, so as to satisfy her sweet tooth. That evening we hung out with the rats on the rooftop again, drank some rum and listened to some music. As it was Markus' last night before heading back to Bali, i stayed up with him until sunrise chatting away, whilst Julia had to retire to bed a little worse for wear from the rum. Bless.


Wednesday was a really sad day, with the knowledge that we were finally leaving Markus for good, but promises were made to visit when we got back to Europe.

National Art Gallery
After saying our final farewells, Julia and I went off to have a proper look around the city. First stop was the wonderful Merdeka Square, which was the place where Malaysia declared its independence in 1957. Under colonial rule, the square was used to host games of cricket and its surely one of the most scenic squares that a batsman could ever wish to perform on!


Today, the square has several focal points, which include The National History Museum, where we entered and looked around for an hour or so. I'm not a huge museum fan, but i found this one pretty interesting and it saved us from getting a soaking outside :) The views across Merdeka Square were worth the entrance fee alone, but other things of importance included the first Malaysian Flag that was raised when Independence was declared.

Petronas Towers


Exiting the museum, we took a walk past the local mosque, Masjid Jamek, before heading for the KL Tower. Our trip up the Tower was done to coincide with nightfall, so as to get a view of the city firstly in the daylight and then watch as the city gradually lit up below us. The views were exceptional and some of my favourite landmarks included the Petronas Towers and Maybank building.


The following day was one of those where your feet never seem to get a rest and you end up with muscle pains for weeks afterwards as a consequence. From Chinatown we headed north to a hospital in Chow Kit, to get a foot infection looked at. The standard of the hospital was very good and for RM15/$4 you not only got a consultation but your medicine too.

Julia and I at the National Monument
This was actually a foreigner rate and the locals got this service for only RM1/$0.30, so basically free healthcare for all! Even though there were a lot of patients, queues were not too long and waiting time was impressively short. Another good scheme that they had was free HIV testing for anyone that wanted it and education on safe sex. All in all, many western countries could seemingly learn a thing or two from Malaysia's National Health scheme.


Leaving the hospital we then turned east to go and see the National Art Gallery, a pretty building, which reminded me of Sydney Opera House in a certain way. Continuing in a clockwise direction around the city limits, we were always in view of the KL Tower and Petronas Towers and decided that we would work our way to the latter of the two.

Some coffee and cake at our favourite little bakery.... yum yum!
Passing through a maze of streets, it was taken for granted that we would make our destination easily, as we always had it in sight. This theory proved completely unfounded as we hit a huge brick wall, where the Ampang Elevated Highway ran. I wasn't too bothered, thinking the clever engineers of nowadays would have plenty of pedestrian underpasses. Again, this theory was way off the mark. By the time the Highway eventually came to an end, we were so far from the Petronas Towers and the day was so late, that our weary feet were all in favour of just going home to sit down! To round off the day, we passed pleny of rats in the street, which really turned Julia's legs into jelly, like they needed it!!!


On Fridays agenda was a trip to the Singapore embassy to get Julias visa sorted out.

Fountain display in the gardens under the Petronas Towers
Annoyingly they began not only requesting outward tickets from the country, but then onward tickets from that country also! It seemed a stupid policy, but one that was easily overcome with some fake internet tickets i printed off that evening. It did however mean that we couldn't hand in the application that day. During the day we eventually made it to the Petronas Towers to see it close up in the daylight and have a walk around the gardens. One thing that i noticed to my amusement as i walked around the business district, were the amount of people wearing extremely smart suits with flip flops! It seemed such a contrast to get all dressed up for work and then throw on your old flip flops, but i really liked it nevertheless :)


Deciding to once more punish our feet severely, we caught the LRT to the train station and after looking at the old railroad station, walked around the Lake Gardens for an hour or so.

In the north of the gardens is the National Monument and also some other pretty sculptures that we spent 30 minutes observing. From here it was a 45 minute walk back to Chinatown, where we had some fantastic cake and coffee and used the internet for a while. In the evening, deciding that we were still breathing and thus surely should be out and doing something, we went back to the Petronas Towers to watch the fountain show and try and get some creative pictures.


With the Singapore embassy closed for the weekend and having done most of the tourist attractions that interested us, we decided that a trip out to the Cameron Highlands was the best way to spend the weekend and as luck would happen, our friend Ash had just arrived into Malaysia and was also looking for something to do.

Petronas towers at night time
So on Saturday morning we packed up our stuff, left our main bags at the hostel and caught the bus North.

Deats says:
Our place was a hole, thats undeniable :D But we saw loads of rats on the street. Otherwise, loved KL SOOOOO much!
Posted on: Jul 24, 2009
almond72 says:
Goodness gracious ! What kind of place did you stay in ? How much did it cost ? I only see rats near the main sewers & street food stalls (after people go home) but not epidemic proportions !
Posted on: Jul 24, 2009
Deats says:
Its well worth it, a great City - except for the rats :D
Posted on: Jun 05, 2009
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Vicki, Markus, Julia and Me at the…
Vicki, Markus, Julia and Me at th…
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Mer…
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Me…
KL Tower at night time
KL Tower at night time
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the K…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the K…
National Art Gallery
National Art Gallery
Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers
Julia and I at the National Monume…
Julia and I at the National Monum…
Some coffee and cake at our favour…
Some coffee and cake at our favou…
Fountain display in the gardens un…
Fountain display in the gardens u…
Petronas towers at night time
Petronas towers at night time
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Mer…
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Me…
Flag Pole at Merdeka Square
Flag Pole at Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Mer…
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Me…
KL Tower (foreground) and Petronas…
KL Tower (foreground) and Petrona…
Petronas towers at night time
Petronas towers at night time
Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers
Petronas towers at night time
Petronas towers at night time
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Mer…
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Me…
Moorish style building at Merdeka …
Moorish style building at Merdeka…
Masjid Jamek Mosque
Masjid Jamek Mosque
Human skull in the National Histor…
Human skull in the National Histo…
View of Merdeka Square from the Na…
View of Merdeka Square from the N…
Moorish style Building on Merdeka …
Moorish style Building on Merdeka…
Malaysian Flag used when declaring…
Malaysian Flag used when declarin…
KL Tower
KL Tower
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the K…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the K…
Me and a view of Kuala Lumpur from…
Me and a view of Kuala Lumpur fro…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the K…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the K…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the K…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL…
A view of Kuala Lumpur from the K…
National Art Gallery
National Art Gallery
Small House in KL with a pretty ni…
Small House in KL with a pretty n…
Julia and me at the Petronas Towers
Julia and me at the Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers
Fountain display in the gardens un…
Fountain display in the gardens u…
View from the gardens under the Pe…
View from the gardens under the P…
Me at the Petronas Towers
Me at the Petronas Towers
Old Railroad Station
Old Railroad Station
Islamic Arts Gallery
Islamic Arts Gallery
Julia pigging out :)
Julia pigging out :)
Looking up inside the shopping mal…
Looking up inside the shopping ma…
Fountain display in the gardens un…
Fountain display in the gardens u…
Fountain display in the gardens un…
Fountain display in the gardens u…
Fountain display in the gardens un…
Fountain display in the gardens u…
Petronas towers at night time
Petronas towers at night time
Petronas towers at night time
Petronas towers at night time
Petronas towers at night time
Petronas towers at night time