Today we paid to have fish to nibble on our feet.

Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog

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Le Meridien Fitness center.
Our hotel bathroom is outfitted with a scale (now why would they do that?). I got on it for a status check (now why would I do that?), and Steve weighed himself, too. What the heck were we eating in China!?? So we both enjoyed a very light breakfast at the buffet and then headed to Le Meridien’s excellent workout room to do penance.  

After our workouts, Steve had some business to attend to, so I decided to check out the large park near the hotel, the Lake Gardens. Soon I was crossing a freeway (yes, the pedestrian route took me over a freeway and then an exit ramp to a freeway!), armed with a map and directions. About 10 minutes into my outing, I was soaked. No, it wasn’t raining -- it was hot, and really, really humid.
Flowers for sale.


The park was difficult to navigate, as it is situated on very hilly terrain and covered by trees everywhere. I could only see that which was in front of me (foliage, trees, road) -- here were no vistas or landmarks to speak of.  My map sucked and was no help at all.

My destination was the Deer Park, but I found myself in the Orchid Garden. It was nice enough but they didn’t have AC, so I moved on. I passed a fountain on my way out -- if there hadn’t been people there I think I would have jumped in. Did I mention it was really, really hot and humid out?

I passed the Bird Park on my right, an enormous valley covered with netting. We had seen the nets from our hotel room and wondered why they were there -- it’s so the birds don’t fly away.
Monkey snacking on flowers.
I passed on by (sorry, Janet, no rare bird photos :^), determined to find the deer.

Along the way I came across some monkeys. Just like that, playing on the walkway. I was wary, as years ago I was bitten by a monkey in Vietnam. But they had no interest in anything other than the garbage can they were tearing into. Every so often a monkey would get a real prize -- a large wrapper or box -- and run away with it to a tree, screaming all the way. The bigger ones chased the little ones away, so they ate berries nearby. I watched their antics for a while but felt myself melting, so I moved on.  

I have no qualms about asking for directions, but I passed very few people. The park was so quiet. I finally came to an entrance gate where three men were talking.
A resident of Deer Park.
They saw me reference my map and called out to help in a very friendly manner. Then all three of them, in unison, tried to direct me to the deer. They disagreed on the route as there were several hills to cross and multiple route options. While they tried to figure it out, I admired the little kitty that was hanging out in the ticket booth. Finally, the younger guy offered to just take me on his scooter. I wasted no time jumping on (side saddle, as I was wearing a skirt), and we had a very nice drive along a winding road to the deer park. Happily, it was a rather long ride and the breeze felt so nice I didn’t want to get off. He drove me right to the gate, and I thanked him profusely for saving me. He nodded, bowed a little, and was smiling very shyly, then was off.
Where did the lake go? The herons want to know.
  A nice ambassador for Malaysia!

After the Deer Park I tried to find the lake. Turns out it was gone. Just disappeared. Really. No, this was no map error on my part, they have drained the lake. In its place  is a big brown puddle occupied by some confused herons. There were many construction workers around the area, rebuilding walkways and doing renovations. They always nodded to me and smiled in greeting, and some said “Hello” in English. I tried to find out what happened to the lake, but had no luck. The workers I consulted smiled and shook their heads -- no English.  

At this point I was completely drained, too. Did I mention how hot it was? I could see the hotel towering in the distance and walked directly towards it. I was rerouted by dead-end paths a couple times, and thought the last hill would kill me.
Steve at work in the business center.
Walking through that humid air was like pushing my way through oatmeal. Awful.

I found Steve at work on his computer in the Business Center. The AC felt great, and the couches sure looked tempting. A nap would have be great…

But we only have two days here so we needed to get going. I voted for an INDOORS activity, so we decided to take the monorail to the Golden Triangle (shopping area), where we could escape the heat in a air-conditioned mall. The monorail didn’t work out for us. We successfully bought a ticket, and found the platform. We even boarded the train, along with a lot of other damp looking people. Then the conductor made an announcement, and everyone got off. We followed them. Then we waited on the platform and sweated, but a new train did not reappear, so we threw in the towel and decided to find a taxi.
Scene at the mall.
Aaah. AC.

Soon enough we were in the Mid-Valley Mall, near our hotel. It was very much like a mall at home, and most of the signage was even in English. Many of the stores and restaurants were familiar but different, such as the Dominoes Pizza restaurant (at home they only do take out and delivery). There was a familiar looking store selling sexy undergarments called “Woman’s Secret.” I bought two more travel guides, because I really need a couple more pounds of books to carry around.

I also continued the quest for bronzing/self-tanning lotion that I had undertaken without success in China. The department stores have all the usual brands I know from home: Lancome, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Channel. But they don’t sell their tanner lines here…instead they have whiteners! The pharmacy had the same story, with an entire aisle dedicated to skin lighteners.
Steve grimaces as the fish have a foot snack.
When I asked about self tanners (by the way, everyone I spoke to was very proficient in English), I always got a friendly negative, Not in Malaysia! Interesting. So I will continue to be pasty white, I guess.  

Earlier, we had read about a “fish spa” where you put your feet into a tank to have little fish nibble away at calluses and dry spots. It sounded too bizarre to miss. Turns out the spa had an outlet in that very mall! Another of those happy coincidences that seem to follow up around. I decided to try the 5-minute “intro” session, while Steve went all out and signed up for 30 minutes. He jokingly called it the “full meal deal” but the receptionist didn’t get it. I thought it was pretty funny though.  

The spa area was a series of circular fish tanks surrounded by decking.
Close up of the fish feeding on Steve's feet. They call this a spa treatment!
You just sit on the edge and dangle your feet in the water. They started us with the small fish, and said we could move to the progressively larger (and hungrier!) fish when we were ready. Steve was first in and shrieked like a little girl as the fish set to work on his feet. In no time at all he had a huge cloud of fish surrounding his feet and a huge grimace on his face. When I put my feet in the fish weren’t so interested. I guess Steve’s feet were tastier. This was a good thing, because the little ones that did settle on my feet felt just too weird for words. It was very tickly, and felt a bit like effervescence gone wrong and strong. Alka Seltzer times one thousand. Steve thought it felt like little electrical zaps. Anyway, 5 minutes was enough for me, and I went off to get a foot massage.
This tank faced the mall walkway. It was a real people attractor!


After our visit with the fish, it was definitely time to go home. I had been tired all day from that 2-hour walk in the park and felt I could doze off any old place. We briefly debated going out for dinner, but in the end took the lazy way out and just ate the free happy hour food in the club room.  We supplemented it by an order of “real food,” (a cheeseburger for Steve, green salad and Palek Paneer for me). Then we went back to the room where I did some more research on Bali (I bought a new guide at the mall) and dropped off to sleep at 10:00. So tired. Did I mention how hot it is here?  
kathski says:
Hahaha ohhh im glad to see someone else had trouble navigating in the lake gardens too!! After walking along many freeways and exit ramps and underpasses, up hills and down hills, i only made it to the bird garden (which i wanted to see the least lol) but it was too hot and i was too tired to go anywhere else!
Posted on: Nov 21, 2008
Jopin says:
I can imagine your exhaustion after one day of exploring KL. Now imagine having to do it every single day!! The heat and humidity is nothing new in MAlaysia. Oh, and the other thing about self-tanners is that there are rarely any in the local market, except for the brands you mentioned ( I didn't even realise they sold them here until I came across them myself!). It's a tropical country, darling, and I get tanned just by spending minutes waiting outside for the bus!! Hence, the popularity with whiteners here, although I think it's ridiculous as I love my skin the way it is!! :P
Posted on: May 02, 2008
cmgervais says:
Hi J -
Herons, storks... aren't they the same thing?

Kidding!

Thanks for your note and for following along...

C.
Posted on: May 01, 2008
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Le Meridien Fitness center.
Le Meridien Fitness center.
Flowers for sale.
Flowers for sale.
Monkey snacking on flowers.
Monkey snacking on flowers.
A resident of Deer Park.
A resident of Deer Park.
Where did the lake go? The herons …
Where did the lake go? The herons…
Steve at work in the business cent…
Steve at work in the business cen…
Scene at the mall.
Scene at the mall.
Steve grimaces as the fish have a …
Steve grimaces as the fish have a…
Close up of the fish feeding on St…
Close up of the fish feeding on S…
This tank faced the mall walkway. …
This tank faced the mall walkway.…
Studying up for future destination…
Studying up for future destinatio…
Hmmm.
Hmmm.
And I thought Stonehenge was in En…
And I thought Stonehenge was in E…
Orchids.
Orchids.
Its holding up better than I was …
It's holding up better than I was…
A bloom at the Orchid Garden,
A bloom at the Orchid Garden,
At the Orchid Garden. But I dont …
At the Orchid Garden. But I don't…
At the Orchid Garden.
At the Orchid Garden.
I wanted to jump in, but there wer…
I wanted to jump in, but there we…
Cheeky monkey tearing into the gar…
Cheeky monkey tearing into the ga…
Everyone joins the fun.
Everyone joins the fun.
Who you looking at?
Who you looking at?
Monkey finds a snack.
Monkey finds a snack.
A peek at the KL Tower through the…
A peek at the KL Tower through th…
Ticket counter kitty.
Ticket counter kitty.
Entrance to Deer Park.
Entrance to Deer Park.
Shy mouse deer in deer park.
Shy mouse deer in deer park.
Deer Park.
Deer Park.
Bambi lounging in Deer Park.
Bambi lounging in Deer Park.
Deer Park.
Deer Park.
Deer silhouette.
Deer silhouette.
Our hotel in the distance.
Our hotel in the distance.
Mid-Valley Mall.
Mid-Valley Mall.
A stop at the pharmacy for supplie…
A stop at the pharmacy for suppli…
The adidas butik at Mid-Valley M…
The adidas "butik" at Mid-Valley …
A huge cloud of fish around Steve…
A huge cloud of fish around Steve…
A lady has her heels done.
A lady has her heels done.