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Klang Travel Blog

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Street lights.

On a rainy morning, we caught a bus from Singapore to Klang, an urban area some 40 minutes outside of Kuala Lumpur. The bus ride, immigration and customs was all fine and dandy - Malaysian customs didn't even bother checking our bags. We stopped in the same food court as we had on the way down. I ordered chicken porridge, with came with a little avalanche of dried things like fish, onions, nuts and god-knows-what, but it tasted surprisingly good. We reached Klang around 4.30pm and were assaulted by the humidity (which is generally higher than Singapore).

My uncle and aunt have a house in Klang that they live in when they're not in New Zealand.

In the dingy little bah-ku-teh shop.
On previous visits to Malaysia, we only visited them but had never stayed in their house. My dad was relieved to be somewhere outside the hustle and bustle of downtown Kuala Lumpur, although with a severe lack of public transport and infrastructure, there are cars everywhere you go anyway.

I enjoyed our short stay in Klang quite a lot, actually, because over the years, my aunt and uncle have compiled a list of places that serve good food, and they endeavoured to take us to each one of them. That first night, we ate dinner at Klang Seafood where we had spicy crab (not as good as the black pepper crab in Singapore, but at RM20/kilo - that's less than AU$10 - it's super cheap!), steamed fish, fried tofu and noodles. We then sat by a roadside stall, where an older woman does great business.

Kuala Lumpur's famous Petronas towers.
She sells glutinous rice balls filled with a dry, sugary-nutty filling, floating in sweet ginger soup. It's super cheap and very, very nice, although we had to wait surprisingly long.

The next morning, we were taken to the grimiest little place where they apparently serve the best bak ku teh in the area, if not in KL. Bak ku teh is a pork soup, infused with herbs of some sort. My dad occasionally makes it with spare ribs, and it's one of my favourite dishes. This place has a very good reputation and we only managed to grab a table out the back. The standard serving is a bowl of bak ku teh (mostly the tender pork meat with some soup) and a bowl of rice, for around RM7. Although it was full of flavour and very tasty, it was too salty and too oily for my liking. It was also super-humid, as the owners haven't installed any fans in the place - my aunt says it's so that customers eat and leave quickly, making room for more customers. Personally, the soup and meat weren't that fantastic that I would forgo basic hygiene and comfort on a regular basis (my uncle spent about 10 minutes thoroughly cleaning our cups and utensils with hot water and tea).

The one bad experience I had with food was downtown KL. We wanted to go up the twin towers (Petronas towers) and see the view of KL, but they have a rather inconvenient first-come-first-serve ticketing system and when we arrived, around 11am, there were no more tickets left to go up the tower. It's free to go up but I was left wondering whether it might be worth their while to start charging and make it fair for tourists, as I spied a lot of school groups in the area. Anyhow, we went shopping instead and met for lunch later. I felt like something relatively healthy and light, and decided on sushi, but I forgot: we were in Kuala Lumpur, not Sydney, and the fish is just not as fresh. Maybe not a big problem if you eat cooked fish, but I had raw salmon and cuttlefish. I didn't finish it, and I'm lucky I didn't get sick.

To make up for this underwhelming lunch experience, my aunt and uncle took us to a road-side coffee stall that was also hard to get seats in. There, we had the traditional thick, filtered Malaysian coffee, which was so good that I bought some to take back. They serve the coffee with toasted bread, butter and kaya (kaya is a sweet spread, I'm not actually sure what it's made of though).

We went for a walk around the Pasam Alam, the night market near my uncle's house. It was really very similar to markets in other countires, except for the variety of fruits and hot dishes. My uncle bought durian, King of the fruits. I've tried it a long time ago and wasn't sure how I felt about eating it now: its smell far overpowers its taste (to the point where you're not allowed durians on Singapore's MRT). But, in the spirit of my newfound adventurousness - hey, I've eaten raw frog - I had a piece. It wasn't bad, and the texture is beautiful: the skin breaks to a custard-like, thick, creamy body and a big seed. The taste isn't too offensive, but I just couldn't eat more than one piece (it also stinks out the fridge).

We had a steamboat dinner, and the next night my aunt and uncle took us to a Nyonya restaurant, famous for its fish head curry. It was a real restaurant (it had walls, nice tables and chairs, clean cutlery and decorations), and the food was great, although I can't name much of what we had except the fish curry, pai tee, deep fried squid and bitter green beans served with prawns. So much food - but our last night in Malaysia was good enough to remind us what we'd be missing until we came back again.

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Street lights.
Street lights.
In the dingy little bah-ku-teh sho…
In the dingy little bah-ku-teh sh…
Kuala Lumpurs famous Petronas tow…
Kuala Lumpur's famous Petronas to…
photo by: hayley_phoon