Not What I Wanted It to Be

Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog

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Yesterday Frederick, Norbert, and I set out to see some of the sights near our hostel.  We were staying in Chinatown and had plans to move in the afternoon, so wanted to tackle the area while it was still within walking distance.  We set off for Merdeka Square with no map (no map is something I’m becoming used to; why bother supplying visitors with something as basic and useful as a map?), me leading the charge and the two boys constantly wanting to walk in the wrong direction.  Is it just me, or are there an astounding number of people on this planet with no sense of direction and an inability to use cardinal directions?

Merdeka Square was ok; I guess I fail to see the point of visiting a giant green square that was once used by the British for cricket.
  It’s literally a rectangle of grass in the middle of the city.  Remind me again how this is visit worthy?  But the boys were gung-ho about it, so there we were, taking pictures of grass.  There was a marching band practicing, which was fun and entertaining for about a minute, and then earsplitting and painful thereafter.  The square is lined by an old library and what used to be the museum, but the library hadn’t yet opened for the day (it was still before 10am) and the museum had closed for good.  Real fruitful excursion.

The boys were whining about how hot it was an how they wanted to go back to the hostel, and I was all go ahead, be my guest.  But since we were out and about and I had no intention of returning to the area, I wanted to walk the long way back and see some things along the way.
  They ended up coming along, dragging their feet and whining about a taxi, and it was like look, I’m not babysitting you, you don’t need to come if you don’t want to, put some pep in that step or beat it.  So we took the long way home along an expressway and checked out the old train station, except it wasn’t nearly as grand or maintained as we had hoped.  Apparently it’s still in use for short local trips, and as such is smelly and dirty and hideous on the inside, as opposed to being properly cared for and pimped out as the historical structure it is.  The business management skills in this country blow my mind.  i.e., There are none.  Everywhere you look there is room for improvement and a way to make a buck, and these people are clueless about it.
  Maybe I’m just influenced by the Chinese, who find a way to nickel and dime literally everything.

We walked through Chinatown one last time, me hightailing it back to the hostel to cool off and pack up, the boys ogling all the crap for sale and coming home with bags of impostor goods.  We checked out and parted ways, they were a little startled by the fact that we probably won’t ever see each other again, and were all awkward and “uhhh, how will we keep in touch?” about it.  Oh boys.

It took me only two taxis before I found one with his meter running, and off I went to my next hostel.  (I switched because I had wanted to stay in the second one from the start, but they didn’t have room for three, and it would have been shitty of me to bail on them after sharing a bus ride and our mutual accommodation scouting efforts.
They switched because they had initially planned to arrive in KL a day later, and their hotel was booked and wouldn’t allow them to come a day early. The hostel was a first for them, and they were pretty horrified by it, although it was nice by southeast Asian standards.)

In my mind, I was going to cool off and find some food and scout out downtown, but in reality, when I realized another subway would be involved (the hostel was not as near KLCC and downtown as I had thought, although it was smack in the middle of a big shopping district) and just how disgustingly hot it was, the touring was vetoed.  So I cooled off for a bit, found some Thai glass noodles in the food court across the street, schlepped all the way to the bus station (to buy my next ticket) and back, sweating more than you‘d believe possible, and refused to leave the AC for the rest of the evening.
  It was productive in the required errands department, not in the enjoyable sightseeing department.

If I could do KL again I’d stay right downtown, and I’d want a guidebook that knew what it was talking about.  That’s twice now.  First with Malacca and then with museums and things being closed in KL, and I would have used that time and energy to see and do something else.  It’s frustrating, particularly since I have the newest guidebook on the market, and meeting other travelers with a firm grasp on what to see and do hasn’t been in the cards for me this week.  It’s a trend that I hope doesn’t continue.
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Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square
Band practice at Merdeka Square
Band practice at Merdeka Square
Band practice at Merdeka Square
Band practice at Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square
KLs skyline from Merdeka Square
KL's skyline from Merdeka Square
Closed for good museum... boo.
Closed for good museum... boo.
KTM Headquarters
KTM Headquarters
KTM Headquarters
KTM Headquarters
KTM Headquarters
KTM Headquarters
Old train station
Old train station
Old train station
Old train station
Thai glass noodles
Thai glass noodles
Kuala Lumpur Hostels review
Average Hostel in KL
Paradiso B&B is ok. They include AC & breakfast, which is their saving grace. The facilities are old and showing their wear and tear; the place desper… read entire review