Malaysia - K.L. Baby! Whoohoo!!
Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog› entry 2 of 9 › view all entries
We had only been in Kuala Lumpur for about an hour and we had already seen a rat the size of a cat and someone being knocked down on the road, hit and run style.....
....I'll go back to the beginnng....
.....We got off our luxury bus in K.L nd negotiated a price for the taxi ride to the hostel. The taxi driver stopped no less than three times on the way to check to see if he was going the right way even though he assured us that he knew here he was going (I say we may as well have driven us there, he knew as much as we did!). After driving about for 25 minutes or so, he dropped us off in the middle of a God awful busy street and pointed to the night market, saying our hostel was in that direction.
We walked around the market looking for the hostel, asking people who didn't know English to help. We must have nearly knocked down a couple of stalls with our backpacks and one man tapped me on the shoulder and spoke the only English he must have had, which was "lady, you very strong!" It was on the way back through the market that the cat-sized rat ran past our feet...nice.
We eventually found the hostel, turns out that the taxi driver dumped us in the vicinity and as to not look like he had dumped us, he randomly pointed in any direction and told us to go that way. The hostel was fantastic though...one of the best we have been in. New, clean, modern, friendly, with a lovely guy who was running the place. It felt really homely and it cost just 1 pound 87pence each! And that included breakfast! We put our bags in the dorm and went out into the night in search of food.
We got up fairly early (for backpackers) the next morning and headed for KLCC (that's Kuala Lumpur City Centre to the rest of you ;). We grabbed some food in a real fancy bakery and sat in the park eating our cake and fruit that we had bought from a stall outside our hostel.
Now, call me naive, but I did not realise that Malaysia is such an Islamic country. There are Muslims everywhere and the towers had a very distinct Islamic design to them. They are mighty impressive and we went for a paddle in the pool in the park to take pictures from various angles. There were two Buhddist Monks in the park, sightseeing too and they asked could we take their photo (not in English but by pointing and clicking etc) it turns out they wanted their picture taken with us! There are not many Westerners in K.
We went to the nearby craft village next, which we thought would be thronging but alas, we were the only visiters there! This place was brilliant. It is a place where artists of all different medias can create and sell their work. Like a studio-come-gallery. They each had their own little hut and there was a building with information and a gift shop there too. To me, being a painter, this was like paradise! We strolled allong, looking a the various paintings and crafts and watching some of the artists at work. We came across a lady who did batik work. Batik is an art form originally from Indonesia. The artist makes an outline of a picture on cloth by dripping hot wax onto the textile.
John had never seen batik work before and instantly fell in love with it and a piece of work by one of the artists. It is an image of a woman combing her hair and the colours and ptterns in the work are fantastic. I bought a small work by the same artist and we left the village with a strong feeling we may be returning.
We headed for Chinatown next and the madness of the night market. We did a bit of haggling and got a few things we needed, like a pair of shoes (6 pound!) and some shorts (2 pound!) and went back to the hostel, tired but with lots of goodies.
We returned to craft village the next morning because John just 'had to have' the batik painting of the woman combing her hair....he even told the artist he had been thinking about her all night! Charming me thinks! She carefully wrapped the painting up and gave me a free small painting too before posing for a picture with John.
After trekking to the bus station to buy our tickets to Hat Yai in Thailand, we had some more food and walked around the local markets again....oooh, and saw another big rat....seems they like the awful smelling food they are selling in the markets...no one else does ;)