Sunday, 6 January 2013

Round the world travel: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Where we are

KL, for short, was not so much a destination when I planned this trip as a necessary stopover from the already necessary stopover Singapore, in order to get to Penang.  It was always going to be hard to follow the glitzy act of Singapore, but it was a pretty nice place with some pretty nice stuff in it and the first time I felt like I was really in Asia.

Where we stayed

A compromise between the 0* dorm rooms and the 5* blandness we have discovered the boutique hotel. Anggun Hotel is just round the corner from Jl Bukit Bintang, the city's major bar stretch, but the rooms all open onto a quiet fountain and bird filled courtyard, so you wouldn't know that when you're sleeping only when you realise how easy it is to find your way home after too much strawberry mojito.

For not much more than the price of a bunk bed with 8 other people we were treated to an upgrade to a suite room, welcome drinks, towel swans and rose petals and a giant bath and shower room.  The restaurant served the first of many delicious meals we were to eat in Malaysia and allowed Greg to indulge his love of of rooftop dining.

What I read

'Starving The Artist' - William F. Aicher
A treatise against 'the internet culture of free' and its effects on the music industry.  I can't say I either entirely agree of disagree, or whether I feel a bit like the battle's lost and we need to move on.  Probably that.

What I listened to

Birds singing in the courtyard, the fountain that kept making us think it was raining, car horns, construction everywhere.

What we ate

A very nice couple of curries at Anggun's restaurant, plus banana pancakes for dessert.

Chicken soup and blue sticky rice at The Old China Cafe, a cleaned up relic of old KL that wouldn't have looked out of place in Paris.

Kopi at Sing Sen Nam Kopitiam.

What we did

Took the train from Singapore to KL.  Second class as they were the only seats left.  Lets just say I'm glad National Express set the bar soooooo low for my expectations of train timeliness/cleanliness/pleasantness.

Took Lonely Planet's Chinatown walking tour to see the temples and got hopelessly lost due to road construction.  It was ok, however, as we found ourselves in the Pelaling Night Market where I got giddy haggling for cool vest tops and knock off bags.

Went up to the top (well as far as you're allowed) of the Petronas Towers, the space age twin towers that dominate the KL skyline.  Greg took lots of photos of me trying not to give in to my fear of heights and then insisted we press our foreheads to the glass Feris Bueller style.  Meanie.

Bought Greg some smart shoes at Suria KLCC mall.  SE Asia definitely does malls better than we do.  Two weeks before Christmas and it didn't resemble the 4th ring of Hell.  

My 'I'm not at all scared of heights' face.

More photos to follow when we're out of weedy internet land...
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