Wednesday, October 21, 2009

KL…culture, food and relaxation

Arrival in KL

Sunday night we hopped off the bus about three blocks before arriving at the station proper because the line for buses to enter the terminal was blocks long and moving at a snails pace. Thankfully Johnny knew were we were staying (he’d stayed their previously and his place was only a block or so away) so he guided us to our place, Bedz KL, and we got settled in. We met him later to grab a quick tasty bite to eat at a local Indian restaurant. After that we came back to our place to enjoy air conditioning, the internet and catch some sleep. Swiss was excited about internet and it being early Monday morning in Asia, Sunday football was full on in the states and Swiss stayed up until 4am to watch the Saints game feed on ESPN (I was asleep hours earlier…zzzz)

Monday morning we met up with Johnny to walk towards the Petronas Towers and grab lunch at the food court there (we each had a tasty and filling lunch for under USD 3, quite impressive for a mall food court!) Swiss mailed a few items home to his mom and I got my watch fixed at the Swatch Store (If you know me, you know how I don’t deal well without a working watch!) Johnny took off for Thailand and we decided to relax in the late afternoon.

Monday night Swiss was on the hunt for a sarong and we had a recommendation that these were plentiful and cheap at the Chinatown night market in KL. So off we went but the shopping trip was unsuccessful, nothing that would’ve worked (the scarves they were selling seemed a bit revealing as a sarong!) We stopped to eat some street food and I had some delicious wanton mee.

Won ton mee...a favorite dinner

On the walk back home we passed a Ramly Burger cart and even though I was pretty full neither of us could help ourselves! Let me just say it’s worth a try when you’re here in Malaysia!!

The delicious Ramly burgers we beef, one chicken

A quick side note…on the walk over to Chinatown we passed a Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant, remember that Seinfeld episode? I couldn’t stop thinking of Kramer and had to grab this photo…

Kenny Rogers Roasters (I thought of Seinfeld)

Some culture and a trip up the oil towers!

Tuesday morning we were determined to be more productive and seem some sites in Kuala Lumpur. We were fairly successful! We headed over to the Petronas Towers thinking that we’d wait in a line (I guessed maybe an hour) but instead we waited 20 minutes in a line to get a ticket (Free at least!) to come back at 3.15pm for our trip up to the skybridge. So now we had some time to kill…it was 9.45am. We found a cab to head out to the Batu Caves. Now, this was actually the second cab. We had been told by some people and had heard that a cab out there should run RM10-20. The first cab offered to take us, roundtrip for RM80. We figured this was a tourist rip-off and searched for another cab and found a guy who was willing to take us with the meter (figuring this would be cheaper) Well all told the roundtrip, including one toll and parking and the driver waiting for 45 minutes (which he did not charge us for!) was RM81. So, just a quick note to future visitors.

That being said, it’s very much worth getting out of the city to see this site, it’s a beautiful Hindu temple set into a wonderful set of caves and the world’s largest Lord Muruga statue in the world! While there, on our way out we stumbled on a cock fight (OK, two cock’s attempting to assert dominance, I assume, but it made for a good picture) and Swiss couldn’t help but get involved. Enjoy some pictures from our visit!

The entrance to Batu CavesThe start of our climbThe view at the topThe main templeSwiss tries to get in on the actionJason at the top

Now having about 4 more hours to kill we head back to KLCC to get lunch and enjoy the mall air-conditioning! After lunch we wandered around and ended up in an electronics store where Swiss ended up in a massage chair with eye massage mask on…a pretty funny sight!

We stopped at the electronics store...Swiss ended up in a massage chair with massage glasses!

To Level 41…wait, only Level 41?!?!

So we finally arrived back ready to start our trip up the Petronas Towers and began with an informative Petronas video full of corporate propaganda about all the lovely things they do for life and the community. Now we had initially guessed we’d get to go to the top, but apparently you only get to go up to the sky bridge that links the two towers. It is the working corporate headquarters for Petronas, the private national oil corporation of Malaysia, with all floors occupied by Petronas for business and therefore visitors are only allowed to go up to the sky bridge at Level 41, although the building has 88 inhabitable floors, of which only 86 are used. It had a nice view, it was free, and we stayed up there about 10 minutes before being herded back down.

Petronas Towers, KLThe sky bridge at Petronas TowersView of KL from Petronas TowersView of KL from the sky bridgeDocumented proof we went up the towers

We headed back to the hostel to relax, catch up on the blog, etc when Swiss checked his checking account and found that the saga of Comcast continues!! I won’t bore everyone the details (I can’t quite follow it all between the final bill, the forward billing, the refund, the double refund through Visa, the stopped check, stopped check fee, etc) So let’s just say that Comcast is fairly incompetent in the accounting department, Swiss thinks he has it resolved and he was pretty pissed off that he had to spend an hour and a half dealing with it (I of course don’t blame him) On a side note…I picked up some Pringles to try a local flavor…Soft Shell Crab…

The most interesting Pringles flavor I've seen yet...Soft Shell Crab!!

Let’s just say that the flavor is an acquired taste!

What to do after Kuala Lumpur…

Wednesday morning we slept in a little, decided which city was next on the agenda for our journey. Our pick is the island of Penang up North, which also happened to be Jeremy’s next destination, so we’re meeting him up there. We headed to KL bus station to buy our ticket with the intention of taking a night bus and arriving early Thursday morning. I’m fairly convinced that there are only 2 or 3 bus companies in Malaysia, although there were at least 40 different ticket counters to buy from (each with a different company name up above) but all charge the same place with roughly the same schedules! Either way, it was RM36 for a ticket up to Penang from KL, about a 5 hr ride. With ticket in hand we were starving, headed over to Chinatown for a tasty lunch of char siew chicken mee soup and some dumplings! We hadn’t yet tried the train/monorail here, so we headed over to the train station to head back to KLCC (the local hotel told us that it’s the only movie theatre in the downtown area) and it was hot out, so we didn’t want to walk. We just missed the start of “500 Days of Summer” (my choice, but Swiss was thankful we missed it) and settled on the latest Bruce Willis dud, Surrogates. Now let me tell you, I’ve been carrying around a thick fleece since New Zealand and finally ready to ditch it to make room in the bag, so I was carrying that fleece around looking for a possible donation place (although seriously, who needs a thick fleece in Malaysia, but that’s not the point!!) Well that fleece came in handy since the movie theatre was like 65 degF!! Swiss was a little jealous :) On the walk home we ran into what I dub Alvin’s favorite new restaurant…enjoy this picture Alvin and Selah! :)

Alvin's favorite restaurant in KL ;-)

That’s about all for Kuala Lumpur. We’re taking the 1am night bus up to Penang and going to hang out there for a while, maybe a week or so (give or take) to get our Thai Visa and come up with some rough idea of where we want to go up there! Hope everyone back home in the states is doing well! Get those Halloween costumes ready :)


Alan said...

YAY! You guys found a Ramly Burger Stand! Woohooo!!! Love your blogs! Keep 'em coming! ~Alan C

Unknown said...

I love it. You ate a greasy Ramly burger, ate those weird Pringles, and then out of the mist there appears a restaurant calling your name! Btw, I weighed myself again this morning and I'm very close to breaking through the 180 lbs barrier...

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