I’m currently writing to you from our hotel room in the heart of bustling Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! I can’t believe how fast the past 6 weeks flew by, and that in just a few days we’ll be in Germany! I still have a few posts on the docket from The Philippines, so I’m looking forward to a little bit of down time so I can play catch up with my posts. For now, a little more on my first impressions of Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, and is one of the fastest growing regions in Southeast Asia. This becomes clear as you get closer to the city, since huge skyscrapers and beautiful buildings begin to pop up as you hit the outskirts of town. There’s a wide variety of architectural styles as you see the iconic Petronas Towers contrasted with various mosques and temples. It definitely makes for an impressive skyline!
As Malaysia is uncharted territory for both Robin and myself, we had to do a little bit of research ahead of time. In The Philippines it’s easiest/cheapest to get a cab and make your way into the city, especially for us as Robin lives fairly close to the airport. In Kuala Lumpur the airport is about an hour drive outside of the city, so we thought it would be a fairly expensive cab ride. I read online that, like in The Philippines, cabs will try to take a flat fare in order to score a bit of extra cash. However, as soon as you leave immigration, there’s two kiosks – one for buses and one for taxis. After dragging our luggage through customs with a cart, I began thinking it would be extremely difficult to do so, especially without one. We inquired about a taxi to our hotel on Jalan Pudu in the heart of Kuala Lumpur which ran 102MYR and change. As the airport bus to KL’s Central Station is 35MYR (~$12CDN) per ticket, we opted to go with the cab so we didn’t have to worry about dragging our luggage through buses. It also shaved about an hour off our transportation time!
We checked into our place at the Citin Seacare Pudu Hotel, a newly renovated hotel just around the corner from Chinatown. The staff are all wonderful and the place is beautiful! Super clean and eco-friendly, and our room on the top floor is the perfect place for us to sit back and relax. We have a pretty good view too! Since we got in after dark I can only see lights so far, but I’m curious to find out how far we’ll be able to see come morning!
After freshening up from the flight we made our way towards Chinatown and Petaling street. Similar to many of the markets in Manila, the street has stalls selling souvenirs, clothes, purses, trinkets, food – you name it! I must say though, most of the people there don’t try to corral you into their shop like they do in The Philippines. I’m also no longer a ma’am, just a lady. I still haven’t figured out if I like this better or not. We wandered through to take a peek at the goods (and snagged some yummy snacks since I need more jackfruit in my life!) as we made our way to Guan Di Temple. It was obviously closed considering it was 9:30pm at night, but still nice to take a peek at it’s beautiful architecture! We’ll have to swing by again during the day to enjoy it’s full beauty.
By then my tummy started to grumble and so the quest for food began. I was extremely intrigued by the stands selling meats and veggies on sticks that you boil, however I read a travel advice article and one piece of it really stuck – don’t eat street meat at night. It never really occurred to me, but makes total sense when you think about it. Do you want to be eating food that’s been sitting out all day in the sun? Especially with how hot it is in these summer months, my stomach has had it’s fare share of difficulties with Southeast Asian cuisine – I’ll do it a solid by steering clear… until tomorrow morning that is! As we did one more round through Petaling Street, we noticed a little bazaar just off the main drag with a bunch of little stalls selling a variety of food. I was craving some veggies, so we snagged some garlic rice, stir-fried kangkong, and some calamari rings. All three dishes were awesome, and it came to 35MYR for more food than we could handle! With our bellies full, we made our way back to our hotel room where we’re preparing for the next few days as we explore Kuala Lumpur!