Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
From Siem Reap, Cambodia, we continued our one-month journey through Southeast Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After days of walking and seeing what felt like “everything” – though it was really just a tiny bit of Thailand and Cambodia, we arrived in Malaysia already tired. On top of our tiredness, the weather seemed to wear us down with its suffocating humidity. Although still around 30 degrees Celsius, the humid air made the heat almost unbearable for us, poor mortals not used to it. For Malaysians, it seemed fine. I mean, they were wearing jeans whereas I would have given anything for the possibility of wringing my breezy pants after 5 minutes outside. I kind of got used to it after the 3rd day, which was also the last, so I guess, if you spend more time, you’ll be fine, as long as you’re wearing breathable fabrics.
Of course, everything indoors was air-conditioned at possibly fridge temp, so whenever you got inside your body would be confused “should I be happy? Should I be hot? Cold? Did my brain just freeze? I need a blankie.”
The hotel we stayed at was a modern, comfortable one, very close to Chinatown. So, of course, our first outside trip was to Chinatown, where we checked out the shopping potential. However, as we were only travelling with a backpack each, we mostly refrained from buying much and we were hoping to get some souvenirs when we went back to Thailand.
On our second day in Kuala Lumpur, we went on a trip to Batu Caves, just outside the city. The caves hold a complex of temples and are home to numerous monkeys, some of which are not necessarily happy you’re invading their space. We took a train to get there, which made for a very comfortable trip. I’d say it is a nice way to spend your time, so do visit, but be ready to climb many steps to get inside the main cave. Actually, if it weren’t that hot, climbing the stairs and admiring the monkeys, was one of the highlights of the trip.
Once back to the city, at nightfall, we decided to go check out the famous Petronas Towers. They were impressive to see, especially lit up in the dark. It was already almost closing time and we weren’t sure we wanted to go to the top anyway, so instead, we spent about an hour or more taking pictures from the ground.
After this, although we’ve planned to visit the Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower the next day, someone…was very impatient. You could see the top of the tower from Petronas and as it didn’t seem to be terribly far, we decided to walk. Bad, bad decision. It was very far. By the time we finally reached the tower, it was very late and also, nearly closing time. We got on the last ride that takes you from the base of the hill to the top, where the tower is situated. We went up on the sky deck and were the last ones to take pictures from inside the Sky Box. The panoramic view of the city was splendid and perhaps the photos don’t make it justice. But sitting on the floor of the sky box was truly an exciting experience, so if you ever get there, do try it.
On the following day, as we’d already checked everything on our shortlist for KL, we went to the botanical garden, a huge park that holds the Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens, the Butterfly Park, a zoo, a lake, and a planetarium along with many other interesting attractions. We preferred to walk around the park and visit the Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens which were beautiful. Again, the heat got the best of us and after a long walk, we returned to the air-conditioned room of our hotel.
On our last day in KL, we spent the morning at a shopping center nearby, called Central Market. I do recommend checking it out as it had some art shops and traditional memorabilia. Outside, we ate something we called “schnitzel bananas” – panko deep-fried bananas and had some coffee too. Later, the humidity went overboard and it was pouring rain for the rest of the day. So, we got some food and drinks and spent the day lounging and enjoying the rain from the hotel’s terrace.
Weirdly, besides the schnitzel bananas, I cannot remember anything else I ate in Malaysia, though with the weather, I know I didn’t really eat much. Small pastry shops were in the neighbourhood and we did get provisions there.
Overall, with the tiredness and humidity, the days in KL weren’t spent as well as they could have been. However, I did enjoy my time there and if we were to have stayed longer and gotten used to the weather, I’m sure we would have explored a lot more. I’m hoping one day to get back and visit Penang as well. Until then, I still have two more chapters of this story to share with you.
Next on the list: Phuket, Thailand.