23.12.2016 - 03.01.2017
We will start by saying that we both seriously loved Kuala Lumpur! There isn't much not to love here. We arrived here on 23rd December, at about 5am and had decided to kill some time in the airport so that we could save a few quid, or Malaysian ringgit even. We could also try to familiarise ourselves with the public transport system a little whilst finding our first destination. So anyway, Melissa ended up falling asleep on the chairs in the airport whilst I stayed on look out, although I'm not sure what for as I didn't see much. A couple of hours later, we made our way to what we thought was the train. Well, we ended up getting something called the ekspres which took us to a place called Sentral Station. (Not really that central to Kuala Lumpur city centre FYI). Anyway, for two people who seem to have no trouble mastering the London tube, Roma underground, Berlin trains and others, we considered the Kuala Lumpur public transport system to be pretty confusing. They have the ekspres, the monorail, the train, the metro, the komuter and the transit to name a few. Most of the time, we didn't really know which one we were on to be honest. All pretty similar (on a track). You pay at a ticket station or machine and are given chips to enter through turnstiles and use them to leave the station at the other end.
The first place that we stayed, was called Regalia Residence and was located North of Kuala Lumpur, towards the famous Batu Caves. We were pleased because we wanted a chilled out place after Delhi and before the New year. It was perfect and we had the most beautiful view. We had a week to stay here before we chose the next place where we would stay in Kuala Lumpur.
The apartment was great, with lots of space and good wifi to contact the family for christmas day. Even the gym received a couple of visits from us. We decided to go to the restaurant up on the roof for christmas dinner for a 5 course meal. It was really nice. Neil joined us with his smart attire. Watching the lights turn on was great. We had a brilliant view and sat outside. It will be one we will remember for sure.
Around the corner from our accommodation, was Putra Mall. It's a great big mall, with all sorts of things going on. It actually reminded us a little of Dubai. Kuala Lumpur has many similarities with Dubai. We took a couple of walks around there and the surrounding areas. One of the days, we visited Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) to take a trip to the visa office to apply for our chinese visa's. The visa takes around 4 days to be processed. We also visited the park in the centre and took some photos of the Petronas towers. The park had some interesting looking plants and trees which we got some snaps of. We also got a good show of the fountains with lights and music in preparation for NYE. Impressive stuff!
We also went for cocktails in The Traders hotel opposite the park which is rumoured to have one of the best photo opportunities of the Petronas Towers. It was alright 😒 meh. Wasn't the best!
Whilst staying at the Regalia Residence, we also decided to visit the Batu Caves as it made sense to do it then. In all honesty, they were a bit of a let down. They were impressive outside and believe it or not, the 272 steps were much easier than we thought. But otherwise, the caves themselves weren't too impressive. We both agreed that lower st Michael's cave in Gibraltar had a lot more to it. One of the main things that let it down were the dated statues within the cave which took away from the nature of the cave itself. Not to complain too much. We still had a lovely day and really enjoyed the outside of the caves. (Neil too😆)
After our time was up in Northern KL, we went to a hostal in KLCC. Before heading there, we had to make a stop at the visa office. We left very relieved that our China visa's were approved! We couldn't believe it. We had waited 15 minutes on the day to hand in the application and about 10 on the day to pay and collect it. No interview needed and most people can wait an average of 4 hours just to hand in the application. We were totally jammy there! The best thing was that this allowed us to plan ahead some more regarding where we wanted to visit next. We decided that we wanted to see more of Malaysia as we had 2 weeks to kill before heading to Singapore. We asked some locals where they would recommend and had a look at some tips on forums online. We decided that the first change to our original route would be to add a visit to Penang and Langkawi (two islands North/West of Malaysia) Penang was mainly recommended by travellers with lots to do and see and Langkawi was highly recommended by locals as a place to relax with white sandy beaches.
Anyway, we went to our hostal (Summer Suites) and got stuff booked. We stayed in an 8 bed mixed dorm and we were really happy with it (besides a funky smell fromantic the bathroom). It was very central with nearby bars and restaurants etc. Which was what we really wanted for new year 😆 It also had a really cool pool with see through sides which we got some cool video's of. I wasn't able to upload the videos on here 😕 so I've added some on FB if you wish to have a look.
Moving on, we decided that we wanted to sample some of the local cuisine and street vendor's which are said to sell some of the best stuff. We really made it our mission. Melissa doesn't like fish and isn't too good with spicy either, which was interesting. But we both got pretty adventurous. We tried Nasi Lemak, Nasi kukus, Nasi kandar, dragon fruit, types of fish and loads of things which we couldn't really remember the name of.
We did try lots, but don't seem to have too many pictures. We went out for New years eve with an Irish guy called John, who we met in our hostal. We didn't actually stay out really late, but we did manage to get a really good spot in the middle of KLCC park. We are giants in comparison to Malaysian folk and it was easy to get through crowds. The fireworks were great and the atmosphere was something we will remember.
As we headed back not too long after midnight, we were fresh for the first day of the new year and were able to sort everything ready for our onwards journey.
We decided to stay one more night in Kuala Lumpur because the flights were cheaper to Penang for a day later and so we booked a hostal near sentral station which was easier for us to get to the airport from. It was good because it meant that we got to visit China town and the 'I ❤ KL' sign. Glad that we got that extra day as we had wanted to do both and not got round to it.
So our time in Kuala Lumpur has now come to an end. In conclusion, we would definitely come here again, the people are great, foods good, prices are great, no trouble, lots to do, stunning views. still together, still strong 😙 Lol 'we like!'.