Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stopover in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

 The Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur

I arrived late afternoon after a good flight. The service on my Air Asia flight was excellent and I had an empty seat next to me making things that little bit more comfortable. Getting from the plane to a taxi was a breeze (customs and baggage was quick) and the ride to KL was easy enough besides the distance (an hour). It was only the last mile that was really busy, and this added a half hour to the journey.

The hotel I'm staying in is very close to the Petronas Towers (the largest twin tower blocks in the world) and after meeting with Caroline we took a short walk around the towers. However, I was pretty tired after the 12-hour flight, so we went to bed early.
 KL Central Market
The first full day started early with breakfast in the hotel and then a train ride to Pasar Seni and a walk around Central Market and Chinatown. The market goes back to the 1880's and has been redeveloped a few times, while in the 1970's a heritage group had to save the market from being demolished. Both Chinatown and the market are amazing, but quite in your face, though great for some time out. Back to the hotel in the afternoon and then a walk around the Golden Triangle district of KL. Navigation around KL is accomplished by moving from hotel to hotel, and looking up for landmark tall buildings. Pedestrians need to use the crossings because driving is mad here. For anyone who has been to Europe, imagine everyone driving around Paris on amphetamines. I have no idea how many lanes there are and I think that it's insignificant in the mind of the average Malaysian driver!

Day 2

Early morning and it's hot, hotter than yesterday. Caroline has her cmera ready for some good quality photo's and after breakfast we took a walk around the Petronas Towers towards Bukit Bintang. The walk was draining in the oppressive heat and humidity. We wait for some repreieve from the stifling weather as thunderstorms are forecast for the afternoon. A drink was needed so we stopped at U-Cafe below the labyrinthine Sengei Wang shopping centre. The Segafredo coffee they served was the best I've had since leaving Melbourne, full bodied and with a delicate flavour.
 Try U-Cafe for a good coffee
Lemon and Mint, a most refreshing drink

We walked around Sengei Wang, all 6 floors, which is a shoppers paradise and a cool haven on a hot day. But at last it was time to venture forth so bolstered by a lemon and mint real fruit drink (an absolutely fantastic combination, one of the most refreshing drinks I've ever had) we walked in the general direction of the KL Tower. Even so, the heat and humidity was too much and we had to duck into another mall along the way (this was about full time in the Grand Final Replay, c'mon Saints). Some excitement along the way was a police escorted cavalcade with someone obviously important in the convoy (no numberplate on the main car). I didn't get a photo, I didn't dare the way the police were eyeballing everyone.

 The KL Tower
 Carl and Caroline and the Petronas Towers

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