Published: May 13th 2009May 11th 2009
'mmmmnnnmmmmdumdumdum' the guy sitting next to us had his hands together and head bowed. Tears streamed down his face and people around us took deep breathes. Another bump and the light came on to belt up. The staff looked worried when another bout of turbulence rocked the plane from side to side. Imagine if the engine bucks and we go down? the oxygen masks would drop down but that would not save us? at 22,000 feet and heading for the ground at 400mph surely no one would survive??...
Luckily for us it was just extremely rough turbulence. The god the guy next to us prayed to must of heard and saved us from disaster!
We rushed off the plane looking back at the aircraft and thanking Alah for our safe arrival in KL. While collecting our bags from the conveyor belt you could see the relief of fellow passengers and one guy we met was visibly shaking.. rushing to the bar for a stiff drink. Drama over and we jumped on the shuttle bus to KL centre. Transport here is awesome and everything is in English.. actually its difficult to find Malaysians speaking Malay to each other, choosing English
We checked into a place called Mataharai lodge located in the heart of Chinatown. The place is more like a youth hostel with shared kitchen and lounge chill out area. No time for rest though..our first job was to get our Indonesian visas sorted but that turned out to be a quite a challenge.
As we approached the Indonesian embassy we got chatting to an Irish couple who told us they had been 'refused entry' into the building and apparently there was a dress code to get in? which is a new one on us?. The temperature in KL is 30 which is expected but the humidity is 80% = sweaty clothes within 12 seconds of leaving the hostel. So the next day we packed trainers, trousers and long sleeve shirts into a bag and headed for the embassy again. Just 100 metres before we arrived at the security check we changed into our embassy attire. The place is on a main road and we were both surprised when halfway through changing the lights turned red, traffic had backed up and EVERYONE was watching 2 foreigners get dressed in the middle of a street. A bus full
of Chinese tourist were the nearest viewers, each waving and laughing and probably thinking what the heck!!???
Once at the gate we were ushered through and nearly denied visa's as we didn't bring a pen with us to fill out the forms. Noticing the guy before us have his application turned down made us feel uneasy but after establishing that we were from Liverpool and we liked football (think it was his favourite nationality) we got our visa's approved which we came back to collect the same day.. phew!
KL is a major city. It hosts the usual China and Indian districts, commercial/shopping centre's and the world famous Petronas towers standing 88 floors and 1200 feet above the city (more later). Chinatown is the usual parade of markets selling cheap clothes, wrapped fruit and knock off watches. Young salesmen shouting 'hey mister you wanna buy t shirt', crowds of tourist being ushered over to try a chicken fried rice sitting in tourist cafes pretending they are culture vultures eating with locals (only no locals eat there due to inflated tourist prices!)
Before visiting little India we decided to miss dinner and try a bit of everything along
the way. After veg pastries, fried monkey nuts, jelly, coconut rice wrapped in banana leaves and even Indian style french fries we were stuffed and manged to get lost heading home.
After being in KL for a week it felt criminal to leave without visiting the worlds 4th tallest building, plus it's free to go up.. so what were we doing waiting a week to do it!!!!
The catch is you don't get to go to the top, more like halfway up!? The twin towers are connected by a sky bridge which tourist get to walk across. Not before watching a promotional movie about the company who built the thing - Petronas, we learned an awful lot about how they are such a good company and snoooozzeee... at least it was in 3d (the last 3d glasses we wore was when Jaws hit the cinema and not so popular news paper gave away free tickets with a pair of 3d glasses!)
The lift on the way up to the bridge is impressive. Each floor takes just 1 second to pass so within a minute you arrive on floor 41. Onto the bridge and we rushed to get a
picture of it empty.. just! You get to overlook the whole city but more mind blowing is the fact that the only thing separating you and the floor 242 feet below is a thin bit of steel (or whatever it's made from).
The rest of our time in KL was spent watching DVD's in the chill out area of the lodge and meeting some other travellers and being convinced to visit Belgium soon! Trying some Nasi Goreng for 20p a dish (coconut rice, curry paste, boiled egg and anchovies), whizzing about on the excellent sky train - they should build one in Liverpool), window shopping - lots of it, oh and our daily visit to the curry house downstairs for dinner - a huge help yourself portion of curry and rice for 50p!!
We had a ball in KL and goes down as one of our fav capitals, it's all so very easy!! Our next stop is the historic city of Melaka which will be our final stop in Malaysia!
Catch up soon.
Lee and Michelle
There are more photos below