Published: January 27th 2013January 27th 2013
Ever since we arrived in S.E. Asia, we (more so Dave) has yet to find Ginger Ale in any restaurant, food stand, 7-eleven or basically anywhere! Not that we desire pop that greatly..with all the fresh fruit juices and shakes. But alas! We finally found ginger ale! It was the most expensive glass of ginger ale we've ever had (15RM or Malaysian Ringitts which equals to..$5!!) this lovely experience occured at the KL Tower 360 restaurant, but we'll get to that.
As always I will backtrack to how we ended up sipping on glorious bubbly ginger ale in Kuala Lumpur.
We left off departing Koh Tao to venture down to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This little "venture" took an ambitious 18 hours! We took a really cool ferry from Tao to mainland Chumphon. Ferry was called Lomprayah and it is one of the most popular ones to take. Very "yachty" feel to it! Cool comfy seats sort of like in an airplane just lots more. TV showing Just For Laughs of all things, and a nice air-con, smooth ride. We got to Chumphon and took a bus to the train terminal passing through the lush green interior filled with coconut,
palm and banana trees (to name a few).
Now we had to wait about 4hours as...surprise, surprise...train is delayed a half hour! This was all fine and dandy with us, as we find that small towns have pretty awesome street food stalls and just in general the whole town comes alive at dusk; right when we got there. We stashed our bags at the terminal and went for a walk about. We had some chicken skewers, some dough baked donut looking things (that Dave has also been hunting for since Khaosan) with a sweet green sauce to DIE FOR! A strawberry, pineapple shake among other delicacies.
The train arrived and we boarded at around 10PM. This time we got 2nd class fan bunks, and kind of slept most of the 10.5hr trek down to Hat Yai in Southern Thailand. We grabbed a cab to the airport and relaxed for an hour or so before our flight (40$) to Kuala Lumpur. When we walked out onto the tarmac, I glanced at our miniature toy plane. I had to just remember what Yoga taught me...concentrate on your breath....Dave having flown in his native St. Vincent on some miniature, toy planes
before was quite used to this sight...me not so much. I'm one of those "keep-my-seatbelt-on-tight-for-the-whole-flight- type people...so yeahhhhh. This plane actually had 2 propellers, which I know some planes have, just not visible like that. Anyway flight was ok, we survived and I did pretty well. I'm not scared of flying, just a tad uncomortable during take-off, landing and any turbulance. The rest of the flight I'm fineeee.
So we got to KL. Our hotel was booked in loud, colourful, LOUD China Town. Room is ok, big but a bit on the ghetto side. At 23$ a night, can't complain. There's a really cool walking street called Jalan Petaling (our window faced it) and it consists of shops, street food etc...very Khaosan Roadish. KL isn't that much more expensive than Thailand so we got some food and did a bit of shopping while we were here. Also I didn't pack for a Muslim/Hindu country where women should be covered up a bit. So I got some pants and a t-shirt.
Next day we went to Batu Caves which is a temple inside a cave. Pretty impressive site! It's apparently become one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for
MANY Hindus around the world. They were paying homage by carrying urns of milk allll the way up to the temple inside. We had to climb 283 steps to get inside the cave, it was sweaty! but worth it. The only complaint is that the whole place was quite dirty. For a holy place where people take their shoes off to go inside. Trash EVERYWHERE (as much as would be expected after Carabana but in a smaller venue and just unexpected for a holy place).
After the Cave, we took the train back into town. I want to just point out that the transit system in KL is second to none, cheap, fast, air con and very comfy. We then took a free bus line to Berjaya Times Square. This is a mall. Not just any mall. This mall makes Yorkdale,Vaughan Mills and Eaton Centre look like a dirty bazaar from the 1950's. Ok a bit of an exaggeration but seriously this mall is insane! 11 floors of very intense shopping. They even have an amusement park inside with a huge roller coaster! We spent about 3 hours walking inside a mall..and we are usually not mall rats at
all back home.
Their food court was very funky. They have this system where you load up a card with money and just walk around between all the different booths and get whatever with just a swipe of your food card. We had a huge bowl of noodles with seafood and chicken for 6.50RM (about 2$). We also went to this small pancake booth and had a creamy creamy and chocolate mini pancake sandwiches. Very delicious and inventive.We were pooped by the end of the day! Went home and passed out with our earplugs in as there is soooo much noise from the streets.
This leads us to our wonderful ginger ale experience! Today we went to the KL Botanical gardens/Orchid park. It also houses the world's largerst walk-in free fly aviary with over 3000 kinds of birds. We didn't go there though, it was a bit pricey for our backpackers' budget. The surroundings were very beautiful and serene however. We then hopped on a train to the city centre to go for a buffet lunch at the KL Menara Tower. Their version of a CN tower, just lower. Buffet was fantasic, views even more so..and we got
GINGER ALE!!! It wasn't the same ginger ale as Canada Dry or any other brand for that matter. It was more like a carbonated soda with ginger flavour. Still delicious. The restaurant does a 360 (again, like the CN Tower) and we enjoyed seeing the whole city and then some from that vantage point.
There was also a group of about 20 Indian men on holiday at the tower. One of them started talking to us on the elevator up. Just the usual, where you from? how long on holiday? ...now every time we came across him at the buffet he'd laugh and make some little joke about following us. When our side of the restaurant got in front of the Petronas Towers (the million dollar shot for anyone who was there) the whole group of 20 men came around our table, taking pics of the towers. They then proceeded to take turns, one by one taking pictures of us, with us, of me, of Dave, each one positioning himself in between us hugging us tightly, and smiling brightly. We were more of a tourist attraction than the damn towers! Quite hilarious and slightly creepy at the same time.
All in good fun.
After our amazing buffet and photo shoot we walked over to the Petronas towers which was really quite a spectacle to see up close. Inside there is a mall with stores of all the fancy brands. We walked around a bit and left because it started raining and we still needed to hike back to the train station.
So here we are after 3 days in Malaysia, the general consensus is that...it's a very cool, modern city with a lot of heritage and culture. I found the people (men specifically) to be a bit much...they way they stared at me (and probably all women in general) even though I did my part at dressing very conservatively.
So in terms of friendliness we found Thailand to be hands down the winner thus far. Having said that we did interact with some very nice locals here, just overall feel is different. Not as many smiles. We enjoyed our time here and can't wait to head to Singapore tomorrow. This is the one flight we booked about 2 months ago, for $20!! Then 2 days in Singapore and back to The Land of Smiles we go for
a month on the Andaman Islands. Can't wait!
Love you all!
D & A
There are more photos below