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Published: March 12th 2013
It had been 6 weeks since Sam surprised me with the prospect of coming out to Kuala Lumpur for a few days and with the thought also of staying in a lovely hotel and the arrival of packages from home, we all had our own reasons for being massively excited about his coming visit. Our plane from Siem Reap touched down at Kuala Lumpur airport in the late morning of Sunday February 10th and I'm afraid to say that we didn't set off the proceedings particularly well. Maybe our excitement had clouded us with stupidity or perhaps the one hour time difference had set our minds to malfunction but we arrived with not even a remote inkling of where we were going or which currency we would use to get there.
I have blamed it once and I will do it again; the culprit of our Malaysian undoing was the Malarone. You may think that it sounds dramatic but after 35 days of taking these ungodly pills we were three girls broken. I was having alternating heart palpitations, insomnia and panic attacks, Jess seemed to get paralytic at the mere scent of alcohol and Sarah was having problems that she
will not allow me to discuss on here. On the advice of our nurse mothers that this was not normal, we made the collaborative decision to stop taking them, get well enough to walk around for the day without needing a nap and let the malaria strike if it so wished. We just happened to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at the height of Chinese New Year so our first few days staying in 'Soho Hotel
' in Chinatown were busy to say the least. We spent them wandering through the bustling markets of Chinatown and Little India, laying in the sunshine by the lakes of the Botanical Gardens
near KL Sentral
and blew our budgets at the Mid Valley Shopping Mall
where the lure of western shops proved too great. One of Kuala Lumpur's greatest attractions is its vast array of shopping opportunities and what kind of tourists would we be if we didn't partake.
On February 13th, we checked into our home for the next 5 nights at the the 'Dorsett Regency Hotel'
in the Bukit Bintang area of the Golden Triangle. We revelled in the first taste of luxury we had experienced in months and in the late
afternoon I took a taxi to the airport to finally meet Sams flight from Heathrow after 9 weeks of being away. I've always been the one arriving, never the one waiting but seeing him walk through the arrivals gate of KL International Airport was amazing and marked the start of an awesome Valentines weekend in what I will now remember as one of my favourite cities.
Our first port of call on Valentines day was a romantic spot of haggling for knock off Mulberry bags in the buzzing markets of Chinatown and we left with an array of interesting purchases. After all my talk of bone cracking Asian massages, Sam was a little apprehensive but keen to see what the fuss was all about so I encouraged him in and swore more than once that I would not at any point leave him alone in a room with an Asian masseuse. In hindsight I wish that I hadn't asked for a 'hard' massage but the experience was made for me when I glanced across to see Sam being straddled by a rather weighty lady pulling his legs apart violently in opposite directions. It was jokes. That evening after a
Thai feast at the Pavilion
we somehow found our way into a pretty swanky Malaysian club called 'Pulse
' which was blasting out some DMX. It took Sam back to his youth and we proceeded to get horrendously drunk. Each time I finished my drink another one appeared in its place and it made for an amazing night out and the perfect end to our Valentines day celebrations.
The following day we nursed our sore heads with a day exploring KL on foot. At this point in the trip I had visited many of the prominent South-East Asian cities but KL was impressive to me on a scale that none of the others succeeded. All large cities have both luxurious districts and of course the not so wealthy parts and perhaps it was the novelty of staying somewhere altogether pleasant following the more questionable streets of Phnom Penh that heightened my attraction to it.
Saturday was one of my favourite days of the trip so far without question. After a day lounging by the pool and indulging in a little more retail therapy, we headed out into the early evening and made our way to the Petronus Twin Towers
perhaps the city's most famous landmarks. The sun was setting as we got into the lift which took us first to the suspended viewing platform halfway up and then all the way to one of the very highest points by which time night had fallen and Kuala Lumpur had transformed into a spread of busy lights marking out the impossibly intricate details beneath us. What followed however was even more breathtaking as we made our way to have dinner at the 360 degree revolving restaurant at the highest point of KL Tower
. The food was really good but all my awe was focused on the city twirling very slowly beneath us and now completely buzzing with nocturnal life, the Petronus Towers just beside us in the distance and the roads visible only for the glittering stream of traffic keeping the city in motion. As we made our way down to ground level once again and thought about making our way home, we stumbled across a huge rave at the base of KL tower which called itself 'Rising Music Festival'
. We had absolutely no idea what it was but never ones to turn down such an offer as this, we got
on the beers, mingled and danced amidst a crowd made up almost entirely of pilled up Malaysians. It was insane!!!
On our final afternoon in KL, Sam, Jess, Sarah and myself all indulged in our final taste of luxury with afternoon tea at the 'Mandarin Oriental Hotel
'. This was no standard afternoon tea however, it was a 'chocolate buffet' offering every type of chocolate imaginable and it was just as glorious as it sounds.....talking about it too much is a little upsetting as we are currently running on a food schedule of Brelinner (breakfast, lunch and dinner all rolled into one meal) due to a slight lack of funds. It's definitely no chocolate buffet.
Sadly, the following morning it was time to leave KL behind us and get back to the backpacker lifestyle. This hit us with an unwelcome bang as we stopped off in a small town called Malaka on our way down Malaysia and were offered a room with literally a bucket for a toilet. We didn't feel the need to punish ourselves quite that much so left Malaka with haste, eager to get down and spend a few days in Singapore. Four days had gone
far too quickly and as I write this three weeks later (I've spent the past few weeks being extremely lazy on the beaches of Bali) I'm so so SO pleased and excited to be saying that both Mr Sam Barker and our new addition, Miss Sarah Rook will both be joining us once again in just a few days time as we begin the second half of our travels in Australia.
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