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Published: February 12th 2014
Take a bottle of water - there's a few steps!
We arrived back in KL on Sunday and made our way to the Swiss Inn Hotel in China Town with the blistering midday sun upon our backs. It’s about a five-minute walk from Pasar Seni LRT Station, but I’ll admit it feels a little longer when you’re pulling suitcases along the uneven roads and walkways. I thought Matt may actually shove a vendor or two once we reached Petaling Street – they were in our face straight away. While it was frustrating on the way to the hotel, once we settled into our hotel (directly on Petaling Street with a view out over the whole street) it was great having the shops, stalls and food vendors so close.
I really wanted to do some clothes shopping so we took the monorail to the Bukit Bintang area. There are three large shopping centers within close proximity here – my favourite would be The Pavilion which has a great range of mid to high end stores. Unfortunately, due to seasonal differences between here and Spain, I was unable to find anything in my beloved Zara. We did, however, find two new favourites – Padini (unisex clothing) and Vincci (women’s shoes
Inside the Cathedral Cave
Yellow hues scatter the chamber, worshippers making their way to the Lord Murugan shrine
On our second day we even made the trip out to Mid Valley Megamall to check out their Vincci store. If you have kids / looking to buy for children then I tell you this is the Mall to go to! Clothing, prams, Character-specific stores, toys; you name it!
Matt had decided to visit my parents’ dentist in KL to get a recently chipped tooth fixed, which we arranged the day prior. Matt was happy with the service and general quality of everything at KLIDC (Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre), the offices / equipment / staff etc. The more major the procedures the cheaper the price would be. Matt believed the cost to him (with private health insurance) would have been fairly similar to Australia for such a small procedure. Nevertheless, it was quick and handy to get done whilst being in the central KL business district.
We picked up most of our China-Town-purchases on our second night – nabbing Polo shirts for 30RM / $10AU each, beautiful scarves for 17.50RM / $5.80AU each and ‘leather’ wallets for 80RM / $26AU.
We decided to make the
'Hangry' (Hungry-Angry) Monkeys
Cynomolgus monkey with her baby - fierce when trying to get scraps of food, friendly if you don't wave any food around.
twenty minute trip out to Batu Caves (2RM each way on the KTM Komuter train) on our last morning. Despite some negative reviews online, we were glad we made the effort! While we do wish we had have got there earlier (the earlier the better so you are there before the midday sun heats up) it was quite cool inside the caves and the stairs were in shade on our walk down (around midday). The 300-odd stairs are only for the fit, with the locals pushing past those who are taking a breather. Keep in mind, these locals may also have a sling with their child held up by a bamboo rod, or a large ceremonial headdress – so it’s understandable that they want to reach the top as soon as possible! We grabbed a bottle of water on our way in for 2RM / 66 cents AU from one of the many stalls; it was a great refresher at the top step.
One of my favourite things about visiting Batu Caves was the Indian Sweet/Snack stalls. I picked up some Halwa and Chidwa for my Nana, though I wish I could have bought more (damn you
Indian Sweets outside Batu Caves
Just be brave and pick up a few pieces of whatever takes your eye! Warning: GUARANTEED to go straight to your hips.
Australian Customs!). We had read warnings about the monkeys being aggressive, which they did seem to be towards each other. One man was swiped at (he was holding fresh coconut shards, funny that) but if you don’t show them food then you should be completely fine.
On our last afternoon in KL I wanted to do something special. I had read about the Majestic Hotel’s High Tea on Time Out KL (fantastic website written by locals!). Seeing as though Matt and I have an affinity for orchids, particularly Phalaenopsis, I was intrigued by the Orchid Conservatory venue within the hotel. The more research you do the more you find High Tea readily available throughout KL, so you can afford to be picky with the venue. We didn’t want to hike too far from China Town so we were stoked to discover The Majestic was within walking distance, just over the Pasar Seni foot bridge directly opposite the Kuala Lumpur KTM Komuter train station. Bookings are essential for the Orchid Conservatory (by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
) but don’t despair, there is plenty of room in this heavenly heritage hotel to pull up a Chesterfield for tiffin’.
The Majestic Hotel
Built in 1931, this colonial hotel charmed us with it's neo-classical design.
We arrived just before 3pm for our 2-hour afternoon tea and were ushered straight into the orchid room. Only ten other people were in this fresh venue, while many other guests and visitors were turned away by our ‘servers’, dressed entirely in white. One particular guest was not impressed at being turned away when she asked if she could get a few photos in the room. After all, from 3 to 5pm daily the room is reserved for High Tea guests only. A selection of three hot savouries came out first, deliciously paired with a creamy dipping sauce and mango chutney. Our sweets came out on a circular copper display stand, the likes of which I haven’t seen before. Matt’s favourites were the scones and choc-caramel tart and mine the delectable sandwiches and Pana Cotta. At 95RM / $32AU per head we were impressed with the faultless service, great atmosphere and most importantly, quality of the food! We will definitely be returning to the Majestic to stay/have a meal next time we are in KL.
I really wanted to have a traditional Malaysian “last dinner” in KL, so we opted for a little restaurant off
Orchid Conservatory at the Majestic Hotel
LOVED our High Tea here. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for something different to do in KL!
Petaling Street. I love the way most restaurants here will serve their Pineapple Fried Rice in an actual pineapple, or coconut rice in the coconut shell. It was a tasty, energising meal – after all, I did have a few last minute things to buy! It didn’t help it was 11pm and all the stalls were packing up but we did manage to get everything we were looking for. At one point during a bartering session I literally opened my wallet and said “this is all I have left, take it or leave it!” Matt was appalled and impressed all at the same time. “Figures you turn into the haggling queen on our last day!”
We were up early on Wednesday to make the first Air Asia bus from KL Sentral. I wish I could say we spent our time at the airport browsing duty free, relaxing and reflecting on our trip but a rookie mistake putting a bottle of Gin in my hand luggage caused a bit of drama. Air Asia wouldn’t allow me to check-it under the plane as it’s a ‘dangerous’ substance so unfortunately it ended up in the confiscated items bin at customs.
If you are on an international flight out of KL (particularly from the Low Cost Terminal) it’s really important to understand they have strict rules regarding liquids. One mother was very upset all of the unopened bottles of water she had bought for her children in the Departure Lounge were confiscated. Unopened is not enough, it must be sealed in a secure ‘duty-free style’ bag.
Once on our flight, it was soon time to tuck into our pre-booked meals (the Chicken Satay was huge!) and catch up on some our fave TV shows. It seems good timing for us that The Block will be kicking off again on January 27 - we will undoubtedly be inspired to get stuck into more renovations… yes that’s right, we plan on cheating on travel with hardware and interiors!
It really was a fantastic holiday – our first “overseas” trip as a couple. Terima kasih (thank-you) for the memories Malaysia! Until our next adventure beckons xoxo much love always, AG
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