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Published: November 1st 2009
Green tea KitKat. Yum.
The reason that we chose Malaysia for our next stop was that it's the most economical way to get from Japan to Southeast Asia. Most flights from Tokyo or Osaka to Bangkok are well over $1,000 per person but rapidly growing Malaysia Airlines had a great deal - so off to Kuala Lumpur we go!
But first we had to get to the Osaka airport. Our journey highlighted two undeniable truths about Japan:
- Major airports all seem to be located in extremely inconvient places
- The public transport system is clean, fast and efficient
It took us over 2 hours to get from our hotel to the Osaka airport (first a walk to the nearby subway line, then a quick ride to the train station and finally a 1 hour train to the airport).
Osaka has a reputation for being Japan's most futuristic city; if that's true, then the Kansai airport captures its spirit perfectly. It sits out on an artificially made island, reached by a long bridge. The structure is just enormous, all glass and steel and space age feeling. Everything inside is, of course, wonderfully efficient. We quickly checked our bags, got
breakfast and made it to our gate in plenty of time to spend our last few Yen on a green tea Kit Kat bar and check email at one of the many free internet terminals.
Our six hour flight to KL on a 777 was great. We got our bags easily and stepped out of the terminal into 90 degrees and nearly 100% humidity. Our forecast for the next six weeks will be 85-90F and 20-100% chance of rain.
After 50 minutes of extremely fast driving, our taxi pulled up to Trader's Hotel in the Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC). The hotel is fantastic - a modern high rise with great views of the famous Petronas Towers (for Amazing Race fans out there, one of their challenges was to rappel down the towers) and a boutique feel (sort of like the W Hotels). KLCC is anchored by the impressively high and sparklingly modern towers (Petronas is the nationalized oil company) and a number of modern hotels, including Traders, spread out from Petronas and encircling a large park (complete with a fountain, a playground and a rubber running track - which we never used, see forecast above). A very upscale mall sits at the base of the towers with hundreds of restaurants and shops.
We checked in around 5pm and headed over to the mall for some amazing noodles in their plush food court (Eva will remember this from our trip last year - we ate almost all of our meals at these incredible mall food courts; they're much nicer than food courts in the U.S.) and turned in early to rest before our first big day in the tropics.
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