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Published: February 18th 2015
From Bangkok I flew Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur
, capital of Malaysia. It was my third time in Kuala Lumpur, a city of about 8 million people. To connect to my next destination I had to come here and decided to spend 3 nights in the country. I always like to be in Kuala Lumpur because it's cheaper, cleaner, better organized and less chaotic compared to Bangkok. Of course Bangkok wins when it comes to parties and going out though. Another thing I like about Kuala Lumpur is that people don’t bother you on the street to buy their goods or services like in Bangkok. So there was no “masaaaat”, no “you want suit sir?”, no “you want boom boom” etc. They just leave you alone most of the time which is great. What makes Malaysia very interesting is that it’s a multi-cultural country; a blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Indonesian and therefore they have a rich cuisine.
After arriving at the airport I took a bus to KL Sentral and then the monorail to Chow Kit station which was near the hostel I was staying. I was tired and it started raining, so I didn’t do anything
that evening. I just hung around in the hostel and spoke to other travellers, did some research online etc. The next day I went to see a little bit of Kuala Lumpur. The weather was pretty hot and there was little wind. I took the free “Go KL” buses than run in the city throughout the whole day. There are four different lines and they are a really good value but when the traffic is too congested and the bus barely moves, I just step out and take the monorail or LRT instead.
I wandered around Merdeka Square (Independence Square) and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, in front of which they had an event going on with many kids driving small motorcycles. Then I went to China Town with its lovely Central Market, Kasturi Walk and Petaling Street, where I bought a memory stick at a very good price (much cheaper than in Bangkok) which I will use to send pictures home as a back-up. Here I also had some food before I continued towards Menara Tower. From the top of this 421m high tower you can enjoy excellent views over the city. The weather wasn’t clear and honestly,
I felt like I shouldn’t have wasted my money to go there again since I had already been in Dec. 2005 and Nov. 2008. I bought a ticket which included a drink and a visit to an aquarium at the entrance, but the aquarium isn’t a big deal at all. Don’t even bother considering to go in there. After this I continued towards the Bukit Bintang area, a busy area full of lights flashing everywhere. I didn’t go to this area in November 2008 so I just strolled around for a bit. There was a lot of roadwork going on and the area was a bit of a mess. Not far from there, I went to Berjaya Times Square, a huge shopping mall with a theme park inside! I went on the roller coaster when I visited Kuala Lumpur for the first time in Dec. 2005 and I just wanted to see it again. And, last but not least, I went to KLCC where the Petronas Twin Towers are located. At 450m they used to be the tallest building in the world between 1998 and 2004 and they always impress me, towering up with their elegance, many lights and the
bridge connecting both of them. Again I was looking for good spots to take excellent pictures and I think I succeeded! I went for a walk inside the mall and had some food here, before going back to the hostel. It was a long but fulfilling day.
The next day I met Yenyen, a Malaysian girl I used to work with in New Zealand and also with Rui, a Chinese girl who also worked with me in New Zealand. Rui didn’t know I was in Malaysia, so she was surprised to see me when Yenyen picked me up at the station. We drove towards Malacca (Melaka)
, a historical city southeast of Kuala Lumpur. In the car we were talking a lot about travelling and of course about our time at the hotel in New Zealand. Malacca has more than 700 000 people so it’s not a small city, but the historical area of the city is not big and easy to walk through within a day. It was my second time in Malacca, the first time was Dec. 2005. The city didn’t change much. Yenyen parked her car and we went to the street called Jalan Han Jebat
(or Jonker Street), where the Chinese presence of the city is clearly visible. We had lunch here before crossing the Malacca River and went to the Dutch Square with its fountain, the Stadhuys and Christ Church. The buildings, built during the Dutch colonial era in the 1600's, are all painted in red and the square has some beautiful flowers. There is also a Dutch windmill located just across the street. The Portuguese, Dutch and British all ruled Malacca at some stage in the past. At the "Memorial Pengisytiharan Kemerdekaan" (proclamation of independence) there is like a small, free museum where you could see and read a lot about the political history of Malaysia with emphasis on independence, which they achieved on 31 August 1957 from the United Kingdom. After this we continued towards the ruins of Fort A’ Famosa, built by the Portuguese in the 1500's and its gate called "Porta de Santiago" is the only part of the fort left today. Then we went up the ruins of St. Paul’s Church built by the Portuguese on a little hill and we headed back to Jonker Street. Here we had a drink and chilled a little bit before driving back
to Kuala Lumpur and arriving there early evening. It was great seeing the girls again and catching up with them. My flight the next day would leave in the evening and I considered going to the Batu Caves during the day, which I visited in Dec. 2005, but when I woke up I was lazy and couldn’t be bothered to go anymore. I extended my stay at the hostel by paying half price so I was able to check out late in the afternoon. Instead, I went to a shop to let them print and scan some documents I needed to start arranging a visa to another country, which isn’t too easy to get either.
At 21:00 my Air Asia 4-hour flight left Kuala Lumpur towards the northwest. More in the next blog!
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