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Published: June 16th 2017
01 Train Station
The view of the city from the platform as the train arrives.
Geo: 3.12433, 101.684
Rach and I left Melbourne on a delayed Air Asia flight just after midnight last night. We arrived at Tullamarine Airport with plenty of time before our flight. Rach drove us in her car and we parked it in long term parking. Once we checked our bags in we went through Immigration. On the other side we walked around and looked for somewhere to eat. At the WHSmith we bought some drinks, snacks and magazines for the flight.
Then we went in search of a snack to eat. I felt like some hot chips from Hungry Jack's. No such luck, it was nearly 11pm and they were closing and wouldn't allow us in. I was very unimpressed, as there were many travellers still around waiting for late night flights and most of the eateries had already closed. I expected more from an international airport. I ended up eating a very average toasted focaccia.
This was the first time that I have flown with Air Asia, unlike Rach who had flown with them many times while she lived in Asia. She had warned me of the basic service on board. I didn't believe her that drinks and meals would cost
The base of Petronas Towers.
us extra and that there won't be any on-board entertainment. Well, she was 100% correct. The seats were squishy, no entertainment system and all food and drinks had to be purchased. It was going to be a long flight. I didn't have a nap today and I hoped that I would soon fall asleep and sleep through the eight hour flight.
Finally we arrived in Kuala Lumpur. In the end the flight was okay, but I know that today was going to be a long day and at times I will feel like a zombie. Immigration took us forever, as the queues/crowd was very long and moved so slowly. Luckily we weren't in a rush, as we had landed at local time 6:30am. Finally we were through. I was very impressed with this airport, it was more like a shopping centre than an airport and made Tullamarine look like a joke!
We found a taxi to take us to our hotel in the city. It ended up being a bit of a dodgy taxi, there was no meter and he wasn't parked in the taxi rank. The heat hit me as soon as we walked into the carpark and it was still
03 Petronas Towers
The city's famous towers.
early in the morning. We were really looking forward to consistent warm weather on this trip. Melbourne was not known for its warm summers.
We left the airport at 8:30am and were in the middle of morning peak hour traffic. Our taxi driver really enjoyed tail gating. Along the way we drove past many large palm oil plantations. This saddened and surprised me. While researching this trip I have learnt more about palm oil. Malaysia and Indonesia are the world's largest producers of palm oil. Many indigenous forests have been cleared for palm oil plantations and this has negatively affected the survival of native wildlife and contributed to climate change as the native forests are usually burned.
An hour after leaving the airport we arrived in the centre of the city. The taxi driver didn't exactly take us to our hotel, he just stopped and said walk down there. I was a bit puzzled at this. We walked down a pedestrian shopping strip and five minutes later arrived at our hotel, which had taxis out the front of it. It was now 9:30am and unfortunately we were not able to check into our room. So we left our suitcases and set off
04 Christmas Decorations
Christmas and New Year decorations are still up.
to explore the city. Our hotel was in a really central location. Just a block away was a HSBC branch and we went here to get out some cash. The local currency is called Ringgit.
We walked around and found a place to have breakfast. It was not a touristy place. I had no idea what to order. Rach decided we get two rotis to share. We got a Roti Canai, one with dahl and the other one with cheese. Roti Canai is a local dish and a very popular breakfast in Malaysia. We really enjoyed our breakfast and this would be the cheapest breakfast that I have ever eaten.
It was still too early to check in, so we explored the city's sights. Nearby was the Pesar Seni train station. Here we worked out how to buy tickets and get on the right train. From the train station we could see mosques and many tall buildings – apartments and offices. It was a really nice clean train. We got off four stops later at the KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) stop. We were now in the middle of the central business district. We travelled on the escalators and arrived outside
05 Looking Up
A view of the towers as I look up.
in the heat. Looking up we could see the famous Petronas Twin Towers.
The towers are a mirror image of each other. We took some photos of them and then went inside. In here there is a nicely air conditioned shopping centre. We weren't interested in going up the actual towers. Walking through the shopping centre and out the other side, we were now in KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) Park.
Here we walked around and enjoyed more views of the towers. There is a man-made lake here called Lake Symphony with many water fountains in it. Workers were in the process of setting up a huge red lantern display for the upcoming Chinese New Year. We were now starting to drag our feet around, as we battled with our jetlag.
In these gardens there were some interesting plants which caught our eye. We then had enough of being outside in the warm heat and retreated back to the shopping centre. After a little browse of the shops (mainly designer) we found the food court and had lunch. After we had eaten we decided to go back to our hotel for a little rest. The train was easy to work out and
Office buildings as seen from the base of Petronas Towers.
in no time we were back at the hotel and able to check in.
It was now 1pm and we were in our cosy hotel room. We had cold showers to help cool us down and then napped. Our naps lasted about 3 hours! This was much longer than I had intended to sleep for, oh well, I must of needed this much sleep. We felt so much better when we woke up. Next on the agenda was a swim on the rooftop pool. The pool could have been bigger, but there was an amazing view of the city from up here. We were in a great part of the city surrounded with a range of buildings both old and new. Now it started to feel like we were on holidays, all that this pool was missing was a bar.
Back in our room we got ready to go out and explore the local Chinatown area. We left the hotel at 6:30pm. Less than 100 metres away is the Central Market. This is an indoor, air conditioned market with many of souvenir shops. I saw many nice things that I would like to buy. The best thing about this market
Inside the shopping centre at the base of the towers.
was that we were not hassled to buy things. Back on the street we walked past the Taoist Guan Di Temple which unfortunately was already closed for the day. It looked like it would have been an interesting building to see from the inside.
About 50 metres along the road we came to another temple. This was the temple of Sri Mahamariamman, which is the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur. It was built in 1873 by Indian migrants and the richest in the country. From the street we could see a tall structure at the entrance that was full of colourful statues of 228 Hindu gods. This tall tower structure at the entrance is known as a gopuram. We were not allowed to take our thongs inside, so we had to pay for someone to mind them during our visit. This was the first time that I have been inside a Hindu temple.
In here there were many shrines to various gods. Mariamman is a south Indian mother goddess. In the main prayer hall is the shrine to Mariamman. The ceilings in here are very colourful, as are all the statues. There were offerings of fruit and flowers for
08 Looking Up
Looking up inside the shopping centre.
the gods. At this time of the day, there were not many tourists or worshippers here, making it a great time to visit. There was no entrance fee, so as we walked out we donated some coins to the lady at the door. Although, I was not too sure if she was collecting money for herself or the temple.
We continued walking around Chinatown. There were quite a few shops full of decorations to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year – full of red things and plastic flowers. We then came to Petaling Street. This is a well known street full of market stalls – most of them selling fake designer items.
We quickly walked past, as we were being hassled to buy things. It was now dinner time and we choose a place to have dinner. As soon as we sat down, the torrential rain started - our timing was perfect! We ordered the local beer – Tiger and watched the rain and people running through it. Our dinner was delicious and I had no problem ordering vegetarian food. Once we finished eating, the rain had stopped. We stopped at a little supermarket to buy some snacks for our trip and
The fountain in Lake Symphony.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the Reggae Bar for a cocktail. Back at the hotel we booked a taxi for tomorrow morning to take us back to the airport for our flight to Borneo. Luckily our tiny room has an air-conditioner, so we had a great night's sleep.
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