A single bus ride from Singapore lands us in Malaysia. While this stop is not initially planned, we will try to get our India visa from here. We do not have any expectations of Malaysia, but as we step off the bus, we know right away we are going to like it here.
Instead of wandering the streets blindly for accommodations, we did research before hand. It turns out our first choice actually looks like the photos online and is located right in Chinatown; one big cheer for Boris.
Chinatown is buzzing with tourists and locals. There are food and retail vendors everywhere. Deciding where to eat for our first meal gets to be difficult as everything looks so yummy and it feels wonderful to be back in a country of cheap eats. Boris spins me around and I randomly land into a small restaurant on the side of the street. They are serving mostly noodles and rice bowls. This is very typical Chinese food, which I’m a big fan of. Char siu bbq meat just brings me back to my roots.
Throughout the day, I find myself snacking. How about this for a headline: Snacking for $2 a day. It begins with fresh sliced mango dipped in chili and salt. Then I work my way to a fruit vendor. I’m somehow drawn to the smell of durian, but then I see delicious longans and it’s talking to me, “MuiMui, eat me.” Well, I use my bargain tactics and it works. They’re happy and I’m happy. I end up visiting these two vendors daily.
The weather is hot, but with only a few days in Kuala Lumpur, we decide we have to make the most of it. On foot, we walk around the city and just gravitate towards buildings we like. We first visit a mosque and in order to enter, we have to put on these purple cloaks. If my friend, Seevon, saw me, I know she would be laughing at me and would be convinced I look like a Teletubbie.
We make our way to the top of the hill. There is a beautiful building and no one around except for two gardeners. As I stay near the entrance, I end up losing Boris. It turns out he snuck inside and went to the top of the building and got a great view of the city. When he returns, the gardeners realize we are there and ask us to leave.
After a short debate between going inside the Petronas Twin Towers or KL Tower, we decide KL Tower will have a great view of the Petronas Twin Towers, so we will get to enjoy both. We enter through the park and make our way up a hundred steps. The place is packed with people. There are elementary school children running around, mobs of teenagers doing a treasure hunt, and the two of us. When we finally arrive at the top of the tower, the view is just okay as it is mostly obstructed with metal bars.
Around KL, there are so many beautiful buildings, including the old rail station. Getting around is easy thanks to the great subway system and the many buses, and people are friendly for the most part.
To end on a good note, we find a restaurant with lots of great reviews. A subway and taxi ride later, we end up in the suburbs where eating in large malls is the norm. Inside Marufuku Udon restaurant, the workers are very welcoming and help us with the menu. We decide to choose a few classic dishes. We do not regret our choice of the house special udon noodles with egg and some yakitoris. For dessert, we walk next door to bakery called A Slice of Heaven, which specializes in cakes. I order a cupcake and Boris gets a chocolate éclair. What a satisfying day.
Kuala Lumpur is a nice intro to Malaysia. We had an enjoyable time, in spite of not being able to get our India visas.
As of November 2010, non-residents of Malaysia can no longer get an India visa from here. Despite being told that, we tried applying in Malaysia and were turned down.
|What We Paid:||MYR||USD||Euro|
|– Bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur [5.5 hours using Grasslands Express Bus]||60/pp||20||13.75|
|– Double room at Etika Inn [private bath, TV, AC, free wifi, clean, spacious, convenient location, recommend]||80/double||26.50||18.25|
|– KL Tower [discounts are sometimes available at entrance or through hostels]||25||8.25||5.70|
|– Average Lunch||7/pp||2.30||1.60|
|– Average Dinner||10/pp||3.30||2.30|
|– Half kilo of longan fruit||4||1.30||0.90|
|– Sliced mango with chili||3||1||0.70|
|– Dinner at Marufuku Udon restaurant||11.50/pp||3.80||2.60|
|– Dessert at A Slice of Heaven||5||1.65||1.15|