In July 2015, we went on a trip to Malaysia for 10 days. The plan was to stay 3 nights each at Kuala Lumpur, Penang Island and Rebak Island, and visit Langkawi Island as well. A fortnight before the trip, I made a list of places to visit and Susam printed the maps with the places located. We had a fair idea of our itinerary in Malaysia. We got Malaysian Visa, bought Malaysian Ringgit and Matrix SIM cards with data plan, booked flights and hotels, and packed our bags. The planning part was fun and the best was yet to come. 😊
Our trip started with a flight to Kuala Lumpur. We landed early morning and took a taxi to our hotel. We stayed at Arenaa Star Hotel, Jalan Hang Lekiu. Most places to visit in Kuala Lumpur are walkable from this hotel.
In the evening, we took KTM Komuter from Bank Negara which was about 20 minutes walk from our hotel to Batu Caves. Batu Caves is about 13 kilometres from the city. KTM Komuter is the most convenient way to reach there from any KTM Komuter station in Kuala Lumpur.
Batu Caves is a limestone hill with a series of caves and cave temples. There is a statue of Lord Murugan at the foot of the caves.
We had to climb up a steep flight of 272 steps. We were a little hesitant because of the violent and fearless monkeys troubling people. However, the cave was too interesting to skip and the limestone forming the caves is said to be 400 million years old. We reached the top entrance along with a few other people who had also made up their mind to get to the top. On the way up, some people got the courage to film the monkeys while I got the motivation to do cardio after I would get back to Bangalore. 😏 We spent some time at the caves.
After returning from Batu Caves we went to Petaling Street (Jalan Petaling) which is located in China Town. It is infamous for pirated clothes and accessories, and bootleg DVDs and CDs.
Petaling street also has food joints that serve Malay, Thai and Chinese cuisines. We had a refreshing drink served as sejuk (cold) and panas (hot). We saw the fruit they use to make the drink but we did not know what it was called. I later learnt that the fruit is luo han guo and the drink also has longan. The drink made us visit Petaling street again on our last day at Kuala Lumpur.
On Day 2, we walked to Kuala Lumpur Tower (Menara Kuala Lumpur).
Once inside the tower we got a reservation for a window side table at Atmosphere 360, a revolving restaurant. It is situated 282 meters (948 feet) above the ground level. In the elevator to the restaurant we could feel the change in air pressure in our ears due to the rapid change of altitude as the elevator climbed.
The dining at Atmosphere 360 is an experience not to be missed if one visits Kuala Lumpur. The dining area completes one revolution in about two hours. In these two hours, it provides a 360° panaromic view of the city. It is designed to give spaceship-like atmosphere in the night but this is something we could not experience since we went in the afternoon. In the afternoon the crystal clear view of the city is marvellous.
In the same tower, we also visited an observation deck which is situated 276 metres (928 feet) above ground level and an Aquarium located at the foot of tower.
We then headed to the Petronas Twin Towers (Menara Petronas) which is located about a kilometre away from the Kuala Lumpur Tower. The front view of the towers is majestic. As the saying goes: A picture is worth a thousand words; we tried our best to capture the tall beauty. 😊
We bought passes to the Skybridge which is located at the 41st floor of the Petronas Twin Towers and to the 86th floor, both of which are open for visitors during certain times of the day only. Depending on the time of the year, one could get the passes online in advance or hit the long queue early in the morning on the day of visit or get the passes just in time like we did.
We spent some time at Suria KLCC mall. We roamed in and around the towers to our satisfaction. Just when we were about to leave we caught sight of the musical fountain show at the Simfoni Lake and thoroughly enjoyed the show in the cool and misty breeze.
We took a bus to Bukit Bintang and walked to Jalan Alor. Jalan Alor is a street dedicated entirely to cheap hawker food of mainly Malay, Thai and Chinese cuisines. Food is served in open-air, with chairs and tables placed along the entire street. One can glance the menus while walking till the end of the street and pick a place to eat. We had a delicious dinner at this place. To this day, my mouth waters at the thought of the salted fish bits in the Thai fried rice.
It was 11 PM; it was time to head back to the hotel which is 20 minutes away from Jalan Alor. We began walking back but our printed map lead us to a dead end. Data plan was not yet activated on our phones. We figured an alternate route which led us to Changkat Bukit Bintang, a street full of massage places, pubs and restaurants that serve Western food. My legs had called it a night already, and we were in this lively place. We got a relaxing feet massage for an hour after which we walked to our hotel.
On Day 3, it was a long walk to Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. On the way we saw Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) which literally means Independence Square. We also saw Sultan Abdul Samad Building (Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad).
We took a ride on the hop on hop off bus from Kuala Lumpur Bird Park to Aquaria KLCC.
Aquaria KLCC is an oceanarium located beneath Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). We saw a myriad of sea creatures. Underwater tunnel felt mesmerizing.
We then headed to Pavilion Mall and then to Jalan Alor. There was live music at most of the open-air restaurants in Jalan Alor. We walked along the street to reach a vendor selling coconut ice cream. The ice cream is made of coconut milk. We had the ice cream with minimal toppings. The flavour reminded me of eating grated coconut with sugar in my childhood days. After spending some time here, we walked to Petaling street of China Town. With this our stay at Kuala Lumpur was coming to an end. Next morning, we left to Penang with a wish to visit Kuala Lumpur again sometime.