This one is coming to you a tad late and at this point only because Lauren is cracking the whip. Something to the tune of, “write, blog boy, write!” So let’s talk about our quick trip into Malaysia.
We arrived late on the night of day 12. I think we had both gotten used to the simplicity of being on an island, because I know I was not personally prepared to be thrust back into the throes of a big city so quickly.
Our trip started with a cab ride into the city, which takes about an hour. Unfortunately, the language barrier popped its head up here and even though I gave the cab driver my phone, which clearly stated that we were staying at the Sky Express Hotel, and the exact address, he entered “Sky Hotel” into his GPS and used that instead. Unfortunately for us, that is a real hotel, which he took us to. Luckily, we paid a fixed rate for the cab, and it wasn’t too far from where we needed to go.
It is difficult to be clear with someone when you barely understand them and they don’t really understand you. While this is a recurrent theme of our trip, it is one that gets a little easier with time. You just need to be patient and assertive about what you need; I’m getting better at the 2nd one.
The hotel itself exceeded our expectations, mostly. It was clean and we had a nice room. The only real complaint was just how terrible the WiFi was. It would disconnect repeatedly and wouldn’t allow you to reconnect most of the time. After a while we simply gave up. Funny, because Trip Advisor warned us about this, but we didn’t listen.
In the morning, we slept in a little, packed and took our stuff downstairs. The hotel had a locked room where the concierge kept all of our bags, while we went out an about for the day.
First stop, Central Market. Very cool spot, sort of like a flea market, but way better. There was of course some crap in there, but there were so may cool little shops that had tons of well made, hand crafted objects. All sorts of cool metal and woodwork, and some really inventive uses of coconuts as a building material too.
Next, we wanted to go check out bird park. Before we left, with what little wifi I could muster, I was able to plot out where a few things were. Bird park was supposed to be just passed a small river, a little beyond where central market was, but after we wandered around, following the roads, we couldn’t find it. We doubled back, pretty sure we could see it on the other side of a commuter train station, but unable to figure out how to get there. So we started following the perimeter as best we could.
At every turn, it was something else in the way of getting us to where we wanted to go. At one point, about halfway around the circling we were making, I heard a crash behind me, and Lauren had basically fallen through a grate. Not because the grate had collapsed. No, somehow, her foot slipped in between the bars and got stuck. How this happened, I’m still not sure, but, my theory is that she’s not eating enough on our trip.
Immediately 3 people surrounded us offering tips on how to get her foot free and asking if she was okay. Luckily, with me holding onto her shoe, to make sure it didn’t fall in, we slipped her foot out easily enough. No injuries, all was well. Of course, the 3 english speaking people immediate disbursed into thin air, before we realized one of them would probably no how to get where we were going. Well crap.
So we kept walking. And walking. And walking. At this point, Lauren is annoyed at me for taking us all over. I’m annoyed at Kuala Lumpur for being so hard to navigate. We’re both hot and needing both water and sun screen. Neither of which we could find.
Eventually, we start working our way in the direction of Petronus Towers, as I wanted to get some good pictures and we needed a direction to go that was easy to follow. What could be easier than following 2 of the tallest structures on the planet, right?
So we walked some more. Further into the heart of darkness. We were definitely off the beaten path at this point. There was no sign of anything remotely familiar, just shop after shop selling head scarves. We were quickly deteriorating and something had to change. No more walking. It was time to grab a Teksi. We decided to go to the one place we knew, Times Square. Yep, that’s right, there is a Times Square in Kuala Lumpur. It is a 9 story shopping mall, with a full on amusement park inside (roller coaster and all). Luckily, we had seen this briefly, not too far from our hotel the first night and figured it would be air conditioned.
We spent the rest of our trip in the least culturally significant part of the city, simply because it was hot, e only had a couple hours left to kill, and we really just wanted to get out of the sun. Plus, we had no idea what else to do in just 2 hours.
Honestly, I’m disappointed by out time in Kuala Lumpur. Not because it was a bad place, but because we didn’t take the time to plan out better uses of our time. The city itself is very modern, and seems well worth the trip. I’d love to go back sometime and see more, even if this stop was a total wash.
Anyway, that is all for now.
Next up is Bali.