Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Kuala Lumpur

Groan, PC crashed while I was typing this, so once again...

I arrived in KL via the sleeper train, thought it was going to be quiet but, a group of guys arrived after a few stops celbrating one of their birthdays. Actually they piped down around midnight but still didn't get much sleep. Arrived in KL and headed out the train station on to the monorail and jumped off at Bukit Bintang, close to the city centre. Stopped off for some breakfast at a roadside restaurant, travelling with just one bag is a breeze, with another bag and the bike left at the hotel in Penang. Found a hostel and asked about the ticketing situation for the Petronas twin towers, turned out I better get a move on if I wanted a ticket. I arrived around 9am, behind a couple of hundred other tourists. After 45 minutes I got a ticket for the 10.15 viewing so I hung around for a hald an hour first. Once up there you get ten minutes to wander around the sky bridge, which is about half away up to the top, tourists aren't allowed any higher. Good views off into the distance, at that height people and cars are just dots. Well the view was worth the price, it cost nothing! (except time)

Next stop was the Batu Caves, lucky a bus passed by me with the sign for the caves on the front, so I jumped aboard. A few hundred steps later, I reached the huge mouth of the caves. I entered and then more stairs up and down before coming to a shaft which reaches right up to the top of the cave, letting in light. Here stands a few temples, the caves are pakced on certain religious dates by Hindu devotees, but just the tourists and the monkeys today. When I had my fill of the main cave, I was walking down and noticed the dark cave, so I went for a quick nosy. I ended up talking to a Swiss-Malay fellow who was working there, turned out he's starting his own company. Started talking about how his 4 ton tensile strength harness is great value at only 1ringot/metre, he'd been in the caves since 82, never mentioned if he got let out at all. After that I headed back to the hostel and starting chatting with some aussies, Tim & Nathan, and then went for a beer. We couldn't find the pub recommended by the hostel staff, but eneded up in the Cruise Club, full of crazy dancing Indian guys.

Next night we went along to the Hard Rock Cafe and watched a band play, quite good, but just cover songs. And the beer was pricy at 18rm/mug. Wandered back to the hostel and chatted to Jane & Simon till the early hours, Simon wandered off to get some food, one of the advantages of being in a big city, 24hr food.

Next day went to the bird park and took lots of photos of weird and colorful birds.
Interesting, I like the small black birds with the bright red eyes. Look like something out of a horror flick. Went for dinner with Jane & Simon, had some crispy noodle fishy soup with a few bits of beef. It was okay, nothing special. Simon bought some durian fruit to taste. I had another taste, and it still taste horrible. Simon brilliantly described it as tasting "of hate & regret". I guess he wasn't a fan.

After a few more beers that night, I rose the next day early (well before lunch, ahem) and headed off to pickup and guide book and map for Thailand, something I hadn't managed to get round to in the previous three days. Then I jumped on the bus to Penang. I asked the driver if I needed a ticket beforehand and he says no, then the conductor comes round and asks for my ticket, he rolls his eyes and shakes his head when I say I have none. He takes 27rm, five of which is slipped in the pocket.
But I think that is the smae price for a booking at the travel agent. Get back in Penang late, grab some 'Famous Hainanese Chicken Rice' and try and get some sleep, because I need to get up at 7am for the ferry to Langkawi.

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