Arriving in Kuala Lumpur was exciting and walking the 200 miles from the aircraft to immigration I had a big grin on my face. I know it was there as 4 very sexy air hostesses gave me a wide berth. KLIA as it’s known is massive but it wasn’t busy at all, I followed the signs to baggage collection and at immigration there was only 1 person in front of me. The officer asked what my itinerary was and was I just in transit and after I told him my plans I entered Malaysia. Why is it when you arrive in a country you go through another duty-free shop? I had no cash so found a cash machine and got a million pounds out, well it felt a lot it’s probably only twenty quid. I then waited patiently for my bag and waited and waited and wandered around baggage claim looking for water, eventually my bag turned up and off I went through security who were rummaging through 3 women’s suitcases and emptying cartons of cigarettes out.
KLIA Kuala Lumpur international airport, took me a while to figure that out, is massive on the outside too. I walked out of security into a city size shopping centre, straight into a maxi telco shop and bought a tourist sim card, which is a lot more expensive than Thailand, £10 for 5 gigabytes with the option to top up of course. I was in a bit of a flap so went to the nearest coffee shop, to get my bearings and relax. I know all this coffee isn’t good for me but some people smoke, some drink, some have sex, I drink coffee.
I decided to get the bus to KL Sentral for a couple of reasons, A. The train was £10 and the bus was £1.87 B. I should get to see a better bit of scenery. I walked to the bus station, level 1. The ticket offices are next to the cubicle hotel, I had to take a closer look as it seemed amazing. Someone has taken shipping containers bolted them together, I wonder if they were putting their bags in a locker and came up with the idea of letting people sleep in a slightly bigger locker and made a hotel chain out of them, I would love to try it out and spend a night there. I went to the ticket booth and asked for a ticket to KL Sentral, I was charged 22 ringgit, at first I didn’t think anything of it until I read the ticket and saw the price is actually 11 ringgit. I returned to the ticket booth and got 11 ringgit back, whenever you’re in Kuala Lumpur watch out for that.
The bus journey was comfy and within an hour we were at KL Sentral, I got the impression that there are pickpockets and bag thieves in the area because the driver didn’t open the luggage hold until each passenger was looking bewildered and wondering why, eventually the door was opened and everyone could get their bags. In this area there are crowds of people asking if you want a taxi or stealing wallets so be careful. The escalator was out-of-order but I followed others to the lift, squeezed in and went to the concourse level. Wow! KL Sentral is crazy, extremely busy with a major buzz to it.
I needed a ticket to Butterworth, Penang for Friday and thought if I got it now then I would save some hassle tomorrow. In KL Sentral there are different train lines, I believe the train system used to be run by different companies but now are all merge together, there is however different lines. I was sent to the ticket counters upstairs and explained to a lovely lady what ticket I wanted, she asked me all kinds of questions, like what day and what time but only gave me a ticket to join a queue. I was number 4066 luckily the L.E.D signs above the clerks were already at 4032 so I didn’t have to wait long. Ticket in hand I headed back downstairs for some food. I had a bad experience in Krabi airport so went for a safe bet and went to Mc Donald’s, how cheap £1.99 for a big mac meal.
Mc Donald’s was packed just like the whole of KL Sentral I ate in and had to sit on a bar stool in a passageway which led out into the station. I was obviously sat in an awkward position as one of my legs went numb, so when I stood up I toppled over. In front of a million people, how embarrassing! Dignity intact I headed to the LRT ticket machine to buy a ticket to Damai station which is where my first ever Airbnb is situated. Google maps said to walk took approx 1 hr 42 mins Grab Car 14 mins and the train 1 hr 42 mins, crickey which route does that train take. I bought my ticket, 3 ringgit that’s about 55 pence, incredibly cheap. It turned out Google has a glitch as it was 8 stops and took 11 mins. I was quite surprised when I arrived at the top of the escalators and onto the platform of the LRT at KL Sentral because I either had deja vu or I had seen this station before in the film The Entrapment. A train had just arrived but I knew they were every 6 minutes so let it go so I could just take this all in. I hopped onto the next train, which by the way are fully automatic and have no driver. Eleven minutes later I am at Damai Station. I get my smartphone out and follow the directions to my Airbnb, funny enough Google said the walk would be 11 mins too.
The walk from Damai station to my Airbnb was approx 11 mins, I walked across a footbridge from Damai station to a shopping centre and found a loo before turning left, past the traffic lights and at the next set turn left, right. Reminds me of Rancho Texas line dancing at their BBQ night. Oops! That sounded like I line dance, I don’t! in fact when I first worked in Lanzarote all holiday reps had to join in the line dancing so had lessons. I was that bad I was told I didn’t need to dance I could just P.R the customers.
Luckily my Airbnb host Zobran pulled along side me on his moped, so finding the property wasn’t going to be a problem. Zobran works nearby and is an excellent host, he gave me a tour of his apartment and showed me to my room. The room is ideal for anyone visiting Kuala Lumpur, there is a double size bed, air conditioning, on suite shower room and free Wi-Fi. I must admit I was very nervous about booking on Airbnb and didn’t know what to expect. Zobran had to go back to work and left me to settle in, I showered and fell asleep on the bed.
Falling asleep at 4pm is not a good idea, even though I had endured 19 hours at Krabi airport. I woke about 6pm, it was already going dark outside so I went to the kitchen and had some water. I then unpacked and charged my phone, I ended up sitting on my bed messaging friends and family, writing a blog post and moving raw video footage from my phone and GoPro to my tablet for editing. Zobran sent me a message via WhatsApp to see if I was okay. Although I was busy I was a little unsure whether to go into the lounge, I was also nervous about going out for food, so at midnight went back to sleep.
I woke at 05:30 it was still dark outside so I snooze until 08:30 before getting ready to explore Kuala Lumpur. I left as quietly as I could and if Zobran was home I didn’t bump into him. I headed back to the Damai station to go and explore the city. The walk back to the station was more relaxed than when I arrived as I had no luggage and knew where I was heading. The LRT is easy to use and very cheap, I waited patiently for the train but when it arrived it was full. I decided not to cram myself in the train but to wait leisurely for the next one. Six minutes later another train arrived and this one had plenty of room. I entered the very front carriage as I wanted a drivers view of the journey. Less than 5 minutes later I arrived at KLCC station where I found a cafe called ‘Loaf’ I stopped for breakfast.
If you are ever at KLCC and want a rest in a friendly air-conditioned cafe that serves delicious coffee and bakery products, then try Greg’s, no only joking Loaf is excellent. I had a cranberry and cheese hot bun, a flat white coffee and sat for an hour taking it all in. Kuala Lumpur is a vast metropolis which I have probably seen less that 0.001%, I headed to my first planned excursion, a trip up the Petronas Twin Towers. This was via getting lost and having to ask the lady at the shopping centre information kiosk, I felt like a lost child. I was directed out of the door, right, left, right, right and left, line dancing again.
As soon as I stepped out of the door I was standing at the side of the Petronas building, so easy to find then. I walked around to the front and away from the towers to attempt to get that typical touristic photo. I will warn you now that as you can imagine the area has a lot of toutes mainly selling wide-angle lenses for smartphones. So bring your own because you have to be a very long way away from the towers to get you and the towers in the shot. I saw people lying down attempting to get the right angle, others had opted just to photograph the top bits. Those toutes are sure on to a good thing because from the fountains you won’t fit it in.
Walking into the Petronas building is a little intimidating, there is police everywhere and I got the feeling I was trespassing. Apparently not as I entered the Petronas Theatre entrance it was obvious I was in the right place. I was guided downstairs to buy my ticket 85 ringgit to see both the 41st floor which is the sky bridge and the 86th floor observation deck. I recommend you do both, you won’t be able to go immediately unless your very lucky, my ticket was for 12:30 so an hour to wait. I went for a wander up the escalators and into the shopping mall. My timing was rubbish as on Friday it’s the Malaysian Gran Prix, so right in the middle of this Petronas building shopping mall was a Petronas F1 event and I had just missed Lewis and Nico.
I walked out of the opposite side of the building and into Petronas park where I sat on a wall and drunk my ribbena. I managed to pass the time nicely before heading to the Petronas Towers.
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