Day 30, Thursday 26 Jan 2012, Kuala Lumpur
Up at 6.15 to get the highly expensive van out to the airport, onwards and upwards ! Uneventful flight from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu, 45 minutes – so up, shaken about by turbulence and down again. I had a much needed morning coffee fix at Kinabalu between flights.
I had not left enough time between the flights to do a free check in so had to pay 10rm ($4 NZD) for the pleasure of getting my boarding pass printed. The woman at the counter basically suggested I was an idiot for disturbing her slumber with the audacity to want to make a connecting flight. I am going to say it “Sabah – you are beautiful (apart from the friggin palms), but you need to sort your shit out, with a couple of exceptions your customer service SUCKS !”
The two and half hour flight to Kuala Lumpur was dull but also uneventful, my favourite kind of flight, I would like to add, plus we had the bonus of getting to KL early, awesome.
I caught the airport bus to KL Central, I did not realise but the airport is about 70k from town, the bus was 9rm (under $4 NZD), beats the $20 or so at Auckland ! We were less than 100metres from the airport before the palm oil plantations kicked in, a major disappointment for me. The ride to town was OK, not a lot to see and I was gagging for my first view of the city and the towers, it is a nice looking city when I got my first view.
I got a bit lost in the Central transport plaza till I found my way to the LRT (light rail) section and caught the train one stop to the Pasar Seni station near to the hostel I was recommended. I had a rather vacant walk around the neighbourhood using a totally useless map until I found the Travellers Home hostel. It was crap ! seemed to be above a prayer room and was mainly populated by men from the sub-continent, i do not want to appear racist, but it was not my kind of place. I left! Out on the street I took a wrong turn and immediately had no idea where I was. I wandered blindly around for a bit and came across the Explorers Homestay, the front door had a “Trip Advisor” recommendation sticker so I decided to check it out. Waaaaay better. They had no dorm rooms available tonight so I have taken an expensive single and have got a dorm for the following two nights. I plan on a couple of days here and then onto Melaka, though my timing again sucks as I think this will put me in Melaka over a weekend, which is apparently as very busy time with people vactioning there from KL.
It was mid afternoon once I had sorted myself out, so I went for a walk around the area, it is sort of on the edge of Chinatown and close to little india, I had a couple of very vacant hours wandering around and realised I really do need a better map or I am going to get really lost. I enjoyed snapping photos around here, lots to see, not just touristy things!
Reggae Mansion, the big Kahuna of hostels, there are also Reggae guesthouses 1 and 2 close by.
I have not seen much graffiti in my travels, not sure if this is good or bad, it can be a curse but good street art is great.
The flag in Merdaka Square (sorry if this is spelt wrong, it is too dark for me to see clearly 🙂 )
I did not get the name of this Chinese temple, but loved these burning incense coils, with names inside.
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple – the oldest Hindu temple in KL
I had dinner at a local Indian, followed by a colour of beers in front of the laptop in the common room before bed.
Today I followed some very wise advice from my very experienced travelling friend Alex. He told me to take every new challenge as a series of small steps, to not look ahead too far. I am going to say I was a bit daunted when I got up this morning, I had to get two flights to a strange city, find my way via public transport to a hostel I had no idea about based on a map on a business card. A huge part of me wanted to arrive at KL airport and get a cab to a hotel, just like millions of other tourists in their forties do everyday. But that would be a cop out ! so i broke the day up into sections, each a small challenge to complete, each entirely simple in its own right, get a plane, get a bus, get a train. Easy !
I will strive to do the same tomorrow!
2 thoughts on “I heart KL”
Awesome post Phil. Its good to hear about all aspects of your travels, fears and gripes as well. Thats what makes it interesting. The whole Palm Oil thing is really disappointing for many reasons. I remember seeing them in China in the early nineties and thought I travelled all the way here to see this. Its even more unappealing when you consider the affected wildlife etc. Anyway enough of that.. addicted to your posts… cant say Ive ever been addicted to a blog before. Noice.
Dude, you’re making me homesick … 🙂 Enjoying your blog tooo and glad you’re enjoying yourself. I’m sure you’ll love Melaka. It’s my favourite town, historic and lots of awesome photo ops.
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