Our trip to Kuala Lumpur
11.02.2011 - 15.02.2011 31 °C
Located between 1 and 8 degrees latitude, Malaysia is about as close to the equator as you can get. The weather is constantly a balmy 33 degrees, with 80% + humidity, except at night when the temperature drops to a comfortable 25, after a rain shower and thunderstorm – every evening like clockwork!
The country is also known as one of the most megadiverse places on the planet – home to 20% of the world’s animals species including Indochinese Tiger and the clouded leopard.
We spent 4 nights in the Country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur (KL) – a city with a very diverse population totalling over 1.6 million. At the heart of the city centre are the famous Petronas Twin Towers. Once the world’s tallest building, at 451.9 m and 88 stories high, they still hold the record as the world’s tallest twin towers.
After spending a whirlwind week in Hong Kong visiting Jesse’s relatives and literally shopping till we dropped, we decided to kick back, relax and spend our 4 days in KL taking advantage of our amazing exchange rate and pampering ourselves at our 5-star hotel.
Perhaps one of the best decisions we made in KL was to join the “Traders’ club” at our hotel.
Basically for about $15 CDN a day, we got access to a special lounge on the 33rd floor that not only provided us with a spectacular view of the Petronas Towers but also included breakfast, refreshments, afternoon tea and coffee, an assortment of tasty snacks, cocktail hour between 5-7pm with an open bar and a “snack bar” which among many other things included sushi and dim sum (essentially dinner!)
Needless to say, we spent a lot of time up at that lounge!
We did however, manage to bring ourselves to leave the hotel and explore the City and surrounding area. Our first major excursion was to the Batu Cave.
Located about a half an hour north of KL, the Batu Cave is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples. It is also one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India.
On the way up the 272 very steep steps to the top, we passed an enormous gold statue (the Murugan statue) and ran into a group of small monkeys.
Once at the top, we entered the vast caves, with high ceilings that opened up in the sky.
As we walked through, we saw locals worshipping and of course ran into more monkeys.
Yes – very cute, but get too close and these guys will show you their chompers!
China town and Central Market
No trip is ever complete without a visit to the local Market, and Malaysia was no different. On our second night, we headed out to explore the city.
We made the trip to central market - where there are hundreds of shopping stalls to browse through.
Then we headed to the famous night market in Chinatown (which has a fantastic selection of knock offs)
As one guy we talked to put it, these are genuine, imitations. One thing we’ve definitely learned about the markets in Asia, you have to go in mentally prepared for what you’re about to get yourself into.
The markets are busy, crowded and full of the most aggressive sales people you’ll ever come across. However, if you go in knowing what to expect and how to bargain it’s actually a pretty fun experience. Most importantly, any first offers you get should always be countered by an offer at least 75% off of the original offer!
For Valentine’s day, we decided we would pamper ourselves and book an appointment with the hotel spa. As Jesse had never been to a spa before, it was definitely an interesting experience. The package we selected was 2 hours and included a foot relaxation ritual, a herbal body scrub and our favourite part – a Hot Stone massage! By the end we were so relaxed, it was glorious!
The one thing we didn’t get to do was go up to the top of the Petronas towers. When we arrived at the towers on our second day, we were disappointed to learn that the tickets were all sold out for the entire week!
We did however visit the gift shop and exhibition centre downstairs where they had something called a Tesla Coil show!
During our stay we also made friends with two Aussies from Perth. On our last night we went up the hotel’s sky bar and shared a few drinks before packing our things and getting ready for our flight to Tokyo!
Malaysia was definitely a cool country to visit and we would definitely consider coming back. With so much more to explore, including some of the world’s best beaches, we have many reasons to come back!