Arriving in KL we could tell straight away that we weren’t in Vietnam anymore. Flying over we could see lush green mountains and the diagonal rows of palm trees in plantations, grown for the production of palm oil. Upon landing, the mixture of cultures and ethnicities was instantly apparent. Malays, Chinese and Indian all mixed together in a big cultural melting pot. A more affluent, sprawling city of skyscrapers with more cars and less scooters, therefore quieter in terms of beeping and chaos. English was much more widely spoken than we expected, and all signage was in both Malay and English. While in KL, we planned to stay with family but spent our first night in a hotel in Little India. We thoroughly enjoyed a meal at Vishal Catering – a selection of different spicy dishes served on a banana leaf, washed down with a mouth-cooling mango lassi, delicious and cheap! The following morning Ellie was slightly less excited by the Indian breakfast provided by the hotel but Kaitlyn loved hers!
The weather as expected, was hot, humid and stormy. After a few lazy days we visited KL bird park, the world’s largest walk-through aviary, filled with tropical birds. This was a big hit with the girls who enjoyed feeding peacocks, lorikeets and hornbills and we all found the bird show very entertaining! The hornbill restaurant is where we first discovered the Malaysian speciality laksa – a spicy coconut milk-based soup with noodles, chicken and prawns. This trip was turning out to be a great culinary treat and we were pleasantly surprised at the reasonable prices at the on-site restaurant.
We booked tickets to visit the bridge and observation deck of the famous KL landmark, the Petronas Twin Towers. We thought we were going to be lucky with the weather as there were blue skies when we arrived, but the rain came just as we got to the bridge. It didn’t put too much of a dampener on things though, we still had a great view and the towers themselves are beautifully designed, resembling motifs found in Islamic art, with a dark stainless steel exterior that looks like it has just been polished. Opened in 1998, they are the tallest twin towers in the world and, after a stop on the Skybridge on the 41st floor, we were taken to the observation deck on the 86th floor. The visit was very efficiently organised with time-slots for each group of visitors, James would say too efficient, he felt it was a bit rushed. We enjoyed it all the same. We managed to spend some time in the gardens outside in between showers and avoided the rain in the fancy mall below the towers, before deciding to head back home on the clean and efficient MRT transit system.
So, we enjoyed our first taste of Malaysia and there is still more of KL to explore, our plan was to use my relatives home as a base and take trips from there. It was the first time on our travels that we hadn’t booked anything in advance. We spent some time researching and booked 2 trips; a train trip to Melaka and Penang, followed by 11 nights in Borneo. We’ll be back to see a bit more of of KL before we depart back to reality…
Click here to see more of our KL photos.