Monday, May 17, 2010

Do and Don't in Kuala Lumpur

Do eat the Nasi Lemak; the famous and delicious national dish of Malaysia must be tried. It is addictive though as we went back again and again. Traditionally, the nasi lemak is wrapped in banana leaf and comes with some cucumber, anchovies, roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and a hot but not to hot) spicy sauce. There are additions you can get to make a more hearty meal, such as chicken which was what we opted for. If there is one thing I can recommend you should do in KL; eat, eat, eat.

DON'T waste your time with the KL Tower; Yes it boasts as being 421 metres high and one of the tallest buildings in the world but the setting is painful. It has terrible tourist attractions which make me feel lame just for being in their vicinity. Ponies walks (at slower than walking pace); tourists traps, there is some F1 simulator and a few corny animal parks. The food was rubbish (the only time I can say that about Malaysia) and access to the observation deck costs more than 8 Nasi Lemaks. You do the math. At the bottom are a bunch of photos hanging of tourists who have just had the joy of going to the the observation deck. No one looks too happy in the photo's which is enough for us to run to the exit and get out of there.

Do ride the Hop on Hop off Bus; I generally despise anything so blatantly touristy as a tourist bus but if you are only in the city for a few days this is a very good way to see the city. You can, as the name says, hop on and off the bus whenever you want. The ticket is for 24 hours, or you can pay for a longer one, and takes you round to all the major parts of town

Don't pay $3 a night for a hostel if you want to avoid the brothel experience; We did pay $3 a night and got what we paid for. We were greeted by a nice transvestite who showed us to our room. The room fitted two dodgy single beds on metal bed frames and not much else. We had one small table with a fan to match and that was our room. The beds had one sheet each and nothing else. We asked for towels but they didn't have any. We now know what its like to go and order one of those rooms by the hour, which by the way was an available service.

Do check out the cities National museum and mosques;

The museum is very informative and nicely set and the mosques peaceful and interesting. The museum is set out very well into 4 sections outlining the history of Malaysia. As for the national mosque, it was the first time I had been to a mosque and the Muslim guys and girls we met there were just great. They explained anything we asked and were happy to share a smile and a laugh. Someone stole my flip flops/thongs at the front of the mosque and before I could think of a solution a nice guy offered me a pair of sketcher shoes. I doubted his intentions at first and wondered what was going on and where he was off to but sure enough, a few minutes later, he came back from his car with a nice pair of sandals. They fit me perfectly and are far better than my other ones. I offered to pay for them but he said "its ok, I have two pairs". He smiled and wandered off with his last pair of shoes. I nodded my appreciation and hoped no one ever takes his shoes.

Don't book the early flight home unless you prepare for the consequences: We booked out flight for 6am which meant getting up at 3.30am in the morning (the airport is at least an hour from the city). Buses aren't running at this time and the taxi is expensive so we opted to head to the airport the night before. We arrived a little after 12 and had dinner by 1am. All the seats were taken so we found a spot on the floor and rested out heads on our bags. The lights in the airport were blinding so we covered out heads with pages from a newspaper. We both drifted off and I woke at around 4.30am with people walking by us. The newspaper was spread everywhere and Celine still had one page covering her face. We sat up, rubbed our eyes, and watched people walk around us heading for their flight. We were officially bums.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips, I have booked into a reputed hotel in Kuala Lumpur and have also arranged for a guide to take me around KL.