Kuala Lumpor, Malaysia
3° 10' N 101° 41' E
Nov 25, 2007 08:59
Distance 318km

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Text written in: English

Monkeys and Cockroaches!

Can't believe i'm already in Kuala Lumpur.. I knew this part of my trip would fly by!

Got here after a fairly good bus journey.  We stopped half-way for a food break (pretty sure no-one on the bus was a tourist so they all knew exactly what to go for).  It's safe to say I was a little lost.. the food was completely foreign to me (suprise suprise) and I had no idea what any of it was as nothing was in English.  After 20 minutes of wandering I realised I only had 10 minutes before we had to re-board the bus.  I ended up picking something that looked like chicken satay but turned out to be fish.. it was actually quite nice.

3 hours later we arrived in Kuala Lumpur City Centre at a Station called Puduraya.  It was packed with people waiting to board the buses... as it was a Sunday I think many people were making their way home after a weekend in the city.  Don't think I saw one white person there which was daunting at first.  Many of the men leered at me and took it upon themselves to whistle and make puckering noises with their mouths.  I was too hot to care in the end and made my way straight upstairs.  I had no idea where I was so hailed a cab that took me the short distance to my hostel.  It turned out to be cheap.. 9 Ringgints (around 1.25). 

My first impression of the city is very dirty and under-developed.  I think it's mainly the area i'm in though.  After settling into my room and meeting all the staff I went our for a wander in the surrounding area and buy something for dinner.  That night I was warned by one of the girls working here that there's a Karaoke bar next door so to expect that around 2am.  I took a shower before I went to bed.. and what would you know.. my first encounter with an Asian cockroach (the size of my fist I tell you).    Unfortunately for it I was already in my birthday suit so running out screaming was out of the question.. Henry met his end at the hands of a bottle of shampoo from Tesco (I know.. I was surprised they had that over here too!).   I was FULLY grosed out and has the quickest shower of my life.

The next day I was up early.  I came down and had some breakfast before heading out to see the sights of the city.  It was fairly mild when I first went out as the sun was still coming up so I could walk most of the way in shade. I went to check out the Petronas Twin Towers.. which are amazing.  I wish I could have gone up them but they're closed to tourists on Monday (just my luck).  I spent some time around the area before making my way to Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station (that's how they spell it) to try and organise my flights to Borneo.  I was waiting in the deadly que when a lovely woman named Jay started talking to me.  After a good while I'd established she is a retired University Lecturer who owns a resort nearby.  And funnily enough her son-in-law owns the hostel i'm staying at.. small world!  She gave me superb advice where to go in Borneo.  I then managed to get my ticket booked which is brilliant.. I leave tomorrow.. can't wait!  After that Jay and I went for a coffee and she insisted on taking me to see the Batu caves.  She is the sweetest woman and I can't believe how much she went out her way for me.  On the way she stopped at the side of the road to get some local food from a stall.. she was so excited about me trying 'dough balls'.  I made sure I was polite and eager to try them (even though they were all the colours of the rainbow).  Turns out not quite my taste.. but I tried them at least.  Her son is working and living in London and she travels a lot so said she'd look me up when she goes to Scotland.  I visited the caves which are huge and have an impressive gold statue of Lord Murugan (the second son and an incarnation of Lord Shiva) outside them which is 50m in height.  The hike to the top (272 steps) gives the legs a wee workout and is well worth it.  There were loads of monkeys around and I don't think the tourists did them any favours by feeding them.. they got a bit pissy if you didn't have any food = me.. I got hissed at a few times because I didn't produce a banana (which I might add they devoured in about 5 seconds.. true).

The next day I was up early (it's so hot in the rooms it's hard to sleep in).  I was half way through my breakfast when I received a text from Air Asia saying my flight had been delayed till 9pm that evening.. and left a number at the bottom of their text to call them on if there were any problems.  In a slight panic I tried to ask Rudy, the helper, if I could use their phone to call.  He couldn't understand what I was saying and it took me a good few minutes to explain the situation to him.  He eventually smiled and nodded (not that that neccessarily means anything) and moved aside to let me call.  After several attempts I eventually got through to the airline and managed to change my flight to earlier that day which was a bonus.  So what was turning into a bit of a nightmare actually turned out for the best!  

 

Photos / videos of "Monkeys and Cockroaches!":

Petronas Twin Towers Petronas Twin Towers Petronas Twin Towers Petronas Twin Towers Petronas Twin Towers Batu Caves Batu Caves Batu Caves Batu Caves Steps leading up to caves Monkey on the steps Caves View from the top Inside the caves Temple Batu Caves Monkey at the top of the caves (licking the wrapping from someones food) A monkey chomping on a banana again (notice the baby popping it's head out) Jay at the local food stall she took me to Malaysian dough balls covered in coconut The local family running the stall