Leaving beautiful Malacca behind and bound for the bright city lights of Kuala Lumpur in Southern Malaysia – haven’t visited this city since 1989.
If you need a taxi when you arrive at the bus station, be careful not to take the blue “Business Taxis”. These are much more expensive than the usual taxis and drivers can be quite rude when you politely decline the ride.
All major bus stations are accessible via the Light Rail.
Expect to see hectares of Palm Oil plantations on the trip from Malacca to KL and through most of the country actually.
I find this really sad as all the natural vegetation and perhaps once jungle-like scenery gone to this destructive crop, which leaves all its inhabitants orphaned or killed.
Having travelled to Malaysia back in 1989, I’ve seen many not-so-great changes on this trip, which I’ve written a post on: Modern Malaysia. The mighty dollar reaps everything in sight throughout SE Asia.
Wander the streets of KL in the sweltering heat and experience the many free sites, architecture, and museums. As with any big city, many paid sites are also on offer if you have a lot of cash to spend. Although when on the road for an extended time, this is not always viable.
Check out this square for its gorgeous architecture and grandeur, which is quite different to Asian architecture.
The museum – free entry – next to the square offers respite from the heat. Information on KL’s history and future development is detailed in the museum.
A separate glassed-room at the museum houses many wood craftsmen, which painstakingly create model sculptures of just about anything. Some of these workers have been crafting models in the museum for over 20 years…such dedication!
Spend a little money at the gift shop and take an unusual and original souvenir home, instead of the cheap Chinese souvenirs on offer at markets and on the streets.
Great area for finding cheap eats but also for interesting photographs.
The multi-cultural Little India and China Town are in this District with many brightly-painted temples, shrines, and a great bustling atmosphere with aromas that entice.
China Town offers many budget accommodation options and backpacker gigs.
Visit this area for street market stalls, which sell almost everything and crowded with both locals and tourists.
You know you have arrived to the street as there are two large Chinese arches on either end of the street welcoming you. As this is a pedestrianised, there’s not a worry of being mowed down by a vehicle, so you can shop or eat in comfort.
Haggling is expected here so don’t be shy and jump right in but keep it friendly and always smile. The stall owners love a good friendly barter and the smile helps to break the ice. Pick up many counterfeit clothing items and watches, if you so desire.
As expected, the area hosts loads of food stalls and restaurants, which serves many delicious dishes such as the local Assam Laksa – one of my favourite spicy noodle soup dishes.
This structure is an amazing and famous piece of architecture that seems to tower over everything in KL. This landmark building is visible from many areas in the city.
Building of the towers commenced in 1994 with the grand opening finally in 1999.
At RM80, it’s expensive to go up to the Sky Bridge, which sits between the two towers. This connecting bridge is 170 metres (558 feet) above the ground and just over 58 metres (192 feet) long, and weighs 750 tons.
Sadly, I haven’t too much to offer on sights in KL as not too much exploring in this cool city. Most of my time is spent indoors in bed with food poisoning, so site-seeing isn’t high on the agenda.
The taxi ride from the Bersepadu Selatan bus station to the Ceria Hotel (Bukit Bintang) sets you back about RM25 plus an extra charge of RM2 for each bag. I’m not sure why there’s an extra charge for each bag – just the way it is in KL.
Both the Ceria Hotel and its staff are excellent.
A very modern and clean hotel, fitted with IKEA furnishings, and stayed here twice for its location and service. I would definitely recommend this hotel as it’s great value-for-money.
The Ceria is a five-minute easy walk to the Imbi Monorail Station and a ten-minute walk to the Hang Tuah Monorial, which is a junction for the light rail. Both train systems are inexpensive, efficient, and you can travel everywhere.
Apart from the excellent food stalls and restaurants available throughout the Jalan Petaling flea market area and as I was sick a lot of the time during my stay in KL, I only mention a couple of eating haunts.
The Pavilion Shopping Centre
On 168 Bukit Bintang, the Pavillion is your best stop for great eating haunts in this massive mall, which hosts an excellent Food Court downstairs offering cheap good Malay and regional Asian food. Western food (Pizza, pasta, bread) is also on offer but more expensive, of course.
Ate here many times (Hot Plate, Hot Pot, vegetarian are all delicious and around RM8.90 per meal).
Rasataura (Berjaya Times Square)
This restaurant offers the best ‘Set’ breakfast of Roti Canai Telur or Mee Goreng around.
This is served with a choice of coffee or tea all for RM5.80++ Good service at this restaurant. Dinner meals are a bit pricey.
Meal price tip
The ++ displayed in a menu is 10% Service charge and 6% Government tax.
These charges are charged on top of the advertised meal’s price in the majority of restaurants and hotels throughout Malaysia, so keep this in mind when ordering.
Having heard so much about the beauty of the Cameron Highlands, it’s time to leave KL and head for the hills by bus…