Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur (KL)

The relaxing 2 hour bus trip from Malacca to Kuala Lumpur doesn’t prepare one for the congested traffic in KL city and the overwhelming mass of people and traffic in the vicinity of the bus station. It was so congested we couldn’t cross the street to get a taxi until we had walked up one block. We found a quieter bus station to get out of town back to Singapore. The taxi only had a 5 – 10 minute drive through the congestion to our hotel, the Nova, on what local people called ‘food street’. The Nova was 10 minutes walk to Times Square shopping centre and, of course, food in abundance nearby. The downside is that the main street between the Nova and Times Square is the littered with the shop fronts for ‘working girls’ whose pimps sometimes come in the form of six young men dressed in bright uniforms. They only came up for air at dusk and can be avoided by passing down off roads, but they are quite the nuisance for the unwary who venture down that street.

We had to visit the Petronas Twin Towers which was a 10 minute walk to monorail plus subway ride. We managed to get on the last tour group of the day. Note to tourists, tours of Petronas Bridge level is free, but limited numbers per group are allocated to a 15 minute time slot on a first come basis. So we got there at 11 am to get a 6:15 time slot. In high tourist season it would be necessary to send someone to get family or group tickets at 8am. Well it was worth it. The view from the bridge between the towers (44th floor) is quite astounding. The bridge is fully enclosed which made me feel very comfortable as I am usually quite nervous at heights. The towers are a symbol of the power of the oil industry in Malaysia and, the world.

While we chased up some much needed clothes for our sons, we didn’t get to shopping, but it surprised us that the clothing wasn’t marvellously cheaper than home. The lads found a theme park in the 5th floor of Times Square and spent half a day there. I found lunch and the only spare seat with a couple of 15 year olds who were in for the movies. They seemed to enjoy speaking to an old foggey, probably to get some foreign english practice. One of them told me both his parents were chefs but he couldn’t even cook rice. The other’s parents worked for companies. “We are best friends from school” .

In Times Square I did find the best bookshops I had ever come across. Mostly the books were not particularly cheaper but the medical textbook area looked to be about half the price of Australia.

Well two and half days went quickly and then we were back on the bus to Singapore to catch our flight out to Frankfurt.

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