We had to buy tickets out of Indonesia in order to extend our Visa there, so we just booked the cheapest flight possible (to Kuala Lumpur) and figured we would sort out our future itinerary later. We have a hiking trip in Nepal booked at the end of September so had a solid 4 weeks to fill until that event. What to do! Discussing our plans while in Bali, we had pretty much decided to travel around Malaysia and then up through a bit of Thailand, but then we harnessed the power of the internet (the force was strong in Bali) and got to clicking around and found some good flights to Japan! So instead of being a jumping-off point for more SE Asia travel, Kuala Lumpur became a stopover. Kuala Lumpur (KL for short) was welcome break from the gaping-hole sidewalks, barrage of taksi (taxi) drivers and general disarray that is Indonesia.
We arrived in Kuala Lampur and took an Uber to our Airbnb in the Golden Triangle part of town. Although it was only a 3 hour flight from Bali, this trip took over 10 hours to complete and we were wiped. However, the Airbnb was great and our cheerleader of a hostess made the end of our journey easy. Later in our stay Shin, our hostess, also arranged for us to go out to dinner with her friends at a place outside of town. In our experience if we can get a local to order for us it always turns out better than we could do. Shin ordered some great dishes especially this whole roasted fish that was delicious.
Our first day in KL we started with a luxurious breakfast (pig bacon!) and walked to the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park on real sidewalks, a novelty after the gaping holes in the road of Indonesia. This is the largest free-flight bird park in the world and there was no shortage of bird life in every direction. Fortunately we did not get pooped on and saw some really interesting birds.
Totally enamored with being able to simultaneously walk in a straight line and not fall in a sewer we proceeded to walk to the Islamic Arts Museum where we rounded the building and entered on a side door. We found out as we were exiting the museum that it was in fact not supposed to be free and we inadvertently snuck in. Oops! We did have a Shakshuka (a very good one!) at the cafe which we reasoned mitigated our proscribed blunder.
If you like swords (Gregor) stay on the 2nd floor, if you like textiles and furniture (Elaine) stay on the 3rd. A very good museum and the building was beautiful also. There was also a very in-depth special exhibit on bookbinding. Before the exhibit I thought I had a pretty good handle on what it takes to bind a book, after the exhibit I think I have a pretty good handle on what it takes to bind a book.
Another main area of KL is Chinatown. With all these well renowned Chinatowns we get to go to I guess we can skip China, wahoo! Hungry, we plopped ourselves down on the ubiquitous plastic stools and waited for someone to take pity on us and feed us. Someone did and brought us over some Laksa (curry-like soup) with noodles which was really good and not rice so, really really good. We observed some local wildlife foraging as we exited (rats) and headed back to our place for a break.
Kuala Lumpur is supposed to have a great Indian part of town and we love Indian food so that night we went to the Wednesday night Indian market which was entertaining but did not actually have any Indian food. We had promised ourselves great Indian food and managed to find a street of Indian restaurants nearby and picked a busy one to try. That is the end of the story, it wasn’t that great.
Moving right along! The next day we did this cool skywalk which has some bridges that seemed pretty structurally sound, took some pictures of that big tower building thing and had cocktails at the famous Heli bar. I will say that we really somewhat reluctantly went to Heli Bar as we’ve been to a few rooftop bars that are overpriced and not great, but we actually enjoyed Heli Bar! Oh yes, there are no railings, though, so if you like your children don’t bring them up there.
Next stop, Japan! Thanks for reading.