Kuala Lumpur (Jan 5-8): Temples, Amazing Views, and Tons of Food

At 5:30am on Saturday morning, I got a taxi from my hostel to the Krabi airport. My first flight was to Bangkok and I had already checked in online so I was able to skip onto security and get through quite quickly. I had a coffee and waited for my 7:30 flight. The flight was a short 1 hour and 10 minutes so I landed in Bangkok at around 8:45, and then had to make my way to the other terminal since I would be flying internationally to Kuala Lumpur. This time, I flew with Malindo Air. Usually when I check in online, there’s a separate desk for document checks, but this airline didn’t have one. Therefore, I still had to wait in the long line to get my boarding pass printed out. The agent asked me for proof that I’d be leaving Malaysia so I showed her my return ticket to Taipei. However, when she saw that I’d be coming back to Kuala Lumpur after Taipei in February, she asked for proof that I’d be leaving Malaysia after that. I had to go through my phone and find the information to show that I’d be flying back to Bangkok, otherwise I’m not sure they would have given me my boarding pass. Finally, I got my boarding pass, went through security, and got something to eat before my flight at 11:50am. I also needed to take out some cash before I left since my travel card only allows USD and Thai Baht withdrawals – any other currency, I’ll be charged a percentage of whatever I take out. However, when I asked the information booth where the ATM was, they said they didn’t have any ATM’s – what?! So I’d be forced to take out Malaysian Ringgit when I arrive in Kuala Lumpur… The flight was only 2 hours and 15 minutes but it was the first flight since I’ve started my trip where I got in-flight entertainment. Not only that, but it’s the first flight since I’ve started my trip where they’ve given free food and drinks! I got some pizza with a red velvet-type brownie, along with grape juice and water. So I have to say that I was quite impressed with this airline.

We arrived just after 3 so I was only able to get through half of my movie and then I had to figure out how to get to my hostel. As usual, I decided to skip the faster, more expensive option of the rapid bus and instead take the slower, cheaper bus to KL Sentral, the main station, for 12 ringgit ($3.92AUD). The bus left at 4pm and took exactly an hour so I got to KL Sentral by 5. Then, I had to figure out how to take the metro to where my hostel was. I bought my ticket for 3 ringgit ($1) but then I couldn’t figure out where I had to catch the metro. I went through one turnstile, went up to the platform, realised I was in the wrong place, and lost my token when I exited. So I had to buy another token for 3 ringgit and this time I went to the information booth to find out how to get to Bukit Bintang station. He told me to follow the signs that said MRT so I did, and it was at least a 5-10 minute walk to another station, so I’m glad I asked. Finally, I got there, scanned my token, and got on the metro. My hostel, Sunshine Bedz KL was right next to the station, and it cost 28 ringgit per night ($9.49). Kuala Lumpur is a lot more humid than it was in Thailand so even though it was 33 degrees everyday that I was there, it was “feels like” 38 or 39. Meaning I was sweating and desperately hoping for A/C everywhere I went. By the time I arrived, it was just after 6pm so I was pretty hungry. I got myself organised, sat in the hostel for awhile, and then decided to check out the street market right next to the hostel, called Jalan Alor.

There were tons of street stalls and restaurants there, with people constantly approaching you, trying to get you to come into their restaurant. I was quite taken aback that first night, as I wasn’t used to being approached because it hardly ever happened when I was in Thailand. I decided to go to a restaurant called Wong Ah Wah, where I decided to try their famous chicken wings, and also had a noodle dish. The chicken wings were actually really good, although they were a bit different than what I’m used to. My meal with a coke cost me 21.50 ringgit ($7.02) so it was a pretty good deal!

I walked around for quite awhile afterwards and checked out some of the shops in the area, as well as listened to some of the buskers on the street. You’re immediately able to tell that it’s a poorer country, not only because everything is so cheap, but also because there are people sitting down the length of the sidewalks, asking for money – it’s quite sad to see. I went back to the hostel at about 10, chatted with some other travellers, and then got ready for bed.

On Sunday morning, I got up and went to get breakfast in the hostel, which is where I met the people who I spent the next few days with. It all started the night before when I spotted someone on the sidewalk wearing a t-shirt that belongs to my university sport team. I went up and asked if he was from Saskatchewan but he was British and said he had gotten the t-shirt at a vintage shop in London. The next morning, that same guy was having breakfast at my hostel so I went and sat with him, found out his name is Ben, and I also met an Irish guy named Mike and another Canadian girl (from Toronto) named Daina. When we all realised that we had the same plan of going to Batu Temple, we decided we might as well go together. We took a Grab (which is basically Uber in Southeast Asia), which ended up costing us about 4 ringgit each ($1.30) and drove for quite awhile to get to the area. Batu Temple is a Hindu temple and it’s one of the most colourful places I’ve ever seen – it was so cool!

We had to climb up 272 colourful steps to get to the top but on the way up, we saw an educational tour of the Dark Caves. It cost 35 ringgit each ($11.43), but it was so worth it! We had to wait about 20 minutes until the next tour, were given helmets and flashlights, and then started the tour, which was about 45 minutes long. Our tour guide knew a lot of information and was also pretty funny, so it was a really good tour to take.

After our tour finished, we continued up to the top of the stairs to take a look at the temple (and the monkeys, which weren’t AS aggressive as the ones at Tiger Cave, just as long as you didn’t have food).

By the time we got back to the bottom, we were all starving so we took a Grab back to our hostel and found a food court on the bottom level of a mall nearby, which literally had every type of food that you can imagine. I decided to go for a crunchy chicken and rice dish, which was delicious and only 12.60 ringgit ($4.11). We then all got some cheese tarts, which were actually better than I was expecting. Once you bit into the tart, the cheese (or whatever filling you got) would ooze out.

After our very late lunch (we finished at 3:30pm), we went back to the hostel to change so that we could go to one of the rooftop bars to watch the sunset. We walked to Skybar, which is one of the coolest bars I’ve seen. It’s on the 33rd floor and right in the middle of the bar, it has a swimming pool with no roof. Around the pool, there are plenty of seating areas, with tables and chairs on one side, and lounge-type areas on the other side with a beautiful view of the Petronas Towers.

The cheapest (alcoholic) drink on the menu was a beer for 22 ringgit ($7.18), but it was worth it for the view (and being able to avoid having to pay the expensive fee to get to the top of the Petronas Towers for the same type of view). We stayed for a few hours and got to experience the heavy rainfall that occurred into the pool beside us, which was pretty neat.

After we finished our drinks, we walked down to the Petronas Towers, where there are a bunch of musical fountains. As soon as we got there, the music stopped so we sat and waited for about a half hour and nothing happened. Then as soon as we got up and walked away, the music started again! Bad timing on our parts I guess…

We decided to have dinner back at Jalan Alor and this time, we went to a restaurant called Meng Kee Grill Fish, where I had another noodle dish and a Pepsi for 13 ringgit ($4.24).

Afterwards, I even tried durian for the first time! It actually wasn’t too bad – it was deep-fried and it tasted sweet with a hint of onion 🙂

On Monday morning, I woke up a bit later, had breakfast, and no one was around. I hadn’t exchanged any contact information with Ben, Mike, and Daina so I figured that maybe they had already left. Luckily, just as I was putting on my shoes to leave, I ran into Ben so I said I’d go get a SIM card while they were eating breakfast. I picked up a SIM card at 7-Eleven and it was 30 ringgit for 30 days of unlimited data plus 25 ringgit for the actual SIM card, which totalled to $14.69. I went back to the hostel to meet up with everyone, and then we walked towards Chinatown. We found a cool market called Petaling Street Market, walked through it, and then stopped at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, another Hindu temple. We had to pay .20 ringgit to store our shoes and then we spent awhile walking around the temple.

After that, we went to Central Market to check out some of the artwork and souvenirs. By that time, we were feeling pretty hungry since it was nearly 1pm so we took a metro to Little India, which is a cute and colourful little neighbourhood.

We found a restaurant called Seetharam Family Curry House, where I had a chicken curry set meal with 3-layer tea. It was so much food and all of it only cost 24 ringgit ($7.84)!

We took a Grab to Taman Eko Rimba, an ecopark that’s completely free. I’ve actually been shocked as to how many attractions are offered for free! We started with a canopy walk, which gave some nice views of the park. Then, we lathered on mosquito repellent and started walking through the forest.

It closed at 5pm so we got out just in time and walked back to the hostel. We all showered, changed, and decided to just have a KFC dinner, where I got a 3-piece chicken tender set with fries, mashed potatoes, and a root beer float, all for 14 ringgit ($4.57)! We headed back to the hostel because we signed up to take part in pub trivia so we had to be at the hostel for 8:30. At about 9, we all (a group of about 30-40 people) walked to an Irish pub, where the trivia was taking place. Due to technical difficulties, a lot of our time was just spent sitting around and chatting because they couldn’t get the tv’s connected (the rain kept making the power go out). However, our team won the first round (which I didn’t contribute any knowledge for whatsoever) and got a pitcher of beer to share. Overall (after 3 rounds), our table got second place so we won a bottle of vodka. Pretty much everyone else continued partying afterwards but Ben and I were catching a bus to Penang the next morning so since I had to get up by 8, I decided to go back to the hostel and go to bed. Kuala Lumpur is such a beautiful city and I feel like I spent just the right amount of time there to see everything, plus I met some pretty cool people. Will definitely be back again! Love always

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