Two Days In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I think it's a sin to visit Malaysia and not at least drop by in their capital city, Kuala Lumpur. So after Malacca, my friend and I rode a bus to KL. The trip took about 2 to 3 hours and we arrived in TBS or the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, which was very posh for a bus station by the way. I've never been to a bus station that looked so much like an airport [more details on how we planned this entire trip will be published in a separate blog post].
Getting to our AirBNB was a bit of a challenge. Then again, we didn't buy a Malaysian SIM card so we didn't have data. The free wifi in the terminal was unreliable too. No internet = no Grab, so we had to hire a taxi. The thing was, not a lot of the taxi drivers know where the building was even if we had the complete address. It took us a while before we found a trusty (and patient!) driver to take us to the condominium.
Some horrible traffic and missed turns after, we finally settled in our AirBNB and we had an amazing view of the city. We were a bit far from the downtown area (which was nice, less noise) but we can see the Petronas Tower and the KL Tower from our window and the balcony. It was so cool to sleep with that view as the last thing we see and the first thing we see when we wake up.
For our first full day, we went to the hard-to-miss spots in the city. We went to Merdeka Square first and marveled at the intricate details of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. It used to house the government offices of KL back in 1974. There are a lot of tourists when we visited and it was hard to take a decent photo of the place, but I still managed. There are other interesting places around Merdeka Square like the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery and the Muzium Tekstil but we decided to skip them to get breakfast at the nearest Burger King.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
After breakfast, we went to Central Market — a place that I think anyone going to KL shouldn't miss visiting. Inside, there are tons of different things on sale. From clothes and souvenirs to various kinds of Malaysian snacks and tea, they almost have it all. What's interesting is how the shops are grouped into different cultures. There's a place for all the shops selling Malay items, Indian items, Chinese items, and many more. For someone who loves well-organized things, this was such a treat lol.
We spent a lot of time looking at all the different shops. I even stumbled upon a camera store that was selling a variety of fresh films and Lomo cameras. You could say that I stumbled upon camera heaven haha! They had B&W 35mm rolls as well as color negatives. I was so tempted to buy another roll of Kodak Portra but I ended up buying a roll of Kodak Gold 200, which was the roll I used to shoot in Siem Reap.
Katsuri Walk is just beside the Central Market so we looked at most of the shops there too.
Next on our places to visit was, of course, the famous Petronas Twin Towers. It would be a mistake not to see this place in person, especially if you're a first-timer like us. As expected, there were tons of tourists in the area, all trying to get a good photo of themselves with the towers in the background. If you don't have a wide lens with you, there are guys in the park willing to rent out their clip-on lenses for your smartphones. We declined all of their offers because we opted to use my friend's kit lens.
Seeing the towers was such a surreal experience. I only used to hear about this and see photos of it from my mom since she visited KL last year. Looking up made my neck hurt but it was so worth it. After taking photos, we went inside Suria KLCC where I went to the Kinokuniya Store and bought my first copy of Frankie Magazine. Best. Purchase. Yet.
Day two in Kuala Lumpur started very early. We booked a GrabCar to take us to Batu Caves. Though I already know that it was going to be a long drive from the city, I didn't realize that the place was that far. I think the drive took about an hour. Good thing, we booked a funny driver. He asked us if we're ready to climb the steep stairs and he told us jokes about his experience in the caves.
The steps were indeed steep and going up was no joke. I was very careful with my pace especially because I was wearing a sarong to cover my legs. Apparently, wearing shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless clothing is not allowed because it's a holy place. I had to make stops on the way to take photos of the monkeys (they're everywhere!) and to catch my breath.
When we reached the entrance of the caves, there are many colorful and interesting Hindu statues and structures. It was fascinating to see how they worship their gods and perform their rituals. Monkeys were climbing and jumping from one stone to another too. I think it's not allowed to feed them but if they see you holding food or if they see a water bottle, they'll grab it quickly and for sure you'll never get it back haha!
Our day ended by watching the light show in Suria KLCC again and seeing the Petronas Towers light up. It was the perfect end to our time in KL.
We didn't do a lot of activities in Kuala Lumpur aside from ticking some of the tourist spots off our list. It was sort-of our "buffer" city. We took it easy on the tours considering we've done so much in Singapore and Malacca. We spent most of our time doing nothing but resting and relaxing — the way a vacation should be. I even took a break from snapping so many photos which is why these are the only decent ones I have 😂. We took a dip in our AirBNB's pool, did laundry, took naps, and prepped ourselves for all the touring we have yet to do in the next country.
Although our time in Kuala Lumpur was short, we were never short on the fun. The city is busy and bustling with so many activities. For sure, when I get back, I'll spend more days and do more here (and maybe hit the night markets too).
Next up, Siem Reap, Cambodia!