The Capital

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Flag of Malaysia  , Wilayah Persekutuan,
Friday, January 11, 2013

To get out of Taman Negara to Kuala Lumpur was a bit of a rig-a-morol and reminded us of Thailand. There was a tourist option for 75 RM that took you right to China Town. When talking to the agent he did mention that there were local buses, but they would drop us a Pekaliling  station.  Then we would have to take the mono-rail or lrt. He was saying that it would be quite difficult and confusing. But because we were meeting with a couchsurfer, we didn't have to worry and we could get off at Pekaliling station anyways. So we took a 7 RM bus to Jerantut and a 16 RM bus to KL and had a shorter journey time than the 'tourist' bus would have. Just a note for any other travellers doing this trip. Pekaliling station is the same as Titiwangsa station (major interchange for the mono-rail). It's simple, quick and cheap to take the mono-rail into Bukit Betang, China Town or KL Sentral station, so don't feel that you need to pay 3x to do the tourist

  So we were feeling pretty good about our decision when we arrived in Kuala Lumpur. But just to make things nicer, a taxi driver met us after disembarking the bus asking us where we needed to go. We said we didn't need a taxi as we were just going to Titiwangsa Station (remember,our bus stop and the station are in the same place!). He said we would need a taxi to go to Titiwangsa. We tried to joke saying we had small bags and strong legs to get us there (through the parking lot). He said it was a very long way and pointed in the opposite direction of the entrance sign to throw us off. Jeeze, we weren't even just trying to avoid a taxi this time, we honestly didn't need one! I wonder where he would have taken us to warrant the fare should we
have not known and accepted his offer...

Despite this poor introduction to KL, we were meeting an old friend. Magdaline and her sister had 'surfed our couch' last year when they were touring Scotland. It was so nice to see her again now that we were in KL and meet her family. I must say, our whole time in KL was about food! We went to some lovely markets where I gazed at the variations of fruits and vegetables and smelled different things grilling. They were always buying little bags of goodies for us to try (peanut crisps, doughnut things, more fruits, etc. etc.!). We enjoyed getting to some non-touristy places like a small farmer's market that almost never sees foreigners. We got lots of funny  looks and smilies. One waitress got absolutely giddy around Brian! Most people were just as interested in our reactions to things as we were with encountering them – lotus root crisps, large pod beans. At many market stalls we were given tastes and samples of various fruits and baked goods. We've now also tried the honey wax apple, persimion and jack fruit to add to our long list of new fruits we've tried. We also got to eat the famous fish-head curry and a breakfast place with wonderful coffee – my favourite is the teh tarik or 'pulled tea' with a frothy top from being poured from high up. We were so stuffed full we couldn't try anymore although we wanted to! We still haven't tried smelly durian and wonder-of-wonder, satay!

On our own, we wandered to see the Petronas Towers and sat in little Arabia and relived our time in the Middle East. Did some errands (like going to the post office) and sipped on bubble tea. In the evening we re-lived some good times from our first visit together by making bread from scratch. I'm always nervous about this as I don't have a recipe and bread is such a finiky thing. Different yeasts and flours sometimes yeild strange results. But Magdaline and Louis's youngest son did a wonderful job of kneading and the loaves worked out well!

Early to bed as we have a 6:30am date with a taxi driver to take us to the airport.  Tomorrow we will be in Borneo!

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