Who created this transit system?

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Flag of Malaysia  , Wilayah Persekutuan,
Friday, January 14, 2011

Note to self....when arriving at the Kuala Lumpur airport, you are actually REALLY far from the city!! We arrived in the evening...of course, we hadn't done any research on the place....so we opted to grab a cab! Next thing you know, after searching for the proper Taxi stand, we're in a "Premier" taxi for 50 RM, on our way to our "airport" hotel...which was actually about 25 minutes from the airport! We had booked a one nighter...expecting to be on an early flight out in the morning...however, with the "excellent"...said with as much sarcasm as possible...customer service of AirAsia, we were unable to do so. So one night in KL turned into 4 nights in KL. We had no idea where the city even was!! haha.

So, in the morning, we took another expensive taxi ride to the train station...which cost another 35 RM each to get to the city, which was about 63km away still. Once we got to KL Sentral (the transportation hub), we had to figure out how to get to Chinatown. KL is the most UN-userfriendly city we have been in. There are no maps posted, none of the train stations state anything other than the station name (no Chinatown, or Petronas Towers), and there are about 5 different trains throughout the city...none of them are linked together! I'm not sure who designed this system, but it's not very easy to use. You need to buy a new ticket each time you transfer to a different line...since they are all different types of trains...confusing at first. Anyway, we soon figured out what stop we needed (by asking) and off we went. Arriving in Chinatown, we randomly decided a direction to start walking...and lucked out! We stumbled upon our street...Petalling Street...the Night Market street. There were vendors set up all along the street sides, making it next to impossible to find our hotel! What an adventure. Besides finding the hotel, Chinatown is definately the best place to stay! The night market doubles in size by late evening and it seems to be a central location for everything...close to the transit lines, buses, etc.

We decided to try the Hop On, Hop Off tour bus. It was highly recommended in the online reviews...and being short on time in the city, we thought it sounded like a good idea! After waiting 45 minutes for the first bus, we should have known it wasn't...haha. The headphones for the commentary were all broken...they brag about having commentary in 8 different languages...we couldn't figure out how to get it in one language! lol. The second bus we took, our seat wasn't even connected to the floor anymore! We didn't mind...added some 4D excitement to our ride. Bus stop 18...this is where you get off to find some traditional Malay food. Sweet! We were starved. Walking, walking, walking....wait a minute...all these food places are closed down! Thinking we'd follow the map they gave us, we'd soon come across the next bus stop....they forgot to mention that they leave a bunch of turns and streets off the map!! Two hours later, and what seemed like 5 miles, we finally found it!! Dripping sweat, we definately looked like a couple lost tourists!...but we refused to go wait for the bus in the shade...we weren't taking any chances on missing it! So, as we were practicing our new weight loss method (sweating), this news crew...camera and all...approaches us. They wanted to ask us a few questions on the taxi service in the city. Luckily for us, we hadn't used a taxi in the city yet....so they quickly moved on to the next lady. Five minutes later....they were back. Now they wanted to ask us a few questions on Organic Foods. Taxi Service to Organic Foods??? What kind of news report is this?? So I tried to explain that Canada's food system is so regulated that we don't need to worry about how safe our food is...but they couldn't understand and they refused to stop interviewing us! I'm sure we made a good comedy corner on the 6:00pm news that night! haha.

The next day, we decided to head out to Batu Caves...just outside of the city. We asked the hotel where to catch the bus...they told us...we went there...we asked...and it was wrong...lol. They said to go to Bingkik Bunk and pointed. We didn't know where Bingkik Bunk was, so we walked in the direction that they pointed and asked another bus. He also said to go to Bingkik Bunk. We couldn't understand what Bingkik Bunk was...it was obviously someplace we should know...maybe a shopping center...or a street name?? Finally, the 4th bus we asked clarified it all....Go to Bangkok Bank...and he pointed to the big building across the street with Giant letters spelling Bangkok Bank! That's when the lightbulbs lit up....ooohh....not Bingkik Bunk...Bangkok Bank! haha...so after asking a couple more buses, we finally found the right one! I'm not sure how we still managed to catch it on time. 40 minutes later, they are telling us we have arrived. We step off the bus, do a circle...what??!!...we're standing in the middle of a freeway! Who lets you off in the middle of a freeway?! So we scurry off the street, look around, and there it is....a HUGE golden statue leading to Batu Caves. You need to climb 272 steps to get to the entrance of the caves...not so bad...until you meet the half way monkies!  There were tons of them...and they definately are not shy! The caves were nice...not what we expected. Once again...we couldn't find the bus to go back to the city...when suddenly, this bus pulls over up ahead and some guy jumps off and is waving us over! Apparently, we looked like a couple of lost tourists...the bus found us...and we made it back...so simple...haha.

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