The Twin Towers

Trip Start Aug 26, 2008
Trip End Dec 14, 2008

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Flag of Malaysia  , Wilayah Persekutuan,
Thursday, October 30, 2008

The next day was supposed to be a field trip for me studying the religions of Malaysia. Despite the country being a state sponsored Muslim stronghold there are still very prominent portions of Hindus and Christians in their population and all three major religions have long traditions and elaborate buildings all over the little island of Penang. Wouldn't you know though, the tender left three minutes early and I missed my field trip for the day. I was pretty pissed but thought I could catch the next one into town an hour later to get my pictures uploaded to my blog that are backlogged all the way to Namibia! Well I was late to the next tender because I fell asleep while waiting and missed that one too. Another hour gone. I did make the next tender but only had 45 minutes before our group was meeting to leave for our first stop on our adventures in Malaysia. In the last few hours we also managed to pick up two more people to our trip, Jeff the guy I had lunch with the day before, and a girl named Amanda who Jesse has known since Brazil. Amanda had already bought a bus ticket to the capital, Kuala Limpur, but Jeff had not so I spent the free time with Jeff getting his bus ticket while Amanda, Brad, and Jesse waited for Sarah to get back from her field trip. We had to buy the ticket at a separate place from the bus station, why I have no idea, but it was actually almost 15 minutes away by cab. Once we arrived at the actual bus station we had some time to kill and decided to get a few snacks prior to leaving. With just minutes before we were supposed to leave the rest of our group still had not shown up and I began to get a little anxious, especially since Sarah had most of the group's tickets and we left the group without her getting back. She had been on a field trip out in the middle of the island that was supposed to be back at 4 even though Jeff and I left them at 4. Now it was minutes till 5 and our bus was scheduled to leave then and there was no sign of Sarah or the other three. They literally showed up within a minute of the bus leaving. I was not happy because had we missed that bus we would have had to wait until morning to get to Kuala Lumpur which would have thrown off our entire travel plan. Turns out Sarah's field trip ran late and she had to pay a ton to take a cab all the way back from the middle of the island to Georgetown, and instead of meeting outside the ship like we had discussed she headed straight for the bus station realizing she was late. The three Jeff and I left waited by the ship for a long time and realizing she wasn't showing up there decided to head to the bus station in hopes of catching her there. Ironically Sarah arrived at the same time as the other group with just seconds to spare. So we loaded our motor coach and began the five hour trek to Kuala Lumpur (KL).
The ride was easy. The seats were comfortable, spacious, and most importantly air conditioned; all of which were refreshing concepts after India. We pulled into the capital city a little after nine and set off to get some food and find a hostel for the night. On our way into the city we spotted two of the things KL is famous for, the petronas towers (which were the tallest in the world until a few years ago) and the KL tower which is like a giant sized space needle with killer views for all of KL. They were both lit up brightly and stood out towering over the rest of the buildings in the downtown area. The petronas towers were solid white lights and looked like something out of a fairy tail because they were so lit up. The KL tower was lit up with blue and had glistening white lights on it as well that gave it a really unique appearance. After a quick meal at a local restaurant, we used the towers as guides in an effort to walk towards them to find a spot to sleep for the night. It was easy to see them, but hard to get to them. The roads where we were never stayed straight for long and as soon as we found a road we thought would take us straight to the towers it would end up pulling a 180 and we would be literally walking in the other direction. After about 45 minutes of wandering with no real progress we spotted a hotel that seemed nice and a few other SAS kids were standing outside so we decided to check it out. The Swiss Garden hotel is ridiculously nice and with six of us staying in a room made for four only cost $25 for the night. After we each showered and changed we headed out for the night to see the towers all lit up at the base and check out the night life. Just my luck, as we were pulling up to the area where the towers were directly ahead of us, not more than a few hundred feet, they shut the lights off! I couldn't believe it, I was so pissed. There were still a few lights on the towers, but the thing was like a star in the night sky before because it was so bright. That was basically the one thing we went to Kuala Lumpur for and we got short changed. We ran into a ton of other SAS kids in this area because it is where all the shopping/restaurants/and bars are. After chatting with a few of them and grabbing a beer tower at a small pub we called it a night.
The next morning was a relaxed one. After a stellar breakfast in our classy hotel we headed into the city to visit the towers again. We decided to stop at the KL tower first to view the petronas towers from the sky and see the landscape of all of KL. The view was impressive but not breathtaking. KL is a real city and the view resembled that of most big cities I've viewed panoramically, although it was cool having the petronas towers reaching skyward in the background and the group snapped plenty of photos of them. After a visit to the viewing deck of the KL tower it was time to head over to the petronas towers for a few more photo ops. Between these two twin towers there is a sky bridge that is the 'observation deck' but due to its popularity its super difficult to get tickets early in the day. We had to skip that viewing deck (we heard the KL tower views were better anyway) and just get a few quick shots at the base of the towers. Then we were back to the hotel to pack up and ship off to the Cameron Highlands for the next couple of days.
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