Nov 02, 2011
I am really sad to leave Sri Lanka, it was never on my agenda to visit but once there I found it really hard to leave with one month turning into three months before I knew it. I leave behind lots of friends and happy memories and beautiful beaches, sea and scenery which I will sorely miss, but it’s onto new adventures and Kuala Lumpur is some where I have always wanted to go since a friend from college who was from KL made it sound magical… another world. So I depart Colombo on a fairly short flight out to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for only a flying 5 day visit on route to Beijing in China, and I’m glad I did.
From the airport I caught an express bus into the city and although no plan, I got talking to a few people who pointed me in the direction of Chinatown to find accommodation which proved to be quite a difficult task. On the bus journey into the center I got my first views of the Kuala Lumpur and Petronas Twin Towers which make this detour all worthwhile, all lit up magnificently which didn’t disappoint. After going to several hostels where everywhere was fully booked, I managed to get a bed in the first one that I tried only because someone else had cancelled, I was extremely relieved as it was now 11pm and I was wandering around town with my luggage (albeit only 7kgs). The hostel was fantastic with the softest bed I had slept in so far on my travels, even though it was a dormitory it had crisp white sheets, air-conditioning, and as there was no window in the room, darkness… ah bliss. I got a great night sleep and woke refreshed not even knowing what time of day it was.
So first things first, I managed to get on line and got a bicycle and accessories organised (after considerable help from family) for delivery to China with the plan being to start cycling when I get to Beijing, down through China before crossing into Laos, I’m finding the thought of it all a bit daunting to say the least, but I’ll manage somehow. Once bike is all ordered I feel a bit better knowing I’ve made another decision on my travels and I hope things will once again start to fall into place! So it’s time to head out to explore Kuala Lumpur.
Chinatown where I’m staying is pretty impressive with red lanterns everywhere, I mean hundreds of them. I wander through the stalls full of all sorts of ‘bling’ and ‘designer’ goods with the stall holders shouts to purchase all sorts of DVD’s or watches or handbags etc. when you pass, always ‘good price, madam’. There’s plenty of street food to be had and the smell of the warming chestnuts, alongside the hundreds of different types of skewers, barbecue dishes or crock pots, together with loads of different Chinese restaurants, the smells are amazing, spicy. I eventually opt for a Chinese restaurant and have a noodle dish, sooking up the noodles with as much expertise as I can muster, but it’s a messy job and already I’m missing eating my rice and curry ‘Sri Lanka style’ with my hand, the chopsticks are definitely proving tricky, but I’d better get used to them.
I got in touch with a young guy from couch surfing who showed me and a Russian girl around the city the following day, he showed me how to get around the subway, train and bus systems, and took us out to Batu Caves which were incredible lime stone with the biggest statues I’d ever seen. We spent a pleasant day together going onto a shopping mall before going to India Street which was very interesting and colorful, and meeting up for dinner in the evening although he left us to eat in a Chinese restaurant while he went to McDonald's. He’s away tomorrow for a few days so he’s given me instructions of how to get to the KL and Petronas Towers which I am really looking forward to.
Next day I head out to explore KL with fellow Scot, Emma from Fife who I met in the hostel, and it really is, a dream come true. Firstly we visit the cities Mosque and Temples before heading to the towers, I’m all tingling with excitement and we approach and they definitely did not disappoint. The whole KL skyline is breathtaking, I find it really mesmerizing and so much to take in, I had given up on ever getting here so I’m just soaking up the whole atmosphere and thoroughly enjoying the whole experience. I must have taken a million photographs during the daytime then after dinner we went back out and the whole place was lit up against the evening sky.
Once we we are eventually done taking pictures we pass through the shopping mall to the other side and I was delighted that there was a water and light show going on in the park, it really was a fantastic experience, setting off the whole scene and atmosphere and I’m delighted that I can now tick KL off my ‘must do’ list.Wonderful... a dream come true.