Kuala Lumpur

After Penang I took a bus to Kuala Lumpur (KL) which is the capital of Malaysia. The bus ride was an experience all in itself. We were told that the bus was leaving downtown Penang at 8 AM and that we were be to picked up at our hostel by a van to take us to downtown Penang at 7:30 AM. Our van arrived to pick us up at our hostel at 8:15 AM; forty five minutes late. We got on the van and drove to downtown Penang and boarded our bus. The bus was interesting. It was a two-story bus, and the top of the bus had twenty or so rows with three chairs across. The bottom of the bus (where we put our luggage mind you) was a bedroom complete with a couch, a bed, and a moped. Quite the unusual arrangement. Anyway the bus finally left downtown Penang at 8:43 AM.

The ride to Kuala Lumpur was about seven hours and in that time the bus stopped only once. The driver never really announced anything, and even if he did, I wouldn’t have understood him anyway. Since I didn’t quite know if we would ever get a bathroom break or when we would get there, I was quite thirsty the entire trip. Unlike Australia where the buses have strict timetables, you sort of ‘get there when you get there’ in Malaysia.

Upon arrival, Steve and I made it to our hostel after navigating the KL public transportation system. We immediately went to find food,and after dinner we spent time chatting with various people in the hostel. It was Friday night so we decided to go to out to the bars. Luckily they were only a five minute walk, so me, Steve, this Tai girl, and this Indonesian guy headed out for a night on the town. I say this last sentence so nonchalant. But this is literally how my life has become.

The next morning my first order of business was to get food. Steve and I headed to Jalan Alor, the famous food street in KL. I had Pho which was delicious. After my $4 USD meal, we headed out to the Batu Caves.

The Batu Caves are natural caves set in the side of mountains on the outskirts of KL. They are a holy place for Hindus, and fittingly, are covered with Hindu temples and statues. The best part are the wild monkeys. I decided that they are sneaky little bastards having witness one of them pick pocket Tic Tac’s from a man’s backpack.

After the caves we proceeded to the Petronas Towers; which were the tallest towers in the world up until 2004. We didn’t go into the towers but walked around them. We finished the day by going to the Sky Bar and having a drink overlooking the towers as the sun faded. Once dark, we walked back to our hostel getting lost here and there.

The next day I didn’t do much. I went out for several meals on Jalan Alor but other than that, I spent the majority of my time budgeting and figuring out where in Sweden I am going. I also decided to go to Norway and booked those flights as well. You would be surprised how long booking flights and making plans can take. I also spent some time working on some additional blog posts that I will feature later.

After dinner, I spent most of my chatting in the hostel. During one of my chats, I met Charlotte, a semi-dive instructor currently living in Malaysia albeit on her way home to England. We hit it off and decided to hang out the following day. Steve, on the other hand, left early that morning on a bus back to Penang. So ends another friendship.

For activities during my last day in KL, Charlotte and I had a city not touristy day. In the morning we went to Starbucks and then walked around one of KL enormous and spectacular malls. That afternoon, we ended up going to see a movie, Malnificent, for $5 USD in one of KL’s state of the art movie theaters. After that we walked around Bukit Pintang (KL’s Times Square), witnessed an impressive KL thunderstorm, and ate Burger King. Gross. I passed out early that night as I had a flight to catch to Thailand the next morning.

***Another side tangent. Going forward I might adopt chop sticks into my everyday life. I tend to eat too quickly. Chop sticks prevents that, and I never feel awful after I eat. Also screw McDonalds and Burger King. I ate them twice in KL (I was missing home a bit) and both times afterwards I felt like death. I eat random Asian food at street vendors with questionable health standards and I feel great. Go figure.

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