Kuala Lumpur

We eventually arrived in Kuala Lumpur (KL) around 10.30pm after a 9-hour bus journey from Singapore. That probably sounds like it was pretty horrendous but in all honesty, it really wasn’t that bad. You must remember some of that time was spent passing across the Singapore and Malaysian borders. Additionally, the bus was really comfortable, far more so than the flight out from Gatwick so the bus journey was rather good. Plus it only cost about £10 for the ticket, bargain. When we got off the bus in KL it was hammering it down, so we chucked on our waterproof gear and walked the 20 minutes to the hostel. When we arrived, we could hear the music pumping from the rooftop bar, but once in our room it had dissipated which was good! Also, we had a 4-bed dorm so only us 4 were sleeping in the room, therefore we didn’t have to worry about a Godzilla snoring episode tonight. The dorm had 4 pod-like beds stacked 2 by 2 and the beds were really comfy. We dropped off our bags and headed out for a bite to eat. Unfortunately, most places were closed so we settled for buying something from a 7 elven shop. For those who don’t know, 7 eleven is like a Tesco express or something. They are small little shops where you can buy essentials but not do a big full shop, additionally, they are bloody everywhere, you can barely walk 100 m before seeing one. They only took cash however so we headed to the nearest cash point. After Fred, Connor and Ollie had all successfully withdrew money I put my card in a machine. After requesting the money the card machine just seemed to get stuck on the processing transaction part for a good 5 minutes, during this time lets just say I started to sweat a little and let out probably a few expletives. Thankfully the machine eventually relived me from my anguish by spitting my card back out. We then proceeded to by our pot noodle Asian equivalent evening meal and headed back to the hostel to eat in. Once consumed we headed to bed, where I probably had the best nights sleep since we started the trip, hopefully, the jet lag has now been overcome.

In the morning we had breakfast, which was peanut butter and jelly on toast, they made a great change from what we had been eating for breakfast in the Singapore hostel, which only offered egg on toast or if you fancied something a bit different toast with some egg. Once filled we headed out to explore KL. First stop was the Jamek Mosque, the oldest in the city. As we were all wearing either shorts and t-shirts or shorts and vests we had to cover our shoulders and legs with robes (we all had no problem with this and mosque itself was very welcoming to visitors). We had a look around outside before taking our shoes off and heading into the main prayer hall, here we were greeted by a guide inside. Regrettably, I didn’t catch his name but he is probably one of the most friendly and helpful people I’ve ever met. He explained a great deal about the Islamic religion, the mosque itself, how and why they pray and answered all and any questions we had. All in all, I think we spoke with the lovely man for roughly 30-45 minutes and we all left having thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as well as having learnt a great deal. Unfortunately, in today’s society, Muslims gets bad press. I challenge anyone who is Islamophobic to go talk to that man and I guarantee your attitudes will change.

After visiting the mosque, we then toured around a few more of the city sights such as Merdeka square, central market, Chinatown and Petaling Street market. While at Merdeka square a fellow tourist of Southeast Asian descent wanted photos with us all. We all happily accepted but the experience was rather odd, he wanted individual photos with all of us then group photos and would really press his face up against ours (we quickly rubbed a bit of hand sanitiser over us when he left). The icing on the cake, however, was that he only had 2 front teeth, hence he became known as buck tooth bill. Also while in Central Market I got caught a little short and headed to the toilet, well if you could call it that, it was very much a porcelain hole in the ground which you had to squat over. Now I knew these existed and knew at some point they would need to be used so I didn’t really have a problem with it. But let’s just say technically it’s a lot harder than sitting on a toilet and the less I have to use them, the better!

After exploring in the morning, we stopped for lunch in the Tang City food court. Here we picked up lunch meals for 10 Malaysian ringgit working out about £2. Me Fred and Ollie also shared a large bottle of Skol beer which cost 15 ringgit (£3), the beer still isn’t as cheap as we would like but it tasted really refreshing, it was very light and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

In the afternoon we head for an eco-forest in the city. Here we just wandered around the various trails and also up into the high hanging bridges in the treetops. It was pretty hard going and due to the humidity, we were all dripping buckets by the end of it. The highlight has to be seeing a group of 4 monkeys chilling in the trees and then being called down by a guy to feed them some fruit or nuts. Now the monkeys were by a little zoo type thing so I’m not sure if they kind of just lived out of cages or what or if they were truly wild but either way it was pretty cool to see them. The eco forest park was also close to the telecommunication tower of KL. We, therefore, headed for this and paid the £10 fee to take the 421 m elevator ride to the observation platform. The views from here were great and you could see 360 ° across the vast sprawling city. The tower offered great views of the Petronas towers, which were very impressive as well as the quickly darkening skyline as a storm approached the city. You could really see the storm coming into the city and where the rain was coming down in certain parts, additionally there were large flashes of fork lightning. When we came back down to the ground the rain was coming down hard. We were watching the storm from the ground forecourt of the tower when a lightning bolt struck the ground pretty close by and made a massive bang. Ollie absolutely shit himself and jumped about a mile across the forecourt, the rest of us were far more composed. At this point, we were told to move inside by an employee which was a very sensible suggestion. Due to the rain we got a Grab taxi back to the hostel, outrageously this cost 8 ringgit for the 10-minute journey (about £1.60 or about 40p each).

For dinner we headed back to the Tang City food centre for an evening bite to eat, Fred proceeded to have two meals to satisfy his hunger! We also had two larger bottles of Skol each. On the walk back to the hostel Fred somehow managed to jump over a massive rat which ran into a hole he was just about to walk over haha! We then headed up to the hostel rooftop bar to have a drink and to check this out before heading to bed. While on the rooftop someone was letting off fireworks which were cool to see while enjoying a drink, plus the rooftop offered good views of the telecommunication tower and Petronas towers lit up at night.

As I write this we are once again on a bus journey to the Cameroon Highlands, about 4 hours north of KL. We shall stay here tonight and tomorrow night before heading back to KL Wednesday. Catching the bus today was much easier and less stressful, than in Singapore. It departed from a massive terminal in KL which was basically like an airport but for buses. We are all looking forward to a little time in the countryside out of the city.

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