KL’s Bright Lights and Towering Skyscrapers

My first impression of Kuala Lumpur (more affectionately known as KL) was somewhat distorted. After just over a week in Myanmar where the buildings are run down, wifi is sparse and toilets are questionable, we were relieved to touch down in a big, clean city. Our uber picked us up from the airport about 1.30am and we drove through the city seeing the tall skyscrapers surrounded by fog and with all their lights off. It didn’t feel real.
The next morning we were up bright and early to meet our friend Solene who we spent time with in Koh Phangan and Koh Tao and three girls from her room; Alice, Joy and another girl who’s name I can’t remember. Solene had planned a full morning of activities before the storm was due to come in.
The first stop was the Jamek Mosque. Malaysia is home to many Muslims so there are several mosques around the city but this is the main one. Sadly for us, we were disappointed to find that it was under renovation so the only pictures we could get were from across the river.

Over the river was the main square where we found the I love KL sign and got all our tourist photos.

The other side of the square was St Mary’s Cathedral. I’m pretty sure a cathedral has to have a minimum height so it’s more like a church.

It was so hot that once we got to the Perdana Botanical Gardens we were happy to have some shade. There’s a lot going on in these gardens but we just walked through, enjoying what we saw and sat on a bench for a bit.

For lunch we found a Malay restaurant in a shopping centre and I tried gaharu tea which was nice but not anything special. We did a little bit of shopping for clothes and then went back to catch up on some sleep.
However, sleep got ignored once I noticed a huge storm could coming towards the city. Our hostel was on level 25 so we had a great view over KL and I was amazed by how low the cloud came and how loud the thunder was. I love storms. I was happy.

One of the Petronas Towers beneath the fog

For dinner the six of us went to an Indian restaurant where you serve yourself. It was all very nice but we all complained that after months of eating out in restaurants and choosing exactly what we eat three times a day, we’re all a bit bored of it. Now that I know the end of my trip is approaching, I’m looking forward to my mum handing me a plate of dinner and me eating it in my pajamas, curled up on the sofa. After dinner we said our goodbyes as all four of them were leaving early the next morning.

Despite this, the night was still young for us! We wanted to see Kuala Lumpur’s famous 451m high Petronas Twin Towers. One of the Petronas Twin Towers was built by the Japanese Hazama Corporation and the other twin tower was built by the Korean Samsung C&T Corporation. The tower built by Samsung group is level however the tower constructed by the Hazama Corporation has a tilt of nearly 10 inches! After a little bit of research we decided to go to Sky Bar which is just across KLCC park with a perfect view of the towers all lit up. We struggled to find a table as all of them were reserved but out of nowhere, an English guy popped up and invited us to join him in his booth as he was drinking alone. We got some great pictures and enjoyed the sight until the staff mentioned a minimum spend for the booth and a series of events let us to believe that he hadn’t actually reserved the booth. Instead we found a smaller table further inside and ordered two mojitos. The guy asked if we wanted them strong so obviously we said yes but we ended up with what tasted like rum in a cup! Mine was drinkable once the ice had melted and Ammun had to ask for more mixer! It’s very rare that we get tipsy from one drink but we were both feeling it a little bit!

The next day we enjoyed a lie in and caught up on all the sleep we missed on the night busses in Myanmar (no more night busses! Woohoo!!!). We knew that we needed to get a wriggle on if we wanted daytime pictures of the towers in daylight. We failed. So we had to run out in the rain.

After some snaps and a weird shot of wheatgrass (apparently has the vitamins of 1kg of greens and I love my vitamin C) we kicked off our day of shopping. We went to two shopping centres and tried on lots of new clothes which felt so good after only buying things like elephant trousers and necessities in the last few months!  KL boasts more than 65 shopping malls, including the world’s fourth largest mall, 1Utama, which covers 5 million square feet!

Late afternoon I took my achey back for a well over due Thai massage at Chaang Thai Massage. I first had my feet washed, then I was asked to change into really baggy trousers and a top while I enjoyed some Chinese tea. After my massage I was given another cup of Chinese tea and left feeling very refreshed. Ammun on the other hand, made an attempt at getting the bus home and accidentally ended up having a glass of wine on top of a helipad with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers.

Naturally after a girlie day of shopping and pampering we were both in a very good mood and were ready to spend our last night eating and drinking with a Swiss girl called Sarina from our room. There wasn’t really a restaurant area near our hostel so we ended up in a Muslim Persian restaurant where there was no alcohol available to order but the owner seemed more than willing to pop to 7 Eleven to buy us some! The food was nice but all we really wanted was a cocktail so we found somewhere with a happy hour and spent the rest of the evening there.

Our time in Kuala Lumpur was short and sweet but, as they say, onwards and upwards as we head to an even bigger, cleaner city: Singapore!

Annalise x