Day 1So we arrived in Kuala Lumpur bright and early after a reasonably uneventful overnight flight from Melbourne.
After navigating the necessary immigration and customs desks, we collected our bags and headed for KL city.
The express train to Kuala Lumpur central station was an easy 30 minute trip.
Getting ripped off by our taxi driver at the station was also "easy". Who would have thought two sleep deprived foreign tourists who had no idea how much things should cost would have been easy targets... Must have been the sleep glazed look in our eyes.
Anyway, 30 ringgit and 10 minutes later we were safely delivered to our hotel. While it was still only $10 AUD (which at the time we were happy to pay just to get to the hotel), it is still the most expensive taxi trip we have taken here. Hope the driver took the afternoon off and his wife out for dinner!
After checking into the hotel, we headed out to walk the streets and get a feel for KL. With little idea of where we were going, we decided to just walk in the direction of the Petronas towers which dominated the skyline.
After about 30 minutes of walking we stumbled on the Bintang walkway. Anything involving Bintang has to be good right? Well we didn't find beer, but we did find an air conditioned walk way that took us all the way to KL Convention Centre and the Petronas towers.
Stopping for a bite to eat and a quenching bottle of water, we rested in an air conditioned cafe. It was here that our attention was drawn to the contents of the bottled water we were drinking. Apparently not fresh spring or natural mineral water, but in fact recycled reclaimed municipal water... To be honest, South East Asia wasn't really the place I had imagined indulging in my first drop of recycled water - half way through the bottle is a little late to put an end to that though. To be honest it tasted like normal water - and I can only hope their claims of a 10 time reverse osmosis process being as "high tech" and "sanitary" are true... I guess the next few days will really be the test - if my relationship with the toilet becomes suddenly more intimate, then I guess they will need to keep working on their process.
After our adventures with recycled water, we headed to the base of the Petronas towers and "joined" the queue - but not for long when we heard the next available ticket were 4 hours away... Exit stage left.
Back to wandering the streets...
Our wanderings took us to the aquarium which was very worthwhile visiting. It was well setup and stocked with a diverse range of fish. The highlight was the under water travelator which takes you on a journey through a glass domed tank containing sharks, rays, giant turtles and many other types of fish.
After the aquariam we stumbled across a small group of local food outlets where we decided to grab a Char Kuey Teow each which was absolutely awesome (even though it included something we assume to be chicken livers.. Not sure but the strong flavour was "different" to say the least).
Sitting down over lunch we decided to plan out our afternoon exploring the city. Next stop the outdoor bird aviary.
Getting there looked easy. Jump on the monorail and head to the last stop at central station. Head past the Hilton hotel and through the park land that was beyond. Execution of this plan turned out to be considerably more difficult for the uninitiated than we had expected. The monorail trip was easy. Locating the Hilton on the skyline was a little more difficult as we had to walk between the monorail station and the train station before being able to see it appear in the skyline. Once we had our bearings we were set - or at least we thought.
Getting our way to the front of he Hilton was step one. Walking through the Hilton car park.. Let's call that step two. Navigating across the four lane motor way.. Step three. Following the apparently helpful signs to the bird aviary, step four. Getting completely lost after following both the map and the signs, step five.
How could we have gotten lost? We had walked no more than a kilometre from the Hilton following the signs for at least the last 800m. It had to be here...
Confused we decided to walk away from the lake garden area we found ourselves in - mainly because it didn't feature on our map. We headed up the hill battling he heat and humidity all the way. At this point at least we could hear birds - a positive sign. We headed off in the direction of the bird calls - down the hill. After a good 500m we could see the aviary - but quickly realised we were at the back of it.
After a brief rest, we walked back up the hill and eventually found the entrance. Relieved we paid our money and entered.
After an afternoon of walking (significantly further than the advertised 1km from the Hilton), we decided to give our feet a rest and taxi home.
Once back at the hotel, our intentions of heading out and seeing the night life in KL disappeared as soon as we sat down. We were beat. So we ate in an called it a day.
Day 2 After a good 12 hours sleep we woke ready to get back out walking around KL.
After breakfast we headed out and wandered through the city and it's many shopping complexes - which continually draw you in due to their offer of cool air conditioning.
As a Birthday treat for Laura, and a bit of fun to boot, we decided to go to one of the Fish Spa's. For those that aren't in the know, a Fish Spa involves you submersing your feet an legs into a pool of water and letting the Dr. Fish go for it eating the dead skin.
So sounded like fun - new experience and all. Submerging our feet into what I would describe as the "training wheels" pond - mainly because it contained the small fish - your feet are immediately attacked by hoards of hungry fish.
The sensation is something you can't quite prepare yourself for. Other than tickling a lot it was actually fine once you became accustomed to it. Now to graduate to the big pool.
The fish in the big pool were... Well big enough to fit a whole toe in their mouth. This upped the sensation somewhat and introduced a sandpaper feel.
Again after some time, the sensitivity wore off and you were able to cope for extended periods of time.
All told, while we both found it a bit of fun, I don't think Laura was sold on the idea. Happy Birthday anyway!!
So after recovering our feet from the aquatic feeding frenzy, we headed back to the hotel to prepare to check out and start loitering around to wait for our flight out to Turkey later tonight.
So we have a heap of photos which I will try to come back and incorporate into the post once I have a better connection and something bigger than my iPhone (it a mission typing something this long on an iPhone).
Catch you all from Turkey. Lucas & Laura.