“My favorite thing to do is go where I’ve never been”- Diane Arbus
I had only a cheap flight, a hostel booking and my backpack. The few weeks before the trip were packed full of school stuff, music and between this and that, I hadn’t made any solid plans other than playing music at a session there.
Arriving on Saturday at low cost carrier terminal (as opposed to KLIA, the international airport), I found the transport to the city plentiful and cheap. An hour later I was checking in at my amazing hostel, POD’s which is a very short walk to KL Sentral.
The sessions was organised for Sunday in a suburb of KL. Arriving slightly early, I found the opportunity to explore this most random suburb, take some pictures and eventually rest with a pint.
I didn’t know what to expect when it came to the session. In Korea, it’s a very casual thing but this was no longer my territory so I was slightly nervous about the whole thing. But any excuse for a few tunes so off I went. And what a great afternoon I had. Cher Ly (the organizer) was well organised, knew lots of tunes and the native musicians seemed to know each other very well in general. Surprisingly though, it was their first session so it was quite a privilege for me to be there and enjoy some tunes with some excellent, top class musicians.
That was as far as my plan went. When I woke up Monday morning, I had nothing to do and 5 days to do it! Off to the travel office to collect a map, a guide-book and clearly the towers were right up there on the top of my list.
I don’t know what to say about the towers. Super easy to find, I literally couldn’t stop looking at them! They are incredible. You can go to the sky bridge but it costs something like 80 ringgit to go there and you only go about half way up.
I did go to the top of KL Tower though. KL tower is a little more difficult to find. It’s a nice walk from the nearest monorail station but as long as you follow the other foreigners you’ll be ok! It’s only 45 ringgit to go to the top but unfortunately it was a little hazy when I went up.
The area around the old Kuala Lumpur railway station has loads of interesting sites. The station itself is a really beautiful building, just across the road from the KTM building. Also in that area is the National Mosque of Malaysia, Islamic Arts museum, a park, largest fly in aviary in the world, a planetarium, butterfly park, deer park, lake park so it’s a great place to spend the day.
Of all the things I did in KL, Batu Caves was my highlight. A popular place to visit, the caves are served by their own Kommuter station which costs just 1 ringgit! Better is that the caves are literally right outside the station. It takes about 2-3 hours to do this and I recommend you do it in the afternoon when its a little cooler. The statue is impressive and the steps, there are just so many steps. They go on forever. I read that if you reach the top, you’ll be absolved of your sins. Worth it so.
Watch out for the monkeys. There are so many animals here, it could well be a zoo. The birds, monkeys, chickens, all just having a great time. The monkeys will grab your stuff so be careful with your possessions. Best part of the trip was seeing the monkey open the bottle that a guy threw him. Such a simple thing but honestly I was so impressed! You can see the video on my Facebook page……..https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151557401343016¬if_t=like
Apart from the many tourist things, the shopping in KL is amazing. It takes a lot to impress me shopping wise but KL is a shoppers heaven. Under the towers is Suria mall which could keep you busy for an entire day. Also there is Pavilion, Farenheit, Central Market and Chinatown.
Overall, it wasn’t the things I saw or did, it was the people I met along the way that made the trip. POD’s attracts a really great crowd and everyone in my dorm was so open and chatty and we spent lots of time sharing stories and experiences and the like. Or the guy on the subway who decked me as Irish and spent the journey giving me food tips and inquiring about Ireland. The people I played music with, the people I met in the street, all amazing characters who made my adventure memorable. This is me and a Chinese guy who asked me for a picture at the Batu caves!
Tip: The week before I went, my friend Janet (http://janetnewenham.wordpress.com/) had been to KL and told me about Heli bar. It’s a bar on a helipad on the 36th floor of the Merara building. Summoning up my courage, I headed out for a drink, not entirely sure I would find it. Luckily enough, it’s super easy to find and the view from the top is amazing. For 20 ringgit (drink), you can sit up top and enjoy an unrestricted view of the city. It’s a much better spend than the sky bridge or the KL Tower.
Will I go back? Definitely and next time I’ll go further than KL. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments below!