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gardkarlsen Kuala Lumpur - A travel report by Gard
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Kuala Lumpur,  Malaysia - flag Malaysia -  Wilayah Persekutuan
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gardkarlsen's travel reports

Wedding in KL

  13 votes
Page: 1 2

Kuala Lumpur travelogue picture
We went to Asia to attend a wedding in KL. During the trip we had a few days in KL and the rest of the time was spent in Singapore. I have posted a seperate travel report from Singapore.

Favourite spots:
Kuala Lumpur travelogue picture
The Batu caves is always a fun experience. Just beware of the little monkeys...they can be pretty aggresive if they see that you have any food.

What's really great:
Kuala Lumpur travelogue picture
The highlight of our stay was of course the wedding. It was nice to see how this is celebrated in another country.

Sights:
Kuala Lumpur travelogue picture
Petronas Twin Towers, Batu caves, Genting Highlands, Sunway lagoon, Chinatown, Lake Gardens, KL Tower, Merdeka square

Accommodations:
Kuala Lumpur travelogue picture
I have been to KL before and I used Asia travels (http://www.asiatravel.com/) to book a hotel the last time. We did the same this time and the hotel in KL was “only” 110 RM pr. night. The hotel that we stayed at was the Federal hotel (http://www.federalhotel.com.my) on Jalan Bukit Bintang.

Other recommendations:
Once again it turns out that it is great having friends around the world. The trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur was triggered by an invitation to a wedding in Kuala Lumpur (called KL from now on). We didn’t get that much time to plan the trip because we got the invitation on pretty short notice. We did manage to get tickets round trip from Stavanger to Singapore for about 6000 Norwegian kroner (about 650 US dollars) and that is not bad. Maybe the price is related to the time of year when we went on the trip. We started from Stavanger on November 9th 2000. As usual we flew to Amsterdam to catch the next flight from there to Singapore. When I say we I’m referring to my love Nikki and myself. For the first time we had decided to bring a video camera. I also had to bring a laptop and it can get pretty heavy to carry all these items around. My advice is to bring as little as possible with you to carry around.

Schipol airport (http://www.schiphol.nl) in Amsterdam has gotten a little facelift since the last time I was there. I like this airport because it has quite a lot of nice shopping and the whole airport is in one terminal so you don’t have to take buses around. It even has an Internet “café” on level 2 in the main shopping area. The price for 45 minutes was about 9 Dutch gylder.

The flight to Singapore took about 11 hours and 30 minutes and that is a pretty long time. We flew KLM and I have to say that their service and quality has lowered in the years after I started travelling. They seem a bit old fashion now since they don’t have little screens in each seat but keep on using the small TV’s hanging in the ceiling. The first part of the trip was freezing by the way and even when we tried to ask them what was wrong we just got the answer “it will get warmer”. In the end most people had put on all the clothes that they had brought along and it did get warmer eventual.

We landed at Changi aiport (http://www.changi.airport.com.sg/) at about 4 pm. This airport has a reputation for being one of the best airports in the world and I must say that I was impressed when I went to the toilet and I saw the toilet paper was folded just like it is folded in a bathroom in a hotel room. Singapore gave us a hot and humid welcome. It was about 26 degrees Celsius when we landed and it seemed like it had rained. I like the climate and it reminds me a lot of the trip to Thailand in 1998. Talking about Thailand. We flew right over the island of Koh Samui when we were flying to Singapore. We spent the night in Singapore at a friend’s house and it was so nice to sleep in a bed again after sitting on the plane the previous night.

Bus trip to Kuala Lumpur
The following day we took the bus to Kuala Lumpur. The round trip ticket to KL cost 46 Singapore dollars. The ride itself takes about 4-5 hours and on the bus they show a movie. There are normally a few stops on the way where you can buy something to eat and drink. I have taken this bus before but I took it by night the last time. It doesn’t really matter cause there is not that much to see apart from green, thick “jungle”. The roads are nice and all you have to make sure of is that you have money to get through the toll stations if you drive a car. Coming to the Puduraya bus station in KL was a “traumatic” experience btw. It was like 30 degrees and it was packed with people. We didn’t have any money so the first thing that we had to look for was an ATM. We found that eventually and then we had to find a taxi. We were in an extreme hurry because we were going to a wedding on the same day as the arrival. So when a guy came up to us and said that he would drive us to the hotel for 25 Ringgit we said yes even if it sounded a bit expensive. It turned out that the hotel was not very far away so if we had taken a regular taxi we would only have paid 5-10 Ringgit.

I have been to KL before and I used Asia travels (http://www.asiatravel.com/) to book a hotel the last time. We did the same this time and the hotel in KL was “only” 110 RM pr. night. The hotel that we stayed at was the Federal hotel (http://www.federalhotel.com.my) on Jalan Bukit Bintang. This is where you will find large shopping malls like Isetan, Lot 10 and so on. The hotel is a pretty nice 4 star hotel that offers pretty good service. The only drawback is that there is a construction site right outside and the busy street can get kinda noisy too. But at least we got a room with a view and we could even see the Petronas Twin Towers.

Talking about getting around in KL: The taxis in KL are pretty good and pretty cheap at least compared to what I’m used to. The cabs seem to have rules to stick to and the name of the driver is available if you want to file a complaint. We did run into some taxi’s that wanted to drive us to our destination using a fixed price but we just said no when that happened and waited for the next taxi.

As I have mentioned we were lucky enough to be invited to a wedding in KL. When we got to the hotel we had not much time to shower and change and then we jumped into a taxi and drove of to the church. The wedding was a wedding between an Indian couple but they are both Christian and the wedding was influenced by that. The ceremony lasted longer that what I’m used to from back home in Norway. After that there was a reception/dinner for the relatives/friends/family and 650 people had been invited. It was a surprise to us to find out that this dinner was very short (but good) and the party didn’t last all night as we thought it would. And some of the guests were also very informally dressed for the occasion. Of course I have to add that there was another dinner the next night for friends of the couple and we went through a long menu of Chinese dishes and there were also dancing.

We arrived in KL on Saturday afternoon and went back again to Singapore the following Wednesday so we did have that much time there. But thanks to Choo (a friend of the bride) we really got a chance to go around in KL. She was an excellent local guide for us. First of all we went out to visit Batu caves that is located right outside KL. To get up to the cave itself you have to climb the 272 steps and they are steep. And the monkeys can get kinda aggressive at least if they find out that you have some food and you don’t want to share it with them. The cave is where the Thaipusam parade ends every year by the way. I think that it is held in February.

We also went out to a place called Sunway Logoon near Petaling Jaya. This is a combination between shopping mall, hotel, theme parks and so on. It is basically built on the same model as Sun City in South Africa. The shopping mall itself was quite nice and it includes a bowling ally, ice rink and cinema. And the exterior is also amazing because they have built a whole pyramid and a sphinx in front of it. We also tried out the water theme park but even though it was very big it wasn’t really that great. It only cost 25 Ringgit to enter it but there were cost involved to rent boards and rings. The lagoon is huge but there is really not that much to do even if they brag about having the largest surf pool in the world. There was not that many slides and some of them were closed and on some you needed a ring.

The world largest buildings are located in KL. This twin tower is called Petronas Twin Towers, named after the oil company that house one of the towers. The building are just amazing and you can get some feeling of this if you go on the tour to cross the sky bridge on the 42nd floor. At the bottom you have a shopping mall called KLCC. Another tall building worth mentioning in the KL tower. This is a 270-meter high tower that provides an excellent view of the KL area and there is also a revolving restaurant in this building.

KL is not really that big. I went out jogging one morning and I jogged from the hotel on Jalan Bukit Bintang over to the twin towers. I also jogged around the KL Tower and to Merdeka square and then back to the hotel. And I did this within an hour and a half.

Chinatown should not be missed either. Again it is within walking distance from the hotel district on Jalan Bukit Bintang. The Chinatown area provides a big marked of fake stuff like sunglasses, watches and t-shirts. The people selling the stuff are nagging all the time and it is said that bargaining is part of the game.

Other sites that might be worth visiting are:
Lake Gardens that contains museums parks and so on. I did go to this the last time I was in KL and it was very cheap to get into the different attractions.

Genting highlands is a casino combined with a theme park in the mountains outside KL. I was quite surprised when I read that it is located in 2000 meters altitude. The air was a lot cooler and a lot fresher there compared to in KL itself.

Apart from that you shouldn’t miss out on Malay food. It is rich in flavors and it is hot and spicy. The problem is that in the more touristified areas there are only western food restaurants. So on Jalan Bukit Bintang we found a lot of McDonalds, Pizza Hut and on but not so many restaurants serving local food.

November is a part of the wet season in KL by the way and we found out that it can get really wet. On afternoon when we were out walking in Chinatown we could see dark clouds building up. When you feel the first drop you know that it is time to run and find cover cause it really pours when it starts. We got stuck for about an hour before we could move on.

If you want to keep updated by using the Internet there are many internet cafes around in KL. I used one on the street were the hotel was located (Jalan Bukit Bintang) and the price was only 4 Ringgit for an hour.

On Wednesday it was time to leave again and we went back to the chaotic Puduraya bus station. We did find our way to the bus but this bus station is in no way a practical bus station. I even had the pleasure of helping push a bus to get it started because there was something wrong with it. We started the bus ride at about 10.30 and we came to Singapore at 16.30. It takes a bit of time as you go over the border because you have to fill in an immigration form. And Nikki got a bit scared when it said on the form that drug smuggling would be punished with the death penalty. So we did use a bit of time just to see that no one had slipped something into our bags.

Read more about our stay in Singapore in the Singapore review

Published on Sunday January 5th, 2003


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