Day 30, Thursday 26 Jan 2012, Kuala Lumpur
Up at 6.15 to get the highly expensive van out to the airport, onwards and upwards ! Uneventful flight from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu, 45 minutes – so up, shaken about by turbulence and down again. I had a much needed morning coffee fix at Kinabalu between flights.
I had not left enough time between the flights to do a free check in so had to pay 10rm ($4 NZD) for the pleasure of getting my boarding pass printed. The woman at the counter basically suggested I was an idiot for disturbing her slumber with the audacity to want to make a connecting flight. I am going to say it “Sabah – you are beautiful (apart from the friggin palms), but you need to sort your shit out, with a couple of exceptions your customer service SUCKS !”
The two and half hour flight to Kuala Lumpur was dull but also uneventful, my favourite kind of flight, I would like to add, plus we had the bonus of getting to KL early, awesome.
I caught the airport bus to KL Central, I did not realise but the airport is about 70k from town, the bus was 9rm (under $4 NZD), beats the $20 or so at Auckland ! We were less than 100metres from the airport before the palm oil plantations kicked in, a major disappointment for me. The ride to town was OK, not a lot to see and I was gagging for my first view of the city and the towers, it is a nice looking city when I got my first view.
I got a bit lost in the Central transport plaza till I found my way to the LRT (light rail) section and caught the train one stop to the Pasar Seni station near to the hostel I was recommended. I had a rather vacant walk around the neighbourhood using a totally useless map until I found the Travellers Home hostel. It was crap ! seemed to be above a prayer room and was mainly populated by men from the sub-continent, i do not want to appear racist, but it was not my kind of place. I left! Out on the street I took a wrong turn and immediately had no idea where I was. I wandered blindly around for a bit and came across the Explorers Homestay, the front door had a “Trip Advisor” recommendation sticker so I decided to check it out. Waaaaay better. They had no dorm rooms available tonight so I have taken an expensive single and have got a dorm for the following two nights. I plan on a couple of days here and then onto Melaka, though my timing again sucks as I think this will put me in Melaka over a weekend, which is apparently as very busy time with people vactioning there from KL.
It was mid afternoon once I had sorted myself out, so I went for a walk around the area, it is sort of on the edge of Chinatown and close to little india, I had a couple of very vacant hours wandering around and realised I really do need a better map or I am going to get really lost. I enjoyed snapping photos around here, lots to see, not just touristy things!
Reggae Mansion, the big Kahuna of hostels, there are also Reggae guesthouses 1 and 2 close by.
The flag in Merdaka Square (sorry if this is spelt wrong, it is too dark for me to see clearly 🙂 )
I did not get the name of this Chinese temple, but loved these burning incense coils, with names inside.
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple – the oldest Hindu temple in KL
I had dinner at a local Indian, followed by a colour of beers in front of the laptop in the common room before bed.
Today I followed some very wise advice from my very experienced travelling friend Alex. He told me to take every new challenge as a series of small steps, to not look ahead too far. I am going to say I was a bit daunted when I got up this morning, I had to get two flights to a strange city, find my way via public transport to a hostel I had no idea about based on a map on a business card. A huge part of me wanted to arrive at KL airport and get a cab to a hotel, just like millions of other tourists in their forties do everyday. But that would be a cop out ! so i broke the day up into sections, each a small challenge to complete, each entirely simple in its own right, get a plane, get a bus, get a train. Easy !
I will strive to do the same tomorrow!