14.12.2012 - 14.12.2012 30 °C
Today we got up nice and early to see the Petronas towers. We caught the train/metro and got there promptly to find out it costs 80 ringitt to go up to the bridge (our guide book states it s free). We were dissapointed with this but since we are tight and that is two nights stay somewhere we decided against going up and had a walk around a mall attached to the towers and a nice park in the tower complex.
The towers are amazing. Looking up and them you almost can't believe how high they are. You get a really good view from the park which is really nice itself. It has fountains and walks through big jungle trees and is framed by a skyline of huge shiny skyscrapers. Whilst walking in the park Chelsea was accosted by a demanding American couple, "would you consider taking some pictures of us for our Christmas cards to send back home" in a broad American accent. After we had a long and bossy photo shoot with them stood in front of the towers and they had a picture they liked we were allowed to carry on with our sight seeing (but not before they we got them to take a photo of us in front of the towers). We then went into the mall right below the towers. It is the flashiest mall we have ever seen, full of Chanel, Gucci, Tiffany, Tag, Armani, Louis Vitton etc etc. After a brief walk around looking at all the things we can't afford we decided to head towards the Golden Triangle, a part of KL where all the super-malls are and have some lunch.
For lunch we went to a cafe that specialises in bannana leaf curry. It was a selection of different curries with rice, dried banana, some stuff we didn't recognise and popadoms, all served on a big bannana leaf rather than a plate. It is one of the things to try when you visit KL and we can see why.
After our feast we carried on exploring, we called in another mall and walked down a very busy street full of market stalls, shops and massage parlours, which constantly hassled you for business. It is amazing here how fast the city can turn from glitzy sky scrapers and posh hotels to extremely poor areas, run down and dirty with lots of homeless people. You can even get the two extremes in the same street.
At the end of this street we came across another mega mall called Times Square. The christmas decorations in the malls were amazing, really over the top and super festive, we loved it. Attached to side of a hotel the times square mall has ten massive floors full of shops, it has your usual cinema and foodcourt but it was so big it even had a theme park with a roller-coaster inside. The roller-coaster is a full size actual roller coaster which whizzes around the fith floor of the mall, it is so bizzare that a mall is so big it can easily house a theme park. We walked around the giant mall for a while and then decided to go to the pictures to watch The Hobbit. We know its not particularly cultural but we wanted to see it so we went for it haha.
We then came back to our guest house got washed and changed and went out for some tea and a wander. We walked through Chinatown, through all the manic stalls selling fake bags, clothes, shoes, watches, you name it they sell a knock of version of it. We went for rice and roast meats, duck, pork and chicken with a chilli dipping sauce and a strange watery broth. We then Shared a big bottle of tiger beer and sat for an hour watching people walk past and browse the stalls.
Chinatown here is quite unlike the other few we have seen, it is a purpose build area full of tourist shops and cafes. It is not particularly small or quaint like the other ones we have seen. We have not ventured into Little India yet, tomorrow we hope to go to the Batu Caves and then a night market in Little India. Despite our initial impression we enjoyed walking around the city today and are looking forward to tomorrow and Monday.
It was nice to talk to people on Skype tonight and see what is happening back at home.