13.12.2012 - 13.12.2012 33 °C
Today we got up bright an early, but not before getting woken up by our friend with the prayer call. We got up so that we could get to Kuala Lumpur in good time and hopefully find somewhere nice to stay. We checked out of the Monkey guesthouse (not before having a group photo with andy), which we very much enjoyed staying in and made our way to the main square in Melaka to find a bus stop to get us to Melaka's main bus terminal. This is where we came across our first problem as we could not find a bus stop. We waited around the tourist information centre to see if they could help us, the place opens at nine and it was nine twenty but being Malaysia, it was still closed. We decided to walk to the nearest hostel to ask them who directed back to the square, luckily this time we saw some people waiting an assumed it must be for the bus and went to join them.
Thats when we met a very strange Indian fellow who decided to take a shine to us and sit with us asking us questions in very broken english and repeatedly touching and examining our white skin. After a while we tried to ignore him as he started shouting but he would not go away, he tried to get a young asian girl to take a photo of him with us, thankfully she refused. He carried onto pester us for a good ten minutes before something else must have got his attention and he wandered off.
We caught the bus to the main terminal without any other problems and got straight on another one bound for Kuala Lumpur. As from our journey to Melaka, we didn't pay alot for the trip so we didn't get alot on the bus. There was no where to put our rucksacks so we had to cram them in the little footroom there was, and again very little in the form of aircondtioning. Needless to say we fell asleep again in the heat. We didn't miss much though bar motorway and jungle.
This is when we came across our second problem. We noticed that the bus was pulling in to a bus station quite a way outside central Kuala Lumpar. We had planned to go to the central station and knew where to go from there towards the places we wanted to stay. At first we thought it might be a stop along the way but then everyone got off so we knew it was the end of the journey. We looked at the maps of Kuala Lumpar we had in our guides but the place was not any either of them. After asking at the information desk we were told we were a bit out of the center and would have to catch the train to where we wanted to be. The train thankfully was easy enough to figure out as it is similar to the underground with coloured lines showing you different routes and stops.
Once we finally made it to Kuala Lumpur centre, we managed to get in the guesthouse that we wanted after seeing it online in Melaka. It is called Birdnest and is in Chinatown. It does not have any dorms so we are in a double room again with air con for 10 pound a night, The place is clean and quirky (there are two pet iguanas and a cat called Jackie) there is a good communal area and the guesthouse provides free tea, coffee and WIFI. The guy who ones it seems a character and he has already provided us with a map and drawn on all the attractions we might want to see.
By the time we had checked in our room it was 3pm so we just went for a walk around the area. Kuala Lumpur is very different to where we have been so far. Way more hectic than Melaka and no where near as clean cut and organised as Singapore. We walked down the main street in Chinatown, there are stalls on everyside, some selling food, other souverniers but mainly knock off clothes and handbags. Every ten yards someone tries to sell you something or pesters you to look at there stock.
To get away from this we went to look around Merdeka Square or Independant Square, named after when Malaysia became Independant from Britain. There are some amazing buildings surronding a large grass area that was formerly a cricket ptich, and there are some giant rain trees scattered around. We went into the Kuala Lumpar City gallery, which sits on the square, to get out of the heat and because it was free. Inside there were several scale models of the city, which also showed future devolpment including a building to start next year that will be the second tallest in the world. We also got out first glimpse of the Petronas towers in the distance.
We came back to the room with the intentions of going back out but Chelsea became unwell. She slept for a good couple of hours before coming round and we mananged to grab something to eat from a street nearby. We had claypot chicken rice, which is chicked and rice cooked over fire and embers in claypots, with a side of steamed spicy squid and some tasty greens that included beansprouts, but could not tell much more than that. We then wondered back through Chinatown on the way back to the guesthouse, at night it is closed off to cars so more people cram and try to sell you stuff, aswell as the stalls at the side they go in the middle creating two narrow walkways.
Our first impressions of Kuala Lumpur are mixed, it has alot more character than Singapore and judging by where we have been today the food is going to be awesome. But it is also extremely busy and not very clean. That being said we have ony seen one small part of it, we will have a better idea tomorrow as we are going to see the Petronas towers and hopefully go up for the view from the skybridge that connects them.