As I mentioned in the last post, I’m on the flight from KL to Taipei and very wordy as I try to wrap up the last 3 days in Kuala Lumpur. I’m also very excited to be headed home to my wonderful husband and concentrating on writing is providing a good release for my energy. Terry has been working crazy hours while I’ve been gone, taking care of the house and the dramas that go with it, and very understanding as I’ve tried to concentrate on this trip. He has also been patient with the time zone difference as we skype each morning and night. We’ve been able to touch base each day, but it has been difficult for both of us and we have been counting down the hours until I’m home.
|Flying over the South China Sea to Taipei|
My roommate had a rough night on Tuesday with her cold (sinus infection?) so our first task on Wednesday was a walk to the international clinic. The doctor assessed her symptoms and his first comment was that with her blood type, she should be a vegetarian and embrace ginger. She paid for the visit and antibiotic (~50 USD) and we were off to meet our taxi driver for a day of sightseeing.
|Mont Kiara International Medical Clinic|
Raj has found a niche in Mont Kiara since he has a spotless taxi, is very prompt, is available at all hours, and speaks fantastic English. He is the go-to guy for many of the expats and will even take them on several day trips. We had some ideas for the day and together formed a plan of attack.
|Raj navigates KL traffic|
First up was the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory. We were hastily led thru the museum and then spent a little more time with each process before being led to the School of Hard Knocks where you pay for the opportunity to make your own pewter bowl. It was overpriced, but fun and we had a good time.
|School of Hard Knocks - could have used ear plugs|
Raj was waiting for us and suggested Stop 2, the BatikFactory and Store. This was very cool and we got to watch the process which didn’t seem as staged as the pewter. The designs and colors were beautiful and I left with a scarf.
|Batik Water Colors|
We made a quick stop at the King's Palace and then stopped at Ghandi’s Vegetarian Restaurant for “banana leaf” on our way to Little India. Your plate is a banana leaf with rice in the middle and then you pile on items from the buffet. I overdid it on the curry but it was amazing and so perfectly spicy. It was difficult to understand what everything was and nothing was labeled but we were assured there was no meat or fish, everything was soya product. Raj had some tea and watched us scarf down lunch, then since the rains were starting we opted to see Little India from the car and made a beeline to the Butterfly Park. We got our tickets and raincoats and wandered around the park for an hour. The butterflies weren't abundant (due to the rain I suppose) but the ones we did spy were amazing. They also had a room that reeked of moth balls but had many Malaysia insects. I would not want to meet any of those creatures in the jungle!
|King's Palace - not much to do but take a picture|
|Ghandi's Vegetarian Banana Leaf Meal|
|Butterfly Park - Had to really hunt to see them|
Next stop was the Sky Bar which is on the 33rd floor of Traders Hotel and looks across the park at the Petronas Towers. I had been staring at the Towers from the condo or different places in the city for a week, but this was the first time I was actually seeing them up close and they are pretty awesome. We walked across the park and then to the base of the Towers where there is a mall (you didn’t see that coming did you?). The atmosphere was great with businessmen, students, families, and couples just living life and enjoying the afternoon. There were even people exercising outside! It felt like I was in a completely different city / country for the first time that trip and other than the slight taste of pollution, we felt removed from the traffic, safety concerns, and poverty.
|Petronas Towers from the Sky Bar|
|Petronas Towers and Park|
Speaking of traffic, we walked back to catch Raj and head home to beat the commuter traffic. We saw a motorcycle (2 wheel) vs motorcycle (3 wheel with cargo cart) accident on the way home, but it appeared that everyone was ok. It was the first and only accident I saw which surprised me with all the crazy traffic over 3 weeks. But that doesn’t mean I would ever try to ride a bicycle in those regions.
|Mild & Organized Mont Kiara Traffic|
I packed and then we had dinner at the Japanese restaurant in the condo. We stuck with tradition and had 3 beverages – Tiger Beer, Hot Tea, and Watermelon Juice for me – and shared avocado sushi and edamame. We looked back on Labuan, Manila, and this final week in Kuala Lumpur and had some good laughs when we weren’t blowing our noses.
We are still an hour out of Taipei and I’ve run out of juice. I have a feeling this won’t be my last Malaysia Trip blog post. You can’t travel for 41hrs without an opportunity to take pictures and tell a story or two. Stay tuned.