We’re on our way to Vietnam flying Air Asia with a two night stopover in Kuala Lumpur. Arriving it feels almost like we are reuniting with an old friend; so regularly have we stopped here. For this stopover we keep the sightseeing to a minimum and just have some fun.
Bukit Binang is home to a massive food street that is famous for seafood. The heady stench of durian fills the air around the many vendors selling this local delicacy. As much as I hate durian, the scent centres me here in Malaysia. Restaurants all claim to be the best, oldest or cheapest. Small stalls sell the knick knacks typical of any market in the world. Table to table vendors try to push figet spinners and wooden baskets onto the captive audience of diners. And local buskers sing for ringgit. The crowd is mainly a mix of Chinese locals and foreign tourists. But not exclusively. We eat fried rice with sticky sesame pork and spicy stir fried vegetables. What a way to reimmerse ourselves into South East Asia.
Massage shops line Jalan Berangan, many open 24 hours a day. Uniformed staff spruik their services. Some look more genuine than others. A one hour foot massage from a well trained massage therapist costs RM50
Food in KL is ridiculously cheap. You can’t go wrong with Chinese, Indian or Malay foods. We eat chicken noodle and wonton souo, fried noodles with pork and Malaysian style tea and coffee at a small Chinese restaurant in Bukit Bintang for RM13.
We promenade in KLCC Park. It’s an oasis. A rest from the busy streets, construction work and retail marketing noise. A place where children can swim in a man-made lagoon or play on a huge playground (security didn’t like me doing same). A place where banyon tree roots plait into knots. And couples sit close together deep in conversation. At night the fountains will dance with lights and music as tourists flock to photograph the famous twin towers.
KL is paradise for shopping for every budget. Bukit Bintang has all the bling and brand names you could want. Or, if you are like us, you can score some good bargains instead. We bought funky t-shirts for next to nothing from a department store and will stop on our way home to buy some clothing as gifts for the children in our lives.
We escape the oppressive midday heat at the TGV cinema in Suria Shopping Centre. The Mummy is showing so we settle in and enjoy the movie on a massive screen. Tickets cost RM21.
Later the same day we catch Despicable M3 at the Gold Screen Cinema at Berjaya Times Square. The 9.50pm session is packed with shop workers who have just finished work for the day. We laugh at the movie with the locals.
Accommodation: Orange Pekoe Guesthouse
Hot tip: Catch the airport bus to KL Sentral for just RM12. From Sentral you can use KL Rapid to access the city. The monorail goes most places for just RM2.50.