09 August 2007

Malaysia August 2007

Back in December last year, I won a trip for two to Malaysia, all expenses paid with $1000 spending money, as you can imagine I was ecstatic! Only drama - What to do with my baby boy? Well I held out on taking the trip for as long as I could, I figured that after Harrison turned two would be a good time to go.

While Harrison stayed home with his Auntie Amanda, Graham and I jet setted abroad (and yes I did stress about him the whole trip, but we got through it!).

Day 1 - August 2nd - Well this was pretty much just a travel day, we arrived in Kuala Lumpar at about 11pm, then we caught the KL Express Train from the KLIA Airport to KL Central then caught a taxi to the JW Marriot Hotel. I must say the hotel was lovely it was a 4.5 star hotel - my theory is that if you get a robe and slippers in your room then it is classy!!!!

Day 2 - August 3rd - Today we pretty much trekked the entire city, 1st stop was Aquaria found below the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, it was good, but I kind of felt like if you have seen one Aquarium you have seen them all. One advantage though was that you could actively participate with the marine animals, they had small tanks were you could get your hands in and touch sting rays, star fish, cray fish, small sharks etc.

Here is a picture of Graham feeding some stingrays:

2nd stop was the Petronas Towers. Apparently they were previously the tallest buildings in the world until the 'Bamboo Shoot' in Taiping (Taiwan) took, over. I kept looking at them though and could only think of that scene in the movie 'Entrapment' where Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones walked on top of the bridge that divides the two buildings.

It is free to go to the observation deck, on the bridge on the 42nd floor but we didn't get there until after lunch time and apparently all tickets had already been allocated by 9am so we missed out, I am not bothered though because the bridge is only half way up the buildings and we would get a better view of Kuala Lumpur from the KL Telecommunication Tower. For some reason we took about a million pictures of the towers both day and night shots, here is a few of the better ones:

and next the view from our hotel room:

We then spent the rest of the day doing some shopping in the many shopping complexes and of course phoned home and spoke to Harrison before he went to bed - this was my daily ritual, I would not have been able to sleep without having a chat to my little boy.

Day 3 - August 4th - Today we went to the Batu Caves, it is a short drive out of Kuala Lumpur, but Graham and I decided to attempt to catch the public transport for a locals view of travel. It wasn't too hard, we caught the KL Monorail to Titiwangsa station, then hoped on the number 6 bus out to the caves. The travel was fine, but our bus driver was a bit dodgey - he took a 15 minute smoke break half way through the journey - but we got to our destination in the end - even if it did take about 2 hours to get there!

The Batu Caves form part of a Hindu temple where the locals celebrate the Taipusam Festival. At the base of the caves are a whole heap of monkeys, they seemed quite tame, but there was no way in hell I was going to go near them, let alone touch them. To reach the caves you need to climb 272 steps - pretty much everyone stopped half way for a rest!

Here is the view of Kuala Lumpur city taken from the top highest accessible point of the caves:

After our trip to the caves we decided that it was too hard to bother with the buses again, and instead hoped in a taxi and headed back to the city.

We got the taxi driver to drop us of at the KL Tower, and we went to the top. It is apparently about 421 meters from bottom to top, it is not as tall as the Petronas Towers but appears to be because it has been built on a hill. The view from the top was very good and because it was a relatively clear day we could see for miles.

We then walked back from the tower to our hotel - yes today we literally did walk for miles. After a short rest we then hoped into a taxi to China Town and did some shopping in the Petaling Street markets!

How do these people get away with selling so many copy items, you could buy everything from cheap Gucci bags, to DVDs, to Billabong gear. I was in my element and loved haggling with the sellers to get a good price. Graham on the other hand hated it, and refused to buy anything that was a fake. I could see a small vein throbbing in his head by the end of the expedition! Here we ate traditional Malay food and it was really yummy - Graham was convinced that he was going to get food poisoning though, and I am happy to report that he didn't!

Day 4 - August 5th - Today once again we put on the comfy shoes and walked and walked and walked. We headed out to the Central Markets and did some souvenir shopping, this had quite a lot of lovely shops and was definately much less stressful then Petaling Street.

We then headed out to check out the National Mosque, when we got there it was closed to tourists for prayer so we looked around outside, and continued to explore the surrounding area.

After a quick trip back to China Town to get a few more bits and pieces (at my request) we headed back to the hotel to freshen up then to go out to dinner. We ended up going to dinner at Planet Hollywood - I guess going to a tourist trap like this is a bit disappointing, but I think we both just needed a bit of western food! On the plus side we were there during happy hour and I got 2 for 1 Long Island Iced teas and Graham of course got 2 for 1 Jim Beams.

Day 5 - August 6th - On our final day in Malaysia we took things fairly easy in the morning, had a sleep in and slowly packed our bags. We checked out of the hotel and then went to Zoo Negara to fill in the time before our flight. It was nothing fantastic, but it was something to do.

We then made our way to the airport for our journey home, it was a red eye flight and arrived in at Adelaide Airport at 6am on 7th August. As you can imagine I couldn't get home quick enough to my boy - and of course it didn't take long for tantrums to start and life got back to normal!


chad said...

Great pics guys! I'm still jealous! I spent 12 hours in the KL airport in January and it drove me MAD that I didn't plan my trip with a visa and a stopover so I could get out, it looks great. Definitely on my list of places to visit now!

Anonymous said...

Hi There Laura
This is Hsiao Lin. Your review of Graham and your whirlwind holiday in Malaysia was excellent. I know I have told you before, but I must tell you again that your reviews, experiences coupled with some snaps here and there are certainly wonderful. Always enjoyable and very entertaining to read.
Even though I was born in Kuala Lumpur, however, my family and I migrated to good old Australia in the late 1970's (to Adelaide), I have yet to see some of the places you have seen! And with the places I have seen, it is good to hear comments from other tourists. :-)
Great work there Ms McDonald (I have now saved this link in my favourites)!!! See ya