Bye Bintulu (and Borneo), Hello Kuala Lumpur!

May 12, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

It might just be in comparison to Bintulu, but so far, Kuala Lumpur is extremely awesome.

This first picture is just a scene from my afternoon walk. At the airport, KLIA, they have a really fantastic taxi system that removes all the stress and annoyance of getting a taxi to the hotel in a new place. After you get your bags, you walk over to the Taxi desk, tell them where you are going, and they print out a ticket. It’s possible pay right there – I even used American Express card to pay for the taxi. Yes!

After, you get into the taxi cue which leads to a desk, and they set you up with the taxi. It’s possible to get four different kinds of taxis. Mine (the “budget” type of car) was clean all ready and air conditioned, and the driver was friendly. It took just under an hour to get into the city.

At the hotel check in, I was behind a couple fighting with the lady at the desk.

Actually it was the man fighting with his wife(?) and the desk lady all at the same time so that was pretty amusing. When I checked in I smiled big time to show the woman I was much more pleasant. She apologized for the other people.

The room is fantastic, so luxurious and on a high floor with a nice view of the city. Double doors open into the marble bathroom, there are white tea toiletries everywhere, soap in the shape of a cool leaf, and two pairs of extremely plushy slippers. Mmmm. The toilet is no where near the shower (or bath, they are separate) and in fact it’s in a separate area of the bathroom with its own little door.

I was very hungry when I got to KL having passed on the airplane lunch, so I immediately headed to Jalan Alor, a famous(?) street with a lot of food stalls and informal restaurants highly recommended by my colleagues.

The second picture in this post is one view on Jalan Alor. I just wanted a snack because it was late afternoon, and encountered such an awesome snack. Satay.

Here’s the concept. They have all these meats, dim sum, and vegetables, all sorts of things, on ice, ready to go and skewered, and you can choose the ones you want (I chose a mushrooms, a green beans, and tofu) and they cook it for you in very hot broth (or fry it), and then there are some unbelievable sauces to put on. A soy, a spicy, and a peanut. That’s it. Cheap, simple, and so delicious. They actually have some less cheap items, some fancy seafood that costs more.

You can eat it there at nearby tables or take it away. I met a guy from France while observing this station who has been living in KL since 1999. He said this was the best one in the city.

After the snack, I walked around the immediate area a little more. There are tons of fancy shops and I enjoyed that the city, at least the portion that I saw today, is clean, no smelly open sewers and drainage things with stagnant water that scour all the other cities I’ve been to this survey.

After the walk, I went back to the hotel and unpack and relax for a while and explore all the amenities, and later, back outside to find some dinner. Outside of the hotel, (mom, you’ll be happy to know) it’s bright, crowded, and there are many many official taxis available. I ended up choosing a Lebanese restaurant because it looked awesome and “authentic.” I thought I was going to have a glass of wine with dinner… silly… no alcohol at a Lebanese restaurant.

Even though alcohol was not available, I decided to stay because lots of people, all kinds of people, were in the restaurant so it must be worth it. Good decision.

I had the house specialty salad and mixed grill, both delicious and very unlike the food I have been eating here in Malaysia.

The white sauce on the right side of the picture is a garlic sauce. I got full very quickly and was a little embarrassed that I couldn’t nearly finish what I ordered. There are an overwhelming amount of places I’d like to eat in this city.

The bill for this delicious feast plus a cold lemon tea came out to only 23 dollars. The restaurant is a little fancier than it looks in the picture so this was surprising. After dinner, I walked around a little more to check out the night scene here. Lots going on.

Very much looking forward to tomorrow for more exploring!

Love, Annie

2 Responses to “Bye Bintulu (and Borneo), Hello Kuala Lumpur!”

  1. So excited to hear from you today, It made my Mother’s day, Love you

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