5 September 2008

Exploring KL

Being the intrepid explorers that we are, we've been out and about in KL these last two weekends.
First off - Petronas Twin Towers - amazing buildings complete with vast shopping centre. This is great - a huge variety of shops which is a breath of fresh air after Hong Kong and its upmarket malls overflowing with designer outlets! Jules will be happy - Top Shop is here!

Sunday, 31st Aug was Malaysian National Day. Jan was up at the crack of dawn to attend the Merdeka (Independance) Parade sporting his new Batik shirt - apparently suits are out and batik is de rigueur at official functions here! Jan wishes it to be known that he will definitely not be wearing batik/loud shirts on a regular basis if he can help it!

Next on the agenda was Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill) Reserve - a rainforest situated right in the middle of the city - tropical vegetation with monkeys and many varieties of butterflies residing within.

Yikes!!! Check out this sign at the start of the trail!! Fortunately, we saw none of the above, but also didn't catch a glimpse of any monkeys or butterflies either, as being hotly pursued by mosquitos we had to make our way pretty swiftly along the path! Yes ... stupidly forgot the insect repellant! Not much time for photos here either, but will go back (suitably sprayed) as we discovered that you can get a guided tour from another entrance (which conveniently cuts out the very steep uphill climb necessary to reach the trail from where we started).

Next stop, KL tower - the 4th highest tower in the world........ hope you've got a head for heights!

Wow! What a view from the top! Pity it was so overcast, but even these photos taken through windows on the viewing platform aren't too bad! Well worth a visit.

Beware of falling parachutists! Dare devils jumping from the top and hurtling past the viewing platform at a rate of knots is quite scary! Something for Andy perhaps?

A short walk downhill again took us to the fashionable Bukit Bintang area with more large shopping malls and some interesting watering holes too! Look what we found!!!!!

Those who have been with us in HKG will surely remember La Bodega as being one of our favourite Lan Kwai Fong Friday haunts! Can certainly recommend the wine and tapas here!

Monday was a national holiday and we ventured out again. We braved the public transport system and travelled by bus, LTR (equivalent of HKG MTR) and monorail. All very cheap and pretty straightforward, though have to say we were a bit confused at times by the signposting (or lack of it - what is it about countries where Brits have had a hand in the traffic system? Plenty of signs for miles and then all of a sudden they completely disappear into thin air and you simply haven't a clue where to go!). Anyway, our destination was the Bird Park, but lack of signage and heavy rain diverted us and we missed it, ending up in the Lakeside Park! Never mind - it was a scenic and peaceful place. Despite the rain I managed a few photos.

Ramadan has started for Muslim Malays - we notice little change to daily life, unlike in the middle east. However, at sunset every evening the restaurants offer vast Ramadan buffets - Buka Puasa (breaking the fast) with lots of traditional Malay delicacies to sample. Needless to say I probably won't be losing much weight during Ramadan!

There's been plenty of rain again this week and on Saturday it was torrential - early Monsoon apparently. However, we hopped on the train to Bangsar, home to KL's cafe society. We got pretty much soaked walking from the station despite umbrellas. First visited a car showroom in the hope of finding some 2nd hand wheels - the owner dealt us his best sales pitch but didn't have anything suitable in stock. Apparently it is also possible to import cars from Singapore so we will investigate this too. Had a wander around Bangsar village and gave it the thumbs up! Found interesting interiors shops, art supplies, and branches of European fashion chains -lots of spas and even a Turkish Hamam (bath)! Bangsar seems to have a busy night life too with plenty of restaurants and bars frequented by expats and locals alike. No pics as it was too wet! However, I did get one of the Petronas towers on the way home.

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