After facing the crowds of Thaipusam I had two days to leisurely explore the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. After talking to friends and reading various blogs/travel reviews I didn't find many must see attractions in the city. I figured I'd stop by the Patronas towers, random markets, Chinatown...and erhh what else? In reality, I only wanted to spend a day, but because of the huge price differences in airline tickets, I had more time. Sunday night, after a much needed shower Riz and Angelina wanted to treat me to dinner near the Petronas towers which was not necessary, but incredibly nice of them. It was another rainy night, but thankfully the skies cleared just long enough to get a good view and a few pictures of the towers.
Monday morning started slow with Honey Bunches of Oats and Bananas for breakfast - I wouldn't normally be this precise, but it was comical to Riz how excited I was at seeing American cereal. He even suggested I take a box back to Korea with me. Anyway, after breakfast Riz and Angelina decided they'd take me to the Lake Gardens for the day, awesome of them to hang out with me and play tour guide on their day off. We started at the butterfly park which was like an adult size version of the butterfly pavilion at the Milwaukee Public museum.
We were planning to get some delicious fish for lunch, but unfortunately the restaurant owners also wanted the day off, so instead we ate at the bird park, the only other option in the area. It was overpriced for Malaysian food and really not the best but, we did have an awesome view of the bird sanctuary, a few of which decided to come enjoy the french fries at the table next to us. As we finished lunch and headed for the entrance of the park storm clouds were looming, eventually persuading us to skip the 40RM entrance fee and browse through the free orchid garden instead.
After the park we decided to call it a day and head back to their apartment where I took advantage of the pool and went for an afternoon swim. That night we ate Indian food at a Hawker stall not far from their house, which was both cheap and delicious, a big improvement from lunch. Also, on the way home we stopped by the market and picked up some Durian, I couldn't leave Malaysia without having tried it! I've heard from friends and locals that the stuff is an acquired taste and was usually told I wouldn't like it, well I guess I really am my fathers daughter (will eat just about anything) because I kind of enjoyed it. True that the smell/taste remains with you for a few hours...er days but beggars can't be choosers.
Tuesday night I had to be at the airport to catch my flight to Bali so I figured it'd be best for me to drop my bag in a locker and spend the day exploring the city. I originally thought about going back to the bird park, but then changed my mind and chose the free option of wandering the city. I walked around the city center, merdeka square, central market and Chinatown. Nothing from the day really stood out as overly impressive, I guess Kuala Lumpur just didn't do it for me. By late in the afternoon I was ready to catch and bus and go relax at the airport before my late flight to Bali.
I got lucky picking this as my first major, solo=backpacking trip. The locals that welcomed me into their homes and taught me about their culture fueled my fire for travel. The food is diverse and delicious, as is the country itself. With heavy influences from both China and India there is a lot on offer.