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Since we didn't really do much yesterday we had to fit quite a bit in to today. Yesterday we made reservations to go up the Petronas Towers at 6pm tonight so that was our one major deadline. After waking up we went out to a street food market and got some food then walked over to visit the Thean Hou temple that was pretty close to our hotel. Unfortunately it had started to rain a little bit while we were walking over but it wasn't coming down hard enough to soak us.
The temple was pretty cool but the one by the Big Buddah on Lantau Island in Hong Kong was a lot bigger. We took some photos and checked out the gift shop then headed back into town to catch the train up to Batu Caves. Batu Caves is at the end of one of the rail lines so it's very easy to get to.
Once we stepped off the train we were thrown into a mix of hawkers, beggars and trash. The signage was nonexistent to the caves and we almost got sucked into some fake caves that a guy was trying to sell entry to. The whole area was filled with angry monkeys who would attack people for food or drinks and the actual entrance to the cave was up a huge flight of stairs filled with said monkeys.
The caves were a pretty big letdown. The sheer amount of trash and monkeys around was too much. The "caves" were also filled with a bunch of rundown shrines and people trying to sell mini hindu god figurines. They were more along the lines of some large open caverns than actual caves. We didn't spend much time there and got back on the train to make our way to Petronas Towers.
There wasn't really a good way to get over there so we had to take the train about half way and then walk for a while to catch the monorail line for a few stops to get closer to the towers. We checked in and got in line to go up the towers.
The tour was about an hour long and took us up to the skybridge on the 40-something'th floor and then up to the 89th floor for the top level observation deck. Unfortunately Kuala Lumpur doesn't have a super spectacular skyline but it was still cool to see the city from so far up. The elevator runs inside the building so they put some flatscreen monitors on the walls and had a video running that imitates seeing the outside. Unfortunately the screens were old and the video wasn't very good so it almost caused some motion sickness since it was so choppy.
When we got out it was the perfect time to see the towers from below. They had just lit up the towers so we hung out there for a while taking pictures before heading over to the Jalan Alor food street for our last Malaysian food experience.
I got a bunch of skewers of meat and Mike got several plus a giant prawn. People watching while drinking some beers and eating good street food was a really good way to end our last night in Kuala Lumpur. Once we were done we hopped back on the monorail and came back to the hotel to get ready for heading to Singapore in the morning.
Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur
Batu Caves entrance in Kuala Lumpur
Outside the Petronas Towers
Grilled prawn and tiger beer on Jalan Alor food street
I'm a little behind in writing these posts so some of the specifics might be a little lost. Today was pretty much a lazy / do nothing day. We went out for lunch at one of the local street markets down the street. For starters we had some fried bananas which were really good. In the market we got some pork and chicken buns, some chicken and rice as well as some stir fried noodles. When we were leaving mike got a milk coffee and they served it in a takeaway bag which was pretty funny.
We took the rest of the afternoon easy lounging by the pool and getting a little work done. We researched some areas to visit at night where we could get some more local food and one that kept popping up was Chow Kit. It's the Muslim area but was supposed to have really good street food.
Since there wasn't really a good way to get there via public transport we just hopped in a coffee and got straight there. The guy dropped us off on a street that he said was full food. It was a little late so everything seemed pretty dead. We found one market that was pretty full and got in line. It was a buffet where you get everything you want and then sit down and eat with your hands. The rice base they used was some kind of traditional blue rice that they coat with fried and crushed anchovies.
The meal was pretty sketchy. It wasn't bad but it wasn't really good either plus the hygiene factor was pretty bad and we referred to it as the food safety danger zone. After eating we walked around a little more and went back to the Bukit Butang area where there was more normal street food. Mike got a couple meat skewers and we had a beer before heading back to the hotel.
Mike with a bag of coffee
Dinner to eat with your hands
We slept in pretty late this morning since we didn't really have much on the schedule for the day. The hotel doesn't have free breakfast so I went out and got some boboa tea and a pastry. After hanging out for a while we went out and explored the area near us. It's a small "Little India" with a bunch of cool food markets.
Mike and I saw KFC had some crazy stuff we'd never heard of before so we tried some if it. I got a Double Down Maxx (two pieces of chicken with a hashbrown in the middle with cheese and sauce) and they gave me some curry/mayo fries with it. Mike tried some jalapeno fries and potato cakes.
We lounged around by the pool for a while before having some beers and heading out to explore the city at night. We went up to the Central Market / Chinatown area and walked around through those markets. It's mostly a bunch of fake wallets and watches with some miscellaneous nicknacks thrown in. We found a food stand that had a huge variety of skewered meats to choose from. Each skewer had a color on the end that each represented a certain price. Once you pick everything out that you want they fry the meat that needs frying and if you get some stuff that needs boiling you can do that at the table. Once you finish they count up all your skewers and give you a price. For enough to fill both of us up plus a beer it only ended up costing us about $8USD.
After dinner we walked around and made it up to Bukit Butang to see all of those food markets and the giant mall. It was getting late so we came back to the hotel to call it a night.
Jalan Petaling street market
Street meat near Jalan Petaling market
Mike with a marmaset
We got up at 5:30am in order to get packed up and head to the airport. The streets were completely empty that early in the morning so we got to the Hong Kong MTR station really fast. It was pretty cool that Cathay Pacific had a check in counter at the train station. Mike was able to check his bag and everything even though we were an hour from the airport.
We got to the airport and went up and hung out at one of the executive lounges where we had some pretty good food. We were in the premium economy class which meant we got to board before most people and also had a lot more room on the plane. We were served some pretty good food and slept for most of the 3.5 hour trip.
We could tell as soon as we stepped off the plane that the humidity and temperature were a lot higher. We got a ticket to the KL Sentral train station on the KLIA express train. It's an express train that goes back and forth between the airport and train station which is where our hotel is. The train station was packed with people and it took us a little while to find our hotel.
Once we found the hotel we checked in and relaxed for a little bit. The hotel is the Aloft and it's a pretty modern style hotel with a free minibar and snacks. We did some researching on things to see and places to eat while we're here. We found some really good reviews for a restaurant called Songket over near the Petronas towers.
We wanted to go up the towers but it started raining and was a little gross out so we decided to hold that off until later. The towers themselves are pretty neat looking though. After snapping some pics we found our way to the restaurant for dinner.
Being a Sunday night, the restaurant was pretty empty but they seated us outside where it was pretty humid. The food itself was really good though. We started off with an appetizer sampler that had four different items and some spicy sauce. We ordered a sweet and spicy chicken and a coconut curry chicken that both came with rice. The coconut curry chicken was really good. Afterwards we got some dessert. I opted for the coconut ice cream and Mike got some kind of classic Malaysian dish called Sago Gula Melaka.
We came back to the hotel where we got to bed early since we had a couple long days back to back.
Downtown from our rooftop pool
Petronas Towers at night
Appetizer sampler at Songket
Dinner at Songket