Greetings from Kuala Lumpur!
Kuala Lumpur is capital of Malaysia, home to the Petronas Twin Towers and the first stop in country number 34. I have actually technically visited Malaysia twice already, but didn’t leave the airport, so third time’s a charm.
Arrival in KL was not the most welcoming. On arrival I went to withdraw cash from the ATM (the best conversion rate) and after several tries and troubleshooting with my bank online, the ATM retained my card. Cue an hour on the phone with the bank changing the initial response of “it’s impossible” to “this is a unique situation, let’s see what we can do.” One of my many strange talents is to turn the folks on the phone. The secret technique is persistence, mixed with logic and charm. It wins every time (fast forward a week and I got my card back, which literally 24 hours later was retained in another ATM; fast forward another week and I got it back, again).
So much love for cheap, easy, safe and uncrowded public transport.
I got to my Couchsurfing host’s home and was greeted by two German girls. He had double booked, but the more the merrier, right? Not really, but that’s a story for another day. We had an evening of getting to know each other and hopped on to a spontaneous road trip to Melaka the next day. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was, to be honest, pretty freaking cool. We tried nyonya food (Chinese-Malay) and wandered the famous Jonker Street night market, looking at the wares for sale, grabbing coconut ice cream with sweet corn (OMG SO GOOD) and watching karaoke.
You will also likely notice a special purchase that I made in my upcoming pictures. I could not be happier about my $2 banana shirt. It’s the little things.
Back in KL I got to explore the city and loved the way that the new mixes with the old. On your way to see the largest twin towers in the world, you’ll walk past beautiful and old mosques. I was able to catch up for an afternoon with Alice, who I met in Bali. My CS host took me to his MMA gym for a boxing class, which was awesome and horrible and I highly recommend to do it but also highly recommend to not do it the night before you’re going to visit caves that require climbing >400 steep steps.
The Batu Caves are incredible, well, caves. And also home to a stunner of a temple.
On my last day in KL, my CS host got me up into Malaysia’s version of the infinity pool I was eyeing in Singapore. He headed off to the gym, so I was just hanging out when, as always, I made new friends with the folks around me. They are old travel friends, reuniting to travel Asia and were nice enough to welcome me joining them for the evening.
Enter Bukit Bintang and several blocks filled with street food, hawker stalls and people. Southeast Asia is ruining me for future eating in restaurants.