22-24 June 2010
Our bus pulled into Kuala Lumpur an hour earlier than expected. That meant we had to wait for our ride. Thankfully, we were dropped next to Sunway Pyramid Mall, so we had a chance to stock up on Body Shop treats and some dresses to combat the heat. Finally, we met our friend and went for a carbonara and tiramisu dinner at Italiannies. Afterwards, it was the footie (this was in the midst of the World Cup 2010) and bed.
In the morning, we were up, out and on our way to Malacca. Since it was raining on our arrival, we sat down to lunch. I went for a dish called rojak, due to a lack of meat on the menu, which consisted of vegetables and fruit. I can’t say I was a massive fan of it but it probably did me some good, even with the sweet sauce. We then had a bit of a wander around some church ruins and a museum before we got to go shopping. After a clothes splurge in Jonker Gallery, we visited the Taming Sari Tower, where you can find panoramic views of the town from above.
On our way back to Kuala Lumpur, we stopped off in an area with several governmental buildings. The architecture was very Aladdin-esque. I loved it. After our satay dinner, it was time for the football again. England was playing and on this occasion we actually won (!) and moved onto the next round of the World Cup 2010.
By the time we emerged the next morning, it was time to dive straight into lunch. I had something called Penang Fried Kway Teow which reminded me of Wagamama’s Yaki Soba, so obviously that means it was delicious and I was very happy. Once we were fed and watered, we made our way over to Kuala Lumpur’s iconic landmark: the Petronas Towers. On our arrival, we were told that people had been queuing all morning for tickets to go into the building and they had now sold out. But then, as we were leaving, we were suddenly beckoned forward and told that there were some spares; someone couldn’t make it. We were in luck. We had time before we were scheduled to go into the towers so we wandered around some fancy malls nearby to kill some time. We had no hope of affording anything in them but we did get cookies at Famous Amos before heading back.
We were first shown a introductory film before being taken up to the bridge connecting the two towers, which was about halfway up. We spent some time taking pictures of the city below before we descended back down again. Our friend then took us for more local cuisine: nasi kandar. He also told us that even after six days, we had yet to try any actual Malaysian food. Apparently we were being fed a combination of Chinese and Indian. I’m sure we must of at least had something local in Penang though. After all, we had been eating a lot.
Continuing with the same theme, our next stop was for further food: dinner with the family at the Chicken Rice Shop. I didn’t think a meal of chicken and rice would be overly delicious but it turns out I was very wrong. This was no ordinary chicken and rice. I have no idea how they made it taste like that – I certainly wouldn’t be able to do it. Sadly.
After dinner, there was yet more food in store for us. Unfortunately, this food wasn’t quite the same. During our stay in Southeast Asia, we had heard a lot about durian fruit and its infamous smell. Now, it was time for us to try it. The Gap Year Buddy said it just smelt like regular fruit to her. To me it smelt more like gone-off fruit. Or sewage. The guy we bought it from seemed impressed that we actually ate it and more so when we tried a bitterer one without complaint. Beneath the skin of the fruit, the texture was like custard and the taste wasn’t too bad. The combination of the skin and the inside consistency was a bit too much for me but it was the smell that I just couldn’t get past. We were told that you either love durian fruit or you hate it. I guess it’s Asia’s answer to marmite. I definitely prefer marmite. Although I didn’t hate it. We also tried soya bean soup. I preferred it to the durian but marmite is still winning on all counts.
Later, we hit a night market, which we ended up powering through. Our real destination for the night was i-City, which I’m pretty sure was designed by Father Christmas after one too many mulled wines. The site was covered in trees and animals made out of fairy-lights. There were also more solid, but equally fake, animals and some lit up cacti thrown in. I have no idea what the place was actually designed as but it made for a good photoshoot. The night finished in a pool hall, where I, inexplicably, managed to pot a few balls. Although overall I still embarrassed myself, so nothing too drastic had changed with the world.
Read about the rest of my trip:
- Malaysia Part One: shopping in Kuala Lumpur
- Malaysia Part Two: a journey to Penang
- Malaysia Part Four: The Wedding Crashers