Well hello lovely readers! It’s nice to see that there are now more of you than just my mum, so thank you for tuning in!
As you may know, we’re now in Cambodia. To get there, we had a flight from Kochi (which, as a side note, is the world’s first airport to be run entirely on solar energy, how great!) to Siem Reap – with a tiny little 15 hour stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, overnight. I wasn’t thrilled about this from the offset and suggested us getting a hotel and trying to get some sleep, as the stopover was between 3pm and 6am, but we realised that we would have to be back at the airport for about 3am so decided it was pointless. If I’m honest, I didn’t research where we were going until we were on our way there, so I had no idea what Kuala Lumpur was like. As it turned out, I had lucked out majorly as it ended up being my favourite city that I’ve ever been to (so far – there is still a lot of time for it to be beaten).
We got a coach straight from the airport into town, and my Lonely Planet “South East Asia on a Shoestring” book became our pride and joy – I’d highly recommend it if you’re heading to this neck of the woods. It does, however, make you look like the picture of a tourist as you walk round looking bewildered whilst clutching a guide book. Somehow I made it out un-scammed. We planned a whistle stop tour and started out by walking from Sentral Station to the National Mosque, which is beautiful – incredible, intricate architecture and water features.
From there we made our way on to the Bird Sanctuary. Unluckily but typically for us, we arrived just outside of the opening time – but could still appreciate it from outside. It’s basically a huge (multiple kilometre) jungle under big netting, where 200 species of birds fly free. It’s amazing and very Jurassic park, especially with the variety of noises coming from inside; it does leave you feeling slightly like you may be attacked by a huge bird-dinosaur hybrid. This whole area was so green and clean, and, finally breathing in fresh air, we realised quite how different India really is! It was amazing to see a well kept city with loads of wildlife.
From here, we headed up to Independence Square – which is quite self explanatory. It features a huge statue and a cricket pitch, and is surrounded by breath-taking architecture. It’s a mixture of huge trees and old, intricate buildings, with a backdrop of skyscrapers – showing the mixture of old and new, concrete and greenery that is so clear there. The lack of skinny dogs and piles of burning rubbish was, quite literally, a breath of fresh air.
I’m embarrassed to admit that, feeling peckish, we had a little pop into a Malaysian McDonalds. We hadn’t eaten since the previous night, so lined our stomachs with a burger. As Ollie is the world’s biggest carnivore he was in heaven after nearly 3 weeks as a vegetarian. Walking on through the town, huge towers started stabbing the clouds, standing out from the skyline. Making it our goal to go up the Petronius Towers, we trekked across the city, with the help of some delicious iced coffees we had bagged.
The Towers turned out to be ridiculously pricey shopping malls, and we were gutted to discover that tickets for the day had sold out. I’m an adrenaline junkie and love highs and pretty, night time views, so we set our sights on the Kuala Lumpur Tower (I know, how handy to have a back-up tower there for us). It turned out that this tower was actually 100 metres taller then the others – and we got there in plenty of time. As a warning, it’s ridiculously expensive to go up but we found it well worth doing. They have a glass sky box hanging over the city which Ollie’s toes got to explore before he whimped out. I was loving it, stretching out on the floor looking at the city below me.
They also have a professional photographer on hand who makes you (and I mean, barks orders of poses at you before coming and physically putting you into that pose) stand at ridiculously cringey positions and smize at the camera. We were laughing our heads off and couldn’t wait to get a copy, until it emerged that this weird, set-up photo was $10 a pop.
Finally we followed our grumbling stomachs and headed into the main square of the town for food. It turned out that we had passed nicer restaurants than we actually ended up going to – but by this time it was about 11 and we were knackered and starving. As the world’s most indecisive people, we wasted half an hour trying to scout out the best place, judged entirely on the contents of the burger Ollie would inevitably engulf. We had the best date night ever and I even treated myself to a Mojito – my absolute guilty pleasure.
We absolutely adored Kuala Lumpur and cannot wait to come back to Malaysia for more than 6 hours in the city! We got completely lost when we got off the monorail train (so much fun), and scarpered round looking for the bus station for half an hour. By the time we went back to the airport, we were in a delirious state of tiredness, and so excited to go to Cambodia.