Kuala Lumpur, most commonly referred to as KL, is one of my homes away from home. I stepped off the bus at Puduraya station and headed towards Petaling Raya, a sort of backpacker’s haven, similar to Kao San Road in Bangkok. Street meat, massages, cheap knockoff clothing and bootleg music, ah yes, I’m back again. I spent a lot of time in KL four years ago and for good reason; it is my kind of place. It is multicultural with Indian, Chinese, Malay and a lot of foreigners. There are definitely more tourists here than there were when I first came four years ago. I remember a big campaign trying to put Malaysia on the tourist map with “Visit Malaysia 2007.” It looks like it worked because the usual backpacker crowd is mixed in with the obvious tour packagers with a lot of older western tourists. Everyone seems to converge on Petaling Jaya and China Town.
I spent my first night in the same hostel I was in last time but quickly realized there was either new management or the old management just isn’t trying anymore. There is free WiFi everywhere but that wasn’t enough to overcome the lack of upkeep at Hostel Red Dragon. This morning when I woke up I took to the streets to find better accommodation. I was successful and I have a nice air conditioned room right down the street for only 10 ringgit more (about $3.25). Which came in handy because I wasn’t feeling well today and rested for much of the afternoon. The hostel is in a colonial style Malaysian building with a nice little roof top lounge area where I sit now.
Like Singapore, I had unfinished business in Kuala Lumpur when I left the last time. I took a ton of photos of the Petronas Towers, which at one time were the tallest buildings in the world and currently hold the title of tallest twin towers in the world. The problem was, with all the photos I took I didn’t get any night shots so I promised myself I would make my way down to the towers and take some night shots.
I’m not really sure how long I will be staying in KL. I think I’ve scratched the idea of going to Myanmar since it is more headache than it is worth. Getting a visa is probably the easy part. Dealing with the logistics of travel is just a pain and there are a lot of people who boycott travel to Myanmar since all the money spent in the country generally gets filtered into the hands of an oppressive regime.
Instead I will probably visit some of the sights in the Malay Peninsula that I missed the first time and then take a ferry across the Strait of Malacca (another pirate infested passage) to Sumatra, Indonesia. I’ve done a little research on the island and could see myself jungle trekking and seeing orangutans within a couple of weeks. Of course, anything can change as seems to be the theme with this trip so far.
If you want to see photos of my trip, join Joey Goes Global on Facebook by clicking on “like” at the top left of the page.
If you’re reading this at work and Facebook is blocked, just wait till you get home! 🙂