We spent our first night in the bustling cosmopolitan metropolis of Kuala Lumpur in a hostel that was down a side road, round the back of a shop and that charged for toilet paper. We'd probably have been better off sleeping rough. Anyway, the next morning we left in a hurry with our lives on our backs and tried to find the hotel which was to be our home for the next three nights. Through clever employment of my superior map-reading skills I worked out that it wouldn't take us long to walk there, however I failed to factor in the 35 degree heat, lack of pavement to walk on and also every cab driver's endearing habit of turning down any fare that wouldn't buy them a new house (30 ringgit or thereabouts). My directions were, as always, impeccable and we did eventually make it to the hotel an hour and a half later. It has been said that the best way to experience a place, to really get a feel for what it's all about, is to explore it on foot. Well, in Kuala Lumpur that's a little difficult, as the roads just weren't built with pedestrians in mind. It's probably not even an exaggeration to say it's even less organised that Bangkok, as it takes ages to cross any road, the lights never change and there is NO SUCH THING as a green man. If where you need to be is exactly opposite you, on the other side of the road, it might as well be on the moon, because you aren't going to get there any time soon. Enough moaning now.
We spent most of our time in KL around the Petronnas Towers, although we didn't make it to the skybridge as we didn't see the point in queuing at 7am for tickets to get a better view of a place we already knew was ugly. The buildings themselves are amazing though, and images of them can be found all over the city. I found it quite funny that, considering they've become the most recognised symbol of Malaysia, one tower was built by a Korean company and the other by a Japanese company. Then again, all our nice new buildings are probably built by them too, but that's not the point. We wandered around the shopping centre underneath the towers and went to the cinema again (Wall-E is a top, top film for all the family to enjoy). Aside from the towers, we spent a day wandering what I guess you'd call the colonial quarter, where all the old buildings are. The city was preparing for Malaysian independence day, so little national flags were stuck to everything that stuck out of the ground and it seemed like every building had a massive flag stuck to the side. A bit over the top, really. We also ventured out of the city slightly and went to the Batu caves, which actually turned out to be one massive cave with 300 steps leading up to it. It was a good day out for photos as there were loads of wild monkeys running around all over the place, and Jacqui insisted of collecting photographic evidence of each and every one of them.
One standout feature of Kuala Lumpur was the rain... again. On one day especially it was so bad that we were stuck in our grot hole of a hotel watching Evan Almighty until it stopped enough for us to wander along gazing longingly at all the restaurants we couldn't afford to eat at. The hotel actually wasn't that bad, although we did notice a side entrance that was constantly being used by certain types of... lady... to access the building after hours. After seeing that I had to wash my hands three times after pressing the button in the lift. Oh yeah, another great feature of our hotel was that it was located opposite an abandoned prison. We were right in the middle of KL and it's equivalent of Oxford St was 5 minutes down the road, but no one had thought to maybe pull down the old deserted prison on that slice of prime real estate in central KL. I was glad when we left, which for once we did in a bit of style by booking onto a "SUPER VIP" coach to Singapore. We both expected to have been ripped off again, and for an old Lada with a tool shed nailed to the back to pull up at the bus station, but we somehow managed to get a massive bus with seats that looked like they'd been nicked from the first class section on plane. The things had tv's and reclined almost horizontally, which was nice upgrade from what we've become used to. By the time we reached Singapore we were the only ones on the coach and the driver had clearly decided it wasn't worth his time anymore as was nice and unhelpful with everything. Anyway, we made it to the airport easily enough and now we're off to Australia, and it's going to be so nice to be back in a country where they speak something resembling English!