I've been in KL two days now. I won't bore you with all the details of the flight here, but these were the main features:
- Boarded the plane, then sat for three hours on the tarmac waiting for them to find the missing fuel the plane needed
- Following the safety video, there was a prayer to Allah for a safe journey displayed on all the screens, which was disconcerting. Not because I have a problem with Islam, but because the idea of praying for a plane to not fall out of the sky disconcerts me, particularly given Malaysian Airlines' problems in 2014.
- Lunch was served at about 3:30pm British time. At midnight British time, they turned on the lights and served a Malaysian style rice and curry breakfast. Very confusing.
- In KL airport I had to take a shuttle train from where I arrived to another part of the airport to go through immigration and collect my bag
- The queue for immigration was huge and painfully slow, considering when I eventually reached the front the man just said to me "camera" and "prints" and took a photo of my face and a scan of my fingerprints before issuing a visa.
KL is a loud and busy city. I like to walk around places to get my bearings and explore, but it's difficult here as there are holes in the pavements and huge dual carriageways which are almost impossible to get across.
It's monsoon season. Yesterday it only rained for about an hour but today it was more like four hours, much of it torrential. It's warm, around 30 degrees, but the rain is like the worst part of a thunderstorm but it just goes on and on. Today I noticed the previously blue sky had turned grey and thought, "it'll rain soon", and a minute later it poured.
Before the rain, I managed to visit the city forest reserve (Bukit Nanas) and the KL Tower (Menara). The rainforest was interesting, although a small area. There was a rope bridge through the canopy - I walked the first part but wasn't comfortable with the height of it beyond that. I wasn't intending to visit the KL Tower but found myself there. It was a highly commercialised sight, with a small petting zoo that even I thought didn't look appealing, a small aquarium and a range of shops and cafes. You could pay to go to the top of the tower, which of course I didn't. Then I walked in the vague direction of KLCC - the "city centre" where the Petronas Towers are. I wasn't really sure where I was going though and I ended up somewhere just over 1km from there when the rain set in, so as I was next to a monorail station I got the monorail back to somewhere near my hostel.
I went out again later when the rain was dying down and explored the shopping centres which I'd seen from the monorail. They were extremely busy. There were quite a lot of designer brands, as well as British high street brands like Debenhams, Mothercare, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, and the ubiquitous H&M and Zara. I found a Japanese department store, Isetan, which was part shop, part museum and art gallery, including technology like Honda's seated answer to the Segway, 3D printing, flower art, a food hall that grows its own vegetables under LED lights, clothing and books. It felt like a Japanese version of Harrods - especially the prices. It was a fascinating place to look round though. I just Googled it and apparently it was renovated and only reopened two days ago.
The photo is of the boardwalk through the canopy at the city forest.