We decided to get the train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur for a change from flying. Our first warning came from the Singapore taxi driver who took us to the train station. He apologised for the 'it will fall down soon' state of the train station and explained that it was owned by the Malaysian government and not the fault of Singapore. Anyway, the train was pretty grim, even with our first class tickets. The journey was scheduled to take less than 7 hours but in reality took over 10. It was a relief to finally make it to KL and meet Adrian's sister, Lynde.
We stayed at Adrian's lovely apartment in Puchong, a suburb on the south side of KL. It soon became apparent how spread out KL is and how difficult it is to get around if you don't have a car or live next to a train station. KL must have the world's worst taxis. Not only do they refuse to use the meter and keep trying to overcharge but they refuse to even go to many destinations, especially Puchong. Thankfully we managed to meet on old taxi driver called Yap who was an angel in a world of taxi hell - he even used the meter.
We enjoyed central KL, once we figured out how to get to it, with pockets of Commonwealth architecture and big air-conditioned malls. Sadly, we found the people to be mostly miserable and unwelcoming to tourists. The 'doctor fish' were much friendlier and treat you to an exciting 'fish spa' where they nibble the dead skin off your feet - really tickles! Chris took us to watch the A1 Grand Prix which was a great spectacle even if the British driver did lose his nose within minutes of the start.
We went to Penang, an island off the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, for 4 days. We stayed at the Evergreen Laurel - a wonderful 5 star hotel for under 50 pounds a night. Penang doesn't have Langkawi's beautiful beaches but we loved the historical sites, temples, tropical fruit, monkeys, cheap prices and eager taxi drivers. Even the luxury coach to and from Penang was superb.
After Penang, we were back in KL again for a weekend before flying to Siem Reap, Cambodia, for 5 days. We flew back from Siem Reap to KL and had a final banquet with Chris, Ken and Jas at the Marriot. The following day we said goodbye to Lynde and flew to Phuket.