Kuala Lumpur (October 26 - October 31, 2001 )


Johor Bahru
Kota Kinabalu
Lahad Datu/ Danum
Sandakan/ Sepilok
Gomantong/ Sukau
Selingan & Liberan Is.
Mt Kinabalu
Kuala Lumpur

New Zealand

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at the Pudaraya bus station at about 9:30PM after a long day of traveling from Kota Kinabalu. 

Heather lost another tooth on the journey. That's two each for Chloe and Heather since we left Canada. The tooth fairy is having trouble keeping up with us.

Sarah had phoned from Kota Kinabalu and booked a room at the Nova Hotel on Jalan Alor, so we had a place to go to immediately. 

After a good nights sleep, we went walking and shopping on Jalan Petaling in Chinatown. This is similar to Mong Kok in Hong Kong, and has the usual assortment of bootleg watches and clothes. We bought a watch for Chloe. Sarah and I looked at binoculars and telephoto lens for the video camera in the BB Mall, but decided that Singapore might be cheaper.

We visited the very upscale Suria KLCC mall - if you've seen exclusive stores with a list of locations on the window ("Paris, London, New York, Kuala Lumpur..."), this is the mall where the Kuala Lumpur location is. There were lots of window shoppers but not many buyers. Kuala Lumpur is still recovering from a late nineties recession - partly finished buildings and partly finished skytrains are still very much in evidence.  

We tried a Durian near our hotel. This is a fruit which, when opened, has a consistency of slightly wet dough and a smell that is indescribably bad. Like Stilton or other smelly cheeses, people either love them or hate them. It tastes vaguely like onions - and smells awful. Many hotels and subways place ban on durians just to keep the smell out. Heather and I thought they were OK, while the rest did not like it. 

Supper was a multicultural mixed metaphor - a Teppanyaki Grill with an Indian cook in a Kuala Lumpur shopping mall.

On the second day, we visited the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.  Mark's class in Canada had visited the TSE, so we're trying to keep up. We then walked to the Central Market and bought some sarungs and T-shirts. 

For the second time in two days, we got caught in heavy rain and a terrific thunderstorm  in the afternoon - the wet season must be arriving. They really have amazing thunderstorms here. A number of streets were flooded and we saw some firemen in life jackets. 

We had dinner at local hawker stalls. It was an interesting arrangement - we sat and ordered from one person but ended up with three bills - one for meat (satay chicken, beef and lamb), one for drinks and one for vegetables and rice. It was very inexpensive and good. After supper, we watched a DVD that the kids had bought for $2 in one of the shopping malls. "Princess Diaries", which is not out in DVD yet, had obviously been recorded by someone in a theatre complete with audience laughter.

Petronas Towers

Heather making Pewter bowl

On the third day, we went up the Petronas towers. These attractive stainless steel buildings are among the top three tallest in the world. A unique feature is the bridge on the 41st and 42 floors that connect the two of them together. 

In the afternoon, we visited the Royal Selangor pewter factory. We had a short factory tour and then signed the kids up for the "School of Hard Knocks" where they made small pewter bowls by bashing a flat disc into a cup shaped wooden mould.

We had planned to go to Singapore on the overnight train, but discovered that all trains were cancelled due to a landslide somewhere between KL and Singapore. So on our fourth day, we bought bus tickets and took the 6 hour trip to Singapore.

We'll stay in Singapore for a few days (again - this is our second time there) and then head to New Zealand. On to Singapore for our second visit.