Kuala Lumpur

June 17 - 20, 2001

 Our Travel Experience

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Tourist Info


Our Travel Experience

When we decided to continue our travels by visiting Singapore, Tara said that if we visited Singapore, she also wanted to come to KL for a long weekend. Things worked out perfectely because the cheapest one way ticket from Auckland to Singapore was on Malaysian Airlines via KL.

We had some problems getting onto the flight in Auckland.
#1 - We left the hotel later than Tara would have liked and then the aiport bus didn't show up as scheduled at 11:40am
#2 - At the check in counter, we were heavily questioned about if we had enough funds since our ticket was one-way
#3 - The immigration line was extremely long so the airline ended up personally paging us five minutes before departure

Even with the rush getting to our flight, we soon settled into the four middle seats allocated to us in row 57. Good thing we'd asked to be allocated a row of four middle seats at check in since some smart person had already claimed all four seats for himself.

We believe that the Malaysian Airline plane we were sitting on was the first during our World Tour to offer us our own personal video screen that we could control. We both took advantage of the entertainment options during our daytime 11 hour flight. Tara watched four movies and Seth watched two movies followed by hours of video game playing. The Malaysian Airlines staff were also extremely attentive during the whole flight. Even before takeoff, someone offered to remove the plastic bag Tara had ripped off her headphones. Following this first surprise rubbish removal, approximately 15 other rubbish removal offers followed. Drinks were also not hard to come by! A flight attendant was walking up and down the isle almost constantly offering us drinks. Overall, a very pleasant flight experience.

Tara had only two tourist goals during our stopover in KL: the Petronas Twin Towers and the Batu Caves. Well, and maybe to see the world's tallest flagpole! Therefore, with three nights we were not pressed for time.

We spent our first night in an airport hotel since our plane landed after 8pm. Check-out time was 12 noon and guess what time we left the airport hotel? You guessed it - 12 noon. Seth actually commented that Tara should start finding hotels with 8am check-out times so that we'll get moving. We always seem to take as much time as we are given and stay until we are forced out.

When we returned to the airport, we picked a downtown hotel and attempted to ask Malaysian Airlines if there would be any problems flying to Singapore on our one-way tickets. No one seemed to understand that there might be a problem, so we decided to just get to the airport early on Wednesday.

Our downtown hotel pick was a winner! A man from the Rennaissance Hotel counter approached us and talked us into his hotel for 240 a night. Our target budget was 250 per night and after a rather dim, older, centipede-crawling airport hotel for 140, we did not have high expectations. (The airport hotel was really fine - just not deluxe in any way shape or form - and we never did see a centipede from the hallway in our room.)

The brochure for the Rennaissance Hotel looked pretty posh. But, brochures photos can lie and we did not have high hopes for a semi-brandish-name that we'd never stayed at before. Imagine our surprise when we walked into a marble-encrusted, suit-filled, high-ceilinged, natural-wood lobby! Our room even lived up to the expectations set by the lobby.

We spent the whole day on the hotel property: Since we had a view out our window of the Petronas Twin Towers, Tara was perfectly content to just stare out the window and take some photos. The towers were so shiny in the daylight and they really dominated the skyline. Especially after seeing the pool, with it's find city view, she had no strong urges to run off and sightsee immediately. Therefore, we enjoyed an Asian lunch buffet, explored the 24 hour workout room, connected to the internet, wrote postcards and read books at the pool, went for a dip, connected to the internet again, took a bath, ordered room service, read some more and connected to the internet some more. Even though we had originally planned to se the nighttime view from the KL Tower, we cancelled our plans at 9pm and decided just to enjoy the luxury. We even toyed with the idea of cancelling our tentative plans to visit China and instead stay at a deluxe Malaysian Coastal Resort since our money really goes a long way!
More memories to write into full sentences later since we'd rather be traveling now:

- Seth staying up until 2:30 playing Sanctum ..... he just had to win one!
- early start to the Twin Towers
- 12:15 entry time, what to do with 2 hours? Tara "OUTSIDE!", Seth "inside in the air conditioned mall"
- going back home for Seth to change, the small hawkers market on a back street
- finding the grocery and a good photo spot by the whale
- reading about why the Petronas Towers are considered taller than the Sears Tower
- the islam influences on the architecture
- the group from the elevator being allowed to wander on the 44th floor skybridge
- the neat mall roof & garden design
- settling in on the railing and talking
- going back into the mall
- taking the subway to the central market area (rubber wood shop) / looking for Citibank
- smells of Asia (brown river, food stalls under subway, sewer smells near neat mosque)
- finding out Citibank had moved. Walking to new Citibank & getting balance print out
- watermelon pick up + rhambutan's (no longer a bouquet though)
- relaxing by the pool and writing postcards - haven't done postcards in LONGEST time
- areas around pool - undone Hyatt building / shanty town behind hotel & Pakistani embassy (probably with electric)
- talking to Melbourne women who were here and HK shopping, cheaper to vacation out of Australia
- rushing to get to the sunrise at KL tower since cut through pass was closed.
- Tara being SO GLAD she hadn't decided to go to KL tower as it was all uphill.
- Walking onto the observation deck JUST as the red ball of sun began to set
- Seeing both a late day view and a night view
- Being so, so, so, tired and exhausted and sore from walking all over a new city
- Tara "the only way to feel after a day in a new city!". Seth "ugh"
- really nice feel to the city at night
- talking about traveling to China
- Eating at TGI Fridays since it was on the way home. No KFC in the mail KFC building with the Colonel's face
- Seth's west wing was on

- also, interesting spelling: motosikl, teksi
 - and many 1/2 done things (monorail, buildings, sidewalks)
- heavy pollution

Luxury Splurges
Spending a whole day at the hotel - eating the lunch buffet and evening room service
Collecting a whole set of Malaysian currency to take home

Backpacker Savings
Staying in a 5* Resort - SERIOUSLY! - For 60USD a night, it was packpacker priced!

Category Rating Comments
Overall Experience -
Ease of Journey 8 It was almost a pleasure to spent 11 hours on a Malaysian Airlines flight! Footrests, personal video screens showin 8 different movies continually, video games, hot towels, constant offerings of water, juice and beer. 
Accommodation  - 
Concorde Inn Kuala Lumpur International Airport 
New World Rennaissance
Activities -
Coolness -  
Tourist Info

MYR/GBP = 5.00

Taxi to downtown: 66.70 MYR pre-paid at an airport counter.

Concorde Inn KLIA: 136.50 Malaysian Ringitt for two people including airport transfers and breakfast buffet
New World Rennaissance: 224.40 Malaysian Ringitt for two people in a room with a view of the twin towers, breakfast buffet, swimming pool, workout room, room service, cheap internet service, nice tub. Overall good, 5* hotel for CHEAP!

Malaysia Airlines
MH 136 from Auckland 13:40 to Kuala Lumpur 20:40. Seats 57D&E
MH 617 from Kuala Lumpur 18:10 to Singapore 19:05. Seats 19H&K
NZD 1790 for 2 people (one way from Auckland to Singapore)