Kuala Lumpur – Finding Your Way

For more information on KL’s tourist attractions, times, costs etc please refer to the Dirty Details of Kuala Lumpur

Read here for a review of our hotel, Courtyard Boutique Hotel.

Petronas Towers by Matt Ringuette

Petronas Towers by Matt Ringuette

We were sure that every item packed was a necessity and our portable luggage scale assured us we were under the accepted baggage weight for our Turkish Airlines flight from Toronto to Kuala Lumpur via Istanbul. However, as we struggled from Kuala Lumpur’s Central Bus Station to the monorail taking us to the neighbourhood of Bukit Bintang we were ready to throw out just about anything from our packs. Sweat ran down the small of my back and Matt’s face grimaced in pain as we carried our combined 61kg of luggage and tech support, computers, cameras, tripod etc. Our pain exacerbated by 36 hours of travel, 35C heat and humidity and the delightful smells garbage seeping from the alleyways we passed. I knew we were close to the Courtyard Boutique Hotel and kept thinking, “the finish line is in sight” but my research about the hotel had told me there was a possibility that the worst was yet to come and yep, it did.

 

Courtyard Boutique Hotel

Courtyard Boutique Hotel

 

Jalan Alor, next to the Courtyard Boutique Hotel, is KL’s popular and well-known food street; its ambiance a combination of lights, noise and smells, both delicious and off-putting. Hanging lanterns crisscross from building to building, street hawkers summon patrons to sample everything from Turkish ice cream to fresh satay, delicious Chinese food, dim sum or steamboat – a type of popular Malaysian restaurant where one cooks vegetable, meat and seafood skewers on hot stones. Cars slowly navigate their way through the crowds walking in the street while trying to avoid distracted tourists who aren’t familiar with the chaos. It is definitely possible to get a very tasty meal on Jalan Alor, however, as our CouchSurfing host Zikri, told us later that weekend, you’re going to pay the price for it; venture away from Jalan Alor and the same item is likely to be half the cost.

I knew that once we arrived to Jalan Alor that we were minutes from a comfortable bed and air-conditioned decadence but we had succumbed to fatigue at the KL airport and had yet to purchase our SIM cards, which would have provided much needed GPS directions to the alleyway home of the Courtyard Boutique Hotel. What ensued was a very long and hot 45-minute period of walking in circles, or should I say, struggling in circles, confronting language barriers. Even though I had the name of a large hotel around the corner from ours we still had problems finding it. A few days later as GPS became our best tool for navigating KL I thought about our struggle to find our way to the hotel, and how it came to be that we even found our way here on this journey we’ve undertaken. How long it can sometimes take to find our way in life, in love, to happiness. How often fear gets in the way and what it finally takes in order to make that giant leap and find your way in the world. I’m not sure of the answers but I hope to answer some of them for myself as Matt and I video, photograph and tell our way through Southeast Asia; the hope that the impact of sharing our stories and interactions will bring more meaning to our lives and to others.

 

Traditional Malay House

Traditional Malay House

Our brief time in Kuala Lumpur did not answer any of these questions, nor was it its purpose. KL for us was a week to adjust – to our new life, jet lag, food and anything that might come up before we headed to some very isolated parts of Indonesia the following week. As luck would have it Matt caught a cold from the plane full of sickies on our Istanbul – KL flight; I, by the way, stand by my advice in taking an immunity booster such as Cold Fx prior to and during any flight.

 

Julie in National Mosque

Julie in National Mosque

Kuala Lumpur is a busy city, great for a few days and as the hub of Air Asia, the world’s most successful low-cost carrier, I believe it is best served as the launch point to many other Southeast Asia/Australian destinations. None of the attractions really stand out in my mind as being extraordinary and the one I was most looking forward to, Batu Caves, was less of a natural attraction/Hindu Temple and more of a tourist cash grab.

 

Batu Caves

Batu Caves

I should also note that while in Kuala Lumpur we chose to stay in the Reggae Mansion hostel, rated one of the top ten in the world. We were excited to stay at this renowned party hostel and to learn about Southeast Asia travels from other travellers, however, Matt felt the worst the day we were there so our experience differed from what we hoped. I recommend the Reggae Mansion; it’s a gorgeous place.

Reggae Mansion

Reggae Mansion

 

 

For more information on KL’s tourist attractions, times, costs etc please refer to the Dirty Details of Kuala Lumpur

Read here for a review of our hotel, Courtyard Boutique Hotel.

 

 

5 Responses to Kuala Lumpur – Finding Your Way

  1. Fantastic to receive this update about your travels in KL. Extraordinary photos too. Hope Matt is feeling better? Temps in Toronto hitting >33• this week were not far off. But we don’t have your view! Dianne

    dianne July 20, 2013 at 9:33 AM Reply
    • I heard it was hot in Toronto, wow! And just after the flood! Matt is doing well, we’re enjoying it here. Now, off to learn to surf for three weeks! 🙂

      Julie Munsch July 21, 2013 at 3:38 AM Reply
  2. Pingback: A “SMART” Car Tunnel that Diverts Flood Waters | TECH in AMERICA (TiA)

  3. Pingback: Courtyard Boutique Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - The Travelling Munschkin | The Travelling Munschkin

  4. Pingback: A Walking Trek of Kuala Lumpur | My Southeast Asia Travels

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