Hey guys and welcome to another article !
This time I am going to talk about my weekend at Kuala Lumpur, why I went there, what I did there, the things I will remember, what I liked and didn’t like etc. I’m going to share with you all my experience and all my thought about this city.
First things first I decided to go to Kuala Lumpur because I had to go out of Bali for my visa again and this time was the last time I needed to go out of Bali. My two-months visa expired the 9th of May so I had to plan one last weekend outside of Bali because after this weekend I could stay here until I return to France (so in one month basically) and get the one-month free visa for tourist. I don’t know if I explain it the right way but the Balinese visa politic is a little bit complicated. Anyway, this time I decided to go to Kuala Lumpur for the weekend and come back with the tourist visa again.
The first question you might ask is why you chose to go there?
Well, the answer is that there are many different reasons.
First, I wanted to see something different than Bali and urbanized (basically I wanted to go in a big city) because I really miss the big cities and walking everywhere without a real purpose (I can sound weird but it’s the truth). And since I loved Singapore I was think why not going to a big city again?
Then, I heard a lot about Kuala Lumpur: first on the plane to go to Bali (Thai Airways) I saw ads for Kuala Lumpur and I read a description about this city that I found interesting and then one volunteer went there for her visa too and said it was not bad to go there and cheap to stay. Also, since I had no idea where to go for my visa and I didn’t want to go too far away or in a countryside like Bali I decided to take the easy option and just go there because some people already talked about it.
I didn’t know a lot of things about this city and I didn’t really searched on the net. I just knew that I was a big city, urbanized, cheap, with good food and that Malaysia is a Muslim country. So beside that I didn’t know a lot about KL.
For sure I knew there were some things to visit but I didn’t inform myself more than that.
So I booked my flight to go there and I planned to stay 5 days so I could take my time to visit the city. Actually my flight was more expensive than the one to Singapore but the hotel was way cheaper.
I was there the 10th of May until the 14th. Since I booked my flight before getting my passport from the emigration for my two months visa I tough the two-months visa was until the 10th of May but I was until the 9th. So, we had to pay 17€ of taxes at the airport on our way to Kuala Lumpur.
We arrived at night around 10 pm and as soon as we arrived we wanted to withdraw money at the airport but every ATM had fees so we though getting cash later when we arrived at the hotel. Then we wanted to take to subway but it was already closed (this was our first problem) and we didn’t know that. So we took a taxi and we thought about getting cash to pay him on the way but after 20 minutes of driving when we asked it he said that all the ATM were already closed so we were very surprised because I never saw that before of heard about a ATM that closes at 10 pm. The taxi driver was very nice and kindly offer the course.
When we arrived, the hotel was not as we expected but since it was very cheap and that we only came back there to sleep it was quite ok.
The next day (Friday 11th) we went to visit the city and its neighborhood. Our hotel was located near China Town and the Central Market. We visited what we though was Little India, so we weren’t that impressed (but after we found out it was not Little India) and we visited the area with the bird park and the butterfly park. We didn’t go to the bird park because it was expensive but we went to the butterfly park, it was interesting. In the night we ate dinner at the famous street food area near Burkit Bintang (the shopping center).
We came back with a free bus so that was nice.
On Saturday we went to the Batu Caves. It’s basically a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples. The temples are Hindu/Buddhist temples and they are very famous because there is a bit golden Buddha in front of them and one of a cave tells the story of Rama, a king in the Hindu history.
After visiting the Batu caves we went for shopping in the Bukit Bintang shopping center. We ate dinner there and after that we came back at the hotel.
On Sunday we woke up early because we wanted to visit the Petronas twin tours but so weather was so bad (rainy) that we decided to take the tourist bus that goes around the city so we can stop whenever we want and wherever we want.
This day we went to the National Museum. I was very disappointed by this museum because there was nothing interesting about the history of KL or the history of the Malaysian Culture. There were only 3 exhibitions and not that interesting. Then we stopped at the Art Gallery that was very empty but I thought it was more worth it than the National Museum.
Then we ate lunch near the Twins Tower and we stopped at the Central Market (that also disappointed me by the way). I was expecting some traditional food and handmade art but it was only some things for tourist like souvenirs.
After that we visited the real Little India and we ate there. It was very good and cheap and we liked the neighborhood also.
Then we came back home because we were very tired.
On Monday our flight was at 7:30 pm so we woke up early and we went to take pictures in front of the Petronas twin tours and this time the weather was good so it was nice. Then we ate late lunch at ChinaTown and we packed and took a taxi to the airport.
We were supposed to board at 7:05 and the departure was at 7:30 so we were waiting at the gate since maybe 6:30 but at 7pm there was still no plane outside so we waited longer. At 7:20 I stand up so see what was happening but there was no staff at all and on the screen it didn’t say that our plane was late or something so everyone though that it was weird and stand up also. Even the security guy went to call the staff from our company (AirAsia) because there was no one at the office.
Around 7:40 the plane finally came and the staff also but we waited until the people from the flight before went out so we finally boarded around 8pm. Since the plane was late we missed his authorization to fly so we waited one hour more for its authorization.
Finally we landed with almost 2 hours late at Bali so we arrived late in the night at Slukat.
My final thoughts about Kuala Lumpur :
In hindsight I think this trip was nice but not as good as I expected for a lot of reasons.
The main reason is the mindset of the local people there. We didn’t feel welcomed and appreciate. Maybe because it’s an old/traditional and Muslim mindset so when they see western people (especially women) in short, mini skirt or mini top they don’t like. We felt “dirty” by the way the locals looked at us or avoid us. We experienced mean looks from the people in the street or akward ones and cat calling. Most of the people weren’t that friendly at all (if you compare it to Bali or Singapore).
Then, all the ATM from the banks with “Islamic” at the end like May Bank Islamic or CIMB Islamic took fees when we wanted to withdraw money so it was very hard to find some “normal banks” that didn’t take fees. But we found some.
The things that almost everything close at 10 pm was very annoying and the city in general isn’t that interesting if you compare it to other big cities. We were a lot disappointed by things we though could be interesting to visit or see.
But there are few things that I liked. For example, the rich variety of food that you can find, the fact that there is some bus lines that are free and that the living life is quite cheap.
At the end I think I will never go back because I didn’t find this city that interesting and if you are in Bali and you have to go somewhere for you visa you better go in Singapore or in another city but not in Kuala Lumpur (especially if you are a woman).