For those who read my blog post from my trip to Singapore and Malaysia about this time last year, you’ll probably remember me saying something along the lines of “Kuala Lumpur is not a place I would ever want to return to”. Well guess where I have just arrived?
Hahaha, yes I’m in Kuala Lumpur! You know, I just don’t like it when I get a bad first impression of a place. I feel like I didn’t give it a good enough chance. Anyway, some friends moved to Kuala Lumpur last year and it got me thinking that I really should give the place another go. Who knows – maybe this time around, and with a local’s perspective, I might think differently.
I’ve just arrived this evening on an afternoon flight from Perth via Malaysia Airlines, so there won’t be much action tonight. But while I settle in with a night-cap of Baileys, let me tell you about things so far.
The flight with Malaysia Airlines was good, but uneventful. The movies were all pretty crap and I couldn’t get into any of them. Dinner was really nice, so apart from getting into my new book, I slept most of the way. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (or KLIA to the locals) is massive. You arrive at a satellite terminal, walk a little way, then board an aerotaxi to the main terminal, where you go through immigration and pick up your luggage. It’s a million times bigger, better and more efficient than PIA (hahaha, Perth Airport).
I stepped out into the arrival hall to look for my transfer and I instantly hear him calling my name – Shelley! Shelley Keller! A little too familiar if you ask me, but what the heck, at least he found me easily and I didn’t have to wait around trying to find him. We step out into the airport pickup zone – it’s a lovely 29 degrees! And this is just after 10pm at night.
The guide locates my vehicle for the transfer to Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and would you believe – even though I had booked a shared transfer, which usually consists of a shitty little shuttle bus that is a bit past it’s used by date – there sits in the middle of the road – a classic black Mercedes benz. All. To. Myself. Scored!
Now, I was sorry that I had missed the Grand Prix in KL last month, but I needn’t have worried, because it’s not long before we are screaming along KL’s highways. Just as I’m wondering what the speed limit is, I look up to my left and see a speed sign, stating 90km/hr. I glance over at the speedo – hmmmm, touching on 140km/hr. Not to say that I don’t feel safe, he’s actually quite a good driver for an old bloke, but it’s just that the speed doesn’t really drop that much even when he’s going around the corners of the highway off ramps!
Although it’s dark, I can see bits and pieces out the window, and I think I see the bridge in Putrajaya – a place I’m hoping to check out while I’m here. Soon in the distance, I can see the Petronas Towers too – glittering away against the skyline. The trip from the airport is supposed to take around 45 minutes, but as we have gunned it here, it seems much more like 20. Nonetheless, I make it to my hotel safely – as well as in style.
I have booked a room at the Shangri-La Traders Hotel in KLCC. It’s right near the Petronas Towers, the beautiful lush KLCC Park and Suria KLCC – a massive shopping centre which I’m hoping to spend a lot of time in over the next few days. I booked a garden view room, but obviously it’s pitch black outside so I can’t see the garden tonight – but I can see the two massive towers from my window and they look spectacular sparkling in the night.
The room is gorgeous. Aside from the huge window and magnificent view of the towers, I have a massive king size bed to myself. The bathroom is stunning and comes complete with a welcome lollipop. AND there’s FREE wifi EVERYWHERE in the hotel!
So after unwinding and checking out all the features of my room, I should probably get off to bed now so that I’ll be in the best possible state of mind tomorrow to take on KL for the second time, but I have to say I am already starting to feel better about it…