Tuesday 8 March 2016

My Kuala Lumpur Experience

Welcome readers, 

I have finally found some time to document some of my December travel experiences. This year has started off with a bang and I have had to re-prioritise so many things.
Reminiscing on my first foray into Asia has been put on back burner until now, when I’m feeling the need to recharge the batteries again.

A bit of British Colonial architecture … the old railway station
 We flew out of Cape Town on a beautiful Sunday morning via Dubai, which was not my first choice because I hate connecting flights, but it was the best price at the time. After about 20 hours of travelling, we finally glimpsed the smoggy skyline of Kuala Lumpur. As we stepped out of the airport we were confronted by the extreme heat and humidity, which hit us like a brick wall. It’s definitely not something a Capetonian is prepared for!
We stayed at The Intercontinental hotel which is situated in the heart of this bustling metropolis, within walking distance from The Petronas Twin Towers, and immersed in the retail cluster (Bukit Bintang District). So it is ideally placed for a shopping getaway. Their service standards are impeccable and the hotel concierge was happy to assist with booking taxis, arranging tour guides, tailor made day tours and confirming travel arrangements. 

During December, the weather is unpredictable and thunderstorms can be expected most afternoons and evenings, so we chose to travel back and forth by taxi most days. We hired a tour guide for half days and managed to tailor our tours to only include places we were keen on seeing. The rest of our time was spent shopping and relaxing.
Shopping selfie in front of the Swarovski tree in Pavilion mall
I was really in awe of the peaceful co-existence of cultures and the great respect shown to all religions. Since it is an Islamic country, most of the food is halaal, and becasue there is also a very big Chinese and Hindu community these traditional foods are also easily found.

The shopping was the highlight of my visit, especially after prior travels to cities in Europe, the UK and Middle East, it was refreshing to see actual SALES before Christmas- where I could shop with the Rand. Designer stores, high end chain stores and branded stores all displayed bright red sale signs and in some cases one could pick up bargains with  as much as 70% discount. Now that is a REAL sale. I always buy pieces abroad which I cannot purchase in SA, snd there’s no better way to do it than with amazing discounts :-D

Since we were two ladies on our own buzz, we could shop, grab a bite, resume shopping and relax without the plaguing guilt that things needed to be done at home or work. Whilst I missed my family terribly, I was able to appreciate the opportunity to enjoy some much needed girl time without all the constant demands of homemaker, wife and mom. I had daily FaceTime sessions and phone calls with my loved ones, so I was virtually present, but the time difference ensured that there were times of the day where I could just enjoy the sights, shop and de-stress.

The majestic lobby of The Intercontinental Hotel

Suria Mall has levels and levels of affordable shopping 
Dancing fountains reminscient of Dubai Mall fountains
Apparently drinking lukewarm water is a thing

The breathtaking Kuala Lumpur Skyline
At the waterfall… Templar park
Batu Caves, with the 420m high Lord Murugan statue 
After climbing the 272 steps to the top of the Batu Caves, one encounters some 
more steps!
Visiting the National Mosque
The tranquility of the National monument
View from the National monument
Halaal TGIF burger
Istana Negara- The National Palace

View of the fountain from the Petronas Towers observation deck
It’s possible to see Kuala Lumpur on a budget, even with the erratic exchange rate. There are so many sights which do not charge entry fees, hotels which offer shuttles to and from shopping malls and great food options for less than one would pay in South Africa. I discovered so many bargains and really found Malaysia to be more cost effective than United Arab Emirates, so it is a definite on my ‘must do again’ list!

Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo

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