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Vol II: The Mis-Adventure Continues
Funny stories, witty encounters and serious reflections from Malaysia as experienced by a vegetarian struggling to understand the world.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Visiting Malaysia

I have two special guests coming to my wedding. I met her back in Birmingham during my Uni days. She and her husband will be attending my wedding. However, being from Sri Lanka (and recently based in Singapore), I doubt if they know much about Malaysia. I am not sure about her husband, but I believe she's only been to Malaysia once before, and it was like 4-5 years ago.
Anyway, this post is dedicated to them and hopefully it will prove useful for them.

Depending on how many days you will be in Malaysia, there are quite a number of destinations you should not miss out. But in summary:

If you are on a 1-2 days visit:
Explore Kuala Lumpur (KL).

If you are on a 3-4 days visit:
Explore Kuala Lumpur and take a short trip out of KL... Like overnight in Genting (Nushkie... You've been to this place during your last trip).

If you are on a 5+ days visit:
Spend 2 days in KL and a few other days in places like Genting, Penang, Cherating or even Sabah.

For this post, I will focus on 1-2 days visit and what you can do in KL.

Where to stay? If budget is not an issue, I strongly recommend Hilton KL in KL Sentral (you can get your husband to check if his company has a corporate rate with Hilton - it might be even cheaper). KL Sentral is the transportation hub and from here, you can basically go to anywhere. Plus, if you are flying in, the KLIA Express takes you directly from the airport to KL Sentral.

I've been told each room comes with a 42" plasma TV. There's also a smaller LCD TV on the bathroom mirror.

What you see when you look out from Hilton KL

Otherwise, there are many other hotels around such as PJ Hilton, Eastin, Crystal Crown, etc... Which have rates of less than rm250 per night -- USD1 is approx RM3.6.

Food. There is so much of it ranging from the spicy to the sweet and sour. Being multi-cultural, you can find almost any kind of food in Malaysia. No kidding! Do not miss out on trying the Nasi Lemak, Hokkien Fried Noodles, Hainanese Chicken Rise, Roti Canai and their variations (Roti Bom, Roti Tissue, etc), Banana Leave Rice, Hokkien Prawn Noodle, etc...

Some might ask why a vegetarian is suggesting non-vegetarian food -- Well, #1 - I don't impose my views on others. #2 - These are the dishes that we're famous for... Plus she'll already get to try out vegetarian food during my wedding dinner. toniXe has got a blogsite with some yummy photos you can check out.

Places. To be honest, there are not really that many scenic places to visit in KL. But we do have some nice shopping places such as the KLCC, Sunway Pyramid, 1Utama and ChinaTown.

Petronas Twin Towers

For KLCC, you can actually end up spending one full day there since within the KLCC, you can find Aquaria and Petrosains (science centre). There is also a cinema in KLCC. Outside, you can find the KLCC park. You can reach KLCC by taking the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and get off at... KLCC station! :)

For Sunway Pyramid, there is also a hotel there (Sunway Hotel) together with a water theme park - Sunway Lagoon. Within Sunway Pyramid, you have a cinema, bowling alley and an ice-skating rink. However what is unique about this place is the Egyptian theme used for the place. Yes, we can proudly say we have a pyramid (and a sphinx) here in Malaysia. There are buses to Sunway Pyramid and you can take some of these from the Kelana Jaya LRT station.

Transportation. This is one major problem in Malaysia. Buses are hot, poorly maintained and never arrive on time. Although there was a major revamp of the bus system just about 2-4 months ago, I've not heard anything that great. Many use the LRT to travel around these days. But don't expect to find day passes or visitor passes. There are none yet (I know countries like Hong Kong, etc have this in place already). As for the taxis, I can recommend you a nice guy if you need to travel around. Otherwise, you may end up having to bargain with the driver. Although they are supposed to use the taxi meter, many don't. Yes, they do this to even the locals. You can try to complain, but it won't really help much. Still, unless you're taking the taxi from airport to KL, otherwise you should not pay more than rm50 for any trip!

That's all for now... If anyone wishes to add, please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions in the comments section.

I'll write more stuffs and post more photos over the next few days... But in the meantime, you can also check out http://www.cuti.com.my/. Cuti means 'holiday' in Bahasa Malaysia.

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