From Penang, we hopped on a bus towards Kuala Lumpur. In SE Asia, you don’t book your bus online or at the station like we do in the States—there are travel centers everywhere and you can usually book through your hotel or guesthouse too. The result is you never really know what kind of bus you are going to get. Will it be big and roomy? Clean or dirty? Bathroom? We lucked out and got an amazingly comfortable bus to KL. Best of all, the interior was amazing: red upholstered seats covered in multi-colored stars, with matching blue upholstery on the ceiling. The bus also had draped curtains with tassel fringe. Classy.
The one downside to our us trip was that the bus never stopped for food. So we spent 6 hours on a bus with nothing to eat but sugar crackers. If you are reading this blog, you probably know me and Jeremy. And if you know me and Jeremy, that means you know that we don’t do so well without food. We were starving by the time we found a guest house and dropped off our bags. Luckily the Penang is not the only place with great Malaysian food!
We were only in KL for two nights en route to Cambodia. Our original plan was to fly over to Malaysian Borneo from KL in order to dive Sipadan. However, we found out that the visibility in this dive area vastly improves as you near April, and we didn’t want to spend a bunch of money and have another Great Barrier Reef experience (where we had a lot of fun but the diving was perhaps not as good as it might be during another part of the year). So, we will return to Malaysia at the very end of our SE Asia trip. Since we fly through KL to get to Sipadan, we will spend another night or two here and get to know the city better.
During our short stay, we did get over to KL’s biggest landmark and tourist attraction: the Petronas Towers. They were the tallest buildings in the world for a while, until a building in Taipei knocked them off their throne. Apparently they blend modernism with traditional Islamic imagery…we don’t really know much about Muslim iconography, but we do know that these buildings are really beautiful, especially at night.
There is a giant upscale mall underneath the towers, and Jeremy bought a new pair of flip flops there. We walk a LOT and the only shoes we’ve worn in SE Asia are our Rainbow flip flops (it’s too hot to wear real shoes). You can buy cheap flip flops in the street markets, but we figured it might be worth it to splurge on a real pair since J will be wearing them pretty much every day for a year. He found a pair of Reef flippies that fit his feet really well and wore them out of the shop. All the way back to the hotel, he was raving about how much better they were than his Rainbows, how crazy he was to be wearing the Rainbows for so long, how insanely awesome his Reefs were. He really likes his new flip flops! I never knew what a huge difference a pair of sandals could make! I think Jeremy will always have a special spot in his heart for KL…as the place where he discovered the Reef.