Our next stop was KL. We were expecting the KL stop to be at a major station, so when it pulled over at the side of the road we though it was an additional stop. All the announcements were in Malaysian, so we didn't know where we were and ummed and ahhed about whether we should check. Luckily Ev did, otherwise we'd have ended up....
Our panicked departure meant we weren't that prepared and it felt very strange being dropped off on the side of the road, in a bustling city, no one speaking English or able to tell us the way to the Tourist Information office. Luckily we saw some white people with blonde hair, who turned out to be a very helpful Swedish couple (turned out they were "close" cousins, complete with hairy legs and pits) and they took us to their first hostel. It was really dodgy and a typical scummy backpackers place with practically no windows, air con and bed bugs thrown in for free, all for the bargain price of RM45. So, we went to the Backpackers Inn and got a room for RM35 with a balcony. It was still not great, being very hot and the fan only worked between 5pm-9am, but for £5/night we cant complain too much.
To get out of the sauna, we headed to Nandos for lunch for RM43! and then headed along the main road to Times Square. This mall was huge - it even has a theme park with roller coaster inside!
We caught the train (DLR) (which was much better than walking due to the pollution) to the Info centre. They couldn't help us too much so checked their internet to find the best way to Krabi. We decided to fly to Phuket and go from there as direct routes were only long haul bus or train. They couldnt help with the accommodation either, so we decided to leave it until tomorrow and just drink a lot tonight :)
We headed to Hard Rock Cafe, luckily in time for Happy Hour as cocktails BOGOF were RM43 each. So, Margaritas and Long Island Ice Teas later, we headed back to the train station and along the way we met a very friendly New Zealand chap who invited us back to his hotel for drinks. Perhaps we would have if we'd had a 3rd cocktail...
At the hostel, we bumped into the Swedes again, Ida and Martin, so had a couple of beers before they introduced us to Yatzee!, which Ev won. Around midnight we headed back and managed to get some sleep (surprisingly, or perhaps not considering the cocktails;)
Next day, we had an early start to get our free tickets for the Petronas Towers. We got there at about 8:15 and there was a huge queue already. We managed to get tickets for 9:45, so loitered for a bit and had some smoothies and yukkie shots of wheat grass (supposedly high in energy and anti-oxidants). Our tickets got us to the bridge, which gave some pretty good views over the city. We then headed back to book our next night at the hostel, but couldn't work out why the train ticket machine wouldn't take our money. Soon realised we were using Singapore $ not Malaysia RM!!
We had a fairly full on tour planned, though on the way we got distracted by a large crowd of people. Being nosey, we stopped to see what was going on. Turns out that it was Lion Dancing to celebrate Chinese New Year (which ends tomorrow). We were really lucky to see this as not something we would see back home. It was very skillful with two guys in the dragon jumping from pillar to post in tandem with the other dragons. The dragons were spitting out oranges to the crowd, a sign of good luck if you get one. This shows was one of the highlights of KL.
We carried on to the post office as we wanted to send some boxes back to the UK, but it turns out it closes the last Saturday of the month. Bad timing! We wondered over to the National Mosque, and typically went the dodgiest, least scenic route over the highway. The Mosque was closed to the public, though we weren't dressed right in any case. We hopped over a wall and headed to KL Sentral to book flights as we decided KL wasn't for us and we'd rather head to Phuket, Thailand. It meant another long, hot walk over more highways, and then back again to the Bird Park, which Ev thought was recommended by her Dad (but it was actually the Singapore one).
Along the way, we stopped at the National Museum and saw some good displays explaining about the Chinese New Year. We almost didn't make the Bird Park, but scrapped enough cash together in multi-currencies for the RM30pp entry fee. The park itself was ok, but was tarnished by some very disrespectful Indian-Asian men who were pulling feathers from the peacocks tails. Ev had a word, and they were very rude due to her being a woman!
One thing we haven't mentioned yet is the smell. Everywhere you go there is a smell kind of like sewerage, and its pretty disgusting. It follows you around the streets, shops & markets. We went for dinner at a restaurant an the indoor market, and turns out the smell is part of the food. It was part of the spring rolls and one of the main flavours of Marc's curry. Its either fish sauce or egg plant. either way, not nice.
We headed back to one of the stalls to negotiate a price on some souvenirs - a wooden carved dragon face and a meditation bowl which makes a lovely soothing sound. We thought they were expensive but got sucked into the "we're only here once" and brought them for RM150 and RM350, down from RM300 and RM480. Not sure it was quite worth it, but its a nice momento. We've never been able to replicate the soothing sound quite like the guy in the shop, though he did say he played it continuously for a whole day before getting the sound perfect.
To round the day off, we headed to the roof bar at the hostel to watch Pool v Man U before packing up for the flight tomorrow.
In the morning, got a 'Buckies before heading to the airport. Came across another lion dancing show, so stayed to watch that for a bit, and bumped into one of the guys from last night - James. Watching the show meant we missed the bus from KL Sentral, so we caught the next one at 12:45. When we checked in at the airport we got stung for excess baggage - RM168!