Wednesday, August 11, 2010

rags to riches

Back from Malaysia!! Emily and I had a pretty amazing trip. We did a lot of sightseeing, beach relaxing, and old man scamming. Well kind of haha. We fly, the crappiest airline ever, into KL on Saturday night. Ok so China Air. Not only do they have shitty, small seats, but the food was terrible (even though we got the veggie meal! Which is always better than regular, except here!) and they ran out of beer after 2 hours. It’s a 6 hour flight. It’s bad enough they only had shitty Chinese rando beer, but then to run out!! It’s Saturday night for crying out loud. Anyway, we got there. We took the shuttle train into downtown, kind of looked around, looked at each other and said, now what? Then some nice Australian girl asked if we’d like to share a cab to hostel. Perfect! She asked us later, “If I didn’t ask you to the hostel, what would you have done tonight?” Haha we hadn’t gotten that far yet. That’s kind of the theme of this trip. We had nothing planned except a flight to and from Langkawi.

Night 1 and all the hostels/hotels in Chinatown are booked. We were told this is the party fun area and that’s where we wanted to stay, but hey, there was nothing we could do. We meet some nice boys from Buffalo who have the same problem and they tell us about some hotels over in Golden Triangle. So we share a cab over there. The guys start bumbling around, we’re not having it, so we just go to a crap hotel and book it. We put our stuff down and decide to head out for a drink. Holy shit, what was that!? Oh just about the biggest rat in the whole world right outside the front door of the hotel. Emily and I are standing there screaming and pointing, so the owner comes out to see what the problem is. He’s like, “oh that’s it. Many rats, no bite.” EWWWWW. There was an army of rats, big giant rats, and they all seemed to live right outside our hotel. We wander down the sketchy dark street and get beckoned into a local “restaurant.” The locals are totally infatuated with us and keep offering their native Myanmar whiskey. After an hour or so of hanging out with them and their really super broken English, we call it a night (it was 4 am) and go back to the rat hotel, where of course there were no less than 3 rats there to greet us.

Day 1 in Kuala Lumpur was busy. We wandered around and dropped our bags off at the Mandarin (hey it worked out well for us in HK, and went sightseeing. We tried to go to the Patronas Towers but we were told the tours sell out before 8am. If we wanted to go we’d have to get in line at 6am. Yeah, see ya there. Then we found Little India where we had awesome, and awesomely cheap, curry then took a bus about an hour outside the city to the Batu Temple. This place was awesome. Apparently on holidays there are hundreds of thousands of people here praying, luckily this was not the case when we were there. You immediately notice the 50+ foot gold Buddha standing at the base of the stairs. As you climb the stairs there are tons of monkeys trying to steal from you. They take food, plastic bags, sunglasses, whatever they can get. Then you get to the top of the stairs and enter a 400 million year old cave. There are statues and people peddling stuff all over; including taking your picture with a snake, which I did. It was really a unique experience to be in this cave with a bunch of foreigners and locals alike, and to be chased by monkeys the whole time!! Definitely my favorite tourist sight in KL. We head out and sightsee around the city more. We go up to the KL tower and found a mini rock festival, so we bought tickets and listened to some Malaysian rock. Not bad. It was a pretty exhausting day of a lot of walking and sightseeing, so come evening we went to Chinatown where we tried to stay the first night. I had some sharkfin soup, again not bad, and then we went to the Reggae Bar where were met new friends DJ and Tom. They weren’t doing much but suggested a bar area to us. They don’t know how helpful that was. This new bar area was amazing!!!! A long street lined with nice bars! The KL we had experienced all day was a bit run down and vacant. It reminded me a lot of Alabama in the fact that 40% of the stores were gated closed. Wasted real estate galore. But this area was super nice and we settled on Gypsy Bar. Within 10 minutes a group of older (40s-50s) men came in and started chatting with us. We invited them to sit, they bought us drinks, Em told them it was my birthday, and a few mojitos later we were heading back to their hotel, Trader’s Hotel, for the rooftop SkyBar. Well, it being my “birthday” and all, they felt obligated to buy champagne. We don’t settle for Moet here, it’s Verve all the way. 3 bottles later and I pushed Em into the pool in the middle of the bar and jumped in after. I supposed it didn’t go so well, especially to the Muslim table on the left, because they quickly bathrobed us and ushered us out the door. But new best friends John and Charlie wouldn’t let us get kicked out and we were invited to stay in their room! Asa. Free 5 star hotel. And they were old and married so there was no threat of creepiness.

Wake up and have an amazing buffet breakfast at the Trader’s Club, best place in KL!!! And we’re on our way.

Day 2 KL Waterpark.

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