“MALAYZIA TRULY AZIA” by Hannah Crone

Posted on February 10, 2011

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Anna always says, there are only two things you really need to pack for an overseas trip – your bank card and your passport. I arrived at the airport sans both. In an attempt to be responsible, I left my passport at home in the scanner and my bank card in a gutter somewhere on Sydney Rd.

Anyway, we are now sitting in the KL LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal), waiting to board our flight to Bangkok, so I did manage to do something right. And may I just say, the whole passport thing was not our biggest hurdle. Did you know that the international departure terminals at Melbourne Airport are in a circle? Within the larger circle, there are smaller ‘toilet’ circles, and behind these toilet circles, are the gates. But if you approach the gate from the wrong side of the circle, you have to go back the other way, around the circle. Lets just say, it drove us A-Round, the bend (literally 4 times). And FYI, there is no Starbucks?!?!? When an Espresso Frappacino is only 4 Weight Watchers Points, it seems irresponsible not to make them available to the masses.

Malayzia Truly Azia

At $175AUD each way, it was pretty hard for us to pass up the flights to KL with Air Asia. Having flown with Tiger in the past I was nervous. Anything is bearable for an hour or two, but with our flight pushing 7.5, I was terribly concerned for my personal comfort. And Anna’s, I guess. But in her words it was “pretty good”. And everything was “pretty good”, but if you want an upgrade to “great” with Air Asia, it’ll cost you.
Our hotel was the Swiss Garden, on the edge of the ‘Golden Triangle’, KL’s largest shopping district. It was pretty swish, a short walk from nearly everywhere, a not-so-short walk to everywhere else and had no wifi. So, we did a lot of walking. In fact we did a whole lot more walking than we needed to, using a map given to us by our hotel, which was conveniently, um, wrong. KL is not a walking city, which we discovered as we walked around and under and over everything including a few homeless men that I believe, as a qualified medical receptionist, will be dead in a few days due to grossly infected leg wounds. The urban planners are clearly laughing after designing a city that resembles Escher’s staircase.

Escher does stairs.

The Lonely Planet told us about the Petronas (prounced pe-tron-ass)Towers, “arrive at 8am to start queuing…but tickets are usually available until about 11am” Yes Lonely planet, you’re right. we did arrive at 7:45, and line up until 11am to get our tickets for later that afternoon at 4pm. We were standing in front of a young Indian couple who asked sporadic questions like “have you heard of the Taj Mahal”, and then didn’t know enough English to understand our answer, which was, ‘Yes’. The woman also burped loudly a few times, which was really fun and also cool! But the wait was worth it, when our time wasting mechanism was shopping below the towers, at our usual haunts, Top Shop, Zara, MANGO, GAP, Banana Republic, and the amazing Gallery Petronas, that was hosting a fabulous industrial design exhibition. Lunch from Cold Storage was a highlight, Anna said it was “the best sushi EVAAAAAHHHHH”. As if we hadn’t shopped enough, we kept going back to Pavillion (in the Golden Triangle), probably the largest shopping centre in KL. By the end of our 4 days in the city, we were basically regulars at Uni-Qlo and Forever 21 (or at least went in enough times to notice when they moved things around).

Petronas Towers

Although these shopping centres were filled to the brim with boutiques we could only dream of having in Melbourne, aka Marc by Marc Jacobs (which Anna said was surprisingly unsatisfying), we seemed to get much more enjoyment shopping for ‘designer’ goods at the Markets, in Chinatown, Little India, and at the end of Jalan Alor ( which was also a phenomenal open air food market. Phenomenal!). It was at these markets that our fully un-functional plastic watch fetishes were fully realised, but where we were also publicly humiliated for refusing to buy DVD’s that we had briefly showed enthusiasm for purchasing. After the two “salesmen” had just finished telling us how friendly we were, they started chasing us through China Town yelling at us “das, bullshit!” and trying to convince us they could meet any price. But they just couldn’t match free, which is the current going rate for movies and tv series on the internet.

Last night, our last night KL, before we met up with Darcy in Chinatown, we went to Little India for dinner. We ate at the highly recommended Cafe Sagar, on Jalan Masjid India. I had some Garlic Naan with mixed vegetables. Mixed vegetables? more like, Heaven vegetables! Anna and I had our fill of the most amazing Indian food we have ever tasted, and for only $27 MYR ($4.50 AUD each!). We finished off the night with some dessert from the local supermarket (a family owned multi-storey store, where the assistants wore matching sari’s), Blueberry and Hazelnut Pringles. I think they tasted like Fruit Loops. Anna strongly disagrees.

We definitely recommend this trip to single white females, it’s a shopping and food paradise, and you get your ego boosted to boot – every second person is either staring, beeping or telling you how beautiful you are*. Thank god Anna and I don’t have boyfriends!

*You may also get sexually harassed – but it’s arguably worth it.

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Posted in: Travel