The choice to go to Malaysia in early October was influenced by many factors, one of them being that Kenyans don’t need visas to visit the country (we all know how hard it is for Africans to appease the visa gods). Another was because the cost of things is relatively less than say, Japan. Also, the apartment we found on airbnb had two beautiful pools, one on the 5th floor and an infinity pool on the 32nd floor with a view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline (amazing views day and night). The apartment cost us about 6,500 Yen a night, but we were four of us so the cost was just over 1,500 yen a night. Flights from Japan to Malaysia are also in the affordable range especially if flying with AirAsia.
And below is the 5th Floor Pool:
We left Osaka, Japan on 6th October and returned on 11th. This was basically a leisure trip. I’ve always wanted to travel to more places and I seized the chance to meet up with an old friend from undergrad days in Malaysia. She was celebrating her 30th birthday, as is every friend on Facebook putting up posts of “3rd floor here we come!”. We have officially become old, with our 20s firmly behind us, and our 30s thrusting us into the shackles of marriages, careers, families… Traveling is momentarily freeing.
Day 1, Saturday October 7th: Petronas Towers and Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque
We started the day by the obligatory visit to Petronas Towers and the KLCC park behind them. It was sunny but not too hot, a perfect day to spend outdoors. That morning Jeremy had forced me to carry his swimming trunks in my purse, he had insisted we go swimming. Luckily for him, there was a water park with lots of kids running around and I let him join in. After taking several unsuccessful selfies with the towers in the background, we decided to have lunch. All the restaurants on the ground floor were quite expensive so we asked some of the locals there where we could have lunch and they told us of the food court on the 3rd(or is it 4th floor). Lots of cheap options were available so we dug in!
In the afternoon, we took the subway (which was really cheap) to Masjid Jamek Mosque. Our primary means for getting around was actually Uber, but when we didn’t have far to go and it was convenient, we took public transport. The mosque was beautiful but we arrived after 4pm so we couldn’t enter. We could only take photos from the outside. I think that Islamic architecture is so graceful, and the gold and white colours make the buildings a sight of breathtaking beauty.
At night before tucking in, we spent time in the Infinity Pool. It was to be the only time we visited it. I’d go back to KL just to spend more time in that pool. Preferably with an SO as a traveling partner… this could be us.
Day 2, Sunday October 8th: Lost in the Train and Batu Caves
We slept in on Sunday and had only time for one activity in the afternoon. We opted to visit Batu Caves by train but on the way to KS Sentral Station from our apartment, we didn’t know which station to transfer at so we got a bit lost and took a detour in the city train. We eventually found our way to KS Sentral where we got the train to Batu Caves. These huge caves are amazing to behold but you have to go up several steps to access them. At the base of the steps is a huge golden statue of a Hindu god – don’t ask me which one. There are several monkeys around who will snatch any food you have out of your hands, so be careful. After coming down from the caves, it suddenly started raining and we took shelter at a local cafe where we also had dinner. The curries were a bit meh- but the rotti (chapati) were freshly burned on the stove. They reminded me of chapos in Kenya. By the time we were done, it was dark and we were tired so we took an Uber back to the apartment.
Day 3, Monday October 9th: Train to Penang Island (Batu Feringghi Area)
I’m not sure why we thought it was a good idea to go to Penang Island. I think we wanted to see more of Malaysia in the limited time we had, plus we wanted to go to a beach. We took the 1130 train from KS Sentral, having just missed the 9am one because of confusing directions by the staff there. They would tell you to “go there” while pointing in the general direction of like 5 different ticket vendors. And when you got “there” they would tell you to “go up”.
Anyway, we eventually got on the train and 4 hours later, arrived at Butterworth Station. We got an Uber to an Airbnb apartment in Batu Feringghi, which was opposite the Hard Rock Cafe in the area.
We went to the beach to catch the sunset, then had a meal at one of the local restaurants lining the street. We also had a chance to watch a live band perform at the Hard Rock Cafe later that night.
Below are photos of Jeremy enjoying himself at the beach at sunset.
Day 4, Tuesday October 10th: Back to Kuala Lumpur
We also slept in on Tuesday morning. When traveling, sleep becomes a luxury that you catch whenever you can. We had a photographer friend who woke up early to photograph Georgetown, the main(old) city in Penang Island. So I guess we will have to see Penang Island through the photos. We got another Uber back to the station and the train back to KL.
Day 5, Wednesday October 11th: Early Morning Flight Back to Osaka
We blinked and before we could open our eyes, 4 days had gone by. Our flight back to Japan was at 8am, which meant we had to be at the airport by 5am. We didn’t actually sleep that night, preferring to stay up until 4am when we hailed yet another Uber to the airport. It was time to say goodbye to Malaysia.
[Update] On the flight back to Japan, there was a crying baby. This update is prompted by Bikozulu’s post on babies on airplanes. You hear this myth all the time that Japanese babies are so quiet, that they don’t throw tantrums… but this tiny Japanese girl who sat with her parents two seats away screamed her heart out continuously for over 30 minutes. I was impressed by her lung capacity. I was feeling sorry for the mum who was trying to calm her down but silently glad my 4 year old was sleeping peacefully beside me.
All in all, I had a lovely time in the country. Would I go back? I’m not sure. Maybe if it’s a work trip. If I’m paying for it, and I chose to go back to Malaysia, it will be to see the Borneo Island side that I never got to see. But there are so many countries to visit.. which one is next? We’ll see in December!