Friday, October 2, 2015

So Long Ago...Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and So Much More!

2 October 2015
Kristen says...

You have to love siblings...

I was talking to my little brother the other day and he not-so-subtly reminded me that I have a blog, and I should probably update it... :)

So, here, at long last, are the rest of my pictures from the trip I took in JUNE! Yikes.

So when we last met, I had just spent two weeks in Kathmandu, mostly working but also seeing a few sights.

Since I happened to be flying through Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) on my way home anyway, (and I have a very supportive husband who encouraged me to see some sights on my trip) I decided to stopover for a few days and see what I could see.

I booked myself into a lovely hotel with a lovely pool--my flight out of Kathmandu was unexpectedly changed mid-week, so instead of getting in around dinner time on Saturday, I arrived around 7 am on Sunday morning...thankfully the hotel was willing to work with me, and my room was ready, waiting, and amazing.

I was quite tired, having just flown all night, so I decided to go down for a swim to wake me up before heading out for some sightseeing--I arrived on Sunday and had to leave on Tuesday night, so I didn't want to waste a minute...

I went to the pool area, got into the slightly chilly water, stood there dumbly for about 10 minutes, got out, wrapped myself in a giant beach towel that felt like it had just come out of the dryer, laid down on a deck chair...and woke up 3 hours later, much refreshed and still quite warm.

Best. Nap. EVER!!!

After that I went upstairs, showered and took off for a day in KL.

Even with that amazing nap, I was still pretty tired and brain-dead, so instead of wandering out on my own, I decided to spring for one of those hop on/hop off tourist-trap double-decker busses that would take me on a loop around the city. It was the right move, even though it cost a bit more than I would have liked...anyway, the bus stopped right in front of my hotel, so it was pretty good stuff.

The bus company gave me a map that showed the major sites along the route. I'm a bit of a sucker for aquariums, so I decided that would be my first "hop off".

It was a pretty good choice.

In reality, the aquarium part of the aquarium was slightly lame (not a lot to see, really)

but then, near the end...was THE TUNNEL!

I think they say this is the world's longest tunnel (or something like that) and I think I believe it...so long! And so full of marine life, including, fish, turtles, sharks and...

Yep--that's the underside of a manta ray. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Hilarious.

I'm not sure if this ad outside the Aquarium was talking about the ice cream or the aquarium, but either way, it basically summed up my experience. :)

After a short wait, I hopped back on the bus, and enjoyed the visual tour of the city while deciding on my next stop. I was getting pretty tired (again) and was thinking about just heading back to the hotel, but I decided to power through it and continue the animal theme of the day with birds:

Hello Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, home of the World's Largest Free-Flight Walk-In Aviary (SO MANY hyphens in this blog post!!)

Here's something I now know about Kuala Lumpur. It's hot and humid there! I reached the aviary just after 2 pm, and within about 5 minutes I was wilting. But I enjoy birds and wanted to make the trip worth it, so I invested in a Diet Pepsi and soldiered on.





Not only did I see a bunch of cool birds, I also saw a cool blue-tongue river monitor! Awesome!

I have to say, I really didn't know what to expect in Kuala Lumpur--I honestly didn't know much about the city besides what I'd seen in the movie "Entrapment"--so I was interested to learn that Malaysia was a predominately Muslim country, and I happened to arrive on the first day of the Ramadan festival. I know that this means, for many Muslim people, abstinence from all food and beverage consumption between sunup and sundown, so as my bus ride (and the day) wound down I thought this was a particularly lovely gesture:
The people in yellow were handing out bags of traditional Malay food to people on the bus so they wouldn't have to cook or wait to break their fast once the sun went down--all sponsored by the Government of Malaysia. Very cool.

The next day, Monday, I decided to hop a flight to Singapore (because, you know, it's what you do when you're in Kuala Lumpur)... :) Actually a friend from college has recently moved to Singapore, and since I was so close (and wanted to visit Singapore anyway), I figured, why not.

I didn't actually see much of the city (I spent most of the day chatting!) I was still impressed with a couple of things in Singapore, including the very efficient transit system


and the easy access to wifi at the Singapore airport! Seriously, so convenient!

 I only spent about 7 hours in Singapore -- I didn't even check out of my hotel in KL, and the next day was my last so I decided to make it count and sight see instead of just chilling at the hotel.

On my bus trip I'd caught sight of a museum that looked interesting, so I hailed a cab and went to the:

 Another thing I didn't know about Malaysia is the number of textiles that have been traditionally produced in the country, including the batik style of fabric printing and dye-ing (batik always makes me think of my mom, because she really likes that style of fabric)


 I spent quite a while going through the very interesting exhibits at the museum, then headed out for a walk in the sort of central square area nearby:

And decided to take a picture in homage to Chris' love of laying in the grass wherever he goes:


 After that I grabbed another taxi back to the hotel, grabbed my bags and headed for the airport...my trip was too short to see most of the amazing things to see in KL, including a visit to the top of the Petronas Twin Towers, something Chris really wants to do, so I decided to save it for the next trip.

 More from Canberra soon...

KF

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