Friday, 1 October 2010

Kuala Lumpur

Wednesday 22 September: Outside Kuala Lumpur's modern Sentral Station (local spelling) is KL's Monorail (68th mode of transport) which takes me to Bukit Bintang and the nearby guesthouse strip of Tengkat Tong Shin. I'm staying at Trekker's Lodge a little to the north of this.
Settled in, I immediately e-mail the ferry operators in Melaka and ask them to send me a copy of a return ticket to Dumai in Sumatra so that I can present this to the Indonesian Embassy's visa section with my application . . . and wait. If they send it quick, maybe I could have my visa before the weekend? A tandoori set meal and a cold Tiger beer finish off the day.
Thursday 22: In the afternoon, to get an overview, I take the KL hop-on, hop-off open-top double-decker bus (69th mode) around the city. First hop-off is lowly Chinatown with skyscrapers and the monorail towering above, then the Grand Palace with it's spit-and-polished guards, British fashion.
Friday 23: I continue hopping on and off the bus - KL Tower is impressive and is actually physically higher than KL Twin Towers, but only because it's built on a hill. KL Twin Towers is more majestic and impressive backed by ornate gardens with an asphalt running track used by joggers of all shapes and sizes, very civilised.
Saturday 24: Picking up a useful city map from Malaysia Tourist Centre I'm off in search the old colonial district and little India, both of which I have seen from the bus in the rain. The British designed, Moorish style white-domed, old railway station is fantastic.
Fluttering from Merdeka Square's 310ft British flag-pole is the Malaysian 'Stripes of Glory' flag. Skyscrapers old and new overlook the grassy square, St Mary's Church and the Selangor Club.
It's on to Little India's Masjid Mosque and a thali lunch in one of the strict vegetarian Hindu restaurants nearby.
Sunday 25: No e-ferry ticket has materialised so this means a return trip to Melaka to buy one, three hours by train and bus then back on Monday morning, well that's the plan.
Monday 26: My early bus back from Melaka arrives at 10:30am so I take the light railway from Bukit Jalil bus station straight to the Indonesian embassy, undated return ferry ticket in hand. Photocopying is free at the embassy, this helps. I hand over my passport, ticket and passport photocopy, passport-sized photographs and 170 Ringgits (
£35) in payment.
Tuesday 27: Yes, I have a 60-day Indonesian visa! Plus, I still have an extra photocopy of my undated ferry ticket up my sleeve - I can use this again if I need to do a visa run - great.
Photos of Kala Lumpar.
Bus, from Bukit Jalil, back south again to Melaka.

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