The roads were windy as we descended from the Highlands, it was rather scary too watching the driver navigate through the narrow roads. The bus had Kuala Lumpur on the front – our next stop.
The lush green tea plantations were a stark contrast from the skyscrapers that welcomed us in the Malaysian capital with the KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers standing at 452m and 421m respectively, clear in the skyline.
After lunch in a food court where Beth managed to order three chicken strip meals rather than three individual strips we headed for China town. Large red lanterns hung above tightly packed markets stalls offering everything from Rolex’s to Ray Bans, Michael Kors to the latest Manchester United shirt, all genuine at a good price or so we were told!
A statue clad roof stood over the Hindu temple we visited, the girls wrapped a colourful material around their lower body to cover their knees and the males just removed their flip flops.
Poor, slow service appears to be a regular occurrence in Asian restaurants, with people receiving their food before other table members had ordered – the Chinese we went to was no exception. The smug chap dancing below felt like he was saying ‘we’ve wasted your evening, now we take your money’.
Tuesday morning saw us take a guided bus tour around a number of the tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur. The first stop was the Kings Palace, a grand and golden looking building which wouldn’t look out of place in Aladin. The palace has not long been recently completed (2011) costing £160m which is a lot considering the King doesn’t live there! The King only uses it for meetings in the capital.
The National Monument was next which is beautifully set, surrounded by water, remembering those who have fallen. It’s the world’s tallest bronze freestanding sculpture grouping and looks impressive surrounded by fountains.
The next stop was the National Mosque, a 15,000 people capacity mosque just outside the centre. As a mark of respect we all had to cover up with the girls donning Hijab (head scarves) and the boys wore robes.
272 steps followed as we climbed, along with the monkeys to the Batu Caves, just outside of Kuala Lumpur. A limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples, occupied by cheeky monkeys who patrol the steps. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. We were caked in sweat by the time we reached the top, as the steep climb was difficult in the humidity!
Two of the most iconic buildings in Kuala Lumpur were next, the Petronas Towers. The former tallest building in the world (1998 to 2004), standing at 452m. The lift climbed at 6m per second so we were soon at our first stop the sky bridge, this gave us a teaser at 170m before shooting to the top. The views from the top were incredible with the viewing gallery designed so that you could get a 360 degree view of the city.
As night fell we headed back to Petronas for a meal and drinks. The after dinner fountain show was incredible on the water which laid in the shadow of the towers. For drinks we took our guides advice and headed for the ‘Sky Bar’ on the 33rd floor of the Traders Hotel. The centre piece of the bar is the pool – could be dangerous for alcohol lovers and the bar offers fantastic views over the Twin Towers. Our frozen cocktails really helped us cool after a day in the humidity.