A lifestyle blog bringing you fashion, music, food, and everything else that's just nice about Bristol and beyond!
After five days in The Perhentian Islands it’s fair to say our pace of life had slowed to that of a snail’s, so when we arrived back in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, it was something of a wake up call!
As a city KL is not much bigger than Bristol, but with it’s huge skyscrapers and multitude of highways which genuinely make you fear for your life you certainly feel like you’re in a bustling capital city. It really does feel a million miles from good old Brissle town.
Frankie and Klynton have been living just outside of KL for around seven months now, so we were very lucky to have them as our tour guides. I’m certain that without their local knowledge we wouldn’t have enjoyed ourselves anywhere near as much as we did, but thankfully they had all sorts of adventures in store for us throughout our final four days in the city, starting with Batu Caves!
Situated on the outskirts of KL, Batu Caves is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India. The caves themselves are thought to be around 400 million years old (you what?!!) but they’ve been a site of worship since the 1800’s, and you won’t be surprised to hear they’re now a big old tourist attraction. We’d heard mixed things about Batu Caves, with some friends raving about them and others lamenting the fact that the floor inside the caves has been cemented (which is a bit naff). Personally I found the combination of the natural spectacle that is the caves and the man-made temples, statues and 272 steps pretty impressive, despite the disappointment of finding not much but gift shops and chickens at the top.
Another tourist attraction at Batu Caves is these guys – there are monkeys EVERYWHERE! Being the tourist that I am I went straight in to take a photo, cooing about how cute they are. No…do not be fooled, these guys are bastards! Utter bastards! They were terrorising children, stealing hats, phones camera’s and food straight from people’s hands, and generally giving out the message of, “Oi you lot – this is our patch – back off!” I salute you monkeys, you hateful little gits!
Check out this dude! Just drinking a bottle of Fanta, like it’s no big deal? He doesn’t give a shit that he hasn’t opened the lid – he’ll drink it straight out of the hole he chewed in the bottom – just watch him!
After climbing all 272 steps at Batu Caves and then climbing back down again (in the 34 degree heat!) we were pretty pooped, so headed home for a nap before an evening out at The Majestic in KL city centre for Nikki’s birthday celebrations. The hotel offers an incredible all you can eat buffet, complete with free flowing wine for the equivalent of around £30 and I can safely say I’ve never eaten at such an amazing all you can eat. Yes, the free flowing wine definitely helps, which is also the reason why I completely neglected to take any pictures, but I’d recommend dinner at The Majestic to anyone visiting KL – it’s really pretty special.
Kuala Lumpur boasts some of the biggest shopping malls in the world, so if, unlike me, you’re a big shopper then you’re going to love it. We visited a couple of malls, and whilst they’re vast and very impressive I was much more taken with the markets. We visited Chinatown and Central Market twice but I could have easily spent longer there, just getting lost in the maze of stalls.
Central Market has sat on the same spot since 1888, and is the perfect place to visit if you’re not so fussed about the fake handbags, sunglasses and sportswear being hawked in Chinatown. It’s a melting pot of different cultures, from traditional Malay, to Chinese and Indian, and you could easily spend days just looking… It’s literally an Aladdin’s cave.
After a few hours we’d barely scratched the surface of all that Central Market had to offer, but there were more pressing things at hand…like food!
Now if there’s one thing I learnt in Malaysia it’s that they LOVE an all you can eat. We ate more all you can eat buffets whilst we were there than I would do in the space of a year, and guess what – they don’t half know how to do it!
This wonderful contraption above is called a steam boat. Nope, I’d never heard of it used in foodie terms either. The metal bowl is filled with your choice of soup or broth (think Tom Yum, Miso) and then the ‘podium’ in the middle is a hot plate, which is used to barbecue your choice of meat, fish and quite honestly whatever else you can get your hands on.
As someone who could eat noodle soup until it starts coming out of my eyes (yes, I’m looking at you BaoWow!) I was more than overexcited about this and promptly ate more than my fair share and had to have a little lie down. A solid effort, I think you’ll agree!
The following day we piled into the car and headed off to Gabai Waterfalls, about an hour outside of KL. The waterfalls themselves are beautiful, and whilst you can swim in them I wussed out, as the idea of leeches, which are a very real concern, was just a bit too much for me. Getting out of the city and seeing the rainforest was pretty special, but it was tainted a little by the sheer amount of litter everywhere – literally mounds of the stuff. How people can visit somewhere quite so beautiful and just heap their crap all over the place is beyond me.
Before long it started to get suspiciously windy, and before we knew it we were caught in a full on tropical storm in the middle of the rainforest, which was actually pretty amazing! When it’s 34 degrees the rain is so warm it almost doesn’t feel like you’re getting wet, but I did spend a fair amount of the journey back down the waterfall on my arse, as everything was so slippy. Good job I’ve got plenty of padding in that department, eh?!
After all that exercise it was definitely time for more food, and one of my personal highlights of the holiday – Delicious Pork! Frankie and Klynton have friends in KL who are Chinese chefs, and they recently took them to one of their favourite restaurants in KL. Us Westerners would never be able to pronounce the name, so Frankie’s sensibly christened it Delicious Pork, funnily enough on account of their downright delicious pork dishes!
From the outside the restaurant doesn’t look like much, and quite frankly it doesn’t look like much from the inside, and with no menu and very few English speaking staff you just have to order and hope for the best, but man, did we luck out with these dishes!
On our final evening Frankie and Klynton wanted to show us KL at night, so we headed off to Fuego – an incredible South American restaurant conveniently situated next to the Patronas Towers, which resulted in this view:
The restaurant sits in one of KL’s many skyscrapers, and one whole side is completely open to the elements. The menu is a fusion of Mexican, Brazilian and various other South American dishes, but I was sold as soon as I saw that they had a whole page dedicated to my favourite thing in the world – Guacamole!
For main me chose the sharer steak, which was every bit as special as it looks!
After dinner it was time for one last treat, in the form of drinks at Helipad. Situated 34 stories up in an otherwise unremarkable office block Helipad is exactly what it says on the tin. A bar – on a helipad! No barriers – just you, a bottle of rum and a 34 story drop. Hello health and safety! However, it does make for some of the most spectacular views over the city, so I ain’t complaining.