Our weekend in KL began gently since the wife was still very half-conditioned on Friday. If you have gotten a food poisoning at some point in your life, I’m sure you can empathize her feelings. However, she wanted to get some fresh air after sleeping 12 hours. That’s why I chose all the attractions for Friday nearby to our Submarine Guest House.
Central Market is only one block away from the guesthouse so first, we headed there. She wanted to buy Toms shoes and Birkenstock flip flops anyway here in Kuala Lumpur since the experience and quality were great last time. After wandering around an hour in Central Market and locating all the familiar shoe sellers from our previous visits, we continued to the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery.
Even though we had visited in Kuala Lumpur two times before, we hadn’t paid a visit to KL City Gallery.
Weekend in KL began with detailed City Gallery and spacious Merdeka Square
Actually, we have stayed in Chinatown every time when being here and the distance is only few hundred meters but have somehow missed it. Not this time. First, there are plenty of Kuala Lumpur history landmarks revealed in the City Gallery. Furthermore, they have built a wonderful miniature there as well in order to give a quick look at the present time in KL. In addition, it was possible to get some tasting of the future plans too. They are currently building a new, 630 meters high building Merdeka PNB118 to downtown Kuala Lumpur. It should be finished around the year of 2020 and will be the new highest building in Malaysia.
After City Gallery, we quickly visited Merdeka Square nearby before wife went back to guest house continuing her recovery. I headed to the Petaling Shopping Street in Chinatown which is also less than a few hundred meters away. You can find plenty of affordable, good quality products there. Remember always to haggle at least 50% off from the listed price, though.
On Saturday wife was starting to feel a bit “normal” again so we dared to continue weekend in KL in downtown. When being in Kuala Lumpur, it is a must to go and visit Petronas Twin Towers, isn’t it? Having said that, that was precisely what we did then. During our previous visits in KL, we had mainly used trains when moving around the city. This time we did differently since our host shared his knowledge about a free GOKL busses.
There are four different free GOKL bus lines covering almost the whole city central.
The location of our guest house was near the Purple Line which traveled between Bukit Bintang/Pavilion shopping mall and Chinatown/Central Market. With that being said, it was more than convenient to hop in GOKL Purple Line bus and ride to Bukit Bintang.
After a quick escape from the hot 35 degrees weather to the Pavilion Shopping Mall, we walked the Bukit Bintang Pedestrian Walkway. Since it’s raining quite often in KL, this all the time roofed walkway leads people without getting wet from Pavilion shopping mall to Suria KLCC shopping mall. Suria KLCC sits basically underneath of Petronas Twin Towers making around kilometer long Bukit Bintang Pedestrian Walkway a popular route.
Third visit at Twin Towers
You never get bored to the view of the Twin Towers. The sight will always be as amazing as during the first time and this visit was actually our third there. We spend a couple of hours walking around the KLCC Park and sitting next to the Symphony Lake. You can snap beautiful photos there of course so that was what we most certainly did there.
When we had a thought of having seen enough the Twin Towers this time, we took more advantage of the GOKL buses. After riding the Purple Line, we just had to ride the rest three lines as well: Blue, Green, and Red. That gave us a chance to see some parts of the town we hadn’t visited before – for free. It took two hours or so to ride those lines. We saved the Red Line for the last since one of its stops (KL City Gallery located only few hundred meters from Submarine Guest House.
Last day of weekend in KL gave us plenty of time to think
The quick weekend in KL ended with the decision to book a five hour night bus to Georgetown in Penang Island for the following night. The booking was easily done through Easybook.com and the prices of the tickets were more or less the same than at the station. Penang Island is locating in the Northwest part of Malaysia.
Having said that, it’s a perfect place in order to follow our plans for the near future:
- One week in Penang Island in order to grab Thai visas.
- One week in Langkawi (a couple of hundred kilometers closer to Thai border).
- Heading to Krabi, Thailand before 28th of January and spend 10 days with my brother in Koh Lanta.
After checking out from the Submarine Guest House at noon, we could leave our stuff there for the whole day. The kind host let us do that because the night bus didn’t depart until midnight. That left us 12 hours of hanging time for the Sunday in sizzling Kuala Lumpur.
We decided to spend the day by going to the movie and see highly rated La La Land which didn’t disappoint us as well. Rest of the day went by shopping some shoes to the wife and wondering the differences between various Southeast Asian countries we have visited.
Differences between rich and poor Southeast Asian nations
You can tell a lot about the economic situation of a certain country by just watching the traffic. For example, in Malaysia, the ratio between cars and motorbike is roughly estimated 90/10 percent. That would mean 90% of cars and 10% of motorbikes riding in the streets of Kuala Lumpur. If you compare that rough estimation to Vietnam, the ratio would turn around. I would say in Saigon, for example, you can see around 75% of vehicles being motorbikes and 25% cars. With this traffic analysis, you could say people in Malaysia have more money to spend more expensive things such as cars.
Of course, there are different people in different countries and some value other forms than the others. So please, don’t take me so seriously 🙂
Getting into the night bus to Penang Island
After taking shower in Submarine Guest House and leaving farewells, we took a train to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) station. We arrived there two hours before the midnight departure. That give us plenty of time to find right gate and relax a bit.
The night bus journey from Kuala Lumpur to Penang Island was pleasant and very easy comparing to some previous bus journeys in Southeast Asia. We arrived at the bus station in Penang around 5 am. Having said that, we needed to wait one hour till 6 am before the city buses began to ride. Georgetown, where our beforehand booked accommodation will be, is located approximately 10 kilometers north of the Penang bus station.
Because we haven’t read or heard flattering things about the taxis in Malaysia, we waited for the public bus like locals in the station.
It took few more hours before we could check into Muntri House in downtown Georgetown. We used that extra time to washing our clothes in the coin laundry behind the corner. Of course, there was time for working in the lobby too. Before concluding this post, it’s an important to mention that unlike other Southeast Asian countries, you don’t find people doing your laundry in Malaysia that often. Coin laundries are very popular here where you can do your own laundry. With washing and drying in 12 kg machine, it usually takes about an hour to finish the whole procedure. Not bad would I say!
Penang Island and Georgetown seem to be a wonderfully relaxing destination. I will share with you all about our stay in Penang Island during the next article!