In Transit

Malaysia June 2018: Dear readers, I’m in transit to Kathmandu then Pokhara so sadly no blogs for a couple of days. Do stay tuned though, plenty more from Hong Kong in the pipeline including a visit to wonderful Cheung Chau Island.

Thank you, from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

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Malaysia – Killing time in Kuala Lumpur

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 2018:  Inbetween flights once again which necessitates a customary transit stop in Malaysia. This is a somewhat routine affair – Sky Bus or Aero Bus to KL Sentral. Once there cross the road into Brickfields and pick some cheap accommodation. I always pre-book with booking.com to ease things along after a long flight. So, here I am once again in Kuala Lumpur and first things first, a good ol’ nosh up! (nosh up is British slang for ‘over indulging in good food’)

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Yes, after 3 months in Nepal, one is in need of a change of diet. While their cuisine is very nice, Dal Bhat 3 times a day every day drives one to culinary depression at times. when confronted with a curry house canteen such as the in the photo above its simply like going to food heaven and Brickfields is pretty much wall to wall food – like this!

How to Kill a few hours in Kuala Lumpur? That’s a very big and open question because no way on this earth will any visitor be able to cram in all Kuala Lumpur has to offer in a few hours – even by whizzing around in a taxi. Therefore here’s my take on spending an afternoon or morning in Kuala Lumpur before flying off to the airport.

  1. Assuming one is residing in Brickfields, walk to Pasar Seni transport interchange. Its only 20 minutes and on the way one will observe a few examples of colonial architecture as well as the KL skyline. Just follow the rail track from Central.
  2. At  Pasar Seni bus interchange look for the GoKL free bus Purple line. Yes, its free and routes around all the City Centre attractions. Tell the driver to stop at KL Tower.
  3. A Ticket to the KL Tower viewing deck is £10 for inside or £20 for outside. Since it looks like rain a £10 ticket will suffice.
  4. Take as many stunning photos before the afternoon rains hit. The views are pretty good from the inside, probably better on the outside.
  5. Get the free bus back to Pasar Seni and take a wander around the old market and China town area just across the road.
  6. Walk back to Brickfields for another good nosh up. All of that should take around 3 1/2 hours!

Here’s a few snaps along the way…

And from the KL Tower…

In Summary…

Aero Bus or Sky Bus from KLIA2 to KL Sentral leaves every 20 minutes, costs about £2.10 and takes an hour on average. Tickets purchased at the bus station, just follow the signs ‘Bus’ or ‘Transport’ – cash only. Average cheap room price in Brickfields is £12-17 per night. Quality is generally good for the price. Dorm beds at PODs Backpackers are about £7.

Overall, KL is a good place to hangout before onward to other adventures!

Nepal – Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia.

Penang, Malaysia, April 2018: Its been an intense month of travelling through April. Since leaving Nepal at the end of March. A transit stop in Kuala Lumpur before jetting off to Hong Kong where I spent a few days. Then it was off to Japan for more oriental experiences before heading back to Hong Kong for a better, more comprehensive visit. Once I got Hong Kong out of my system it was back to Malaysia where I shall reside for the next 5 weeks catching up on blogging and sorting the good photos form the not so good. So, if you want to see how crazy Hong Kong is or take a look around the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum then then please stay tuned for an exciting account of travels with Backpacking Paul.

Nepal – Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu and a Virus

Bangkok, Thailand, May 2017: Back to Nepal via Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur but any thoughts of sightseeing inbetween have been somewhat curtailed. A nasty, debilitating virus has hit with its ugly symptoms manifesting on my first night in Bangkok beginning with the odd sensation that I needed to occasionally stretch then tighten my leg muscles. By morning I was quite feeling of nausea with ebbing energy levels. Thereafter sickness kicked in until around 3 in the afternoon by which time I had zero energy. Yes, its hard to even get out of bed and head for the toilet pan! Any thoughts of getting out are completely out of the question for today and probably tomorrow.

Day two arrives with energy at zero having had a disturbed night, but at least the vomiting has ceased. Zero energy and zero appetite but I can just about drag myself towards the kettle and make some tea. So, one more day in this Bangkok hotel before my flight to Kuala Lumpur. Sleeping better now but with a very sore back – like sleeping with a sunburn.

Day three, still with energy well below par I ‘m able to drag myself onto 2 buses and make my way across town to the airport for my flight to Kuala Lumpur. A freezing cold bus and still with that sore skin sensation its not a great journey! An odd mix of hunger and nausea prevents me from eating any quantities of food. I have an appetite back but then when faced with food I can’t eat that much of it. Kuala Lumpur late afternoon with energy back down to almost zero. Still no real appetite.

Day four with no real energy. All I can do is drag myself around the guesthouse here in Kuala Lumpur. That hunger with nausea sensation is still here spoiling what should be the best food experience in all of Asia. That soreness of the skin hasn’t subsided any either.

Day five with a little more energy. Its a real effort but I did make it out to the street and across to the shopping mall ATM. Still unable to eat in any quantity. Stll sleeping with that sunburn sensation.

Day 6, the same as day five! With a flight to Kathmandu tomorrow I’m seriously considering seeking medical attention – thankfully I have insurance! There’s a pharmacy across the street in the NU Mall. A very nice Chinese gives me about half a dozen white pills and is confident they’ll fix everything! These Chinese pills are making me feel rather light headed and well, after that I don’t know what happened since presumably I was sound asleep.

Day 7 and a miracle -yes, those Chinese pills have fixed everything. No more soreness, energy levels back to almost normal. After almost a week of sufferance, I’m ready for the challenges of road travel in Nepal.

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Malaysia -Kuala Lumpur, Air Asia Flight D7 196

Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, Sepang, Malaysia June 2016. Another Air Asia flight today, this time an extra long flight to Kathmandu. Air Asia X operates the wide body Airbus fleet from KLIA2 and today”s flight at 5.30 PM is on their Airbus A330 aircraft. I’ve taken this flight several times now, a flight usually full. Full of migrant workers mostly with a few tourists to make up the numbers!.

So, another hour long ride on the Skybus from KL Sentral to the KLIA2 transport hub for 11 ringit, about £1.83. A pleasant journey in the carpeted, air conditioned bus on a hot and sunny afternoon. A little time then to reflect on the facts and figures of a Brickfields stopover:

Sleep: Pods backpackers Brickfields, 65 ringitt, £10.83 per night Pod room, 20 Ringitt Key deposit.

Eat: Jaya canteen opposite PODs Backpackers, Brickfields. Indian cuisine with veggie meals around £1.10 with tea, meat meals around £1.70  -good size portions.

Free Sightseeing: Walk around Brickfields and savoir the culture and cuisine of Little India.

Cheap Sightseeing: Ride around on the elevated transport systems to get breathtaking views of the city. Only pay for the next station along but return to your origin. Average price 25p.

Total Brickfields Stopover cost comes in at around £25 for the 2 nights, no alcohol.

Now its time to board D7 196 at gate Q4. But wait, somethings amiss here, the usually crowded waiting lounge is deserted! Yes, a heart sinking eerie silence as I try to figure out where its all gone wrong! Oh the gate is actually Q8, much further along and yes, there are crowds of Nepali migrants, in loose formation trying to cram through the narrow door into the departure lounge. 4 hours to Kathmandu as the sun begins to set. Routing up towards Penang and Langkawi then over towards Bangladesh and then Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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Here’s a look at Penang and Langkawi from 30,000 feet.

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur, Brickfields, Oh That Food!

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, May 2016. When it comes to  casual dining in Southeast Asia, I’d say Malaysia tops the rankings by far! Better than Thailand because the variety is diverse and better than Singapore because Malay food is considerably cheaper – and of course food always tastes that much better when its cheaper, in Asia. Brickfields hits all the right culinary spots as far as I’m concerned – variety, quality and price. Oh and its all local food too, no Western gunk for miles around. Well, actually that’s a lie – head on into NU Mall and KL Sentral for MacDonald’s, KFC and the rest of it!

So, while on my Brickfields stopover here’s what I look forward to after a no frills, low cost Air Asia flight – a really good and cheap local nosh up. Veggie dishes around £1 while meat and fish will fetch a staggering £1.60 – £1.90. Yes its pretty good value and unlike the rationing in places like Chiang Mai and the Philippines, here you need to tell the server, “that’s enough rice thank you”.

 

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur, From The Mono Rail

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 2016. On a stopover between flights – sometimes that’s the way it happens with Air Asia. The next cheapest flight might be a day or 2 away, but its still worth the wait, even taking into account costs of spending that time in downtown Kuala Lumpur. More specifically in my case Brickfields.

So, with limited time and eager to make good use of it, I’m going to see the city by riding around on the mono rail, which quite conveniently is located in Brickfields, right opposite the very place I’m hanging out in, well, almost! The track runs around the city centre and towards Chow Kit. Buying a token to the next station from Brickfields is sufficient to return back to Brickfields, around 50 minutes later by my estimation. I did a similar routine earlier on the LRT with some pretty good scenes so I’m hoping this ride will be just as good.

Yes, the ride is good. Just look at these awesome Kuala Lumpur city skyline scenes. 50 minutes round trip back to Brickfields, just right to kill a little time on that KL layover.,

 

 

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur,The Elevated View

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 2016. I’m on another Brickfields stopover with more time to kill than usual. Since I’ve already stomped around Kuala Lumpur several times in the past this time I need to find something of a different perspective, something that will cost next to nothing and something that wont consume a great deal to time. Well, that’s really quite an easy solution – ride around on the elevated rail systems and see the city from above the traffic, the nose and the tourists.

Just a short 6-7 minute stomp from Brickfields to the transportation hub at KL Sentral. The easiest way to actually get there is to navigate through the NU Sentral Mall by following the signs – its all straight forward but may  seem daunting at first glance. When at Sentral one can take the Light Rail Transit system that reaches out to the nearer suburbs. Today, I’m taking the Kelana Jaya line towards the suburb of Petaling Jaya and back again. Yes, its a good line to see those city skyscrapers and get a brief glimpse of Suburban Kuala Lumpur. Here;s a few snaps from the 40 minute journey to Asia Jaya and return.

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So there you have it – a quick and easy alternative to grab those unique Kuala Lumpur city views. Next let’s take a ride on the Mono-rail towards the downtown….

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur, Brickfields Again

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 2016. Another Brickfields stopover between flights. Those who have been following my travels will know this is the third such stop over this year and sadly the last as I make my way back towards England via Nepal and Oman. So, with my next flight late afternoon on Thursday I have a little time to grab a few unique photos and of course savor those culinary delights that is a big part of Kuala Lumpurs character. Here’s the post related to the first Brickfields stopover earlier this year – its all pretty much the same except this time I have a few more hours to kill. Post for the  First Brickfields stop here.

So, how does one kill time on a short layover in Kuala Lumpur?  Brickfields, also known as Little India, isn’t big  and can be covered in an hour. Follow the famous stone arches and the red brick road to a street full of culture, colour and vibrancy anytime of the day – but especially at night when the pavements are occupied with casual diners. Yes, Brickfields is a great place for that delectable curry or tandoori chicken at around £1.70 a meal. Vegetarians get the best deal around here – amazingly tasty food for around £1.10. Google Map, KL Sentral and Brickfields.

Next, go and take a look at the preserved historic area of china town. Just one station along from Brickfields and KL Sentral – alight at Pasar Seni the gateway to another section of Kuala Lumpur’s melting pot of culture, the Malay Chinese. Another relatively compact area and a stroll around here shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. Its quite a tourist hotspot with the main attraction here being an old market, a new market and Petaling street – full of shop-houses, eating and a mecca for souvenir hunters. Google map, Pasar Seni and China Town.

If energy levels are still high, grab a free city bus to the twin towers.A few stops along and should take around 20 minutes, although I’d avoid rush hour! Constructed for the Petronas company these giant skyscrapers are pretty awesome externally and internally! This place is  the epitome of opulence and makes an interesting hour of people watching. For about £10 visitors can ride up to the middle sections and take an elevated view of the city. Behind the towers is a park with free swimming pools and dancing fountains. Now your probably out of time so jump on the subway at KLCC, just in front of the towers for a 20 minute ride back to KL Sentral and Brickfields.

Another attraction is the KL tower, a little off the city centre track but worth a look if time permits. Another pretty awesome structure with more of an emphasis on it being a tourist attraction. There are of course several more things one can do and see in Kuala Lumpur but as we’ve run out of time they’ll have to wait for another time!.

Personally, I’ve stomped around Kuala Lumpur several times over and so on this stopover I’ve done something a little different – tune into the next blog and see what that was 🙂

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Malaysia – KLIA

Kuala Lumpur international Airport, Malaysia, May 2016. Killing time in Starbucks at 6.30am, still dark. Another flawless journey and check-in via the kiosks, it’s all so easy here in Kuala Lumpur. A quick snack at the curry house by the airport bus station and that me all set for a 3 1/2 hour flight to Manila in a couple of hours.

See you in the Philippines….

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