Monday, October 04, 2010

KL Per Hour

There is nothing worse than coming back from a weekend trip with food poisoning … except maybe starting a weekend trip with food poisoning already. This is what happened to J. unfortunately, on our weekend escape to Kuala Lumpur (KL).


On a Thursday night, out of a sparkling moment of joy we decided to change our busy weekend routine to take a flight out of Singapore on a run to the nearest destination. After few clicks and quick investigation, the capital of Malaysia seemed to be a fair deal for the buck: major food capital of Asia, with large and new shopping centers and the famous Petronas Twin Towers.

Twin View from Aside

Hotel was booked, flights were locked, camera was charged, and bag was for once almost packed the day before and all of that within a couple of hours. Nothing could spoil our weekend well deserved after all the work we have been putting in lately. But it all started early in the morning and the breakfast did not stay long enough in the stomach to make a lasting impression on J. With some careful planning and smart logistics we both managed to reach the hotel lobby with less than more damage. Legs were weak and stomach light, but nothing that a long and comfortable night could fix, right?

Smile at the Twins

With no strength to move around the bedroom of the hotel, it was certainly not possible to explore one of the most humid and hottest cities in the world. The goal was then to trick the beast, and to charcoal the bug while refueling fluids to keep a minimum of energy level. The scam seemed to work out perfectly. We squeezed just enough time for the two of us to explore the shopping center district and its AC-ed promise land, and to visit the Petronas tower from afar.

Twin Towers at Night

With so much rebound joy and with the largest Malay food menu in front of you, no one could resist the temptation, and the cooling night at Bijan was a parenthesis in the life of the traveler with a bug. The immediate refueled energy out of the marvelous dinner at Bijan lasted just enough for us to take few pictures of the fantastic tower at night from underneath and from afar at the SkyBar. The night of dancing that we planned before at the nearby Zouk was replaced instead by a mocktail at the hotel Sky Lounge watching the outside line-up growing longer by the night club under a light rain.

Twins under the Spotlights

J. spent instead the long night dancing in the bathroom while I was inconsiderately sleeping my food off in the bedroom. The next day, after a long flight back of 45 minutes fighting against crowd, delays, traffic, low budget airline and bureaucracy we both made it on time back in Singapore for a scheduled recovery in bed and hot congee.

Clouds Stuck in Towers

No traveler with a bug can recover in 24 hours and food poisoning should not be taken lightly at all.

As for KL, the city seems to be as good as it looks. Food seems great, shopping interesting and the city has even some surprising places to entertain the pleasing crowd at night. KL looks like what Singapore was maybe 20 years ago with some pockets of modernity here and there, but in of serious urban planning. We have to go back there to make sure we have the right impression and this time with no bug inside!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Kuala Lumpur addresses

Even though downtown Kuala Lumpur (KL) is small in size, it is quite difficult to move from one district to another. Highways and construction sites prevents tourists from jumping from one spot to the next unfortunately. The best way to discover the city would be to use taxis or the over pass monorail that cross the city from North to South.

  • Hotel Maya
    Off the main road, in front of the tower, Maya Hotel is a brand new modern 20+ levels where you can find design room for your taste. The glass bathroom is as big as the bedroom overlooking the space. Make sure to bring your earplug since you are squeeze between the highway, the Muslim cemetery, Zouk and the main road to the towers.

    Sky Lounge @ Maya Hotel

  • Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur
    Opposite the Towers, across the KLCC park, the Traders host not only the famous SkyBar but also nice restaurants and large room for your stay. Not easy to find but quiet and reclusive. If price is not an issue then Traders will suit you.

  • Nikko Hotel KL
    From outside, the giant chandelier overlooking the entrance is a mark of what bing-bing China could have exported around the world. But for business or leisure Nikko is at an ideal location for any stay in KL.

  • Bijan Restaurant
    If I had to choose one, that would be the one. Not that I try any other restaurant in KL, but this one was nicely placed, decorated and delivered. Malay cuisine at its best with fantastic taste and great presentation. Bill was on the high side but was fine to swallow.

    Bijan Restaurant

  • Jalan Alor (Street Food)
    Less and less food stolls survive the KL's Mall Frenzie nowadays, but the best of the rest are only in on place: Jln Alor. Ask any taxi driver to drop you off at Alor Jln, at night and you will enjoy a great time of pick and choose before you move.

  • Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
    Once enter in the mall, you forget that you are in KL, but wonder if you haven't landed in Dubai or USA. Large space with great inventory shops with plenty of light and seats along the way to make you stay as long as possible to spend your few $. The food court (Food Republic + others restaurants) is a true alternative to street food.

  • KLCC Suria Mall
    Under the Petronas Tower reside a large shopping mall where all brands compete to display their latest inventory. Nice stay over after the visit of the Towers

  • Bukit Bintang Street
    Along the shopping commercial street you will fins all the new and modern mall that you could imagine. Since KL is in constant make-over, don't be surprise to see a 30 yrs old shopping mall next to the latest one.

[[Bar & Dancing]]
  • Sky Bar
    At the Level 33 of the Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur’s international hotel seat a Bar overlooking the KLCC and the Twins Tower. Be sure to come between 8PM and Midnight to enjoy the lights on the Towers and the techno lounge music at the same time. Too bad that the swimming pool could not be converted into a dance floor at night, because it is taking too much of the nice Sky Bar space.

    Sky Bar @ Traders Hotel

  • Zouk
    The sister (or mother I should say) ship in Singapore has an international reputation crossing the ocean. The on in KL has also a fantastic line-up and a splendid location. Saturday night is a fight to get in and a move your body on the dance floor. When on the road to KL do not forget your dancing shoes, that would be a mistake to skip this place.