I am not a backpacker. I get up at 7.30. Backpackers get up at 9.30. I wear t-shirts and shorts. Backpackers wear singlets and 3/4 length hemp trousers. I wear Roman sandals. Backpackers wear jandals. I have laundry detergent. Backpackers have ipods, iphones, ipads, blackberries, smartphones, tablets, androids and even full-size laptops! When they get in to dorms they just sit there on the computer! What’s happened to getting off the beaten track?
Anyway I picked my way out from the electronic morass of chargers, cables and baggage helpfully spread about in the dorm and made my way out to KL. First stop was the site of the declaration of Malaysian independence in 1957.
The flag pole is about as large as the one at Auckland airport. Across the road is the Sultan Abdul Samad building
All the tents were for the KL marathon. I went out for a run and ended up here one night and a Pakistani who had come over to set up a big screen said I should do it. But he also said (while I was doing my unusual exercises – noone in Malaysia does press ups in parks; some people even took photos) that my proportions were all out and I should lift weights to develop ‘the good looking muscles’. I didn’t do the marathon.
Anyway from there I went to the Malaysian Tourism Centre, which is in the middle of nowhere up near Petronas Towers. It’s good to go for a map of KL. they also have a chocolate shop next door with overpriced chocolates and huge, stale chocolate carvings. I went form there to KL Tower. The viewing platform is about 280m high, 100m higher than the one at Petronas Towers.
It’s a tourist TRAP! You can have the buffet meal in the revolving restaurant. That’s understandable. Souvenir stalls? I suppose. A model village? Hmm. Petting zoo? PONY RIDES?! For some reason it reminded me of an adventure game, like a location in Sam & Max Hit the Road, or Big Whoop. The view from the top is . . .
When I bought my ticket I was offered free entry to the zoo, a free pony ride or a free drive in the F1 simulator. I chose the latter. It was unremarkable except a woman in a burqua chose it too. Girls can do anything.
I walked down to the National Museum. It’s quite small, but well done. It follows a clear development – pre-history, Malay kingdoms, colonialism, and independence. Some of the displays:
It has a short patriotic video explaining Merdeka if you want to watch. It’ll bring a tear to your eye.
From here I had a bit of a wander around town.
I checked in to a new hostel – the Monkey Inn – for a single room, as I’d had enough of being woken up at all hours. It was RM25/night for a single fan room. It was also the first place where I’d seen anyone cleaning, but it wasn’t completely thorough.
Unfettered, I headed out for dinner.
Still feeling hungry I had a roti pisang!