A Travellerspoint blog

Tourist Attraction Alert: Petronas Towers, KL

Just an FYI

overcast 28 °C

In the midst of getting lost in the city yesterday, Marv and I found ourselves exiting a mall and walking into the main entrance area outside of the Petronas Towers. Having not planned on going up that day, we thought we'd just be prepared for when we were ready and check out the ticketing prices first. We followed a lost-looking couple ahead of us who had paused to ask directions from a security guard who nonchalantly pointed them to a sign. They read it, we read it, and were slightly disappointed.

PETRONAS TOWERS CLOSED FOR RENOVATION UNTIL DECEMBER 2011.

Boo. Good thing we'll be back in January.

But for those of you who won't - plan ahead and don't be disappointed!

Posted by marvandmel 17:55 Archived in Malaysia Tagged kuala_lumpur tourist_attraction petronas_towers Comments (0)

Eating my words

...and they weren't even that good

sunny 32 °C

My last (poorly written under the influence of jetlag and 32 degree heat) post made fun of Marvin and of how much food he ate while in his home element. Of course, who is it the VERY next day that crawls up next to a noon-napping Marvin to whine the phrase "honey, I'm hungry"?

Yeah, that would be me.

I may not have evolved to the point of acquiring the same voracious ability to polish off 5 (small) meals a day, but I'm starting to get hungry when I never was before. To save me the shame of another raggedly etched out post, I'm going to just treat you to all the yummy goodness I've been treated to over the past few days (that I've bothered to take a picture of, that is). MIA are all of the home cooked meals that we've been fed by Marvin's mom and aunt; I should be able to fix that soon...
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Our first meal upon touchdown in KL. Soup, drinks, and a bowl of rice for each of the three of us, a plate of BBQ pork and duck, half a Hainanese chicken, dumplings in soup, and bean sprouts. Devoured in about 20 minutes, this meal for 4 - 5 (though finished between only 3 of us) cost a whopping $20 CAD equivalent. That one was an expensive one.

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After traversing the Monorail to the city centre, we treated ourselves with some HK style desserts. Mine (foreground) was a mango shaved ice with milk and crystal pearls. I think Marvin had watermelon shaved ice with black grass jelly, milk, and tapioca. MMMMmmmmMMMMMMmMmMmMMMmmm. 7.90 RM each. Do the math. Yup, less than 3 bucks each. Math makes it that much tastier, doesn't it?

To work up an appetite (or not), Marv and I have been getting up early every morning and going on walks around the neighbourhood. (Okay, it's probably more due to jetlag and lack of things to do first thing in the morning, but hey, we're out and about, right?) The end of each of our walks has brought us to a restaurant or another for breakfast. Restaurants here are not your typical North American gig. Here, someone owns the property and sells the drinks from a main counter in the back. The rest of the area is taken up by seating and stalls where different cooks make different dishes--your job is to peruse the selections and tell your choice of cook what you would like.
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Both mornings so far (and I can't wait for this third one either) we've both ordered drinks, and then 2 dishes to share. Yesterday's meal looked like this:
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That spread was 14 RM. OOOOooooOOooOOoh yeah!

After a 2 hour foot massage yesterday, we apparently worked up an appetite for afternoon tea (because Uncle Yi had got us traditional Char Kwei Tao noodles for lunch at home) and promptly sated it at a nearby Indian restaurant with deliciousness that I can't remember the names of--but could pick it off a menu if given the choice...
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The good thing? YUM. The bad thing? They were OUT of Mango Lassi! I can't tell you how disappointed I was. :(

I was going to close this entry with the tantalizing tastes of the Pasar Malam market we went to last night, but it's currently 8:45 in the morning and I'm late for breakfast! Be back soon!

Posted by marvandmel 07:50 Archived in Malaysia Tagged kuala_lumpur food Comments (0)

Wha' happened?

Food happened.

We're here! We're here! 22 hours in transit plus the time from the airport and we made it to KL. How's it been? Full of food.

My first order of business was to learn just how much Malaysians love their food. I should have known that it was always underlying in Marvin, but I never saw this foodie in him in full force until now. The closer we got to his home town, the more this craving for food emerged. Thank goodness we lost weight before heading here!

It all started at the HK airport. A few hours after being fed an airplane-breakfast in flight (I picked congee which turned out to be quite good), we were deposited in Hong Kong for our 3 hour layover before transferring onward to KL. We took a quick walk through the arrivals wing before determining that everything was closed and not interesting, so we slid on through security to check out the departures side of things. 6 o'clock in the morning and the restaurant stoves were already ablaze with deliciousness.

Of my four or five choices, I forewent the sushi and McDonald's and instead decided on a huge bowl of noodles and dumplings (when in Rome...).
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Marvin, on the other hand, opted for something a little less traditional. I didn't take a picture of it, but he ordered Popeye's Chicken Fingers...with fries...and mashed potatoes...and onion rings.

After chowing down, we strolled around the airport to check it out a little more before heading to our gate. It's a big, beautiful airport, I have to say.
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However, not long at all into our exploration, we discovered that we could have had 10 more options of restaurants to choose from had we not jumped at the first bank of retailers we'd come across. :(

Back on the plane, we were served black bean chicken on rice - I was barely able to finish it having not long ago finished my bowl of noodles, but not Marvin - he polished that off too (though to his credit, he was too full to finish mine for me). Off the plane, through customs, and whizzing through the city towards home with his brother, I couldn't believe my ears: "Hey, can we stop for food?"

Stop we did.
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I didn't manage to get a photo of it before we dug in (the boys much more heartily than me), but I took what I could and it was good enough as what was left was demolished a few minutes later. You could tell by the look on Marvin's face he was happy to be home. :)

I think that was lunch--we still managed to have dinner later that night, and then breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack the next day. I have been REALLY lax on the photo taking, but I promise there will be more, just as I have been promised that this is only the beginning of the food to come...

Posted by marvandmel 11:44 Archived in Malaysia Tagged kuala_lumpur food Comments (0)

Off we go!

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It's ten to one in the morning this fine, November day--we're sitting, waiting for our boarding call at the airport, pumped full of adrenaline and simultaneous exhaustion. I forgot my sunscreen and a hard copy of my itinerary, but hey, those are the things that keep it interesting, right?

I miss you all already--I would have sent some more personalized goodbyes, but my phone just died, of course. :)

See you on the other side [of the globe, that is]!

<3 M & M

Posted by marvandmel 00:50 Archived in Canada Tagged airport beginning Comments (2)

Mo' money mo' problems

Really just problems with math--not any REAL problems

Our upcoming epic trip is to include 6 different countries with 6 different types of currency, each of them ridiculously foreign to me, having never really traveled to Asia before (Japan conversion was a simple 'divide by 100' at the time I was there). I was lost enough having to deal with British pounds--I gave up trying to count my own change and simply held out palmfuls of coins to the retailers to pick and choose for themselves--now I have to deal with Ringgit, Baht, Dong, Riel, Rupiah, and HK dollars! While booking our itinerary through the countries of choice, we've been trying to stay within budget which requires doing a lot of conversions between the currencies to remain within reason. When we start our planning and budgeting sessions in the early evening, it's not too bad.

Malaysia = RM = Ringgit = divide by 3 for CAD
Thailand = THB = Baht = divide by 30
Vietnam = VND = Dong = divide by 20,919
Cambodia = KHR = Riel = divide by 4,000
Indonesia = IDR = Rupiah = divide by 8,770
Hong Kong = HKD = Hong Kong Dollar = divide by 7.6

But then it gets really late at night and your brain stops working.

Jumping from Baht to Dong can really mess with your head. All the extra zeros that suddenly start to appear can be really daunting, especially when your next flight comes up at over a MILLION Dong.

"Holy crap, baby! Our flight out of Ho Chi Minh is going to be 1,079,000 VND! That's ridiculous!"
"What is that in CAD?"
"It's ridiculous! It's...*divide by 30*...oh, wait...*recalculate and divide by 20,919*...oh, never mind. It's $51.57."

And then reading up on travel tips to avoid getting scammed I learned that scams seemed to be par for the course in certain parts of Vietnam. I was looking up stories about how to get from Da Nang to Hoi An by bus and found that every post in the forum I was in had mentions of scams, overpricing, and drivers that would hike up prices for foreigners on a whim. I was starting to get upset to learn that drivers were demanding 10,000 VND for an hour long bus ride that should only cost 7,000 VND. That's an additional 3,000 VND! How could they demand such insanely high prices, above and beyond what is POSTED for the ride?!

And then I did the calculation.

They're haggling over 15 cents?

This is going to be one epic journey.

Posted by marvandmel 00:07 Archived in Canada Tagged currency goofy Comments (0)

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