The two flights from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur (a connection in Hong Kong) was painless enough, except for this one kid sitting behind me on the first leg of the journey. He was a little prince who was throwing a temper tantrum because his parents made him close his electronic game… because of take-off mind you. He was screaming, crying, and most annoyingly kicking the back of my chair. The Chinese parents said “Hey, can you please stop? You can play again when we are in the air after the take off.” I wonder if the kid eventually stopped because he got bored of crying or because he could literally see the steam from my ears.
Arriving into Kuala Lumpur, my first stop was to get some Malaysian Ringgit and then took the fast train into central station. This was the fastest option compared to the bus and taxi. Then I stopped by the visitor’s center in the central station for a quick briefing on how the make the most of my night in Kuala Lumpur.
Tip: If you want a quick introduction to a city and a good route to fit your time schedule, head to a visitor’s center. They are usually very helpful and worth the time it takes to find them. They can give you a great itinerary for your visit.
From there I got a cab to the Sunway Putra Hotel and checked in. The hotel in general is pretty basic for a 4 star, but the staff does make an effort to smile and greet you when you walk in.
After relaxing a bit, I had to quickly send out some work emails before heading to dinner. I went to the McDonald’s downstairs for the wifi. It still amazes me how 4-5 star hotels don’t offer free wifi.
For dinner I asked the hotel concierge for very local and authentic Malaysian food and he recommended a small area only a few minutes away by taxi.
The poorly lit street had no tourists on it whatsoever, instead a monstrous cat-sized rat greeted me from under a car before he heading back down the gutter. This was about as local as it was gonna get…
First I tried out street vendor’s “Daging Spesial”, a burger with egg wrapped around the patty then covered in mayo and sweet chili sauce. Not bad!
Then I was on the hunt for real Malaysian food. After walking the whole street I eventually settled on a packed restaurant and got a table. Unfortunately when ordering I found out it was only Thai food, so I awkwardly left. Asking several locals the consensus was that the best Malaysian was Restoran Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa. There I had Nasi Lemak with a spicy beef Redang. It is coconut steamed rice with peanuts, cucumber, fried anchovies, and a spicy sauce. I also ordered a fried potato ball. I found a seat with a couple sweating away as they ate and chatted about the city. They thought I was Malaysian and were very surprised to find it was my first day there. I guess that confirms that this is not a touristy restaurant.
Time for a drink to wash down that spicy food!
Trader’s Hotel Sky Bar
The bar is very trendy with a blue-lit pool in the center and seating all around. The couches by the windows had the best views of the Petronas Towers, which is what the bar is known for. The tables by the windows were difficult to come by as there was a long waiting list for only a few tables.
Then I grabbed a taxi to the main bar street.
Changkat Bukit Bintang
The string of bars on the street could be from any city with side-by-side themed bars. I had a beer and soaked in the happening Thursday nightlife.
Walking further up I came upon a Night Market where I purchased a must-have tourist shirt to wear the next day.
This also reminded me that I had an early day the next day, so I called it a night around midnight and headed back for some rest.