We left Singapore in style riding a comfortable bus to Kuala Lumpur; the kids were happy because it had a movie screen in each seat. The experience was quite unique for us, but nicer than going through the maddening security lines at airports. We stopped at Singapore immigration and then at the Malaysia border for passport processing. No problems except for the one bottle of wine we brought as a gift for our host (they let us through) and a few hours later we arrived in Kuala Lumpur to meet our new friend, Wai Fung.
One of the best things about our trip is all the people we meet and KL was no different. My friend, Kin, who is from Malaysia but lives in San Francisco, introduced us to her dear sister, Wai Fung, and her lovely family. They were incredible hosts! We really felt at home thanks to Wai Fung and her husband, Derrick, who lent us their beautiful apartment and welcomed us into their lives. We shared many meals together including Italian, Japanese, and a delicious Chinese dinner with friends. Just as in life, it is the friends that made this a very special stay in KL! Thanks to Wai Fung and her family.
KL turned out to be a very pleasant surprise for us. We enjoyed visiting the Batu Caves and hiking up the stairs to see the huge cave. Wai Fung also booked the tour for us to go up the Petronas Twin Towers, the highest twin tours in the world. It was a clear day and it was pretty cool to be in the Observation Deck at level 86. These towers are the tallest twin towers in the world (only to have been eclipsed by the World Trade Center Towers). The surrounding area has this really cool mall – Suria KLCC – where we had lunch and did some window shopping as well as a beautiful garden with this amazing playground that the kids let some energy go while we chilled. At night there is a colorful water show that reminds me of Las Vegas.
We also took a day trip to Malacca, which is about 2 1/2 hours from KL. As much as I don’t like organized tours, it was a convenient way to visit Malacca, the bus was comfortable and it took us to the main sites. Malacca is a UNESCO heritage site, the Portuguese took control of it in 1511, when Afonso de Albuquerque sailed from Goa to Malacca. It remained a Portuguese trading center until 1641 when the Dutch took control. A vital port and given the same name as the crucial Malacca Straits that is the sea between Malaysia and Indonesia’s western island of Sumatra; Malacca is named after the Sultanate that ruled the area in the 15th century. We visited the main sites that included churches and forts before a nice lunch with our fellow bus tourists – an engineer from Chennai, India, and a dentist couple from Barcelona – before heading back for our final night in Kuala Lumpur. We all thought we could have stayed longer in Kuala Lumpur to explore more sites and visit the southern part of Malaysia, certainly a great place to visit.