STOP 14 | Day 37 to 40 |
The favorite form of transport for many Malaysians is the bus so we decided this would be our mode of transport from Penang to Kuala Lumpur. Compared to many other SE Asian countries, the bus system is very well developed. We splurged all of $10.50USD per person to get the top of the line luxury bus (Nice Executive Coaches) which was one of the nicest (no pun intended) buses we’ve ever been on. The bus only accommodated 27 people and each seat had its own screen with movies, tv shows and internet! After the 5 hour evening bus trip (which J managed to survived even with his food poisoning), we looked forward to checking into the Grand Hyatt, a luxury thanks to our points. The hotel’s location was also perfect as it was in the KLCC (KL City Center), close to various malls and dining options, with great views of and right across from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. This was A’s second time to KL as she had visited about 9 years ago with family, A’s mom was born in Malaysia!
After a good night’s rest and J somewhat recovered from his food poisoning, we headed to Feeka Coffee Roasters for breakfast. KL is a very developed metropolitan city and has all types of cuisine to offer as well as numerous western style cafes. The rest of the day we spent wandering the malls, as A had to find an outfit for our upcoming stop in France for a wedding. We also invested in some “necessary grooming” with J getting a haircut and A getting a manicure pedicure (she has definitely missed that luxury). Although the food courts were not as impressive as Bangkok, we stopped at Lot 10 Huton Food Court which had a good collection of hawker stalls. As J started to get his appetite back we enjoyed a version of Macau‘s famed pork chop bun from Porco, a Penang Curry Mee and Jian Dui (red bean sesame ball – one of A’s favorite Chinese pastry). For dinner we stopped at Din Tai Fung , a Taiwanese franchise which now has locations throughout the world and is renowned for its Xiao Long Bao (steamed soup dumplings).
The next day we brunched at Acme Bar & Coffee, which could’ve been a restaurant in New York with its instagram-able decor, latte art and avocado toast! We also explored the city on the hop on hop off tour (J’s favorite way to see a city – surprisingly the first of our trip), the route was very long taking 3 hours to complete. We managed to get back to the hotel just before the city was hit by torrential downpour – interestingly, J had watched a documentary about the SMART tunnel (Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel) which is a 9.7km tunnel built in 2003 to help with flash flooding in the city and reduce traffic during rush hour, it is the longest multipurpose tunnel in the world. That evening we caught up with A’s mom’s cousin who lives in KL, we enjoyed a Korean meal at Mid Valley Megamall. She also gave us a Pandan flavored mooncake and the exotic tropical fruit “Dukong” to try; mooncakes were being sold throughout the city given the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival. The dukong looked like a longan, was sweet and when opened looked like the lognan/lychee but was sectioned like a mangosteen. Both gifts were quickly devoured!
Our last day in KL also marked the last day of our SE Asia leg of our adventure. We took it easy, apart from last a minute effort to find J a suitable tie for the wedding, and enjoyed the amenities at the hotel. Reflecting on this leg of the trip we’ve summed up our travels with numbers (A is an accountant at heart after-all) and some of our best “experiences”:
- 40 Days | 14 Stops | 5 Countries
- 8 Flights | 8 Buses/Mini-Vans | 4 Scooters | 2 Sleeper Trains
- 10 Gym Sessions | 3 Dives | 1 Hospital Visit | 1 Bout of Food Poisoning
- Favorite Stop – Hoi An, Vietnam
- We Wished We Stayed Longer Stop – Luang Prabang, Laos
- Best Dish – Our homemade green curry in Phuket
- “Experience” We Won’t Forget – van ride to Kratie (read about it here)