LOG ENTRY 52
Butterworth - Penang island - Kuala Lumpur
Distance: 360 kilometers
We had an excellent night in the Berlin Hotel. For less than 15 dollars we got more than we paid for. After stuffing our bellies with the buffet breakfast we jumped on the bikes and took the ferry to Penang Island.
First thing in Penang what struck us is the Chinese influence. So far in Malaysia we felt ourselves like we are back in Pakistan or Eastern Turkey. Penang was different, Chinese shops, streets; basically we found the whole island as a big China town. After a brief ride around and a delicious wonton soup we decided to take the bridge back to the mainland and head towards Kuala Lumpur.
The highway from Penang to KL was nothing like the one from the highway from Thailand to Penang. It was way much better and even the day before I was surprised how good it was. Two by two and then three by three asphalts lines stretched towards the capital city of this Asian powerhouse. The highway rest area was comparable to the Autogrill in Italy. Clean, chilled, organized and most of all immerse amount if food in restaurants and food stalls without the overcrowded feeling we were used to in Thailand.
Rakyat Central Night Market
With a very good pace we reached Kuala Lumpur in a matter of hours, not more than 4 hours. Normally when you arrive to a major city the first sign of your approach is the increasing traffic and the density of the populated area. This was only partially true here. The traffic slightly grew as we got closer but the first impression of Kuala Lumpur was the Petronas Towers poking their head out from behind the hills. There are hills surrounding KL from the north and we couldn’t really see the city until we got really close, just over the mountains and it was impressive. Many people think that the Petronas twin tower which was the tallest building in the world until the opening of the Taipei 101 in Taipei.
Kuala Lumpur Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers at night
For a city as big as KL we quickly found accommodation near Rakyat central night market. Not as luxuries as the night before but still very nice for around 10 dollars. After unloading the bikes we headed out to the market first and then explore the city on the skytrain.
Kuala Lumpur monorail
We are on the connecting bridge between the Petronas Twin Towers
Petronas Twin Towers
View from the Kuala Lumpur Tower
Kuala Lumpur Tower, it offered much better view for the fraction of the price than the Petronas Towers
Next day we spent with sightseeing. First we headed to the Petronas towers but unfortunately the top observation deck was closed to the public so we only got up to the bridge connecting the two towers. Hungry for heights and better view we headed to the Kuala Lumpur Tower which has an observation deck 335 meters from the ground. The entrance was 20 ringit but it worth it more than we thought. Even thought it wasn’t as tall as the Petronas towers, the KL Tower is on a small hill so the observation deck actually lies higher than the Petronas tower which gave us an excellent view for the fraction of the price we would have paid for the Petronas. Kuala Lumpur Tower is highly recommended if you are in for the good view.
Totally gutted, we walked all day and the heat got to us.
The rest of the day spent with walking, walking and walking. We explored this rather diverse city, the Indian and Chinese quarters as well as the colonial British areas. Even thought Kuala Lumpur was better than we expected it is still not as magical as Bangkok and we lost so much time already in Thailand that we decided to keep on going the next day towards Singapore.