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2017 OCTOBER - MALASIA PENANG TO KUALA LUMPUR

BACK TO FAMILIAR TERRITORY, WE STAY FLASH IN KL

sunny

THIS BLOG IS BEING WRITTEN FROM MEMORY SO NOT MUCH DETAIL.
I AM CATCHING UP ON MISSED BLOGS WHILE RELAXING ON TIOMAN ISLAND

DAY 254 TUESDAY 17TH OCTOBER 2017

PENANG TO KUALA LUMPUR

Checked out of our nice hotel, the bellboy called us a taxi to take us to the ferry to take us back to Butterworth. The taxi was again 15myr = aud $4.63 , same as we paid to get to hotel. The ferry was free as you only need to pay on the way over to Penang, not on the return journey.

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Our booked train departs at 1.30pm and we left the hotel at 11.30 to give us enough time to get to the station. We walked straight onto a ferry which departed about 10 minutes later. The longest wait was for the shuttle bus to take us over to the train station and avoid the up and down stairs. This was starting to get a little unnerving as we waited almost an hour for the every 15minute shuttle. In the end 2 minivans showed up as another ferry had arrived while we were waiting, and I thought we might be bumped for the old & infirm. Ended up we arrived at the station in plenty of time and had to wait until we were allowed onto the platform.

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Looked like the train was fully booked again as advised by signs up in the ticket booth. Glad we pre-purchased them. Train tickets are somewhat more expensive here in Malaysia than in Thailand, but I guess the trains are somewhat better also. Our ticket Butterworth to Kuala Lumpur was 79 myr = aud $24.38 each. The journey took about 4 hours with multiple stops for the first 2 hours then express the rest of the way, we reached speeds up to 145km / hour, according to the screen. And we were given a snack.

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DAY 255 WEDNESDAY 18TH OCTOBER 2017

Greeted again with smiles and good morning as we passed the reception area on the way to the breakfast room.

Breakfast at the hotel was a pretty good spread but as like in all Asian hotels the food is all served cold. You could get an egg freshly deep fried or an omelette cooked, but all the other food sitting in tin boxes with a candle under it were luke warm at best. I took some of the fried potatoes to the egg cooking lady and requested she give it a bit of a heat up in her frying pan. At first she looked a little bewildered, started to take it back to the kitchen when I demonstrated just put in it fry pan for a few minutes. It was still only just warm but better than before. At least there was some nice bread – non-sweet bread – so breakfast was good enough.

Straight after breakfast we headed back to Petaling Street where the few day market stalls were just setting up. But we were not looking for fake bargains, we were looking for someone very specific. The Duck Lady! For years we have been coming here and the duck lady has been here selling cooked ducks to all and sundry, including us. Many a time we have purchased ½ a duck to take on board an Air Asia flight as our meal. Never being seated next to each other, the duck would be passed down the aisle to Lyn or me. Last time I flew with Robyn and we did in fact sit together and enjoy the duck, do you remember Robyn? So, today again we purchased ½ a duck for 28myr = aud$8.61 , taking it back to our room fridge to be enjoyed later for lunch.

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Back outside we walked to the Central Market to have a look to see if anything had changed there, it hadn’t, and to drop off our shirts to be embroidered with this year’s trip slogan. 70myr = aud$21.53.

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To kill some time we went for a ride in the free loop bus that leaves from Chinatown, but this took less than an hour because the traffic was quite free flowing.

Back to the room for duck lunch!

We ventured back out for dinner only to find that the satay stand was still unmanned. I asked the guy at the fruit stall next to the empty stall and he said gone, no more. Not sure if he meant for good or that she was gone on holidays or what. But sadly, this is the first trip to KL without a visit to the satay stand. Another tradition dead!

We returned to the food hall where we ordered lemon chicken & stir fried mixed vegies both 15myr = aud $4.61 each. The both came with plain rice and we splurged out on another 14.90 myr = aud$4.58 beer.

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DAY 256 THURSDAY 19th OCTOBER 2017

After good mornings and smiley greetings, we went to breakfast. It’s the same fare every day, but the bread is still nice so all good. Coffee is shocking, but you can’t win them all.

We are off on an adventure today, an adventure on the public transport. It’s so cheap to use the public buses here and how lost can we get really? Anyway, today we were on a mission and I had consulted google maps to find exactly where we were going and how we could get there.
Bus #100 that could be caught a block behind the central market would take us to our first destination. We found the bus stop no worries and as we were waiting the bus guys asked where we wanted to go. 8truim Shopping Centre I advised, and one guys said – oh Decathlon! Yes, exactly, that’s where we wanted to go. OK get on this bus 103, it will take you there and its leaving now. Perfect, we took our seats and new it was about an hour or so ride due to distance and the amount of stops the public buses do. The bus did in fact depart minutes later and when the bus conductor reached us he advised ticket was 3myr = aud 92c each.

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We drove out of the central town area and into the suburbs. Numerous high rises everywhere, there must be a hell of a lot of people living here in KL. The bus turned onto a highway and I though, gee how far out of town is this store? Next thing the bus is pulling over on the highway and the driver was motioning for us to get out – we were stopped on a 3-lane highway. There was no bus stop, there was no pedestrian walkway. But we were stopped outside the Decathlon store and they were happy for us to get off here, so we did and crossed a lane of merging road, climbed over the barrier and walked to the store. So funny, only in Asia would they just drop you off in the middle of a busy highway. But we made it there ok and spent the next 1 ½ hours browsing my favourite sports store.

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Of course, we made some purchases, including full face snorkel sets 99myr = aud$30.39 which we had seen in the same store in Europe and kicked ourselves for not purchasing back then. But we did now as these will be handy for our upcoming time at Tioman Island.

Since we were over this side of town, we thought we may as well drop into the Ikea store that is out this way. We asked the worker standing outside the Decathlon store where the nearest bus stop was, and he pointed to the highway where we were dropped off. It was all well and good being dropped off the bus on the highway but to try and flag one down when we had no idea even which one we wanted, it was easier & safer to get a taxi the short distance.

So, we headed out to a back main road, not going to try and flag a taxi on the highway either, and we saw several taxis parked on the road up ahead. We also saw a Maccas and decided to go in there for a cold drink and toilet break first. Of course, when we headed back outside all the taxis were gone so we just stood roadside until we saw one passing and flagged him down.

It was only about 20 minutes to the Ikea store, via the highway and through a toll, and the fare was just 14.90myr + 1.10myr (for the road toll) = 16myr = aud$4.91 so not too much damage. Considering the bus was so cheap it all sort of evens itself out.

Lunch at Ikea around the world differs only slightly with each countries speciality, but you can always rely on them all having the Swedish Ikea meatballs, which were a popular choice here as in every Ikea restaurant. Also, a hot favourite here was chicken wings, so we had both. And they had mash potato, of which I got an extra scoop for both of us.

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Again, we made a few purchases, as you do. The line-up for the checkouts was quite long, obviously the Malaysians love Ikea too.

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We caught the free shuttle bus that runs from Ikea to the nearest MRT station, very kind of them. Actually, we have noticed a few countries where we have visited Ikea stores they have free shuttle buses from a nearby transport or shopping centre. Anything to make it easier for the customer to access their shops, very smart I think.

The MRT ticket was just 3.70myr = aud$1.14, similar to the bus fare, but was much quicker as did not have to negotiate any traffic.
Back at our hotel we surveyed our purchases of the day, wondering how on earth we are going to incorporate these extra items into our already overloaded luggage. Minutes later I was on the internet purchasing a few extra kilos of luggage for our last flight home.

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Dinner was left over duck, Ikea chicken wings which we could not eat at lunch and we went out and bought some garlic nan bread and dahl. Picnic fit for queens in our posh room, ah washed down with a couple of Tiger Radler beers from 711!

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Posted by Cindy Bruin 06:21 Archived in Malaysia

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