Our friends, Michelle and Jeff, went on a month-long cruise in April 2013. John and I looked at their itinerary and decided to meet them in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
You can read about our 3-hour crab feast in Singapore HERE.
Michelle told me about their friends, Vicki and Amir, who offered to show them around Kuala Lumpur and that they’d be happy to include us in their exploring.
Amir is from KL, so we were so excited and extremely grateful about their offer to let us come along for the ride!
Vicki and Amir also offered to meet us at our hotel the night we arrived and take us to one of their favorite local places for dinner.
Little Penang Cafe is on the top floor of Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).
We asked Vicki and Amir to order some of their favorite things for us to try.
Top Hats and Pucuk Paku with shrimp:
Char Kuey Teow with prawns, crab meat, cockles, egg and taugeh:
And Curry Laksa:
After dinner we ordered a couple of cold beers at one of KLCC’s outdoor pubs overlooking the KLCC Park and got to know each other a little more.
The next morning, we walked back to KLCC, ordered a cup of coffee, and waited eagerly for our friends to arrive.
Our first stop was Jalan Petaling Street in Chinatown.
This is where you go when you’re in the market for designer knockoffs and/or pirated CDs and DVDs.
There are also several hawker stalls and temples.
But my favorite part was the wet market.
I adore walking through food markets in other countries.
I’m always fascinated by how different they are from where I shop at home.
I mean, do you see this at your local grocery store?
Because I don’t.
I could spend hours in a market like this. I love the meat, the produce, the smells, and the people.
Especially, the people.
While we were in Chinatown we stopped for a quick lunch at China Town Food Paradise:
It was Street Food Heaven.
After lunch, we went to the spa:
The Fish Spa!
Do you know about Fish Pedicures?
The Garra Rufa fish eat the dead skin you have on your feet.
I know what you are thinking: Kristi that is gross, why are you telling me this?
Well, I am telling you because I had no idea what a Fish Pedicure was until that day . . .
And I don’t want that for you.
I want you to be informed about cool things like this.
I wish I could explain what it feels like, but I can’t. It’s just something you are going to have to experience.
Really. Add Fish Spa to your bucket list.
Your feet will shine for days!
From there we went to Central Market:
The Kasturi Walk, which runs alongside Central Market:
And then drove about 7 miles north to the Batu Caves.
You can read all about our time at the caves HERE.
The last stop of the day was for traditional Malay delicacies at Vicki and Amir’s favorite local bakery, Mak Jah Cafe.
Thank you, Amir, for ordering for us — everything was delicious!
Well, I should say everything I tasted was delicious.
A certain someone (JEFF!) ate all of the Kuih Gelang (donuts).
Kuih Bakar Kemboja translates roughly to grilled dessert.
If I had to pick a favorite, it would be that one.
Although I’m sure the donuts were delicious . . .
We had such an amazing day exploring Kuala Lumpur with our friends.
Our day together ended too soon and it was time to say goodbye to Michelle and Jeff as they hopped back on the Oceania and cruised to their next destination.
The next day, John and I had a few hours before our flight to Kuching, so we jumped on the metro and went to Merdeka Square.
It is also known as Independence Square. A 100 meter high flagpole stands in the center signifying the independence of Malaysia from British rule in 1957.
If you look closely you can see me standing in front of it.
Alongside the square is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.
It’s a gorgeous British built building named for the reigning sultan of Selangor at the time of its construction.
It now houses the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture.
At one end of the square is a fountain that was brought over from England and then assembled in Kuala Lumpur in 1897.
It was under construction while we were there but that didn’t keep me from falling in love with the detail and colors.
Another beautiful building is the National Textile Museum. It was once the headquarters for the Federated Malay States Railways in 1905.
Today, it is where you can learn about the origins, development, and techniques used in the industry of local textiles.
The National Mosque of Malaysia holds 15,000 people, sits on 13 acres of land, and is surrounded by lush gardens.
One of its key features is a towering 567.5 feet minaret.
We spent several hours exploring the area and observing the interactions of the local people.
I always enjoy the people as much as the sights, if not more.
We went back to our hotel, grabbed our bags, and hopped on an AirAsia flight to Kuching.
Kuching is also in Malaysia but it is on the island of Borneo.
What an amazing couple of days.
Don’t forget to read about our time with the monkeys at the Batu Caves:
And our crab feast in Singapore.
Crab, monkeys, wet market, street food, fish pedicures, and great friends — it doesn’t get much better than that.