Kuala Lumpur is going to be our central South East Asian point for the next few months as we come and go on flights to various destinations. We are mainly flying with the budget airline AirAsia and KL is their hub. Our first visit was a fleeting three night stay to break up the journey from Sydney to Cambodia and get a Japanese Encephilitis jab, the final of our travel vaccinations.
We boarded our AirAsia flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur armed with some snacks and water even though strictly you aren’t supposed to. But heck, an 8 hour flight with a 3 and 5 year old with one rip-off almost inedible purchased meal for sustenance – we were wiling to give it a go (and got away with it contrary to other reports I’d read about how strict they were).
Once again the kids were pretty good on the flight, a miracle given that their parents are numpties and stupidly hadn’t downloaded too much in the way of movies and games onto our devices and there’s no inflight entertainment. Sophie and I had about 1,000 games of snakes and ladders and there was a lot of colouring in, plus even some schoolwork writing the Sydney trip report at 30,000 feet. Good old fashioned fun!
We arrived in KL in the early evening (but late Sydney time for us), and were instantly hit by the hot, humid temperature. It’s about an hour’s drive from the airport to city so we climbed into a pre-paid taxi and both the kids fell asleep. We quickly checked into the hotel and to our two rooms and conked out. The kids had some instant noodles on the plane and Mike and I shared a Snickers bar – not much of a dinner!
A good night’s sleep and we set out to explore KL the next morning. Given our lack of food the night before, we were all starving so quickly found a nice bakery across the street from our hotel. We then got onto the monorail and metro underground trains to head towards KLCC which is where the famous Twin Towers are.
We had one final unpleasant chore to get done, and that was to have our Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccines. We’ve already had a myriad of vaccinations done before we left New Zealand, however we were quoted around $2,200 NZD for the 4 of us to have JE vaccinations. Wowzers. JE is effectively swelling of the brain and is transmitted by mosquitoes. It’s a pretty nasty thing – most people who get it either die or are left with brain damage. While the risks to travellers are low, our travel doctor had recommended it because we are in SE Asia for longer than a month and sometimes close to rural areas and we didn’t want to muck around with it. But that was going to blow our budget big time.
I did some research online and came across the highly recommended Twin Towers Medical Centre in the KLCC Suria Mall who offered the full gambit of medical services. So we rocked up with no appointment and enquired and sure enough they could do it for us there and then.
It was a fantastic facility, extremely efficient, professional and so sterile looking that you would literally eat of the floor. The doctor and nurses were so kind to us and the kids and didn’t bat an eye when the kids howled the place down. It’s also the more modern vaccine than the one available in NZ, so we only needed one jab rather than the two we would have had at home.
Best of all – the price. It cost us $200NZD all up for the appointment and the 4 vaccines. Just goes to show you what happens when a drug company has a monopoly on importing into a country 🙁
As a reward for all those jabs we found a Haagen Daaz ice-cream parlour, the kids really enjoyed their first taste of Haagen Daaz 🙂
The kids are still a bit jet-lagged so we went back to the hotel for a movie and some quiet time, followed by an early dinner.
Here’s what else we got up to in our 2 days in KL:
Playground and park near the Petronas Twin Towers
At the entrance to the KLCC Suria Mall and at the base of the Twin Towers is a big park complete with the biggest kids’ playground I’ve ever seen. Perfect for pre-schoolers and younger kids, you could easily spend an hour or more exploring, all with stunning views of the Twin Towers (the tallest building in the world from 1998 – 2004) in the background. We’re definitely going to come back either early morning or evening when it’s not so hot, and when the wading pool is open – it was closed for maintenance.
Petrosans Discovery Centre
We spent about four hours in the Petrosans Discovery Centre, an amazing science based museum aimed at children. It was absolutely fantastic for both the kids and us and I’ll write a separate post on it as there’s too much detail to talk about here. The favourites were the life-sized Tyrannosaurs Rex and erupting volcano, hurricane simulator, Mars Rover robot that you could drive via remote control, science experiments throughout and ride on diggers. A great way to spend the day.
Eating at Jalan Alor
The food in Malaysia is one of the things we were looking forward to and Jalan Alor, which is the well-known food street didn’t disappoint. It’s a street lined with food stalls and hawkers with all kinds of wonderful looking and smelling food. We had some great fried rice and noodles, and also visited a noodle stall recommended by my friend Karen. The kids are loving the food which is great, Sophie even tried some chilli that was brought out as an appetizer! We also bought some delicious mango, the fruit is all beautiful.
So that was our fleeting visit, and we’re really looking forward to exploring the city some more when we’re back again for a week in February.
For now Cambodia awaits…..