Saturday, 16 April 2016

first full day in kuala lumpur

Our room has some kind of blackout curtain which is amazing as I've been waking up at 6/7 ish for the whole trip (beyond ironic as I spent the rest of my gap year turning up bleary eyed to my 11am shifts at work) and i managed to sleep in until 9. After a shower we headed down to get breakfast, which is essentially just a loaf of bread next to a toaster, butter, pineapple jam and tea and coffee. Perfect. We asked the hostel owner what her recommended doing and got a very detailed response which involved a lot of circling and scribbling on a map of the city.

After seeing the options we opted to visit Kuala Lumpur tower. It's the 7th tallest free standing tower in the world, and we paid just over £10 to go to the observation deck (262m up). You could pay another £10 to go to the top- but where we went was high enough! We walked there (about 15 minutes from our hostel) and got a free shuttle bus and then ventured up the complicated lift system. There were signs everywhere saying no cameras, almost certainly because they were taking photos of people and trying to get them to buy them. It was busy and being the rebel I am i took a few anyway.

The views were amazing; it was just bizarre to see buildings that looked so massive from the ground reduced almost to doll's house sized. Our tickets also included entry to the aquarium so we went there next. It was small but still interesting and i saw many of the fish which I saw diving so that was cool. I'm never entirely sure how to feel about aquariums ethically but let's just ignore that for the sake of this post.

After the visit we began the journey home with plans of getting lunch. Virtually 5m away was a dominos, our next stop. It was weirdly cheap, probably the same ish as Vietnam, but we each had a regular pizza and then returned to the hostel for a quiet afternoon. There was a massive thunderstorm and torrential rain which was kind of cool; I've spent virtually out entire time here with a layer of sweat and it was strangely enjoyable to feel cold! However lauren and i were going out for dinner and the 15 minute walk in this storm was not so nice.

We booked it online, Molly decided not to come, and it was called Dining in the Dark. In my favourite film About Time the main characters meet in one of these restaurants where you eat your food in complete darkness, so I was so excited to see one close to our hostel! It was pretty expensive for our standards; £24, but this included a welcome drink and 4 courses of food, and honestly just the experience alone was worth it!

After a trek in the rain we arrived and were told we would test our senses (in the light). We were given a welcome drink and asjed what we thought was in it (failed miserably) and then given a blindfold and asked to find a paperclip in a bucket full of rice (I failed miserably yet again). Next we met our guide, a young blind guy called Marcus, and holding onto each other's shoulders were led into a completely pitch black restaurant. He navigated by clicking his tongue which was incredible to experience, and we were brought to our seats. To start with I felt very vulnerable and strange because you're rarely in pitch darkness, but he was so nice I quickly felt at ease.

Our food was delicious, we had a wooden plate thing with emails bowls on it, so each course consisted of many little dishes. Whilst eating we tried to guess what we were having, though when we saw the menu at the end discovered we'd got most of them wrong! It was so fun and a really cool way to eat as I had no idea how much you use your eyes for eating; I consider avocado one of my favourite foods but couldn't detect it at all in a dish where it was a main ingredient!

After we finished Marcus led us out, was genuinely really sad to leave him as he was just a sweet! And it was so sad to think that he had to spend his whole life blind, as though he seemed perfectly happy and was no doubt completely used to it (or had known nothing else)  there are so many experiences he must miss out on, so don't take your sight for granted!

We got a £2 voucher for the bar next door and headed there after for the cheapest drink possible (both succeeded in spending very little extra) and then walked home. We met Molly and while the others watched something on Netflix I researched internal flights, as we have so long here and there isn't a ton to do on our budget. Amazingly to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi (an island in north malaysia), and then from Langkawi to Penang and from Penang back to Kuala Lumpur it's less than £40! There are internal flights for £8 each which is just crazy. After a lot of research I think i found the cheapest ones and we booked them, our first being on the 19th. Exciting stuff!

Laura x

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