After the poverty, heat, dirt, and pollution of Cambodia, we were so looking forward to heading to the modern city of Kuala Lumpur, in the 1st world country of Malaysia. Gigantic air conditioned malls here I come!
We had looked at staying in the Golden Triangle or Bukit Bintang areas of Kuala Lumpur, where the shopping malls and Petronas Towers are, but the hotels were at least $60/night. Instead we found D’Oriental Hotel in the heart of Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, for $28/night. D’Oriental Hotel is on Jalan Petaling, which is lined with shopping stalls during the day and even more at night, so that cars cannot even drive through at night. Amazingly, our room on the 5th floor is pretty quite. The room comes with breakfast and free FAST WiFi, so we are happy to spend a week here. There are also two computers with internet downstairs.
Click here to book a hotel in Chinatown.
Public Transportation from the Airport
When we arrived at the airport there were 5 options of public transportation to get into the center of the city. What a wonderful change, after getting used to having to haggle for a taxi or tuk tuk. We opted for the red Sky Bus for 9 ringgit ($2.48) per person for the 1 hour ride to KL Sentral. From there we took a taxi to Chinatown.
After checking into our room at D’Oriental we went down to Jalan Petaling to explore a bit of Chinatown and find some lunch. As we walked up Jalan Petaling something in the air started to burn our eyes and throats and we turned back the other way. I thought it was weird that no one here wears pollution masks, if the pollution and smoke here are worse than Cambodia. But later than evening we figured out what it was– there was a demonstration starting at the National Mosque protesting the vote to continue teaching math and science in English, instead of Bahasa Malaysia, and since the unauthorized demonstrators were moving toward the National Palace, they were tear gassed. The mosque is not far from where we were at, and we must have been downwind.
So as part of our welcome to this thriving metropolis, we got our first taste of tear gas. Not to worry, though, we are still loving it here. 😀
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