If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate just aimlessly wandering around a new destination and seeing what you stumble across…
And that’s what I did one night in Kuala Lumpur. Directly after my awesome dinner in fact. With Chelcie out of action for the night, I decided to head out solo and see the sights of KL from the KL Tower.
But after walking all the way there from our hostel, I decided I wasn’t up for waiting around to climb up for a cloudy view of the city, so decided to bail on that and keep wandering, and it was a worthwhile decision.
My first port of call was to head back towards the Petronas Towers, because… Well they were a good reference point. On the way down Jalan P Ramlee, I decided to stop in one of the bars there for a refresher. With all the staff wearing football shirts (it was Euro 2012 time) I figured maybe I’d catch some highlights whilst I sipped my drink. But when I perched myself up at the bar I received some unexpected attention.
“Hey honey…”, I heard as my arm was being stroked.
“Oh, er, no thanks”
The penny dropped quite quickly… “Oh, it’s one of those kind of bars!” I said to myself.
After wondering whether to stick around and try to act cool whilst I chilled with a drink, another stroke of the arm from a different lady made my mind up. Thus a quick escape was made! Hey, I’m no rich lonely expat businessman. It was not my scene to say the least…
Thankfully across the street was the entrance to the new KL City Walk, so I made a beeline for this newly opened boulevard.
It was about a 10 minute stroll down the fresh looking walkway, and whilst it was lined with some more unique and interesting shops and cafes, half of them were closed, thus it wasn’t particularly inspiring. Thankfully once you came out at the other end you could join what turned out to be a recently opened network of elevated walkways that would take you to various destinations between KL City Centre and Bukit Bintang. The bustling Bukit Bintang was where I was planning to head to anyways, so finding this route was a real stroke of luck and I gladly got into walking mode.
The walkway ended at the Pavilion shopping centre, where I managed to make my drink stop at last. And without any touchy-feely action this time… It was turning into a pretty lush evening as I headed out the front of the Pavilion. Red sky at night = Shepherd’s delight and all that. And with me being in shopping district central, I remembered a message a friend had sent me about an indoor roller coaster at Berjaya Times Square. As soon as the thought popped into my head I was sold, and got my weary legs motoring again.
Heading off the main drag of Bukit Bintang and down the slight hill towards Times Square, I was surprised to see the street I was on labelled as “Fiesta Street”. Aside from a few bars and a Starbucks, I’m not sure where exactly the party would be along here, but hey it looked pretty enough with it’s lights and that. I guess.
I’d heard how KL and Singapore seemingly had a pretty competitive rivarly, with one city always trying to outdo the other. But I didn’t previously think KL could hold a candle to the shopping-obsessed Singapore. Until I arrived at the behemoth that is Times Square!
I lost count of many floors this monolith was holding, and it took me a long long time to actually find where the fun was located. No real wonder when this multi-floored monster is your view:
But having finally located where the roller coaster was, I excitedly made my way up to the fifth floor like the kid I am. I’m 26 by the way. Finally arriving at Times Square’s indoor theme park – oh yes, a whole theme-park – I couldn’t wait for some air-conditioned roller coaster fun and strolled up to check out the prices.
To find out it was closed!
I guess it was getting on a bit, but I was still disappointed that I wasn’t gonna get to be carted around the pretty crazy looking track at high speeds. On the plus side, I guess there would be no chance of me squealing like a girl tonight. Oh and at least I got to see this random guy!
My legs were pretty shot at this point, but I figured I could stretch to one more wander around Bukit Bintang before dragging my sweaty self back to the hostel. So after crawling back up to Jalan Bukit Bintang I took a left turn this time, and then followed the crowds down to a food street I had no idea existed. Turned out I’d found my way down to the famous Jalan Alor.
I’d sampled a bit of street food on my first few nights in KL, but this place was packed out with locals, expats and tourists – always a good sign. I don’t know if the road was actually closed, but with the depth of people filling the street, and additionally the stalls that had opened up in the road, there was no way traffic was getting anywhere. Although I wasn’t particularly hungry, I had to make the most of it, so picked up some chicken balls and simply wandered around snapping away at the packed stalls and bright lights. I was definitely glad I’d made the decision to wander on just that little bit longer.
Alas my legs could take no more however, and after a good four hours and god-knows how many miles of strolling around KL in the sticky Asian heat, I had to give in and head back to the hostel. Typically this was followed by another long walk due to the monorail & metro route I had to take, and I pretty much collapsed into the sofa in the hostel lounge with a massive cool bottle of fizzy.
It had been an awesome evening of exploring central Kuala Lumpur though, and I was majorly impressed at how well connected the city centre was and just how much you could see and do by foot. I’d seriously recommend a long walk if you’re there. Just make sure you get there earlier than I did if you wanna hit the indoor theme park!
Oh, and watch what bars you might “just happen” to stumble in to… 😉
What’s your favourite place to explore by foot?