Arriving anywhere at 3am is not ideal. Thankfully our Kuala Lumpar (or KL as it appears to often referred to locally) hotel allows us to check in early and manage to grab a few hours sleep and eat the homemade cheese and crisp sandwiches that Mandy made us for breakfast.
Malaysia is a relatively easy transition into S.E.Asia. It became independent from the UK in the last 1950s, but English is still widely spoken, they drive on the left and even share the same power supply system.
Heading into downtown KL, the climate is hot and humid, and we have a bit of a wander following a walking tour we got off Trip Advisor. During which we pass some beautiful religious buildings from a range of faiths (Hindu, Buddist, Islam and Christian) which highlights the diverse make-up of the population. Malaysia is a part of the word that was colonised by many different people, and the population is made up of 50% Malaysians, 35% Chinese, 10% Indians, and you can see the distinctions in the people as we walk around.
We head to China Town for some lunch and a wander round the markets. The markets are reminiscent of the markets we saw in Honk Kong a year or so back, and they are stocked with stalls selling designer and fashion brands at knock down prices.
Perfume, headphones, sunglasses, watches, and clothing all bearing the world’s most desirable brand names are for sale at a fraction of the cost. Rayban sunglasses for less than £10? Dr Dre Beats headphones for less than £20? Perfume for a fiver? A less than trusting person may question whether these bargains are the real thing.
We decide to make a couple of purchases, though I avoided the sunglasses as I suspect that do not provide the UV protection they claim – though they would be OK for use back home. Making a purchase involves getting into ‘haggle’ mode, we were advised by the stewardesses on the way over to make an opening offer of at the most 50% of the asking price.
In the end Niki makes a Nike hat purchase for £2.35 (complete with ‘genuine holographic sticker’) and I buy an ‘Ice’ watch for a bank-busting £1.81. It will be interesting to see how well it keeps time, but after the fact that after an hour of wearing it in the humidity it had steamed up I decide not to test its stated 5ATM water resistance in the hotel during a late afternoon swim…