David’s birthday, and rather a sorry display it was. I brought him his 2 cards – one from his parents and one from my cousin and he opened those. He then checked his email and thankfully had one from each of our boys. I’m ashamed to admit that I did not even have a card for him myself. We had been together every minute of every day for the past 2 weeks and my head had been too full of moving house stress prior to that. No card and no present from his loving wife 🙁
However, he was not bothered at all and we showered and went up to breakfast as normal, with him having forbidden me to mention his birthday to anyone. It truly wasn’t that kind of a place anyway. During breakfast I suddenly noticed in the one small tree on the balcony (on the 28th floor of the building) a small bird eating the nectar from the flowers. How unexpected, and what a beautiful interlude watching it flit around happily.
I had lost my favourite light floaty shawl somewhere over the past 2 days and had a sudden image of hanging it on the hook in a change room over the road at Ampang Park shops so we went over and enquired but unfortunately, no shawl 🙁 There were plenty of shops over there selling such things because many of the clothing shops catered for Muslim ladies so we browsed and enquired after prices. We looked in one stall, named Habibi, which I know means ‘love’, and she had the most beautiful scarves with one decorated edge and I just couldn’t choose when it came down to two. Having asked how much for one, I now asked how much for two, and David said it was OK to get both. So I have a gorgeous pink shawl with appliqued roses and silver sequins down one long edge, and a gorgeous yellow shawl with appliqued larger white roses with yellow and green features. I love them both so maybe losing my other favourite wasn’t such a bad thing. The lady in the stall was, typically, very friendly and smiling.
I suppose now is as good a time as any to discuss the mix of cultures and clothing we observed in the KL natives. There seemed a fairly even split between Asian people, by which I probably mean largely of Chinese original heritage, and Muslim people, which seemed to be a mixture of origin. The Asian ladies wore the kind of clothing you would see them in anywhere, tiny dresses or shorts with plenty of bare skin exposed. The Muslim ladies all wore at least head scarves, full-length skirts and sleeves; a small percentage wore the full, black burkas; and we saw even fewer with a yashmak. Most particularly for those with head scarves, they wore the most exquisite clothing! Everything matched and was made of beautiful fabrics and they were often decorated with shiny threaded designs. Really gorgeous.
And we were really struck by how smiling, gentle and kind everyone appeared to be. Walking down the street nobody barged into you the way they had in Singapore. People would smile and leave a polite distance, it was so lovely. In the business areas we would see groups of people of all ethnicities walking and talking together and it was such a pleasure to know that it didn’t matter what anyone’s cultural heritage was. We did not see a single racial inference anywhere. Truly wonderful.
After this we went back to the room and I had a nap. Still not feeling well I was trying to get the energy together so that we could go on an excursion in the afternoon and that is what we did. We caught the train for just the one stop to KLCC – the shopping centre in the first few floors of the Petronas Towers. We would normally have walked but I was saving my energy. While I’m mentioning the Towers, usually you can buy a ticket to go up to the bridge and look out from there but this feature was shut for November and December. It seemed that we really weren’t supposed to do anything thrilling on this holiday. So many of our planned activities and sights were no more!
Anyway, we were on our way to the Aquaria and here are the instructions to get there that we’d found on Google the night before… Quote “KL Aquaria is close to the Petronas Towers, but it’s hard to find. With this description you can find it, when you are in the KLCC Suria shopping centre: Take the escalator to the basement of KLCC Suria. Turn around and walk for about 25 meters. Now you’ll see a sign at the ceiling “KL Aquaria”. Go to the right and follow a long pedestrian tunnel. At the end you’re in an underground car park. Cross this car park and you come to a little food court. Now it’s only 25 meters to the right.” End quote.
Got that? We wrote it down!
Once we got to KLCC we took the escalator to the basement. That’s following instructions isn’t it? We turned back on ourselves and walked 25 metres but were still in the middle of a whopping great car park with no sign of the alleged sign. So we looked around, we walked around, and we got very hot and sweaty and stuffy because there wasn’t any air conditioning, nor breeze down here. We kept thinking there must have been another set of escalators that we could have come down so we walked around looking for them. We even found some, but there was no wall 25 metres from that one either and certainly no sign for the Aquaria.
After a while, a guy wearing a uniform, and riding a little moped bike came by so I asked him could he point us towards the Aquaria. He replied “You have car?” and I said “No, we walked” and he replied “Aquaria is far far in Convention Centre. You need car!” We thanked him and off he went and we didn’t believe him, so continued our search.
Still no joy. We’d taken note of the number on the huge concrete pillars where we’d come down the escalator so made a circuitous route back towards that so that we could check out more potential walls on the way back but then saw the security guard again. He rolled his eyes and came and told us to go back up the escalator. Yeah, yeah, we will when we’re ready, it’s our holiday and we’ll spend it how we wish LOL We tried to walk with our legs bent in two so that our derrieres were near the ground and our heads lower than all the cars and he wouldn’t spot us again hee hee!
Once back at the escalator we’d come down, we had a look at the list on the wall saying what was at which floor and David suggested that we try the Concourse Level, which we did. Well, paint me blue and tickle me pink, we found the ‘sign at the ceiling’ without any trouble at all, there was no mistaking it! Along the ‘long pedestrian tunnel’, and it really was long! It had such a shiny floor that I held David’s hand with both of mine and planted my feet expecting that he’d be able to slide me along it, but that didn’t quite work. Given the right shoes though…
At the end of this tunnel was indeed a car park but it had a painted line on the floor telling us to walk within its bounds. Needless to say we kept poking our toes out of it but otherwise obeyed instructions. Then into another short corridor which included some tandas (toilets) and they were beautifully clean, and dry, and well-equipped – heaven!!! Then we found the food hall, and at the back of this, at last, the Aquaria, yaaayyyyyyy!!!
At the door we presented our voucher saying that we’d been to the Butterfly Park so that we could get the promised discount for the Aquaria. He charged us *more* than the normal price advertised on the sign on the way in!!! We couldn’t be bothered raising the issue so David paid what he’d asked and we entered the elusive promised land.
It was a very nice aquarium and we enjoyed our look around. First there were glass-walled displays including, of all things, a few of these massive rats. Apparently they are the world’s largest species of rodent – thank goodness for that!!! And I’m sorry, I can’t remember the rest of its name/title.
After this the displays did get more ‘fishy’, followed by the walk-through tunnel, but it’s been a long stretch with no photos so I will be quiet and just let you look at the 2 pictures I’ve chosen.
It was pretty hard to get decent photos within the tunnel because of the lights above but the shark one isn’t bad and I’m very happy with the bottom one of the stingray and David. The tunnel had a little walkway that moved along and you were supposed to stand on it, but it made me feel rather dizzy so we spent most of our time on the narrow strip of solid ground next to it. We went through twice because it was nice under there and pretty interesting and peaceful watching all the fish. The tank was very well stocked too Apparently the glass was designed and manufactured in Germany, then it was shipped to New Zealand to be bent into the right shapes and then shipped to KL to be installed. Wow! The Aquaria was worth seeing.
Once we’d had our fill of fishy matters we went out to the food hall and were surprised to see a ‘New Zealand Natural’ ice cream stall. You won’t believe that we don’t touch ice cream at home but I promise it’s true! David had a double rum and raisin.
And I had a double choc and brownie. I had expected the brownie to be a cake but it didn’t matter – the ice cream was very nice, and beautifully displayed! The one guy behind the counter served us and then prepared everything from scratch for us before anyone else turned up too late to help him.
While eating we had noticed an escalator next to us which went up just one floor and decided to go up there and see where it went. I don’t know if this was a smart move or not because as soon as we cleared the top we could see precisely where we were. In the park at the back of the Petronas Towers where we had been several times before and was now very familiar territory! Why oh why was there not a sign on the outside of this building saying Aquaria? We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! Yes the building was the Convention Centre but would it have hurt to have a tiny sign saying the Aquaria was there also?
The sky was looming dark but the temperature was comfortable and we walked along peacefully. At one point we tried to cross the grass rather than walk the long way around the path but David soon hauled me back. It was so wet and squelchy from the daily rain that we imagined being sucked under like quick sand!
As we passed the children’s playground David took this great photo along the monkey bars.
We felt some huge, heavy raindrops and stopped to get our plastic ponchos out. It was the first time they’d ever been used – having come on at least 4 holidays with us to date – and it was hard to get them unfolded. A policeman stood nearby, amused as he watched us struggle. No doubt he knew that those few spots of rain were all we would get LOL
Back at the hotel I had another little sleep while David checked both of our email accounts and Googled KL tourist attractions once more.
Still unwilling to risk the G Tower restaurant again we decided to go down to the foodhall and see if we could find somewhere smoke free to dine. I knew there was one restaurant down there with walls around part of it so we went cautiously towards it. Greeted by a waitress I asked “Smoking?” and was met with “Yes, yes!” and we told her we didn’t want smoke while we ate so no thanks, and we started to walk away. She hastily offered us a seat inside but when we asked if smoking was allowed in there she said yes! David told her that we hate to smell smoke while we’re eating so she said she could give us a private room. Wow! And she did. Although it did not have a door in one wall I had got the distinct impression that she would seat anyone else at the other end of the restaurant so we ordered our meal fairly confidently. Our meals were very nice and our gorgeous waitress, Tin Tin, was incredibly attentive.
The restaurant actually remained fairly deserted, but I wish we would have been! Desserted that is! Attentive though Tin Tin was, as soon as she’d cleared my plate that was the last we saw of her! David had even had a refill for his drink but it seemed, yet again, that my favourite part of the meal was not going to happen. We wondered if in Malaysia you had to order the dessert when you order the main course! Just as we were leaving we saw a family getting seated at an ‘outdoor’ table and the lady was smoking. We’d planned our escape just in time.
We passed the rest of the evening doing more research on firefly cruises and the Batu Cave but didn’t trust anything we even read on the web about KL anymore! Eventually we decided to spend our last day in KL on the Hop On Hop Off bus, which I’d decided long before to call the ‘HOHO Bus’. Despite being on the HOHOs own website, it took us absolutely yonks to find out what hours they ran, but even then we were in bed for 9.30.
I’ll leave this page here and you only have 1 and a bit more days to read after this.
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