Night flight to Kuala Lumpur
From a distance an overnight flight seemed like a good idea. A bit cheaper and we don’t waste a day of our holidays on a plane. Of course the reality meant an uncomfortable eight hours on a plane with fitful sleep and Cal greeting Malaysia in his usual vomitous fashion.
The unexpected advantage of arriving at 3:45am was that navigating public transport into the city was a breeze. There were not only no crowds, there were no people. We had a coffee at the airport to regroup before setting out, which let the others from our plane get ahead of us. So we were literally the only four people on the excellent Xpres train into KL Sentral. From our private train we transferred to an only slightly less uncrowded local train to Ampang Park and walked the two-hundred metres to our hotel.
We were way too early to check-in but we left our bags with the hotel and had a leisurely breakfast while watching the sun rise from behind the Petronas Towers. We continued our tradition of endearing ourselves to the locals with some impromptu language lessons adding ‘thank you’ in Malay to our repertoire.
An early-morning walk through the park beneath the towers reminded us a lot of Peru, with the park being laboriously detailed by an army of people by hand. After a hobbit-like second breakfast, we went to Petrosains: The Discovery Centre. A combination of our not being able to resist a visit to a science museum and the need for something to keep us all awake made this a perfect way to spend the day.
Malaysian is a phonetic language. Say it a couple of times fast and you’ll realise that ‘petrosains’ comes out as petro science. The museum is a very, very good science centre but it is all themed about oil. We learnt a great deal in the course of our day and most of it was presented in a very scientific fashion. The very last display was a bit uncomfortably biased, but outside of that the whole place did nothing but impress. The boys gave it a ten-out-of-ten.
We walked back to our hotel through the increasingly humid afternoon and finally checked in. Then with little delay we headed up to the rooftop pool and splashed about very happily for a while. Finally we sat poolside and relaxed. As the sun lowered over the city the various mosques sounded off their calls to prayer which echoed exotically between the distant hills. It was a quite lovely end to a very long day.