Immigration and Baggage Reclaim were both quick and we were soon following signs to the KLIA Express. Single tickets cost RM35 each and the journey time to KL Sentral is 33 minutes. We obtained some Ringitts from an ATM in the station before buying two ‘KL Rapid Touch ‘N Go cards’ (similar to the UK Oyster Card) for use on public transport and in convenience stores.
Our hotel was situated close to Imbi monorail station so we took this four stops. There were only two carriages on the monorail and it was very crowded but somehow we managed to squeeze our large cases on board. Thankfully, many of the passengers were alighting at Imbi so it made it slightly easier getting off. We then discovered that the lift was out of order so we had to struggle on the stairs with our heavy luggage.
The Berjaya Times Square Hotel was literally steps away from Imbi Monorail station and it wasn’t long until we were checking in at the reception desk.
We were attended to without delay by a friendly and smiling clerk. A bellboy then escorted us to our spacious room on the 41st floor. (There are 44 floors in total). We had booked a 57 sq. m. superior room which was really a suite, with bedroom, lounge, dining area, two bathrooms and kitchenette. From our windows we had views across the city and down to the hotel’s swimming pool on 15th floor, situated above the shopping mall and between the two tower blocks. Haze was hanging low over the city and we were soon to find that this was caused by the burning of forest fires in nearby Sumatra, Indonesia.
After unpacking, and freshening up, we had a look around the pool area and then inside the adjacent Berjaya Times Square Mall. This mall is huge and features an indoor theme park which can be accessed from the 5th floor. There is also a large bowling alley on the same floor. We found that shops on the lower floors were of a much higher standard than those higher up, most of the latter selling market type goods.
In the basement there was a branch of Cold Storage, a good quality supermarket we had used previously in Singapore. It was interesting to note that numerous Waitrose own brand products were stocked, possibly to keep expats happy.
Later in the evening we walked the short distance to KL’s food street, Jalan Alor. This street is a heady mix of traffic, crowds, street hawkers, delicious food aromas and plastic tables spilling out onto the road. The street is lined with outdoor restaurants which open each evening at around 6.00 pm. They mostly seem to serve similar dishes, and restaurant touts ply for your custom as you wander slowly along the road.
We chose a restaurant at random and ordered dishes of Thai Chicken with Rice and Butter Prawns, which we’d read was a popular Malay dish. Both dishes tasted delicious, the prawns were huge and I’m certain we’d be returning for them again. We declined alcoholic drinks as we were both tired and had probably had more than our fair share of drinks on our two lengthy flights. What I love about being in Asia is being able to relax outdoors, late at night in the tropical heat, without the need of jumpers or coats.
Feeling exhausted after not going to bed since leaving Manchester the previous afternoon, it was back to our hotel where we fell asleep as soon as our heads touched the pillows.
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