It was just after 2.00 a.m. when we boarded our Qatar Airways A340-600 flight at Hamad International Airport bound for Kuala Lumpur with a journey time of 7 hours 55 minutes. Our selected seats of 21A and 21B were situated on the second row of the economy cabin and the seating configuration of 2-4-2 meant that we didn’t have a passenger sitting next to us. Our flight left Doha on time and despite feeling sleepy we stayed awake until the snack meals containing chicken and tomato pastries and a warm chocolate muffin had been served.
After our snack we soon fell asleep not waking until the cabin lights were illuminated and the breakfast trolley appeared. From the menu we both selected the brunch option of beef cobbler with vegetables and a scone topping. This tasted quite good and was accompanied with a bread roll, fresh fruit and yoghurt. Hiding under the bread roll I found a Godiva chocolate so I saved this until the coffee was served.
We both then fell asleep once again not waking until the aircraft touched down in Kuala Lumpur airport at 3.30 p.m. local time. We had been too tired to make use of the Oryx entertainment system which was just as well as it was the first I had come across one in ages that wasn’t operated by a touch screen.
Landing cards are not required to be completed for arrival into Malaysia and unlike our experience in Doha, we passed through immigration very quickly and were soon making our way to the baggage hall. It was alongside one of these carousels that we then wasted the best part of an hour waiting patiently for our luggage to appear. After eventually picking up our bags, we obtained some Malaysian Ringgits from an ATM (no charge for usage) and made our way to the lower level bus station. Here, we bought two tickets for the express coach into Kuala Lumpur Sentral. These cost RM12 each (£2.20) with departures every 15-20 minutes at peak times. The coach was very comfortable and as we were pre-allocated seats there was no rush to get on board. The journey took 50 minutes to reach KL Sentral and once there we bought two Touch ‘n Go travel cards (similar to the UK’s Oyster card). Each card cost RM20 (£3.70) including RM5 for the card and RM15 journey credit. An express train (the KLIA Ekspress) taking 28 minutes is also available costing RM55 (£10.33).
To reach our hotel we caught the monorail along to Raja Chulan but as there were only two carriages it was very crowded and we had to stand with our luggage. On arrival at our station the lift was out of order and we had to struggle down two flights of steps with our heavy cases. Thankfully, the hotel was nearby and we were soon checking in to our 5th floor room at the Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Our room was long and relatively narrow but quite spacious with a sofa, desk and coffee table.
After quickly unpacking we took the GO KL free bus service from near the hotel to KLCC Park. GO KL serves several routes in the city centre with services every few minutes. The bus stopped in front of the iconic Petronas Towers and we made our way around to the park at the rear of the twin towers.
We had arrived with just minutes to spare to watch the 8.00 p.m. Fountain Light Show which is choreographed to music and is very impressive. The performance lasts 15 minutes and during that time we moved around to different parts of the park to view the performance from various angles.
When the light show ended we glanced in the upscale Suria Mall located beneath the Petronas Towers. From there we took another of the free GO KL buses to Bukit Bintang. This area was crowded with evening shoppers and we enjoyed the atmosphere walking around the shops in the warm air. Our evening stroll continued as far as Jalan Alor which is a street in Kuala Lumpur noted for its large selection of evening dining options.
Wandering along the lantern decorated crowded street we decided to eat at one of the outdoor restaurants where we sat on orange plastic chairs. Our waitress told us that her husband did all the cooking and the rest of the family helped out. We decided to try the chicken with ginger and onion and a sizzling beef dish. Thankfully this dish was only sizzling from the pan and not too spicy. We shared two medium portions of these dishes with a Tiger beer each, these being plentiful and the taste delicious. The cost, including our beers came to only RM92 (£16.80).
Continuing along this food street we eyed up possibilities for other evenings. Our hotel was located just a short distance away and on returning we both felt sleepy from the time change so we just made cups of tea and had these with some chocolate before going to bed.
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