Experiences of a med student with an incurable travel bug.

Archive for the ‘Malaysia’ Category

Malaysia

My time in Malaysia was short and sweet. I took a flight early on Saturday (19th) morning from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur. I took a super cheap bus to Chinatown, where most of the backpackers places are. I got a top bed in the most ricketty bunk on the planet. Any time someone even twitched, the whole thing rocked back and forth like we were out at sea. All of the bunks at all of the places were like this, so it wasn’t anything special, but it did mean that no one got any decent sleep there.The mix of people in this dorm was the most interesting I’ve come across yet. We had one old Asian lady who spent half the time shouting into her cell phone and the other half saying random things to anyone nearby — talking over their conversations and interjecting things that had nothing to do with anything — or just mumbling to herself behind all the shirts she’d pinned up around her bunk. There was also an old Dutch woman who had some really interesting stories once you got talking to her but who was also pretty quirky. At least it made for good entertainment.

Sunday morning I took a local bus to the Batu Caves, a collection of Hindu temples within large caves near Kuala Lumpur. Finding the right bus was interesting: dozens of buses park randomly within a few blocks of the actual bus stop, some with numbers on them and others not, and you just have to wander until you find the right one; I was on bus 11, which was parked between one of the six 22s in the area and a four. The caves were great once you got past the steep 272 stairs and the obligatory monkeys dashing amongst the people and stealing whatever they can. That afternoon I took the Hop On-Hop Off bus around the city and saw some of the highlights, including the National Monument, Kuala Lumpur, and the Petronas Twin Towers. At the towers I had some great seafood laksa with shrimp, squid, mussels, and the most popular seafood of all, chicken.

I spent some time wandering Central Market and Petaling Walking street every day since they were both right by my place and were great for food. The first day I tried a fish and veg wonton, some fried crab thing, watermelon juice, a pork and veg bun, and finally pan mee spicy soup, which was a mix of beef, some kind of dried meat, pork, and chicken. There were also great steamed buns (the red bean and coconut ones were both good) and custard, coconut, and ham and cheese rolls. One of my favorites was a crispy pastery filled with pork and veggies and the perfect amount of spice. I also tried a dessert made of packed steamed rice and sugar that was actually really good.

Monday morning was my last day in Malaysia, so after a bit more wandering and sightseeing I was off to the airport.

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