KL-SIAM Road Trip Day 1 // KL Sentral, Central Market & Petaling Street.
We arrived at KL Sentral in the morning and attempted to book our seats on the Butterworth to Bangkok train and also for the journey back. We didn't anticipate that the trains on the dates we wanted would be fully booked!
Here's a tip: check out the Malaysian holidays before planning your trip. It turns out the one week September school holidays are around the corner. In the end, we managed to buy tickets to Bangkok for the following day and hunt for alternatives for the journey back.
Hey, we wanted adventure didn't we?
After a quick McDonald's breakfast we headed over to our budget accommodation, Grid 9 Hotel in Maharajalela. I booked Grid 9 based on Trip Advisor reviews and on hindsight, I think it was one of the best decisions I made on this trip. A review of the hotel will be coming soon.
I was hoping just to be able to drop off our backpacks and head out, but was thrilled to be able to have our room at 8am in the morning despite the 3pm check in time! So we pottered around a bit, ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the hotel, discovered we left our security Singapore dollars at home (adventure adventure!), then went to purchase our coach tickets to Butterworth on the 3rd (which was successful, I might add).
Getting around KL is quite easy. The train lines are quite well-established and signs are self-explanatory. The station staff are also very willing to help you get around. We purchased MyRapid cards, which work just like the EZ Link cards in Singapore. There is a lot more walking when you switch between lines (e.g. LRT and Monorail), but that's to be expected in a large city like this one. Another touristy option is the KL Hop-on-hop-off Bus, but that's RM45.00 per person for 24hrs which I wasn't willing to splurge on.
Our first stop: the shopping mall attached to KL Sentral Station, Nu Sentral. It's an upmarket mal with middle range shops like H&M and Monki. There seemed to be lots of cafes and nice little places to eat on the upper floors.. I didn't walk away with anything except 2 t-shirts which I needed (from Uniqlo of course, RM19.90 each) and lunch due to the budget that we were on.
We walked to Petaling Street in the late afternoon, which was a 10 minute walk from our hotel. It's bustling with people, even in the afternoon and with loads of hawkers peddling wares (mostly knock-off merchandise - Mulberry anybody?). Plenty of tourists too.
There are also lots of street food stalls. We refreshed ourselves after our walk in the sweltering heat with a Mata Kucing Drink and some fruit. Very refreshing indeed.
The highlight of our day was really Central Market. There are tons of stores selling local craft goods, from batik clothing to rattan handbags. Mum walked away with a few sarongs and purses as gifts, while I walked away with 2 postcards.
You can't pass by Secret Recipe in Malaysia without having a tea break. Two slices of cake, an iced cafe mocha and hot lemon tea cost us approximately RM25.00. You'll never get this in Singapore. This was also what made us skip dinner.
Pictures paint more than my words ever could, so here's a glimpse of Petaling Street and Central Market in the photos that follow. Hope you enjoy!