Malaysia is a place I’ve been looking forward to visiting ever since I passed my training on the 787 aircraft. My boyfriend Mark, who visited Malaysia and Borneo back in 2014, tells the best stories about his trip! So naturally, when I was scheduled a flight to Kuala Lumpur he filled me in on everything to do and see in the city!
We landed around 4pm Malaysian time and arrived at our hotel in the city centre. After a short walk to Petaling Street for some street food, I headed back to the room for some landing-day rest as I knew I wanted to do some exploring the next day…
I was up early and off to the waterfalls with a couple of the girls. The alarm went off at 5am, despite having already been awake for a couple of hours due to jet lag. I always struggle sleeping when I travel east, my body clock doesn’t seem to know how to cope when I head that way! Anyway, I guess it gave me a bit more time to pack, have breakfast and get ready for our waterfall hike.
TEMPLER NATIONAL PARK
After about a 40 minute drive out of central Kuala Lumpur (KL) we arrived at the stunning Templer National Park, a forest reserve in the Gombak District of Malaysia. In order to access the grounds you’re required to pay an entrance fee of RM6 for a day visit (around £1.10). As you pull into the car park, you can hear the cuckoos and wagtail birds singing and insects buzzing and rattling over the distant roar of the Kanching Waterfalls. It’s very humid in Kuala Lumpur but I felt the Templer Park was refreshing and clear (I felt like I could breathe again!), particularly with the sweet smell of the woodland… a definite contrast to that of the city centre.
It’s nice to be able to escape from the craziness of central Kuala Lumpur, although the peace lasts about as long as the walk up to the edge of the car park, where you’re met by a crazy bunch of bag-stealing monkeys!
We began our walk up to the waterfalls, stopping off at smaller pools for a paddle along the way. Unfortunately we weren’t able to reach the brink as the weather had made the rocks too slippy for us to climb, so instead, we took a slow stroll back down through the forest and came across a stunningly clear (totally instagrammable) plunge pool & decided to take a swim to cool down. (and take some pics, of course!)
After an hour or so we wandered back down to the entrance (narrowly avoiding being attacked by monkeys) for our ride home. After a small squabble with the taxi driver who’d decided to re-negotiate the price of the journey, (unfortunately this is a regular occurrence in the Far East… A top tip is to always be prepared to pay more than you initially agreed!) we headed back to our rooms ready for a well-deserved lunch!
After a quick shower and change of outfit we headed to a Sukiyaki & Shabu Shabu restaurant. I’d never visited one of these before, but luckily I was with two girls who knew exactly what they were doing!
I had a quick nap before taking a walk back to Petaling street in the evening…
As the sun settled over the city, I headed out to meet the girls for a few drinks at the Heli Lounge rooftop bar, with breathtaking views over the city, it’sdefinitely a ‘must-do’ when visiting KL! The helicopter landing pad on top of the Menara KH building transforms into a bar in the evening. The Menara KH also has a nightclub (34th floor) as well as the rooftop bar. It was a challenge to find at first as there are no road signs for directions, although that’s nothing Google Maps couldn’t solve!
Once you arrive you’re expected to buy a drink (all the prices are affordable considering you’re drinking cocktails on a helicopter pad!) and then you can head up the stairs to the rooftop to take in the spectacular views of the Petronas Towers at night.
After a few cocktails we took a walk back to the hotel via Petaling street for some more chicken satay and bock choi to finish the day!
Whilst the rest of the crew headed out to a bar for more drinks, I’d noticed that my leg had suddenly become quite painful to walk on an so I took the short walk back to the hotel. At this point, my leg had become worryingly very swollen and I stopped by at the Doctor for some antihistamine and elevated my leg whilst I slept.
THE WORST DAY
I planned to take a trip to the markets to buy some souvenirs and a fridge magnet for my mum, but as I got out of bed the next morning I noticed my leg had swelled to almost double the size it was the night before. The pain was excruciating and I could hardly walk, so after rigorously typing all my symptoms into google I’d discovered that I could have an infected spider bite and I should rest for the next 24 hours (really not ideal just before a 14 hour flight back to London).
I was determined to work on the flight home so I spent the entire day in bed, icing and elevating my leg. At midday, I took a short limp for some sushi before heading back to bed for a pre-pickup nap.
Thankfully, I felt fit to work on the journey home but after the flight my leg had just about given up, resulting in a landing-day trip to the hospital back home. Needless to say next time I visit KL I’ll be covering myself in deet!
I had an incredible trip to Kuala Lumpur, despite the insect bites… and I’ll be bidding for another trip there over the summer, hopefully I can take Mark with me next time! (he can be the spider killer ha!)
Thank you for reading!