Arrived in KL from Malaka by bus yesterday. We found a small hotel near the bus station and for the same price as in Malaka here we got a dorm type room for the four of us, with shared bathroom with all the hotel guests. Not very comfortable, but at least it is a very clean place. The rest of the guests are young people from all over the world, on backpacking trip like us.
In the end we only visited the Sultan Abdul Samad building which is very interesting because of its Moorish design. There's the KL Tower of course. But although it's one of the tallest buildings in the world, I'm not very interested. I like old buildings better. I told my friends I wasn't interested and they just agreed with me. I think they would have loved to visit it had they known it has a big mall inside, but they did not read about it at all so they just followed what I said :D Suits me fine.
After reading more about KL I decided that we should shorten our visit here for just one night only. Tomorrow we'll go to Penang by bus.
I found Malaka a lot more interesting than KL. Of course it's a big city and in many ways better than Jakarta. The buses are similar to Jakarta buses, hot and dirty. Unlike in automated Singapore, here there are still conductors who come around asking for the fee. But better than Jakarta, they still give us tickets. In Indonesia none of the city buses give tickets, though they used to. I still remember the time we got tickets in buses.
Better than Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur already has a city transportation system like Singapore's MRT. It is cool and clean and supposedly automatic. I suspect that here, like in Indonesia, all automatic things don't survive long. They have automatic ticket seller machines but none were operable so we had to buy tickets in the booth.
Strangely, KL has two city train systems, and each has its own stations which are not interconnected. Hence you have to get out of the station of one line and walk across to the station for the other line. In Singapore they have a North-South line and an East-West one, but both are linked in several stations, so it is possible to go from North to East without getting out from the station, just change trains. In Malaysia we have to change stations!!!
We wanted to contact Dewi's pen friends in Penang, so we made some calls. They have a lot of public phones here and most were operable (good) however they use different cards for different phones! (bad). The Uniphone cards cannot be used on Telekom phones, and vice versa. Just like in Indonesia. However, better than back home here most of the phones work. Even in small towns like Malacca. So in the end we made the call to our friends and the two boys agreed to meet us on the bus terminal in Butterworth.
KL, Saturday, 19 June 1999