Day 2 in Kuala Lumpur – skyscrapers, trees and parks

During the first half of the day sweat was running down my face. During the second half of the day rain was running down my face.

I am still super unorganised in getting from A to B in the city. I took the bus this morning to get to the KL Tower. Well I actually wanted to go to the Eco forest park first, but that might be part of my problem. That I don’t really have a plan for the day. I choose 2 to 3 things which I wanna see and the rest is just hang around and wait what happens. And there am I walking up and down the same street 5 times without getting smarter. The Tower is somehow above me, but I don’t find the trail leading to the top. Eventually I ask a security guy at the parking lot. I forget the whole time that the Malaysian people actually speak English. It makes travelling so much easier. In Thailand very few locals can talk to you in English. They usually just talk to you in Thai. And if you look like you have no idea what they just say then they repeat themselves, in Thai, just a bit louder. As if that would make me understand them. But that is different in Malaysia. This security guy didn’t just understand my question, he was able to give me complex directions in order for me to find the entrance. It ended up being a long walk around the hill since I was at the wrong side of it. I had no idea where to get off the bus so of course I’m at the wrong side. It’s hot. Humid. Despite all the trees in the city I have waterfalls running down my face. Not giving up, but I’m taking the free shuttle bus for the last 10 minutes of walking. I know I will walk enough later on. I just know myself.

Next step. Get a ticket and go up the famous KL Tower. It’s not one of highest towers. I think it’s only on place number 21 of the highest towers in the world. But it gives you a spectacular 360 degree view from the skydeck. Above Kuala Lumpur. It gives you a feeling about how huge this city is. Up to the horizon. In all directions.

I get nice shots with my wide angle lense which even allows me to take a selfie with my DSLR. An English girl walking by offers me to take a picture. Sure why not. Even though my selfie shot wasn’t bad at all.

The skyline is quite impressive. And from up here the Petronas Tower do look more spectalur than from the ground. I think. They seem to be massive now. Very impressive.

I walk twice around the entire deck. Once with my camera in front of my face and once with the camera in my bag. So that I can actually realise what is in front of me and not just in front of the lense. It’s amazing how much nature you can spot. I see so many parks. I can recognise the botanical gardens which take a big green spot in the skyline. Beautiful.

After getting down from the Tower I do find the entrance to the Eco Forest Park.

A forest is covering the hill on which the KL Tower is built on. And in this forest they built a network of suspension bridges. A canopy walk. It’s a nice way to walk through the forest and at the same time see the skyline of KL. Which is anyway permanently present. Independent on where you are in the city. You can always see the skyscrapers.

Someone recommended applying mosquito repellent on when visiting this park. I highly recommend it as well. I applied it in the morning already and reapplied it again. I smell like a citronella but it’s worth it. I always get beaten up by these little insects and so far I’m surviving today. It’s anyway a good thing to apply mosquito repellent when visiting KL in raining season like me since you are constantly in some parks or surrounded by water.

What I forgot to mention is that this park is one more activity in KL which is for free! You don’t pay any entrance fee and can stay as long as you want. Compared to the hundreds of people visiting the KL Tower there are very few of them making the effort to walk across these bridges. And honestly there are great photo opportunities! I just used my tripod to get some shots of myself, but there are many more options.

And it’s amazing listening to the birds singing while walking across the forest. Nature is amazing. Look at this forest!

Unfortunately I walked the wrong way. Started at the canopy walk and then had to walk back up the hill over the path system at the bottom. It’s steep. It’s exhausting. It’s hot. Humid. My face is wet. Waterfalls are running down my cheeks. I’m constantly debating between reapplying sunscreen, mosquito repellent or just let the water run down my face. Oh and I’m constantly in need of water. As soon as I have a full bottle of water in my hand it’s empty already. I cannot keep up with the speed my body is dehydrating.

After spotting it from high up from the KL Tower I decided to go to the Botanical Gardens. Not feeling like trying to find a way to get there I just take a taxi.

The Perdana Botanical Gardens are massive. It is one big park where you can relax, walk around or go running. I don’t understand it at all how someone could go running in these temperatures with this humidity. But apparently it’s possible. Some people do run. In the mid day heat. While I am debating again between sunscreen, mosquito repellent and drinking more water.

There are many different houses or small parks inside the botanical gardens. Most of them are on the side or actually outside the park. Like the bird park. If you want to visit the botanical gardens you should choose beforehand where you want to go, because you can’t see everything. And walking from A to B in the mid day heat is definitely not the best idea on how to explore the park. But I’m getting there.

If you walk you have at least time to enjoy the park. There are many smaller and bigger lakes. There is one massive playground for children. And of course WiFi spots 😉

I follow the signs. Put the bird park and the orchid garden on my list.

The bird park is the world’s largest free-flight walk-in aviary (=Vogelhaus). Standing in front of it now I am debating whether to enter or not. I don’t like visiting zoos, but still decide in the end to check it out. I just hiked up that massive hill just to get here so I might as well go inside. You do have to pay an entrance fee though to enter the bird park while the entrance to the botanical gardens is free and yet another cheap activity to do in KL.

Some birds are kept in small cages while others have the entire bird park to fly around.

While walking along the paths you should look down otherwise you might step on a bird. Especially the young storks are running around between the tourists feet. Peacocks seem to be another creature which is not in small numbers inside the park. You see them everywhere.

While some don’t care about all the traffic inside the park and take their daily sleep are others a bit more distant while feeding.

Boards are educating the travellers in case they read them.

Some of the birds have quite majestic hair styles to show off.

A selected group of parrots are the stars of the park and model for you and with you for the selfie of the day. I left that one out..

And even a simple chicken isn’t missed out in the bird park. Even though this cock seemed to be upset that nobody is giving him any attention so he started screaming when I walked by.

The views of the city are as I mentioned before always present.

It was worth it checking out the bird park even though I will probably not visit it again. I prefer the animals in their natural habitats. Like these monkeys running across the streets outside the botanical gardens. There are lots of them. Big families seem to live on the trees in this area.

I am walking a bit lost the streets up and down when I find the entrance to the Orchid Gardens. No entrance fee required, but I’m walking like in trance. It’s definitely too hot. I’ve been walking most of the day and possibly not been drinking enough water. I do a really small round through the garden realising that I’m not enjoying the flowers but suffering through it.

Heading back down into the centre of the botanical gardens I put my sarong on the grass and relax a bit in the shade. The sky is turning dark. There will be a thunderstorm coming soon. Not knowing what to do next I jump on the shuttle bus which is driving past me and ask the driver to bring me to the exit please. He drops me off in front of the National Mosque and explains to me that there is a free bus leaving from here into the centre. A free bus? Haven’t heard about that though.

Unfortunately the National Mosque was closed for visitors due to prayer times. You can visit the mosque, but only at certain times of the day. Inside the mosque is space for more than 15 000 people. Quite a spectacular modern building.

Malaysia is a multicultural country with many ethnic groups living together. Therefore a lot of different religions are present in the country and it is possible that a church, a mosque and a temple is built right next to each other. More than half of the population is Muslim. The other religions are Buddism, Christianity, Hinduism and various Chinese religions.

I’ve decided to go to the central market next. Trying to use the free bus the way the driver of the shuttle bus explained to me isn’t working out that well. I enter the bus and ask the driver if I can get to the central market, but he replies no. Not from this station. He doesn’t seem to be interested in helping me. So I get out at the next station. Look around. Then I spot the Ramadan Market the taxi driver showed me earlier. He recommended me to check it out after 7pm, but it looks like it’s busy already. Since it’s not eating time yet for the Muslims due to the Ramadan there are only clothing stalls open. It’s a long market. The length of the street which got closed for traffic just for this market.

I realise that I made it to one of the most important buildings in KL. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building with the Merdeka Square is where Malaysia declared independence in 1965 and pulled up for the first time in history their national flag.

As I’m walking up the bridge over the river of life a massive lightening followed by thunder goes across the sky. It was kind of like a warning because not even a minute later it starts pouring down. Not just light rain first which is getting slowly stronger. No, like someone pressed the on button for rain. It comes down!

Together with another local I run underneath a tent. I guess they will sell later food in here. The other guy sits down right away. Knowing he will wait a while before he continues his journey. I do wait a bit until the rain is getting less. Pulling the rain cover of my bag out and protecting my backpack is the only protection I have. It might be useful having a rain coat or at least an umbrella with while travelling in raining season, but so what. I’ll get wet. And then dry again. After having sweat running down my face all day long this is a nice change. There I go. In the beginning I’m trying to run from one roof to another. Eventually I just walk. In the direction I think the central market should be. I walk across the river of life. It looks amazing. Steam coming up the water with a temple in the background and sunset colours on the sky. I’m debating for a few seconds whether to take out my camera or not, but seriously? It’s still raining. You shouldn’t even think about it. Sorry no picture for you. I turn around again. Look at the amazing scene. And continue my walk. Through the rain.

I’m walking across a bridge on the side of a building wondering whether the building is the central market or not. On the other side walking down the bridge barriers are blocking my way. Apparently this walk is closed. But only from one side. How should I know walking from the other side. Being convinced that I won’t walk this long way twice I move the barrier aside and squeeze through the exit. A huge parking lot in front of me. And the letters central market. I made it. Let’s get inside. At first it seems smaller than expected, but turns out to have a lot of hidden paths. The central market is a building with lots of stalls selling clothing, souvenirs, bags, jewellery and lots of other stuff. The various streets inside the building are split up into different cultures. Like the Chinese street, the Thai street, the Indian street and so on. It continues upstairs which I didn’t realise when I first entered and there is as well a food court on top. Even if you don’t like shopping it is still interesting to explore the different streets and do some window shopping. I can easily walk past most stores without buying anything beside when it gets to the bracelets. I don’t wear much jewellery because I forget to put it on. That is why I never take my bracelets off, so I can’t forget them. And if I loose some, what definitely happens with time, since I’ve been wearing them since 5 years, then there is space for new ones.

It is raining heavily again. Thunder and lightening in turns. There is one street of the central market outside the main building protected half way with a roof. Some stalls closed due to the rain, others remain open. A few food stalls are open as well. I guess it’s time to eat something. Can’t remember what I ate last. And there I decide to sit down in an Indian restaurant. A girl walks up to me asking if I’m the girl from their hostel. Umm no. The guy behind her asks me if I would like to join them on the table anyway. Sure. Funny group, 4 people, all solo travellers, just met. It was entertaining eating with them. And it’s always nice to be able to share Indian food because you get to try more of it. After dinner we separate again because they are going to explore the central market which I’ve done already. It’s still raining. Not knowing which bus to take I just take a taxi to the Petronas Towers and take my bus back from there. It’s pouring down rain when I have to walk back from the bus station to my guesthouse but I don’t care anymore. My legs hurt. I’m tired. And wet. It was a long day. Good night!


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