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Destination 1: Kuala Lumpur (Apr 15-17)The Flight: We left New Delhi on 14 April via ‘Air Asia’ flight which left around midnight. The good part about this particular airliner is, it is cheap. The bad part, the flight is too crowded with no in-flight entertainment system and little seating space which makes it slightly (read highly) uncomfortable to sit for 5 hours at one single position. It was like a GoAir or Indigo (actually much worse) except for a longer duration flight. Word of caution: Book Air Asia if you are really tight on budget. Else I would recommend Malaysia Airlines or some other slightly ‘premium’ carrier. (P.S. I never knew this about Air Asia while booking).Place to stay: Tune Hotels, DowntownStay Price: Rs 1500 per night (paid in India before leaving)We arrived KL on the morning of 15 April. The good part is I belong to a worldwide community called Toastmasters, and the great part is KL itself has more than 100 Toastmasters clubs. Hence the moment we landed on the KLIA2 Airport, one of the Toastmasters who I have been in touch with for attending a meeting was already there waiting for us. It was wonderfully kind and generous of him to do so. Malaysian hospitality by a British immigrant Toastmaster!After attending the meeting, we went to our hotel. Tune Hotel is like Oyo Rooms except that the rooms are somewhat smaller than Oyo. But with all the amenities and a good brand name it’s great for a budget hotel.Things to do:I have lived in almost all major cities of India. But when I began roaming around KL, I realized none of the places I have lived compare even an inch bit to the grandeur in appearance and the openness in culture that this city represents. We were awed with the high-rise buildings, the visits across the city from the monorail, the Petronas twin towers, the beautifully decorated cars, the dresses of the women of the city, the free KL bus, the evening rain, the people playing music on the streets for money, and a lot lot more.While in KL, we went to the following places (all of these are definitely Do’s):a. Batu Cavesb. Bukit Bintang – you will be awe-inspired by the gala of the place!c. Street Food opposite Bukit Bintang – heaven for foodiesd. The Petronas Twin Towers – you will keep walking in a shopping mall without realizing when you are underneath the Petronas twinTowers! We didn’t go all the way up to the deck. Personally speaking I didn’t find it worth to spend RM 85 for the view.e. KL City Gallery – You will come across a beautiful city museum with a lights show of entire KL. For RM5, this place is totally worth it.f. I Love KL – Right next to KL city gallery. Definitely the right place to get yourself clicked!g. Chinatown – This place is famous in KL for its Sarojini Nagar type low cost street shopping.h. Little India – If you are from India, do pay a visit and enjoy some inexpensive South Indian food. You can also buy stuff which is part Indian from the Malaysian Indian kirana stores.Food:Speaking of food, for all the vegetarians in the house, Malaysia has their own special version of vegetarian dish which is available almost everywhere in the country. It’s called Roti Canai (pronounced as roti-chanai). Roti Canai is nothing but plain naan served with dal. For a tasty, stomach filling inexpensive dish, this is a safe vegetarian option for those who do not indulge in other foods.Right next to the Tune hotel where we stayed is this place called ‘Pak Punjab’ which serves authentic north-Indian food. Yes, that means paratha, chholey, dal, naan and what not. With tasty food, reasonable prices and hospitable staff, I would recommend this place if you want to taste good north Indian food (believe me you do get craving for ghar ka khana (home food) while away from home).Yet another delicious Malaysian cuisine which I want everyone to taste is the ‘Teh Tarik’ or local Malaysian tea. It has a very different taste which you will never have tasted before. Not only is it unique, it’s delicious as well. We made sure we drink ‘Teh Tarik’ every single day while we were there!Transport:KL has a beautiful train system which was rather complicated for us as newcomers. The monorail connects with the main metro lines (the city has 3 of them). But the good part is, Uber is everywhere! And so is Grab car, which is the Ola of Malaysia (rather south-east Asia). If you have Uber app, no worries. People driving their awesome personal cars will pick you up and drop you to the place of your choice. Alternatively you can also download the ‘Grab’ app for more options.For outstation travel, Malaysia has impeccable roads and an excellent bus service which operates everyday to almost all important destinations across the country. You can book the bus in advance if you are the cautious kinds else you can also go to the bus station and get the tickets at the counter.So after two days of fun, frolic and masti (enjoyment) in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, we took the bus from the KL bus station and moved to our next destination – Cameron Highlands.
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