July 14, 2008

Malaysia: July 8th - Kuching to Kuala Lumpur

Checked out of the Holiday Inn after breakfast and headed to the airport. On the way out of Kuching, I noticed some great shop signs, such as The Daily Moo Cafe and an Indian restaurant offering "Indian curry and such...". Sadly, I didn't have the camera at the ready.

Was feeling quite tired after yesterday's exertions, and so decided to have a day where I could take it easy. The flight to KL was smooth, but over cooled again and by the time I got to Imbi, it was late afternoon.

For the last two days of the trip, I had made a new reservation to stay at the Federal Hotel. It has a fairly grand entrance and an impressive lobby, though I have to say that beyond that the place was an enormous disappointment, especially since it was more expensive than anywhere else I'd stayed and that was without breakfast. Sure, the room was very spacious (bigger than my flat in Tokyo, I think), but everything was slightly worn out and old, and certainly not of a standard that justifies the price in my eyes. I certainly won't be coming back in the future.

Wandered around the Bukit Bintang area in the early evening, trying not to get lost in the maze-like BB Plaza mall, and taking in the many street cafes along the main street in front of all the malls, ranging from chain cafes such as Starbucks to the stylish Lecka Lecka where you can smoke from a hookah (or shisha as they are known locally).
Lecka Lecka in front of the expensive Starhill Gallery mall.

As the evening drew on I headed away from the malls in search of somewhere to eat and had to dodge the various foot massage touts that line Bukit Bintang trying to lure you into their establishments. Some look like the real deal, while others look like some kind of dodgy rip-off, though food was on my mind so I ignored the lots of them.

Settled on a pub/restaurant for a light meal of chicken satay and Penang style stir-fried prawns, which was good and not too filling. On the way back to the hotel, decided to pop in to a very stylish looking outdoor bar next door called Yi Qi @BBPark. It had subdued lighting and nice interior decor, though the atmosphere was quite odd. The staff (all Chinese and female) were not especially friendly and took their time to serve customers, and it all seemed somewhat cold, so I just stayed for the one drink.

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