Dear1 went with some of his friends on a driving trip to Kuala Lumpur (KL) over the Labour Day long weekend last week. This is not the first time I’ve been to KL but it is the first time that my group is actually driving to KL. Revisiting a place that I’ve been to before doesn’t mean that it is boring. In fact, every place on earth is just rich in culture that it isn’t possible to completely explore a city unless you are actually living there.
Our itinerary is simple. Set off early morning on Friday to avoid traffic jams, explore KL until Sunday morning, start driving home, drop by Melaka for some local food. Actually, Dear1 and Dear2 had been to both KL and Melaka before.
At first, I thot driving to KL is going to be scary. After all, we’ll be in foreign land and we may not understand the traffic rules and standard motorist behaviours and foreign language road signs that we cannot read. But it turns out that the going by the 2nd link at Tuas links us almost to a direct route to KL. Along the 2 lane North South Highway, everything was smooth sailing and motorists all kept to the left lane unless overtaking. Speed is around 100~120 km/h with no interruptions in between except for toll booths. Perhaps the biggest problem we had to handle during this trip was falling asleep while driving. We took turns to drive and stopped frequently at the numerous rest and toilet points along the way.
We stayed at Hotel Nova at Jalan Alor. It should be quite popular with Singaporeans as we saw quite a few Singapore cars in the hotel car park.
A nice looking street lamp with bright reds and yellows spotted just outside our hotel.
We arrived early at around 9am and was glad that the hotel allowed us to check in early (very early in fact). After settling down, we proceeded to explore the hotel neighborhood.
We went to Petaling Jaya, KLCC, Times Square, Mid Valley, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking ya.
This was the hotel (Swiss Inn) along Petaling St that Dear1 and Dear2 stayed at many years ago during one of our first free and easy trips. It’s so nostalgic to see this hotel again after so many years.
Taking the KL public train system from Petaling to KLCC. While the platform is very long and spacious, the train itself is only 2 carriage long, and a rather tight squeeze.
We spotted an A&W and went straight for it without a second thought eventhough we weren’t hungry. A&W is sorely missed in Singapore, the root beer float and the curly fries… Oh, why did they wind up business in Singapore…
Sakae Sushi in KLCC is very affordable. We sat right beside the sushi making counter and saw them using canned Ayam brand mayonnaise tuna for their tuna flavoured sushi. What a turn-off. And I thought they would have at least used some higher class ingredients since they’re charging restaurant prices.
We caught a spectacular view of the Petronas Towers from the fountain area outside KLCC. This photo was taken using F3.3, 1/4 sec, ISO 250, slow synchronize flash. I guess the MEGA OIS helped a lot in this handheld shot. :D
Late night supper just outside our hotel and along Jln Alor. There are lots of road side stalls there and all open until late night. At ard 1am, the streets are still busy with activities. Maybe its partially due to the long weekend too.
More local food, this time at a famous bak kut teh shop. I thought the egg was great and the vege was fresh. The bak kut teh itself was just so-so so I didn’t take any pictures.
We stopped over at Melaka on the way home and tried their famous chicken rice balls at this famous stall. There were lots of newspaper cuttings all over the shop front. Dear1 and Dear2 had eaten Melaka chicken rice balls at another traditional restaurant before on our previous trip. I think the one we ate before tasted better. :P
Gee… I caught sight of the Renaissance Hotel that we stayed at on Dear1 and Dear2’s previous visit. So nostalgic again. And also that franchise chicken rice ball restaurant at the bottom of the picture. Not nice, pls avoid.
And that’s the end of my trip. Quite interesting to revisit many of the place that I’ve been to before, looking at what has changed and what didn’t change. One interesting lesson I got from the trip was the usefulness of having a GPS system on the car. Many places would have been rather inaccessible for us other than taxi but we were able to visit those places becos of GPS. Many times when we missed a turn, the GPS was able to bring us back to our destination via a new route. We were able to go to a completely foreign city and still navigate its streets thanks to the GPS. Wow, it’s really becoming an essential travelling tool. But one drawback is that the usefulness of the GPS is dependent on the map. Getting hold of an updated map before a trip is very important. Some of the roads were changed from two way streets to one way streets and some of old roads were closed and new roads built. These led to some confusion about the directions given by the GPS. Still, it is a valuable tool to have.
With this experience, I did learn to appreciate the fun of a driving holiday. Driving overseas was something that I didn’t dare to try before but I think this short weekend getaway opened my eyes and is perhaps the first step in broadening my free and easy travel experience. Maybe I should seriously consider renting and driving a car on my next trip. Australia maybe? US? For now, focus on acculmulating even more driving experience first.