Fri 6/11/2004 3:37 AM

The Twin Towers

 Hi guys,

 From Melaka it was a short ride to Kuala Lumpur (KL).  Even on this short ride I rode through several warm showers that really increased the humidity and fed the rain forest that stretched as far as I could see.  The highways were mostly empty until I got close to the city when the traffic and speeds picked up.

 KL is a large city and we had chosen a hotel near the center.  As I got into the central part of the city I stopped to check my map.  I was fairly close to the hotel and I used the twin Petronas towers to help me navigate.  These towers are the second tallest buildings in the world and they can be seen from miles away as you enter the city.  The towers helped me get close to the hotel, but each time I thought I was there I was thwarted by one-way streets.  After circling a couple of times I finally pulled into the hotel parking lot.

 Diana had left Melaka on the bus about the same time as me.  I figured I would beat that slow bus, but imagine my surprise when I checked in and they told me she was already there!  How humiliating to get beaten by a bus!  I'm guessing that the bus didn't circle around KL for 20 minutes like I did :-)

 The Equatorial Hotel turned out to be a very nice place with several restaurants, a pool, and secure parking.  We were staying in luxury in KL!  And the hotel was right in the city center, close to the towers, shopping malls, and restaurants. 

 Over the next couple of days we walked or took the monorail to visit chinese temples, Hindu temples, mosques, museums, and of course the towers.  We took the tour up to the skybridge at the 42nd floor of the Petronas towers.  Even though the sky bridge is only about half way up the towers, we were still higher than any of the other buildings near us.  We had a great view and learned about the history of the towers.  But the best view of the city was from the communications tower nearby.  This is the 4th(?) tallest communications tower in the world - more than a quarter mile high!  We were able to go all the way to the top and the 360 degree view of the city was spectacular.

 In the evenings we walked to restaurants - Thai, Indian, and pasta.  After dinner there were pleasant outdoor cafes where we enjoyed a beer or other cold drink.  The hotel even had Cuban cigars that we sampled one evening!

 After 4 days in KL our time was up.  It was time for Diana to head back home and for me to head north to Thailand.  We had a wonderful time exploring Singapore, Melaka, and KL and it was difficult to say goodbye, each of us heading in opposite directions.

 After our goodbyes I was once again faced with the maze of one-way streets, trying to find my way out of the city.  The GPS helped keep me pointed in the right direction, and I eventually found the toll road north and out of the city.

 I found KL to be a friendly and accessible city.  There was lots to see and do, and everything was easy to get to using the monorail or on foot.  Rooms and meals were much cheaper than Singapore - most of our restaurant meals were about $5-$8 per person with a beer, and we ate even cheaper from smaller food stalls.  I would gladly visit KL again, as long as I could park my bike and I didn't have to drive!

 Next, into Thailand.