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Kuala Lumpur

The city on the muddy rivers.

View Malaysia Christmas 2018 on irenevt's travel map.

It had been a loooooong and tiring term at work and the countdown to the holidays was starting to feel endless, so it was with great joy that the last day of term finally arrived. Mercifully, I had a couple of days to sleep and prepare, then it was off to the airport and onto our Malaysian Airways plane to Kuala Lumpur.

Leaving Hong Kong.

Kuala Lumpur originated as a tin mining town located at the confluence of the Gombak and Klang Rivers. Its name means muddy river. We have been to KL, as it is normally referred to, many times and intended the two days we would spend there to be mainly spent swimming, reading by the pool, eating and drinking. We only did a small amount of sightseeing. There would be time enough for sightseeing at our next two destinations - the Cameron Highlands and Penang Island.

We arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA (Malaysians love abbreviations) on Christmas Eve and took the rather expensive KLIA Express into KL Sentral. The airport is around forty-five kilometres south of the city centre. From Sentral we took the monorail to Bukit Nanas which translates as Pineapple Hill. We were staying for one night in the Renaissance Hotel here. Other sights in the area are the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, which we have visited previously. Then there is the KL Tower, not the famous twin Petronas Towers - though they are nearby, but a tower with a revolving restaurant on top. Many years ago we tried to eat here, but were not allowed in as we were wearing shorts. I remember we ended up eating in the McDonald's at the base of the tower instead, which was probably more in our price range anyway. Haha!

This was our second stay at the Renaissance. We had rather mixed memories of our first stay, but had come back because this hotel has one of the most massive swimming pools I have ever seen. This stay turned out to be way better than our first visit.

We planned to have a very lazy Christmas Eve here, we checked in, were given a lovely comfortable room with a great view of the Petronas Twin Towers, then we made our way to the huge pool on the fourth floor. We swam and relaxed by the pool for hours, then when the sun went down we ate at the Gazebo Pool Bar Restaurant. Peter opted for a burger and I had nasi lemak, which means fatty rice. It is a dish of white rice, served with boiled egg, cucumber, peanuts, sometimes anchovies - though mine came with a massive prawn instead, and a meat dish - mine was chicken rendang, and best of all a hot spicy sambal sauce.

Our very comfortable room.

View towards the Petronas Twin Towers.

Christmas decorations in the Renaissance.

At the pool.

In the pool.

Dinner by the pool.

My nasi lemak.

After a refreshing night's sleep we woke up on Christmas Day and hurried back to that pool for even more swimming. Sadly, we had to check out at midday. We had decided to spend our second night in KL in the Ibis City Centre Hotel. We had chosen it because we had seen pictures of its high up infinity pool and we wanted to try it out. Google maps informed us our new hotel was seventeen minutes walk away, so we just walked, but naturally being us we went wrong and ended up walking for around an hour. Still we got there eventually.

Our room was very nice and comfortable. It had wonderful views out over the city. It had a neat pull-out safe with a touch pad that appeared when you placed your palm on it, a kettle, fridge, iron and ironing board - not bad for an Ibis.

We went up to the thirty-first floor to see the infinity pool. It was smallish, but with amazing views. It was filled with people taking photos rather than swimming so we waded into the water with our cameras and joined them.

Our room in the Ibis.

View from our window.

In the pool by day.

In the pool by day.

In the pool by day.

In the pool by night.

In the pool by night.

After taking photos at the pool we decided to do a little bit of sightseeing. We walked to the Petronas Towers, took some selfies in front of it, while being endlessly harassed by people who wanted us to pay them to take our photo - this was a surprise as Malaysia is generally very laid back and hassle-free. We then went inside the shopping centre at the base of the tower and took some pictures of their Christmas decorations.

Those towers again.

Christmas decorations in Suria KLCC, shopping centre below the towers.

Christmas decorations in Suria KLCC, shopping centre below the towers.

After that we took the Kalan Jaya Line to the Masjid Jamek, also known as the Friday Mosque. We just took photos of the mosque, rather than going in. If you go in, you must cover your head. Masjid Jamek was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback, and was constructed in 1909. It is located at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers, from which KL takes its name.

Masjid Jamek.

From the mosque we headed towards the old colonial heart of KL now known as Merdeka or Independence Square. To get there we had to cross a bridge over the muddy rivers. I stopped on route to photograph a mummy cat washing her babies.

Cat and kittens.

Merdeka Square is a big grassy field which was once used as a cricket pitch. It was here at midnight on the 31st of August 1957 that the British Union Jack Flag was lowered for the last time and the Malayan flag was raised for the very first time to mark the start of Malaya's independence. I normally like this area but lots of it had been dug up and some major repairs were clearly going on. The square is bordered on one side by the Sultan Abdul Samad Building which was once home to the British colonial administration. On the other side is the Royal Selangor Club and to the north is St. Mary’s Anglican Church. Also in this area is KL's lovely old railway station and the National Mosque.

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Merdeka Square and the Royal Selangor Club.

St. Mary’s Anglican Church.

Old colonial building by the river.

In front of The Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

After a wander around this area we took transport back towards our hotel, stopping off to eat dinner in a restaurant called The Canopy. The restaurant claimed to be British, but was more Indian. We had a lovely meal washed down with ice-cold tiger beer and sat outside looking up towards the Petronas Towers. Peter had burger again. I had Persian lamb, which was delicious. After dinner we had a night swim to take photos from the pool then went for drinks in the hotel bar which also had great views of - you guessed it - the Petronas Towers.

Dinner in the Canopy Restaurant.

The Ibis bar.

Petronas Towers from the bar.

Posted by irenevt 23:24 Archived in Malaysia Tagged architecture kuala towers swimming lumpur petronas colonial kl.

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Hello again Irene, and happy new year to both of you. I note that hubby is still on form with his regulation large tankard of beer!

It's a long time since I drifted south through KL en route to OZ, but one thing I distinctly recall is that there is/ was a Guinness brewery there, so tell hubby to get onto an online map to find it, that sweet black liquid with the frothy white head is bound to go down well in a tropical evening session.

Did you know that a bottle of Guinness used to be routinely served to hospital patients in Glasgow, ostensibly to aid in recovery after surgery?....but alas no more and I did not qualify for the freebee after getting my tonsils out in 1963 because I was under age....grrr!

Remember the advertising billboards with the logo "Guinness is good for you"..? along with the picture of the black Toucan bird?

by Bennytheball

Hi Irene,
I loved our stay in KL and recognised a few places you’ve been to. Have a good and relaxing holiday.

by MAd4travel

Got to admit, the cat and kittens was my favorite pic. I love kitties. You are very brave to go into the infinity pool. I'm not sure I'd have the courage to walk to the edge of it much less jump in. Heights and I do not get along . . . The view was certainly spectacular though. Glad you were brave so I could see the pictures! ;)

by Beausoleil

Hi Benny, Happy New Year. Hope all is good with you. We did not encounter the guiness brewery though it may still be there. We stuck to the tiger and carlsberg.

Not sure about guiness but I know my mum used to give me small amounts of stout to make me sleep when I was a baby.No wonder I like alcohol nowadays. Haha.

by irenevt

Hi Ann Happy New Year. We enjoyed just relaxing in KL this time. It was fun. All the best.

by irenevt

Hi Sally Happy New Year. The cats were very cute. I love them. Pool not as scary as it looks.

by irenevt

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