To sleep or not to sleep… that is the question. After work on a Friday we went straight to the airport and landed in KLIA2 after midnight. We know short trips like this aren’t good at all for our health, but another cheap’ish flight from AirAsia changed our minds once more.

Getting up at 6 AM on Friday, teaching all day, including impossible admin work (ever tried working in a Thai school?), sorting personal stuff, then rushing to the airport, flying to another country, spending the night at the airport with perhaps an hour of napping while hugging your bags, then starting another early day with even more intense schedule, walking and exploring is definitely tiring. But I can say that one Kuala Lumpur day trip is not enough!


KLIA2 is huge. We walked for a long time until we saw signs of civilization (shops and restaurants). Don’t give in to the temptation to sleep in the area just as you reach the shops! The carpet in the corner of the arrivals hall seemed appealing, but once you give it a closer look, it’s covered with small bits of rubbish – we even saw a chicken bone! Of course they may hoover it every once in a while, but it was night time. We took a deep breath and sat on this dirty carpet, but once down we felt a scent of feet and alcohol. Yes, feet, not socks but actual feet! There was a group of Polish backpackers enjoying some whisky. I’ve got nothing against Polish, but stereotypes don’t come from nowhere!

The upper floors were much emptier, quieter, dimmed lit and almost 100% of the area was carpeted. We could nap anywhere! I wouldn’t call it sleep as my head was resting on my Osprey, and I was hugging the camera bag, opening my eyes on and off. There was a guy patrolling the floors around 5 AM just to wake up all the snoozing backpackers. I found it funny, because it looked like it was his proper job, not something he casually did while doing something else.


For once we learned from our mistake and didn’t exchange our baht in Thailand. Back “home” in Bangkok the rate was around under 8 ringgit for 100 baht, and at the KLIA2 airport we got over 10 ringgit for the same baht.
Whenever we travel outside of Thailand we tend to convert the prices to Thai baht to see if it’s value for money. But sometimes we also convert the baht to either pounds (we lived in England for way too long) or litas (the Lithuanian currency prior to euros). So after running through ringgit-to-baht, then baht-to-litas in our heads we realised that ringgit is exactly like the non-existent currency of our home country!


Pretty much everyone speaks English, all signs are in English, however our latte order in Subway was confirmed as “la-tea”, so we were served a black tea. Haha. It was actually better than the cappuccino they had. The Malay language sounds like Hindu, Hungarian, Italian and Chinese mixed into one. And they have some words that are pronounced in a very Lithuanian kind of way.


It’s either fast or cheap. Direct train from KLIA2 to Sentral costs 55 ringgit, but there’s a hack. If you get a ticket to Putrajaya/Cyberjaya, exit the station, buy a ticket to KL Sentral, enter the station again, and wait about 24 minutes for the next train – you pay just under 24 ringgit. Why not? If you do the same both ways, you save yourself like 500 baht.

Trains are very English. How can it be very English, you might ask? The accent – yes. But it’s so English, that even the patterns on the seats looked identical to the ones in First’s TransPennineExpress Leeds-Manchester service. The trains are clean, comfortable, and spacious with English announcements and TV’s with adverts.

post-7571One odd thing we noticed was that MRT or LRT ticket prices differ depending on where you buy it. We wanted to get one from a mall in Sentral, and the machine quoted almost double the cost of the ticket you buy just before entering the gates in the actual station. The public transport system in the city is not very well planned – some stations don’t connect with each other and you can’t conveniently reach many spots. No wonder our friends couldn’t remember the last time they used public transport.

We also took a taxi once, from Pacific Express hotel to Traders hotel. We just flagged one down in the city, the driver wasn’t sure where to go, but made some calls on the way – it was only 10 ringgit.

Getting from KLCC to KLIA2 took 2 hours (with all the changes and getting lost at the station). We keep forgetting that at big international airports there are always queues at check-ins, passport control, security checks, gates etc. But this time we timed it well. We were finishing off our four plastic tubs of curry on the floor at the airport and we must have looked very satisfied with the food that one random guy asked us where we got it from! Then we bought some healthy snacks (you must think we’re joking) and proceeded to the gates. It was the first time we had experienced a double security check. Man KLIA2 is huge. It took us one hour just to get to our gates. If we had any bags to check in it would probably have been two hours!


The coffee scene is huge, and there are loads of reviews online. We tend to drink a lot of it when we travel, both at coffee shops and on the go. (Read about a famous Merchant’s Lane coffee shop HERE)

On the go:

I’d advise not to get cappuccino from Subway at the airport – it’s bad. I guess that’s common for Subways around the world… McDonald’s at the Sentral train station don’t seem to use milk or at least operate coffee machines early in the morning, but it was good hotel-style filter coffee. Peanut butter bun (always say yes!) from 7-11 cost 85 cents and it was a nice snack to go with the coffee. Although Auste had a bite and her face looked like when a hungry cat tries something and then pushes it back with the tongue when it’s awful.

LOKL Coffee:

Thanks to our friends we got this list of trendy coffee shops around the area where we were staying. The first coffee shop was probably the coolest – LOKL Coffee. Their modern-vintage logo really reflected their shop design. It was very cosy inside, with the menu hand-written on the tiled wall, high-ceiling and tall hanging (VINTAGE?) lamps. We shared a pumpkin coconut and gula melaka pie with crusted top, just like crème brullee. We also had a gateau chocolate cake, which we tried only because it looked different, but it kinda tasted like a regular chocolate cake. But it was good. The tart was exquisite! It wasn’t sweet at all, like a pumpkin shortbread tart – it went perfectly well with a smooth crafted latte. The coffee was 12 ringgit and the cakes were 10.

Coffee Amo (3D):

Walking around Petaling street we found our landmark – Swiss Hotel, the place with the largest number of coffee shops marked on Google. We went in the Coffee Amo for a 3D kitten coffee – it was sooo cute! The interior of it isn’t too pretty as it has black painted walls, squeeky flooring and awkward silence. The staff were also glued to their phones. Perhaps it didn’t feel cosy as there weren’t any large windows. Our phones were painfully slow and our remaining checkout time, as we calculated, was negative of 10 minutes. So no time for more coffee shops.

post-8222For vegetarian food in Kuala Lumpur click HERE.

Batu Caves:

No, you don’t need runners or track pants. It’s just like a hundred stairs. Reviews of aggressive monkeys didn’t sound so good, but there was a direct train to Batu Caves (only 2,60 ringgit per person one way), otherwise we wouldn’t have bothered. If it’s on a tourist map – you know what to expect.

post-7612It took 10 minutes to walk up, of which we took photos of monkeys 80% of the time, so if you’re not into shooting, you can do it in 2 minutes (literally). The bottoms of the cave walls are painted in blue (ftw?!), there are shrines, loud ceremonial procedures, people and monkeys. That is all.

The cave itself would actually be very impressive if it wasn’t for so much sh*t that human beings have put inside – there were even huge football pitch-style LED lamps and a shop inside the cave! If you’ve never been to a cave of any sort though, you’ll be fascinated. It is actually beautiful if you can ignore everything that I’ve just mentioned! There was only one thing to look forward to – the food back in the city… once you get past all the monkeys to get out.


Traders Hotel/Petronas Towers:

We chose this place for the view of the towers, thanks to a funny review from this guy. It turns out there are a number of places suitable to take pictures of the towers. Some of them though have buildings in the way (like the Heli Pad). Traders Hotel was expensive, but cheaper that going up the actual Petronas Towers.

The cheapest beer was Tiger – 30 ringgit. Others were 50 ringgit, the same as cocktails – and that’s during happy hour. Although their happy hour stretches to their whole operating hours… We booked a table a week or two in advance, but it didn’t seem that busy. We went there way too early, around 5.30, and the sun didn’t set until at least 7 PM, and the two “corns” were fully lit up at around 7.30 PM.

If it wasn’t for the view, I would advise looking for another spot (even just outside in good weather). If you’re a guest there, that’s perfect, because they have a swimming pool in the bar. It’s hard to explain, but basically the whole floor has a pool, bar, lounge with deck chairs, and some seating for guests. You can smoke indoors (it’s got a roof but also huge windows), however the major drawbacks were that it’s expensive, it’s not that cosy, and the music was waayyyy too random: it ranged from proper chilled out deep house, straight into Michael Buble, followed by 80’s and disco, just to come back to deep house. It reminded me of Whetherspoons in England. It looked like they wanted to please all the ears with that range.

The Saturday was really nice in terms of all the food and all the walking, but I could really feel my eyes becoming heavy. We only had a one-hour nap that day, and after the Petronas Towers we went down to the KLCC Park for a quiet walk. BOOM, I bump into my cousin right underneath the towers! I hadn’t seen her for years – it was so unexpected!


KLCC park:

The actual park is not as big as it seems on Google. We arranged to meet my cousin at the park the next day, and just chilled out and mostly discussed how much you can actually see, visit, and…eat in just over a day as a tourist/traveller. Before leaving the city we were still full, and carried our takeaway boxes everywhere. It’s a nice place to just sit down and enjoy a coffee or even crack open a laptop for some work if it’s not too sunny.

Petaling Street

On Sunday morning we got up at 7 AM to enjoy the sunrise on our little outdoor 9th floor rooftop pool. We could see the Merdeka square and the giant flagpole from there, so we considered those places checked off our list!

At 9 AM it’s awesome to walk around because it’s cool and there’s so much shade. We were only around 500 metres from Merdeka square and we got this feel of a central/eastern European city, where there’s not much traffic, some construction going on, everyone’s busy with their stuff, be it work, or laying on a bench. It was quiet and cosy even in the main streets.

Then we walked to Petaling Street, a.k.a. the Khaosan road of KL. There are so many places offering rotis and exciting Indian breads I don’t even know names of. But yeah, there isn’t anything exciting really. One woman was following us until I started pointing my camera at her. I was pretty sure she had some naughty plans, but we didn’t miss any of our belongings.

post-8076Round-up: app was a real life saver. It’s basically an app that works like Google, just without the internet. You can also bookmark whatever places you want to visit, so you don’t have to search for the same things over and over again.

We spent 400-something ringgit for 2 people for 2 full days of extreme overeating sessions, including the hotel and all transport, but that’s because our friends paid for a round of drinks and a meal. They’re super welcoming and made our stay very pleasant and we’ve learnt so much more about the culture. We will come back here again!