16.10.2009 - 21.10.2009 91 °F
Malaysia, miles travelled……6555
Our flight on Malaysia Air was longer than expected. We thought flying time would be around 8 hours, but it turned out to be 12. Also of note, we are now a day ahead of time in the U.S. When we call our friends in the morning, it is night time for them of the day before. We got off to an inauspicious start on Malaysia Airlines with a round of orange juice and confusion regarding our in flight entertainment. Soon this was remedied by a flip through the in flight magazine. We discovered we could choose from dozens of movies, languages, games, music, and learning programs. We were even able to make up our own playlists for the flight! Sara watched a program exploring the mysteries of the Big Bang and Mike failed in several contests of Yatzee against the computer. Later, the stewardess, dressed in Malay attire, came by with selections of free beer and wine. This helped us prepare to take a nice rest and pass the time until touchdown.
Kuala Lumpur’s airport was modern, clean, and posh. We wizzed through immigration faster than any other country and hailed a cab to down town KL. The cab dropped us off at Lanson Place, where we would stay with our friend Spencer, who just happens to be in KL on business.
The Batu caves are Malaysia’s main Hindu Shrine. There are over two hundred steps that lead up to the main shrine. Several of the main Hindu divinities are depicted there. Several incarnations of Vishnu, Lakshima, and Ganesh. Normally, there are hordes of monkeys there, but when we arrived all we found was enormous flocks of pigeons dive bombing the unaware. We ate at an Indian restaurant nearby. The food was fantastic and vegetarian, our best Malay dining to that point. The four of us ate like incarnations of Vishnu for about five dollars total. The Petronas towers lower levels are filled with GLAM shopping: Luis Vitton, Gucci, Chanel, etc. We were amazed and out of our price range. We got our revenge by buying knock off gear in the street market. We wanted to visit the sky deck, but the tickets for that day were sold out, and we made a note to return early another day to get visitors tickets!
Thanks to Spencer’s generosity, we enjoyed a few days of comfortable digs, access to laundry, gym, fridge, and reliable wifi. This gave us time to research and plan where we wanted to go in Malaysia. We ended up choosing Borneo as our first stop. Our plan was to see the Orangutan Sanctuary and go snorkeling at the marine park in Sipadan, a small island in the Celebes Sea off the east coast of Borneo. Spencer really made us feel at home.