With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

KL: Shoppers’ Delight

Posted by Heliocentrism on July 25, 2017

Thursday, May 18th – 21st, 2017

Not only do I love KL, but I also love my rapper-designed quick-dry active shorts.

When I packed my bag at the start of this trip, I thought I had packed light. The long trail of discarded clothes, gadgets, and what-naughts from Hanoi to Cambodia left in my wake proved otherwise. I thought I was clever packing 2 pairs of reversible shorts that made it look like I had 4 shorts. But, they took forever to dry. And really, who cares that you might have 4 pairs of shorts when all you ever wear are damp shorts?

I was lucky to find not 1, but 2 pairs of quick-dry shorts that were so light and thin they literally could be folded up and placed in the pocket of one of the old shorts without much of a bulge. They were in the little town of Mui Ne, Vietnam and where designed by a rapper I had never heard of. The brand is called RBX and it’s marketed as “athletic apparel at an affordable price”. Along with affordability, I like that these shorts are active wear without the “active wear” look.

Travel clothes are expensive. They are light, dry quickly, and some don’t even need to be washed often. But travel clothes are also very expensive. It’s roughly $60 to $90  for a t-shirt. I’m talking US dollars here, not Laotian kip or anything for one measly shirt.

A more economical option is to buy sports clothes. These clothes are light and dry quickly. You probably have to wash them as often as you do your regular clothes, though. The problem with sports clothes is that they look like sports clothes. They are flashy and cause all eyes to be directed at you when you are in range. You will look like you got lost on the way to the gym and somehow ended up on a plane to Malaysia when you wear them.

So what I do, is go into stores like Sport’s Authority and search through rack after rack hoping to find the least athletic looking shirts, pants, and jackets. It’s a very hard task. Many times I come so close to finding something decent, only to have to choose between a boring black and a neon green shirt with orange trim.

But, the shorts inspired me. If I could find two pairs of plain, ordinary looking shorts that happen to be light and quick-drying, then there must be hope for some shirts too. I searched online for recommendations. One travel blogger talked about Uniqlo’s Airism collection. These were cool (as in temperature) clothes for the summer.

Uniqlo, if you don’t know, is like Japan’s Gap or Old Navy. The clothes are affordable and not too flashy. This is rare; Japan is mostly 80% flash where clothes are concerned. The problem with Uniqlo in Japan, is that they mostly have smaller sizes. They do sell clothes that fit me, but they usually sell out before I get to the store.

But Kuala Lumpur is a more international city. The Uniqlo there would have more bigger sizes in stock. And best of all, the prices at Uniqlo are about the same world-wide. If a shirt costs 20USD in L.A. it will cost about 2000JYN in Tokyo, 15GBP in London, and 85RM in Kuala Lumpur.

Mark and I went shopping in KL. I bought a few shirts that cost about 18USD each. But, Mark went full-on Uniqlo. He took this opportunity to dump all of his clothes. He bought 3 shirts and 2 pairs of shorts. They were all athletic quick-dry clothes that didn’t look sporty.

He didn’t buy it all at once though. He got one shirt, liked it, then came back for more. Then he bought a pair of shorts, liked them, and bought another. In the course of 3 days he had a whole new backpacking wardrobe. “If only I could get a new quick-dry wife, my life would be complete,” he joked.


Malaysia

How to get there:

You can enter by plane, train, bus, boat, and even on foot (from Thailand only).

Most people can get their visas when they arrive for no charge or paperwork. The length of stay differs by the visitor’s nationality. Please check the IDM website.

Phone:

  • Emergency Numbers:
    • Police and Ambulance 999
    •  Fire 994

Website:

Downloads:

  • Travel Guides
  • Uber
    • If you don’t have an account already, get one before you go to Malaysia.

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful when taking taxis.
  • HSBC ATMs do not charge ATM fees.
    • Use ATMs responsibly. Use the ones indoors where you are least likely to get robbed.
  • Kuala Lumpur had a free bus service. Check the route out before getting a cab or bus ticket.

Central Market 

How to get there:

Address:

  • Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia

Phone:

  • +60 1-300-22-8688

Websites:

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 21:30

Notes:

  • The food stalls around the market seem to be a better choice than the restaurants at the food court.

KL Tower

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 3.152813, 101.703655

Address:

  • Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Phone:

  • +60 3-2020 5444

Websites:

Cost:

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 22:00

Notes:

  • There is a free shuttle near the base of the hill the tower sits on.
  • This tower has short lines, but is a little overpriced.
  • The Petronas Towers are more expensive and there is a loooooong line for the tickets.

Petronas Towers

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 3.157916, 101.711620

Address:

  • Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Phone:

  • +60 3-2331 8080

Websites:

Cost:

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 21:00

Notes:

  • They are named after a Malaysian oil and gas company and nothing Potter related.
  • Tickets can only be bought on the day starting at 8:30am until they run out.
    • People start lining up at 7:00am or earlier.
  • There is a mall near the tower. If you cannot go up, you can at least go in.

Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 3°08’30.7″N 101°41’23.4″E

Address:

  • Jalan Lembah Perdana, Tasik Perdana, Wilayah Persekutuan, Perdana Botanical Gardens, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Phone:

  • +60 3-2092 7070

Websites:

e-mail:

Cost:

  • 14RM

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 18:00

Batu Caves

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 3.237939, 101.684015

Address:

  • Batu Caves, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

Phone:

  • +60 1-300-88-5050

Websites:

Cost:

  • Some areas are free others cost 5-15RM.

Hours:

  • 7:00 – 20:00

Notes:

  • If you’re taking the train from  KL Sentral, be careful not to get on the train heading to Butterworth.
  • Monkeys will rob you.
    • Don’t bring food to the caves.
    • Keep your pockets empty.
    • Keep your things zipped up in your bag.
    • Don’t let the monkeys get too close.
    • Monkeys will take food, glasses, cameras, phones, anything!
  • The caves are:
    • Temple Cave – Stays open the latest
    • Dark Cave – closes the earliest and is sometimes closed for reasons.
    • Cave Villa – lots of lights
    • Ramayana Cave – tells part of a Hindu epic
  • Dress modestly. No shorts, tank tops, or low cut shirts.
  • There are lots of nice vegan and vegetarian restaurants right outside the caves.

Map:

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