McCurry and McBath

Both of these photos were taken in Kuala Lumpur.

I saw this McCurry while riding a bus and had to rush to snap a photo of it.  This place is owned by a local business man and I remember reading about an 8 year legal battle they went through with McDonald’s, who sued them for trademark infringement.  In the end, the Malaysian courts ruled in favor of McCurry, which only makes sense.  I’m sure the name of this store was inspired by McDonald’s but how can you trademark the “Mc”?  Though not common to Malaysia, “Mc” is a common part of names.

I guess this place followed suit and took it a step further by equating the “Mc” with an American Standard.  I didn’t realize there was an American standard for McBaths or McToilets, but if you’re looking for McBathroom Fixtures this is the place for you.

The Running Green Man

I’ve done quite a bit of traveling and I’m used to seeing things that are a bit different from what I’m accustomed to, but this one caught me by surprise.  In New York City the green lights for pedestrians have the word “WALK” in capital letters.  In Singapore the green pedestrian light is an image of a guy, accompanied by an audible alarm when you’re able to cross and meant to wait.

The pedestrian green lights in Kuala Lumpur are the coolest I’ve seen though.  What’s great about them is that they’re not just plain and boring; they’re animated!  Audible alarms are nice, especially for people with vision problems, so it would be great if they incorporated that, but watching that green running man is really entertaining.

Here’s a video of it:

Kuala Lumpur Trip: Hostel Cosmopolitan Review

Hostel Cosmopolitan is located near the Chow Kit monorail station.  It’s a bit hard to find when you first get to Chow Kit, so make sure you take a map with you!  Also, don’t be put off by the outside of the building.  It’s a bit rough looking, but the interior is very clean and comfortable.  Hostel Cosmopolitan is one of the best places I’ve stayed, guest house or not.

I was a bit worried at first that the hostel was too far away from anything, but it’s actually within walking distance of quite a few eating establishments.  Not to mention the street out front gets filled with stalls selling everything from satay to stuffed animals.  That’s kinda fun, especially since the sellers aren’t over-aggressive like the ones on Jalan Petaling in Chinatown.  Also, the monorail is a pretty quick and fun means of transportation.  It takes about 20 minutes to get from KL Sentral (where you can switch to the RapidKL line) to Chow Kit and I think you can get off at Bukit Nanas and walk to the Petronas Towers.  There’s also a bus stop a few streets over where you can get a ride to the Batu Caves for roughly 2 ringgit.  So, don’t worry about the location.  It’s not bad at all.

One of the best parts about staying at Hostel Cosmopolitan was how many great people we met, starting with the staff.  The guy that greeted us and checked us in, named Mohammad Abdullah, was very friendly and very helpful.  He even let us have a real free meal when we showed up early and couldn’t check-in yet, but were starving because we’d missed breakfast.  The other guests were also very cool and some had some interesting stories to tell and tips to share.  Hostels tend to draw a fairly well traveled crowd.  We met people from the US, the UK, Australia, Pakistan, Greece and Italy (just to name a few) who had traveled all over Asia and South America.  During the mornings when everyone was getting ready to head out the door, they almost all stopped in at the kitchen area to grab a bite of the free breakfast.  We had some great conversations with the other guests there.

The amenities are also very good at Hostel Cosmopolitan.

I can’t comment much on the mixed dorms, since we stayed in a private room, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining about them and they looked fairly comfortable when I glanced in on my way down the hall.  Our bedroom was average sized.  It wasn’t very big, but it didn’t feel small either.  It had a place to hang our clothes, a set of shelves and a bed.  Sheets and towels are also provided.  The air conditioning was so cold at night that I woke up shivering and had to turn it off.  The only complaint I had with the room was that the air from the air conditioner didn’t smell very fresh.  It smelled a bit sour.  I don’t think it was just our room unit either because we could smell it in the hallway as well.  It wasn’t unbearable but hopefully it won’t be there the next time we go for a visit.

The community area has a lot of shelves with books to read, in case you get bored.  It also has a TV with cable.  I think it has a few movie channels on it too, but we didn’t spend much time watching it.  What little time we spent in the community room was usually spent in front of one of the desktop computers available for internet access.  The hostel also has wi-fi which I was able to use with my iPhone.  The internet service is all completely free to guests.  There is no hourly charge.  The TV hours in the community room are 8 AM to 11 PM.  The TV was usually on later than that, but Mohammad Abdullah let us know that if it was bothering us we could ask that it be turned off.  We never had a problem with noise there.  Everyone was considerate of each other.  Also, there’s no drinking allowed on the premises.  That probably helped.  There’s also no smoking allowed, but there is a ‘smoker’s corner’ in the stairwell just outside the hostel.

Interesting side note: Notice the guy with the long hair in the second photo in the above set.  He played Baldur’s Gate on his laptop non-stop for the three days we were there.  That must be a damn good game.

The kitchen area has a small range, a sink, and a storage area for dry goods.  There is a microwave, two toasters and a radio.  There’s no refrigerator available to guests.  I’m guessing that there might have been one before, but people probably didn’t keep up with what they put in it and it became too much of a hassle for the staff.  There is no refrigerator for guest use at all in Hostel Cosmopolitan but there is a 7-11 directly downstairs.  I think it’s open all night long.  Like I mentioned before, there’s a free breakfast set out in the kitchen area in the mornings between 9 am and 11 am.  It consists of toast and a choice of jam or margarine.  Each guest is allotted up to six pieces, but we never had more than 3 each.  I have to wonder at what happened to cause the management to have to put up a sign limiting the amount of bread a person could have.  Was someone snagging whole loaves and hoarding them?!

The toilet area was clean and ventilated.  The plumbing all worked well and the showers had warm to hot water.  The toilet area and shower area is all mixed, but the shower stalls have locking doors and are large enough to change in.  It’s also very well lit.  The hostel had a LOT of female guests while I was there and none of them seemed to have any issues with the arrangements.  The whole place felt pretty safe.

Speaking of security, there are wall lockers that can be used.  I’m not sure if locks are provided.

Also in the hallway are bulletin boards full of information.  If you’re ever at a loss for something to do, all you have to do is read the boards!  There are also warnings posted there, like information about taxi and gambling scams, like in the first photo.  In that particular case women, believed to be Filipinas, would lure lone tourists to their home, get them to gamble and then cheat the person out of their money.

And last but not least, Hostel Cosmopolitan has three cat residents.  My wife and I have two cats at home so this didn’t bother us.  It was, in fact, one of the reasons we selected the hostel from the list of potentials.  They really added to the atmosphere of the place.  It’s fun to sit and have breakfast while watching two cats chasing each other up and down the hallway, or to have a cat taking a nap on the table next to you while you use the desktop computer.

Naughty Nutty


Mr. Jinja

Overall, the place is a great choice for a hostel to stay at in Kuala Lumpur.  It’s very affordable and more than that we both felt very comfortable and welcome there.  We had a lot more fun on this trip and I think that Hostel Cosmopolitan played a big part in it.  Mohammad Abdullah and Muhammad have really gone out of their way to make sure the place is as comfortable as possible for the guests and because of that, I’m looking forward to the next time we’ll have the chance to stay there.

Kuala Lumpur Trip: Day 3

The last day of our trip was still an eventful one.  But, before I get into that I’d like to share this with you:

The previous day, after we got back from the Batu Caves and waited out the rain, we went downstairs and walked to the monorail station.  On our way we thought we saw a cat that had gotten run over in the street.  Turns out it wasn’t a cat!  I put my foot next to it for a frame of reference.  I wear a US 9 and I think a UK 43.  After seeing that rat we’d stopped to smoke and saw two more running around on a window sill on the building across from us.  I guess there are a lot of them in that area.

Anyhow, we got up on the third day with no clear goal in mind.  We had to check out at 11 am that morning.  We were able to leave our bags in the lobby area so that wasn’t a problem, but we wanted to go somewhere close by so it wouldn’t take us long to come back and get them before heading to the airport.  I wanted to go see the museums and art galleries, but decided it was a bit far away.  Then our stomachs made the choice for us.

On the small map we were given at Hostel Cosmopolitan we saw a place marked Kampung Baru.  It was close by and the description said it was a food center.  So, we went downstairs and headed in that direction.  I wound up leading us to the wrong street at first and thought the place wasn’t there anymore.  Luckily, we found it by accident!  I suggested we go down a side street and then we stumbled into Kampung Baru.

The place must be more lively at night because the map said that there are hundreds of stalls.  We only saw a few and wound up picking a really big one that had a huge crowd.  It’s always good to follow the crowd when it comes to eating establishments.

It doesn’t look like much, but the food was really good and it was really well priced.  When you walk in you get in line and self-serve yourself from the buffet tables.  There are a lot of selections available.  After you take your seat a guy (or girl) will come around and take your drink order.  They’ll also write you out a receipt that you take the counter when you’re done.  It seems to be a sort of honor system, but I guess they’ve had problems because I saw a sign that said theft would be prosecuted.  I think we paid about 16 ringgit total for the two of us, including our drinks.

After eating we decided to walk around and explore the area a bit.  We headed off into the neighborhood thinking we could walk straight to downtown.  Well, that turned out to be a minor disaster.  We wound up hitting an elevated highway.  We thought that at some point we’d be able to cross over or under it, but the road we were on kept going until it turned left and went further into the neighborhood.  We had to double back and get on the RapidKL train at Kampung Baru station.   It was good exercise though and we got to see a regular Kuala Lumpur neighborhood which was nice.

Speaking of the RapidKL station… it looks familiar doesn’t it?  People who’ve been to Singapore will know what I mean.

We took the train over to KLCC.  We were hot and tired after walking around, not to mention we were still a bit worn out from all the walking and stair climbing we did the day before, so we figured a good cool mall would be just the place to relax.  Suria KLCC looked pretty much the same as I remembered it.  The only thing that had changed was the central display area.  Instead of a Lego competition there was a huge, garish set-up for some perfume.  I don’t remember what brand.  The Legos were cooler in my opinion.

We sat around for a bit at Starbucks.  I had one of those toffee nut lattes and surfed the net on my iPhone for a while using the free wi-fi.  We also spent some time in the huge Kinokuniya bookstore.  I’ve always loved bookstores and I could get lost in that one for days!

We didn’t have much time left before we had to go get our bags, so we spent the last few minutes of our time in Kuala Lumpur enjoying the area outside the Suria KLCC mall (which is below the Petronas Twin Towers if you don’t know).  The last time we were in Kuala Lumpur the weather wasn’t as nice and it was raining while we were there.  This time we got a chance to look around.

The area is really nice.  There were a lot of people sitting around talking and smoking.  If you look at that second picture you’ll see there’s even a pool area.  The statues of the whale and dolphins was a nice touch too.

After that we took the RapidKL to KL Sentral, then switched to the monorail and went to Chow Kit, then… went back to KL Sentral and got there just in time for the 6:30 PM bus back to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. We realized on the way to Chow Kit just how roundabout of a way we took.  It looked like one of the stations (Bukit Nanas I think it was) was almost right behind the pool area we’d seen. We’ll just keep that in mind for next time.

The bus ride back to KLIA wasn’t too bad at all.  The air conditioning was cold and the total ride time was only an hour.  It didn’t take us long at all to get through the check-in line and immigration check-point.  A short flight later we were back in Singapore.

Tomorrow: A review of Hostel Cosmopolitan, the guest house we stayed at during our trip.

Kuala Lumpur Trip: Manga Exposition at Sungai Wang

On our second day in Kuala Lumpur we stopped by Bukit Bintang.  While exploring the area we looked around in a mall called Sungai Wang.  I was excited to see that there was a manga exposition set up in the events area.  I’ve had an interest in manga and anime for quite a few years, but I’ve never been to an expo so this was an interesting experience for me.  These sorts of things just aren’t that common in the US, where manga and anime are still considered strange by most people.   I didn’t recognize the name of the publishing company but I got the impression that the event was highlighting and rewarding local talent.  It was nothing major and was set up in a small area but it was packed with people and very exciting.

I took the time to walk around and examine the different storyboards that had been set on display and browsed the racks of manga for sale.  Unfortunately, most of them had been written in Chinese and Bahasa Melayu, so I didn’t see anything in my language that suited my interests.  I’d really been hoping to leave with a keepsake.  The items being sold were limited to two per customer so I assume they’re limited run prints.

If you can read Chinese and / or Bahasa Melayu and want to find out more about the event, it was called Gempak Starz 2009 and you can get to the website by clicking through on that name.  Their site is graphics heavy so it’ll load slow.

Here are the photos I took:


This is the main stage area.  I think each cardboard cut-out was done by one of the manga artists whose work was represented at the event.


These black boards were set up with manga storyboard panels on them.  Some of them were more complete than others, but none seemed to have any text.  A few had empty speech bubbles but most didn’t even have that.  I was impressed by how detailed some of the drawings are.  Two board sections had color images with ribbons marking them as finalists or winners in a competition.

6 5 4 3

This board was set up in another part of the event area.  Each character drawn here has a signature next to it.  I’m thinking that these were done by each of the artists represented at the event.  Maybe it’s their representation of themselves or maybe it’s their main characters in their mangas.  I don’t have a clue since we walked in on the event late and had missed the opening day.


Later in the evening, after having dinner and looking around a bit, we walked back through the event area and saw that they were doing a giveaway.  There was a glass display case with anime-style swords in it off to the left of the stage.  Those swords might have been one of the grand prizes.  We stopped to watch for a while.  We didn’t understand everything being said but there was a lot of cheering and laughing and everyone seemed to be having a good time, especially the kids that were there.



We also saw these two girls in kick ass maid cosplay. They worked there as part of the event crew. As they walked around the room I think they were handing out fliers.  Oh, and they had candy in their baskets.

Kuala Lumpur Trip: Day 2

Our second day in Kuala Lumpur was very fun, but also very tiring.

Our first stop of the day was the Batu Caves.  The Batu Caves are a Hindu temple that has been in use since the 1890s and is still a major tourist attraction today.  It is also still used for worship, especially during the holy festival of [insert festival name here] at the end of January.  This celebration draws about a million visitors over the course of three days.

When you approach the Batu Caves the first thing you’ll notice, likely before you even notice the entry arch decorated with Hindu gods, is the giant golden statue that stands at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the caves.  The thing is huge!

After that you might notice the monkeys.  When we first walked up to the stairs we saw a few hanging off the bars and walking on the concrete because people were feeding them.  As we began to ascend the stairs we realized that there were monkeys everywhere.  Some were fighting, some were begging, a few were playing, and we even saw one pair having wild monkey sex on the staircase handrail.  Ya, really.  Later, on the way down we also saw a monkey snatch a lady’s bag away from her to get the food inside.  They can be pretty mean when you have food and don’t give it to them.

The caves themselves are fairly impressive.  The statues weren’t anything we hadn’t seen already, except for the huge one out front, so we were mostly there to see the caves themselves.  When you get to the top of the stairs (there are 272) you’ll be at the entrance to the first cave.  You descend a short flight of stairs into the first chamber and then, when you’re done looking around, you walk up another flight of steps to the next area.  I wouldn’t quite call the next spot a cave since it’s completely open to the air on top.  It’s very cool to look at though.

What disappointed me about the Batu Caves is that they’re in a serious state of disrepair.  I’m not sure what’s going on in there, but the edges were all littered with garbage.  The lower portions of the walls were also covered with graffiti.  I also noticed that a lot of the small stalagmites within arm’s reach were broken off.  I wonder if they were broken into pieces and sold to pilgrims in the past?  Regardless, it makes the lower portions of the caves look really cheap and filthy.  Don’t let that discourage you from going though.  The upper portions are still really nice.  Click through on the photos for a better look.

Oh, and be careful on your way down!  The stairs are very small and steep!

After leaving the Batu Caves we went back to the guest house we were staying at and relaxed for a while.  Those stairs are tiring!  It had started raining too, and who wants to walk around in that?

After a few hours we got back up and went to Bukit Bintang.  We had no clue what was there, but saw it listed as a place tourists should visit so we stopped to check it out.  It was only a few stops away from Chow Kit on the monorail.  It looks like a small version of Singapore’s Orchard Road.

Across the street from where you exit the monorail is a very posh mall called Lot 10, which was almost completely deserted.  The place didn’t seem all that popular.  I wasn’t surprised.  The stores there all seemed to carry very high end items that most people wouldn’t want to be bothered with anyway.

The one cool place we did see there was Jackie Chan’s tea and coffee cafe.  Jackie Chan must like his tea and coffee with a little kick because there were bottles of Grey Goose vodka lining one side of the bar.  Other than the fact that the place had Jackie Chan’s name on it, the couches you sit on are incredibly luxurious.  The bottom portion is very long, so you remove your shoes, climb up, lean back and relax.  Each sitting area has a set of small tables that swivel so you can arrange them the way that’s comfortable for you.

The mall across the street, called Suleng Wang (sp?) was jam packed with people.  It’s huge too.  You wouldn’t be able to tell from the outside but there are hallways running off from the central area that seem to go on forever.  It was definitely the more popular of the two malls and it was so packed it was hard to walk around without having to constantly sidestep people.  I got the impression it was a popular hangout location.

By the way, what’s up with KFC in Malaysia?  There was a KFC in Suleng Wang mall that was huge and it seemed like there was a KFC at every monorail stop.

On the bottom floor of the main area there was a small manga event for what seemed to be local artists.  There were black dividers set up with manga storyboards on display.  There was a stage with figure cutouts, a case with manga style swords, and booths selling manga and merchandise.  I’ll post more about it tomorrow, including photos of girls in maid cosplay!

We spent about 4 hours wandering around the Bukit Bintang area.  It seems to be a major shopping hub.  We saw another mall that I can’t remember the name of that was full of electronics stores.  If you’re from Singapore, think Sim Lim but with the looks of Tampines 1.

After that, it was about 10pm so we took the monorail back to Chow Kit station where we kicked back and relaxed in the guest house for a while.  We wound up going back out at around midnight for more satay!

More tomorrow!

Kuala Lumpur Trip: Chow Kit Market

Just down the street from the guest house we’re staying in is Chow Kit Market.  We were actually under the impression that it was a huge hawker style area where we could get good local food for a good price.  Instead, it turned out to be a sprawling, mostly covered wet market.  It was definitely wet too.  The floors were cut with grooves to help water flow out of the market and into the drainage system.

It was pretty cool to walk through.  We saw everything from fresh veggies to cat fish so fresh they were still flopping.  I wonder if there’s something similar in Singapore and we just haven’t seen it yet?

Walking through this market was also the first time I noticed just how many Malaysian flags are flying in Kuala Lumpur.  They’re everywhere.  Malaysians are definitely proud of their country.

Enjoy the photos!

Kuala Lumpur Trip: Day 1

Going to Kuala Lumpur isn’t too big a deal when it comes to the actual travel part.  By the time the plane gets leveled off and the steward or stewardess hands out the immigration cards to fill out, you have about five minutes before the pilot will alert the cabin crew to prepare for landing.  Ya, it’s just that fast.  I think the total flight time is about 35 or 40 minutes.  We actually spend more time getting to the airport in Singapore and getting from KLIA in Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur than we do in the air.  That’s one of the great things about traveling in Asia.  It doesn’t take much time to get to a new place.

This being our second trip to the Kuala Lumpur area, we weren’t as stressed out about how to get from the airport to the city.  On our last visit, we flew Tiger Airways and landed at the budget terminal, so coming in at the regular terminal was a bit confusing.  It was still easy to find the buses that take you to the city.

KLIA’s main terminals are VERY nice looking.  They’re very classy, very modern and I saw a banner that said it had won an award as the best airport in the world for three years running.  That’s quite an accomplishment!  The inside looks like a brand new mall and there’s an Air Train that will transport you between terminals.  The interior actually reminded me of Changi International in Singapore a lot.  Even the name of the train was similar.  In Singapore it’s called the Sky Train.

There are a few different ways you can get to the city from KLIA.  You can take a cab, which is expensive, a high speed train which is also fairly expensive, or you can take the airport bus.  There are also other shuttle buses, Star Buses I think, that will take you to KL Sentral.  KL Sentral is a train station near the heart of the city.  The buses are a good deal.  You only pay 9 or 10 ringgit in comparison to about 35 for the train and they leave the airport every hour on the hour.  I don’t even bother with taxis anymore if I can avoid them.

The bus we took dropped us off at KL Sentral.  From there we crossed the street and got on the monorail.  That was kinda fun.  The only monorail in Singapore is the one that goes from Harbourfront to Sentosa Island and I don’t ride that much.  The ride also gave us the chance to get a good look at the area.  There are plenty of windows.

Finding the guest house we stayed at was a little difficult once we got to Chow Kit station, but there was entertainment along the way.  We were standing at the intersection below the monorail station looking around, when we noticed people dashing through traffic to get across the street.  Apparently, waiting for the pedestrian green light is optional here.  It wasn’t just young healthy folk doing it either.  I saw a man with ONE LEG navigating his way through a busy street full of traffic.  Ya.  That old man may be missing a leg, but his balls are certainly intact!  That’s him in the above picture, with the crutch.  After he made it across the road he stopped to have a smoke.

Once we got settled in at Hostel Cosmopolitan (more on that later), we walked through the Chow Kit Market (look for photos tomorrow!) and then sat down to a meal of Nasi Ayam Goreng.  It’s made a bit different in Kuala Lumpur than it is in Singapore.  I’m not sure which I like more.  Both versions are pretty good.

Later that night, after a shower and a nap, we went out again and found out that there are lots of stalls set up along the street at night.  They carry quite a few different things, from stuffed animals to telescopes but we weren’t really there to shop.

We just wanted to try local food, so we found a vendor selling satay.  It was really good!  The two sauces pictured are a curry sauce with shallots on top and a sweet and spicy peanut sauce, which I preferred.  I like curry, but not on my satay.

We followed that up with some ice cream that an old man was selling from a cart attached to his bicycle.  It was better than I expected, especially with the crushed peanut sprinkled on it.  I think it’s peanut anyway.  The guy called it ‘kachang’ I think.  The ice cream was mostly vanilla but there was a strong hint of durian flavor as well.  I normally can’t even stand the smell of durian, but it was ok mixed with the ice cream.

More tomorrow!

3 Days in Kuala Lumpur: Part 10: Heading Home

Before we knew it, our short 3 day trip in Kuala Lumpur was coming to an end.

On the morning of the third day we were there, we got up at 9 am to make sure we wouldn’t be late.  We really had no idea how to get back to the airport.  On the way to Kuala Lumpur, the buses were in an obvious location, right along with the taxis and stuff, but it’s not as much of a “no-brainer” when going back to the airport.

The first thing we had to do though was… eat of course!  Since it was a day for traveling we didn’t want to risk eating something that might mess up our stomachs, so we went to McDonald’s.  My wife had the sausage biscuit again, which seemed fitting.  That’s what she had on the first morning, when we were at the Budget Terminal at Changi International in Singapore, waiting on our flight.

After eating, we went back to the hotel and checked with the lady at the front desk for directions.  We specifically wanted to know how to get on one of those cheap buses again.  Why pay more when you don’t have to?  She told us that the best way to get there would be to go back to the Pasar Seni train station and ride to K.L. Central.  She said there were buses there that would take us back to the airport for 8 ringgit each, which is what we paid the last time heading into the city.

That seemed simple enough, and it didn’t take us long to get to K.L. Central.  The place was bigger than we expected though so we had to stop for directions again.  Unfortunately, the guy behind the counter told us it would be “better for you to take fast train to airport.”  Of course… that’s what we didn’t want to do.  The fast train he was talking about is fast, but it’s also 35 ringgits per person.  I couldn’t see spending that much more just to shave 30 minutes or so off our trip.  We wound up getting the right directions from a guy working at a sales stand.  All we had to do was go downstairs.

When we got downstairs the bus we wanted was right in front of us.  It was yellow, just like the one we had taken from the airport, and just like the one we had taken from the airport it was indeed only 8 ringgit.  It was called Star Shuttle (see the ticket stub on the left, which was from our trip into the city on the 1st).  We double checked with the guy selling tickets to make sure it was going to the airport and then paid and got on board.  We got on the bus at about 11:30 am, and about 20 minutes later the bus pulled off from the curb and got on its way to the airport.  I dozed off for part of the trip again.  My wife was kind enough to let me know I was knocked out and had my mouth hanging open for quite a while.  Oops!

We left Kuala Lumpur early because we weren’t sure of the way back to the airport, so when we did get there, we got there early.  Really early in fact.  We had two hours to kill before we could even check in, so we went to the McDonald’s there and got some coffee.  I tried to log into the free wireless but either it was acting up or my phone was, because I kept getting a “no reply from gateway” error.  Thinking about it now, it had to be my phone if I got the same error in two different places.  Since we couldn’t get the internet to work, we found a bench to sit on.  My wife pulled out a book, and I fell back asleep for about an hour.

When the time came, we checked in, got our boarding passes and then went through the immigration and security checkpoints.  While in line we realized that we hadn’t taken the time to stop for Dunkin Donuts.  There aren’t any Dunkin Donuts stores in Singapore.  I have no idea why, because the donut stores that are in Singapore aren’t very good.  We were both kinda sad about the whole thing, because we love their donuts.  Fortunately for us, there’s a Dunkin Donuts just past the immigration checkpoint.

We had just enough ringgits left for four donuts, so we chowed down!

The rest of our trip home was fairly uneventful.  The gate was a bit crowded and the flight left a bit late, but we were back in Singapore by 5:45 pm.

3 Days in Kuala Lumpur: Part 9: Street Food

It goes without saying that when you visit a place you have to try the local food, and you’re not going to find authentic local food in chain stores or fancy restaurants. Not typically anyways. We spent most of our 3 day trip looking around the Chinatown area and it has a fairly decent mix of tourist style restaurants, franchises (3 McDonald’s encircled the area… not surprised at all), and a nice assortment of “street food”. That’s what my wife says it’s called. She’s referring to the stand alone carts that sell food. She was insistent that we try eating at one of them before leaving and I love to eat, so I didn’t put up any argument.

So, the second night of our trip we found ourselves wandering down the road that runs along eastern edge of Chinatown and we saw a stall that was selling satay. I think satay is just a local word for shish kebabs, except they’re plain grilled meat on a stick, with a sauce applied to them during the grilling process. The stuff smelled fantastic and we couldn’t resist. We snagged their last beef satay, 3 chicken satay, 2 chicken liver & gizzard satay, and an order of rice cubes. It was served up fairly quickly and came with a dish of a spicy and sweet peanut sauce. We cleared the plate in about 3 minutes. The stuff was delicious and left us wanting more. I’m not a big fan of gizzard and liver, but even that tasted great coming off the grill there.

Here are some photos!

The other thing I can recommend is a stand called Air Mata Kucing. I have no clue what that means, but it’s located at one of the intersections along Jalang Petaling, near the center of the Chinatown area. They serve a drink that tastes like tea made with sugar cane. There were also bits of some fruit in it. My wife says she thinks it’s longan fruit. It’s very good, very sweet, and can be served with or without ice. We wound up going back for more of this stuff on our 3rd and last day there.

I would have liked to have had the opportunity to try out more of the local dishes, but our trip was a short one. There’s always next time!