Taman Negara to Petronas Towers: From Flip Flops to Fighting

We left Kuala Tahan, the base village for Taman Negara we had been staying in, on the first local bus of the day at 6.30am. We had actually been roped into purchasing a return ticket from the untrustworthy travel company we used to get to Kuala Tahan from Kuala Tembling,… but after finding out the local bus was one tenth of the price we opted for the latter option accompanied by a refund… uh thank you very much! Kuala Tembling is the largest town in the region & somewhat of a transport hub for the National Park. We arrived there with 8 minutes to spare before the next bus left for Kuala Lumpur. Great timing you say?!… Not when you need a refund of $50 from a travel agency 1 km away!! I left Nicky with the bags & the challenge of delaying the bus as long as possible should it take me longer than 8 minutes to run 2 km & get a refund from a dodgy travel agency probably not all that keen on the idea of giving me money back!! I ran my tired legs to their ABSOLUTE limit. Flip-flops in hand, bare foot, the middle of a dual carriageway, no use of pavements due to any potential treachery that may slow me…. I got back JUST in time!… & I mean just! Nicky had managed to stall the driver for a precious 2 minutes by dragging her feet purchasing tickets & the use of her innate gift of tongue-wagging & we got to KL on schedule.

We stayed the night in a really REALLY small expensive room, opposite the bus station & near all that the city centre had to offer. That night we went to the movies for a nice relaxing evening off our feet in Times Square, downtown KL. The following morning we got up nice & early again so we could queue up for the Petronas Twin Towers’ viewing bridge. One of the definites on a to-do-list in KL, we had saved going up the towers until this second stop in the capital. The viewing bridge for the towers is located half way up, adjoining the two structures & offering the best views of KL. We arrived to witness unqualified mayhem! Petronas, the national oil company who built & own the towers, offer a limited number of free tickets each day. Simple economics clearly leads you to the inevitable conclusion that with NO price & LIMITED supply, the demand is infinite… & simple logic then leads you to the conclusion that in a country where manners is NOT part of the culture, an orderly queue for such an event is far from likely!!! Luckily Nicky & I were in no mood to be pushed around so we stuck our elbows out & gave as good as we got until we reached the orderly part of the queue regulated by several police officers. We got our tickets & ambled around the numerous shopping centres until our ticket time arrived. The KL skyline has is not breathtaking & is synonymous with most other large cities really, but it’s not too shabby at all. It was certainly worth the morning bustle & the information centre you can visit pre-elevator ride was very interesting, running through the schematics of such a fabulous feat of engineering, a structure held as the pinnacle of one of the fastest growing countries in the world today.

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To conclude… Where possible, DON’T attempt to run down dual carriageways in flip-flops.

AND, be prepared for a scrap if queuing in Malaysia


~ Rhys ~


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