Singapore was so very different to Kuala Lumpur. The first is pristine with obvious nods to the British influences – clean, ordered, colonial, with everyone following rules. The second, is more Asian in its core – a little more cluttered, haphazard, even a little dirty, but in a charismatic and charming way. Very likeable and with soul.
We took a taxi to Bangsar, where Sam and Philly are staying, arriving at about 3pm, and headed straight out to the pool for a dip, some Tiger beer and chips. Just what we needed. The girls’ plans for us this first afternoon/evening were simple and much appreciated. We headed for WIP (a bar in Bangsar) where we lazed on lounges and ordered happy hour mojitos and an ever-continuous flow of dishes to snack on. Most delicious.
The next morning we set a leisurely pace and headed into KL in no rush. We went to Imbi Market where the locals go for breakfast on a Saturday and watched a woman with dexterity and lightening speed, make 20 vegetable filled pancakes – bang, bang, bang – within a minute. Very impressive and ridiculously delicious! From there we wandered through the golden triangle area of KL visiting its biggest shopping mall – Pavilion. It was overwhelming in it’s size and number of highend designer stores. No real need to wish we were dripping filthy lucre this time – at this point of the trip, there is no way that Nic would be buying clothes – the waistline is not fit to be seen inside a Target at the moment, let alone a Dolce & Gabbana or Gucci surrounded by tiny, gorgeous, uber-stylish Asian women!
Instead we haggled our way along a line of massage shops into a bit of reflexology, with a shoulder massage thrown in (we have a winner!), and the four of us lay there having our feet pinched and pummelled, drooling at the mouth like Homer (that was after the wincing and face pulling had stopped and we started to relax). After 20 minutes we upped our original request for a 30minute job, to 45minutes. Good work gang.
We then strolled further and chose a place on Changkat Bukit Bintang for lunch (a sure hit with oodles of excellent food options. We settled on a bar called Havana and ordered beers all round. Food was delish – chargrilled vegetables, broccoli and almonds, mushrooms in thyme, stuffed jalapenos, hommus and pita and lemon marinated olives. After lunch we headed home for a swim and some down time before heading out on the town to a wine bar called Giovino Restaurant and Wine Shop for dinner (with its focus on Greek and Italian cuisine). Highly amusing start to the evening with John and Philly ducking next door to the pub every time there was a roar from the crowd gathered there, alfresco, watching Australia lose to Ireland in the Rugby Union World Cup. Dinner was served and they had to return to the table – neither of them were going to miss out on the food (although the sautéed asparagus and beans accompanying grilled seafood may not be to everyone’s liking!). We really have not had a bad, or even average, meal in KL. Malaysian food is excellent. (Can’t wait to try out the superb menu at Bon Ton on Langkawi!)
A dance performance was on our agenda that evening, choreographed by “up and coming” Malaysian artists. It was a little too “second-year-dance-course” for Nic’s liking. Some dancers showed skills and strength, but only one piece was truly engaging and took us on a journey. We got through the first act, and it was unanimous that at interval we had all had enough. No problem – we were all a tad tired and headed home.