Today was my most lax plan of the whole trip – clearly after 3 months my brain has just given up. I knew I was going to Kuala Lumpur today, but I had booked no bus or made any plans. Instead, I gorged on toast before wandering down to the Golden Mile to see what buses were available. Booked the first one at the right price, and at 13:30 hours, was heading towards the Malaysian border.
The company I’d chosen was StarMart Express, mostly because they were leaving at the right time and weren’t hideously expensive. The bus itself was nice enough – large seats and overly strong air conditioning, but there were only about 4 other people on the bus. There are so many companies leaving for Kuala Lumpur that its actually hard to find one thats packed full.
I’ve done the Singapore/KL border before, and its one of the easier crossings around since so many people do it. You don’t need a visa, and I’ve never seen it mobbed – you get through in a matter of minutes. On the other side is a handful of shops where, if unlike me you’ve remembered to exchange your dollars for ringgit, you can grab something to eat.
The trip to Kuala Lumpur takes about 6 hours give or take depending on traffic, and the StarMart bus drops you off outside Berjaya Times Square – one of my favourite places in KL and where I would be coming back immediately after I’d checked in. My hostel was technically only 20 minutes away, but there was tons of construction going on around the area, and for all the hassle of lugging my bags around, I grabbed a taxi instead.
My hostel in KL was The Travel Hub, one of the few well reviewed hostels in the city centre that don’t cost an arm and a leg. I’m in a 12 or so room, which is unfortunately dampened by a hideously overeager air conditioner (that night was hell, even with 2 paper thin blankets to hide under). But that I wouldn’t discover until I returned, and tried to make my way back to Times Square – I took a relatively warped route, but I did get there.
Unlike Suntec in Singapore, Times Square is exactly how I remember it from the last time. A mini-city consisting of 15 floors, 2 cinemas (at least), a bowling alley, an archery range, every possible food you can think of, and if it exists, it can probably be bought here. As an added touch, as you get higher, the less brand names you find – a lot of the shops are privately owned, so you can honestly spend a day here just browsing and see nothing you recognise.
I’m mostly here to wander and enjoy, though if I find a few anime/video game shops I’m not against buying a few things at this late stage in the game. However there’s not much on the lower floors, and its not until I’ve eaten that I find a place (had sushi – wasn’t awful but wasn’t fantastic either). It’s a DVD store, selling all those pirate boxsets that have English subtitles translated from the Chinese which was translated from the Japanese so are completely worthless. Doesn’t stop me from wanting to grab them though.
I finally have success on floor 6, but by this point its 21:00, and the 2 stores I’ve hunted down are both closed. But in the window…
If you don’t know, these are the 2 riders from Kamen Rider W. They are also my favourite models, and really hard to find. I was in Japan for my last big holiday and scoured the country for them without fail. And they’re on display right. there.
Definitely coming back tomorrow and finding out how much they are.