I left my last blog with “hopefully it won’t take nine months” for the next blog post. Well, don’t you worry because it didn’t! It’s taken TWELVE!
At this point it might be a bit silly to write a travel blog about a trip we took almost two years ago… but I want to have a complete diary of our honeymoon. I want to be able to look back on this in 20 years and remember all the things we did – and that includes two entire countries that I haven’t blogged about yet!
This blog post will take us through three days – the (long) bus ride from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, the next day exploring Kuala Lumpur and the final day exploring some more until our flight to Tokyo.
We had bought bus tickets that would take us all the way from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, crossing the country border along the way. The bus station luckily was located right out front of the apartment complex where our AirBnB was located, so it wasn’t a long trip to the bus. The only tricky part was finding our bus amidst 10-15 different buses parked outside, but soon enough we found our bus and hopped aboard.
So we were big spenders and bought tickets for the luxury bus to Kuala Lumpur. Hey, it’s our honeymoon! And the ~luxury~ bus tickets were still like… $30. I miss how cheap everything is in Southeast Asia!
I got the front seat to the bus on the upper deck and Landon was right behind me. I honestly couldn’t remember at the time – these seats are either supposed to be the safest spot on the bus or the least safe. (A quick Google search tells me this is definitely the least safe spot… whoops) Either way, we survived. Being in the front gave us amazing views all the way to Kuala Lumpur. The jungles along the highway were beautiful and we got a chance to sit back and relax.
Also, Pringles are a thing in Singapore. Which is great. I’m hilarious.
We didn’t get a chance to take any photos of the border security stops, but I wasn’t expecting just how long they would take. There were two separate stops, and we had to get off the bus, go through customs and have our baggage scanned during each.
These border stops and also an abundance of traffic turned what I thought would be a five-hour bus ride into a 9 hour bus ride. Not a big deal, except I had told our Kuala Lumpur AirBnB host when we were expecting to get into the city. I slowly watched that time approach and then pass, and I didn’t have any cell service to keep him updated on our slow progress. We only had wi-fi connection on our phones and for all the ~luxury~ we had paid for, bus wi-fi wasn’t available. I was ridiculously stressed about this, as last I heard this guy was going to wait in the lobby for us until we arrived. I didn’t want him waiting there for hours!
Finally we started approaching the city limits and got our first views of Kuala Lumpur – what a beautiful city! The first thing you see are the giant Petronas Towers and the Space Needle-looking Kuala Lumpur Tower.
The bus dropped us off at the train station and we took an Uber to the apartment building that housed our AirBnB. Malaysian Ubers are pretty much the exact same as in America!
I don’t know exactly what I was expecting from Kuala Lumpur, but I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be so modern. I thought it’d be more like Bali and less like Singapore, but it turns out Singapore and Kuala Lumpur have a lot of similar characteristics.
The Uber dropped us off outside our building and we were blown away. Now be prepared, because this place in Kuala Lumpur was GORGEOUS. It was a huge one-bedroom apartment (I guess technically a studio… but it was giant). The “lobby” of this building was filled with fountains and different greenery. And did I mention it was only $29 a NIGHT?! (I love Malaysia)
This price also includes access to the rooftop, which you’ll get to see later on in this blog…
When we got to the lobby, I logged onto wi-fi to find out that our host left the apartment key in the mailbox and we should go pick it up ourselves. After a quick search for the mailroom and collecting the key, we went up to our new home for the next couple of days.
THIS PLACE IS AMAZING. AGAIN, TWENTY-NINE DOLLARS. I’ve paid more for a grungy motel room in El Paso.
AND! There’s a washing machine! We haven’t gotten our clothes really cleaned for a while, so we took full advantage of this.
We were exhausted after our long bus ride and it was getting to be later in the afternoon, so we decided to take a quick nap before exploring this new city. They left us a cute panda bear on the bed that Landon quickly a liking to. I did not.
We didn’t have much daylight left and we still had another couple days in the city, so we decided to take it easy and simply explore the local mall about a half-mile away. We walked through the city (which is bustling with people, but not Times Square NYC level of bustling).
The mall was fun, but it was a mall. Nothing too special. They had a Kenny Rogers Roasters (Kramer would love it here in Malaysia) but we found a nice Thai restaurant and had some noodles. Then it was time to get back to the AirBnB and get some rest for a full day of exploring the city tomorrow.
On our walk home, I took this picture of our building so you can see it from the outside. Our AirBnB apartment is about 15 floors up!
We fell asleep pretty quickly and woke up pretty early the next day. I knew today we were going to get to meet some more monkeys so we were VERY excited. One of the main places I wanted to go in Malaysia was the Batu Caves, a beautiful and famous area just outside of the city (and that also happened to be a pit stop on Amazing Race once…)
We didn’t have too much of a plan of what we wanted to do for the day, but since Batu Caves was on our list we figured we’d head there first. We took a train out to the caves – not too long of a trip. Maybe 15 minutes or so.
The Batu Caves are crawling with two things: tourists and monkeys. But I can see why! As a tourist, getting to see one of the biggest Hindu shrines outside of India is a sight to behold. And for monkeys, well they probably steal a lot of tourists’ food so this is probably where I’d hang out too!
The train station is right outside of the caves, so we walked around on the grounds for a bit. There are stalls everywhere you look with people trying to sell jewelry and snacks and anything else they can sucker tourists into buying. But once you get into the temple area, it has a different feel. Even with bunches of people around, it’s calmer and more serene.
The main attraction of the area is the giant staircase ascending up the cliff and leading to the “cave” part of the Batu Caves. The staircase is well protected and even tourists are required to keep to Hindu customs: women have to wear garments covering their legs. I was a bit worried since I was in shorts myself, but apparently I was fine. (A bit sexist there, Malaysia…)
Speaking of the Amazing Race pit stop, here’s a photo from season 24. And then there’s us in the same spot! So cool.
Going up the stairs was certainly an experience, as wild monkeys were crawling around the area looking for food and items to steal. I love monkeys, even if they’re kinda jerks. Lovable jerks. They’re probably my spirit animal.
The view from the top of the caves was also spectacular, overlooking the whole city.
Once up the stairs, the inside of the cave was pretty cool too. It was massive! Of course there were many pop-up shops trying to get tourists to buy all sorts of different Malaysian trinkets, but the ambience of the place was still cool. It started to rain a bit, but we were in a cave so it didn’t hit us.
On the way back down we passed the “Dark Cave” which cost money to go into… so we didn’t. What did we miss out on? We may never know.
Once we were done with the caves, we decided to head back to our apartment building to check out the best amenity of the AirBnB – the rooftop pool! This pool was what sold me on the AirBnB website. It’s an infinity pool overlooking the entire city, and only apartment owners and their guests are allowed up there.
It. Was. Spectacular.
Being high above the city, you can see EVERYTHING. And since it’s a private pool just for the apartment owners/guests, it really wasn’t very crowded. We spent a few hours up here just relaxing, taking photos and taking in the view. We only have a couple days left of our epic honeymoon, and this is an incredible way to cap it off.
After a long, relaxing afternoon soaking it up in the pool, we were getting hungry! Plus, we still wanted to explore more of Kuala Lumpur since we didn’t get a ton of time here the night before. We decided to just walk around and see what we could find. The streets are a fascinating blend of Asian historical culture and modern architecture and design. Really cool!
Being in Malaysia, we wanted to take FULL advantage of all the amazing cuisine that this part of the world offers. Suddenly… we saw it! The holy grail of impeccable cuisine! The bright lights of the sign seemed to invite us in to the restaurant, and soon we knew we were at home.
That’s right, folks. We found…
AN OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE!
Now this isn’t just any outback steakhouse, though. This is a MALAYSIAN Outback Steakhouse. Which means it gives you all the authenticity of a truly Australian meal with the prices of southeast Asia. Which means SUPER CHEAP OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE YA’LL.
My excitement can be seen below:
We got some drinks and settled into our booth in the corner, enjoying the small taste of home. Funny we went to Australia on this trip… but we find ourselves at an Outback Steakhouse in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. And of course, we ordered mashed potatoes because no Luke meal is complete without them.
It might have been super touristy and annoying American of us… but we loved it!
After dinner we wanted to explore a bit more and found some interesting sites. Some dancers were performing for a few of the restaurants around the block so we stopped and watched them for a bit. There was store after store filled with selfie sticks, more than I had ever seen in my life. And there was a beautiful fountain/sculpture outside one of the hotels/malls in the area. Beautiful!
To end the night, I wanted to hit up the SKY BAR, a place they visited on Amazing Race (of course) where they had a ridiculous bartending challenge that left one girl in tears.
Luckily neither Landon or myself cried and it was all fun!
SKY BAR is a bar on the top of a skyscraper with incredible 360 degree views of the city. We already got a pretty good view from our rooftop pool, but the bar was a new experience.
Right outside the skyscraper was this dude who a CROWD of people were obsessed with. Still not sure who it is – maybe some celebrity in that part of the world? Everyone was taking photos and asking for autographs, so I’m assuming he’s a big deal.
ANYWAYS, after making it through the swarm of people at the front door, we went to the elevator and took it allllllll the way to the top! There’s a metal detector for safety, and soon enough we found ourselves in the bar.
There’s a POOL. IN THE BAR. Malaysia really has a thing for pools with a view apparently.
All the tables around the bar had been reserved weeks in advance, but we got our (fruity) drinks and found a small table to hang out at (the far right red table above). We’re not… how would you say it… club people so there wasn’t a ton for us to do here. But we were the obnoxious American tourists who took photos and enjoyed people watching while hanging out. Cool place!
The view of the Petronas Towers from here wasn’t bad either!
After about 45 minutes we left the Sky Bar, went back down the elevator and trekked our way home. It was a cool day, but we were exhausted!
In the morning we had to check out of our AirBnb and say goodbye to the area. Today we were going to begin our looooong journey back to the United States, and our flight was scheduled to take off that evening. Still, rather than wait at the airport all day, we decided to make the most of our time in Kuala Lumpur and explore a bit more!
At a local mall nearby (I’m telling you, there’s malls EVERYWHERE here) we found a lot to occupy our time until our flight. First off, there was an ESCAPE ROOM!
Anyone who knows Landon and I know that we love a good escape room. We did one in Bali where the floor literally opened and Landon fell a story down, so it’ll be hard to top that. Will we be able to BREAKOUT of this one in Kuala Lumpur?
Well, no. We were not able to escape. BUT we at least managed to follow the rules and not “be a dumb dumb”!
Then we got to travel the mall and look at all the different floors. This place looked like a modern-day Hogwarts with all the different staircases! Sadly, these weren’t moving staircases. But give them a few years I’ll be they’ll get there. (I guess by now, it has been a few years! If anyone’s in Kuala Lumpur, let me know how stationary the staircases are).
They had a whole store just for my mom and Devon, the owl lovers!
Then… one of the most MAGICAL THINGS TO EVER HAPPEN EVER happened.
There we were at a random mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We have hours to kill so we decide to go to the movies. What a great air conditioned place to kill a few hours!
We buy tickets (I think to Now You See Me 2?! I can’t remember). We enter the theater lobby. We go to buy concessions. And that’s when I see it.
On the far right of the menu, there it is…
MASHED POTATOES. AT A MOVIE THEATER.
This is a glorious addition to a movie theater that should be implemented EVERYWHERE, specifically the AMC theaters in Los Angeles, California that work with my MoviePass.
After the theater, we grabbed our bags from the storage lockers at the train station and hopped on a bus to the airport. Our time in Malaysia had sadly come to an end and we were headed back to the United States.
Still, the honeymoon can’t be over yet! With an 18 hour layover in Tokyo, we have just enough time to get a good sense of the city. And boy oh boy, we sure did.
Until next time (see you in a year?),