20/12/2008 – Onwards to Kuala Lumpur
We arrived in Vientiane at the rather rude hour of 5am and shuffled off the bus in a daze, grabbed our bags and got herded onto a tuk-tuk heading into the town centre. It was still dark, it was cold and everything was shut so there was no point spending time in the town centre. Once in the town centre we got another tuk tuk to the airport with another girl from the bus who happened to be getting the same flight as us to KL. It’s nice when that happens – we had a spontaneous flight posse going on.
At Vientiane airport we lumbered over to the only cafe open at such an ungodly hour to down an over-priced cup of tea. The conversation, as much as we tried, was rather stilted so we hunted down a prime piece of airport chair to sleep on and I dozed for a while listening to more Stina Nordenstam on my ipod. It’s amazing how you can get some shut-eye when necessary.
We woke to hear the announcement that our check-in was open and the three of us trundled down to find an enormous queue in front of the Air Asia check in. I think we waited nearly an hour to check-in and once at the front were informed that no alcohol was allowed in checked luggage. Nikkers had just bought a load of bottles of Snake Whiskey as Christmas presents for back home – she then had to unpack them all and we gave a load of freeze booze away to nearby Lao people. We did get quite a few laughs from the passengers behind us as Nikkers pulled out bottle after bottle of booze from her rucksack.
The flight to KL was ok, Air Asia is pretty budget and squishy, but the problems didn’t really start until we got to KL.
The airport was a little bit ramshackle as it’s the Air Asia special one and they were doing loads of work to it. After customs and baggage claim I went to get my pre-paid shuttle bus into KL Sentral only to find that I couldn’t do so without a printout of my itinerary. Thinking everything was E-Ticket, I hadn’t bothered. So I tried to find an internet place, but none existed. I then got sent round the airport trying to find the Air Asia desk. Once placing myself in the enormous queue I found there was power cut and no-one was moving. Then, after about half an hour I looked behind to see Nikkers stood in the queue – turns out she’d missed her connecting flight to Singapore and needed to buy a new ticket. Obviously she was quite stressed as she still had another 2 flights to get to Brisbane. To further add to her problems, she didn’t have enough cash or a credit card so I ran to the ATM to lend her some money and we said out goodbyes (again) agreeing to meet up in Oz.
I took my one hour bus ride into the city and was struck by how British KL looked. I hadn’t researched KL at all and hadn’t realised that Malaysia used to be a British Colony. Therefore, I guess it made sense that they drove on the left and the roads looked like the roads back in England. It was a somewhat bizarre moment after being in Thailand and Laos.
Once at KL Sentral I asked at least a million taxi and bus drivers if they knew where my hostel Bedz KL was and not a single one did. Having taken for granted that they would I hadn’t written the address down myself so I endeavoured to find an internet cafe which also proved to be near impossible. Nearly everyone I spoke to was seriously unhelpful and after over 24 hours of travelling, standing in a sticky city with a heavy rucksack on, I was starting to feel tearful. I just wanted a bloody shower and some sleep!
Eventually one guy pointed my in the direction of an internet place, but when I got there the servers were down, much like I was feeling. But another lady physically pushed me down the road to another one where was able to get the address and jump in a taxi to my hostel.
Bedz KL was lovely, very new, clean, modern and not a Spicy hostel. Not that it was terrible, but I have just spent a month staying at a Spicy hostel.
After showering and checking my emails I grabbed my camera and walked to the Petronas Towers. The walk was nice enough. The weather was sticky like Bangkok, the city looked somewhere between Bangkok and London but cleaner (or what I saw of it). The Petronas Towers are incredible, and HUGE! I would like the chance to go up them if I am ever back there.
I had a quick chat with the guys that run the hostel and then went to my bed in my dorm which I had to myself.