Our third day in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, got off to a poor start. Our hostel room was right opposite the front desk and we were woken at 7am by tinny versions of questionable music, peaking with Nickleback at 8am. Unable to take any more, we got up and headed to the communal balcony to partake in the promised free breakfast.
Now, my expectations regarding free breakfasts are generally pretty low. But an empty bag of value white sliced bread and a quarter-full jar of Tesco value jam disappointed even me.
Undeterred, I went to take a shower only to discover mid-shower I was sharing the cubicle with a not-small cricket. It wasn’t wearing a shower cap, so I’m not entirely sure what it was doing there.
Approaching grump-levels of mood, we headed out for breakfast. It was raining. Hard.
We took refuge in a cafe called Uncle Lims and ordered, with some anticipation, runny eggs and a cup of tea. Alas, in Kuala Lumpur they like their eggs slightly runnier than us Brits (some may say half-cooked) and serve their tea with condensed milk. It had been a morning of disappointments.
Unsure as to whether we were harbouring salmonella, we abandoned our plans to visit the park and squelched along to the old Railway Station, which still operates as a functioning railway station today and is about as interesting.
Unimpressed, we made our way over to the national mosque, which was a far bigger success. This stunning complex houses up to fifteen thousand worshippers at Friday prayers. The staff were friendly and welcoming, and we enjoyed taking in the serene, open terrace outside the worship hall (which is only open to Muslims).
By this point the rain had stopped, so we jumped on to a hop on/off buggy and headed up to the lake gardens, arriving in the middle of a park festival just as the sun came out.
We grabbed a curry pie, much to Craig’s delight, and a bubble tea, much to his confusion.
To the uninitiated, bubble tea is a cold, flavoured tea which has a base of small, flavoured bubbles which burst in your mouth when you suck them up through the oversized straw. You can also fire them or burst them through your teeth and ruin your long-suffering wife’s clothes, if you are so inclined.
After lunch we took the buggy up to Kuala Lumpur’s bird park. This large aviary complex hosts a huge range of birds both native to Malaysia and other parts of the world. We enjoyed walking past their flamingo colony and through their parrot enclosure, ducking as the birds swooped overhead. We also saw storks and hornbills , as well as a very massive and frankly intimidating pelican. They also have a hatchery, where you can see baby birds coming in to the world.
At 5, exhausted from both walking and the sheer heat, we caught a buggy for a ride around the park – enjoying the breeze before heading for some delicious chicken rendang curry and a cold beer.