Early start, breakfast of roti canai w/ egg at the Penang airport.
I’d really like to see the Petronas twin towers before I leave. It seems to have stopped raining. I asked at the information counter about the fastest way to get to the towers, and they confirmed: train. They also said I should allot an hour to get thru security and immigration (since there might be a line). After doing some quick math, I decided it was do-able to visit the towers.
I swung by the left luggage counter, but it was 30 ringgit to store my bag (whether for 2 hours or 24), so I decided to just bring it with me. Down the elevator to the trains. Tried to use the KLIA ticket machine and yet again it gave an error (while fighting with it, I heard the 2 minute train announcement). By the time I abandoned the machine and bought a ticket from the counter, I hurried thru the ticket gates only to see the 10am train pulling away. Argh!
Got on the 10:20 train, and immediately began to stress and second-guess myself. Am I crazy to be leaving the airport at this point? And also spending like $25 in train fare for a 5 minute photo op? Why didn’t I just make more of an effort to see the towers when I was in KL, a few days ago!? Then again, I’m not sure when I’ll be back…
I’ll get to KL Sentral at 10:50. The train to KLCC runs every 6 minutes, and it’s a 10min ride. Okay. If I can just catch the 12:00 KLIA express back to the airport, it’ll be good.
And: yes! Got to KLCC by 11:06, took a few pictures, and was back on the train back to KL Sentral by 11:30. Didn’t quite make the 11:40 KLIA express, but caught the 12:00 with time to spare! Checked in around 12:30 and there wasn’t a bad line at immigration or security. I even had a few minutes to grab a bite to eat at the airport.
The Petronas towers are cool looking buildings. If/when I make it back to KL, I think I’ll make a point to see them at night.
So, that’s all the time I have in Malaysia. A short but good trip.
Malaysia is super easy to navigate, as an English speaker. Signs and announcements are typically in English, and most people speak at least a little.
It’s cool to see the diversity of Malay, Chinese, and Indian people in the country, including their different styles of dress, religions, and food. And people were so friendly and helpful!
Things to watch out for: scooters & cars, coming at you from all directions, and not slowing down. Sidewalks that suddenly end, leaving you options of crossing a busy street, back-tracking a long way, or walking in traffic. When sidewalks do exist, they are extremely uneven, often filled with scooters, and sometimes with very low overhead clearance. Oh, and watch out for mosquitoes. And the sun, especially while snorkeling!
Things that are notably missing, when compared to other places I’ve been, recently: incessant beeping, trash on the street or on public transit (there’s a little bit of litter, but it’s really remarkably clean!), pushy shop people (yes, there are people trying to drum up business, but they’re not overbearing).
Overall, I really liked Malaysia, and I wish I had more time there. I hope to go back.
I made it to my Tokyo Haneda airport hotel and will have half a day to poke around the city before heading back to the airport for my flight home.