Our sister trip to Malaysia got off to a little bit of a rocky start, but with some good lessons learned. Also, some good sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur in between (mis)adventures.
Travel tip #1: in addition to notifying your bank regarding your travel plans (which we both had done!), it’s a good idea to bring more than one ATM card. If you’ve just got the one, and an ATM decides to “retain” the card on your first day (before you’ve managed to get any local currency) it can throw a wrench in the works. Fortunately between the 2 of us, we had 3 ATM cards and a fair bit of USD cash to exchange.
Travel tip #2: if you’re feeling ill in Malaysia, just get thee to a clinic! My throat that had just been a little scratchy when I left home, turned into a full on swollen neck/too painful to swallow food or water even after a bunch of cold medicine and Advil, so eventually I decided to seek medical attention. Within 30 minutes of asking at hotel reception, I was escorted down the elevator to the parking garage, taken down a hallway to a clinic (where the woman from the front desk made sure the doctor was in before leaving me there), checked in, saw the doctor after no more than 5 minutes wait, diagnosed, prescribed medication, asked to wait in the waiting area (again no more than 5 minutes) and sent on my way with 4 different things including antibiotics. All for 107 ringgit. That’s about the price of a copay visit at home (if you have really excellent insurance!) And within 24hrs I was feeling better (but of course finished all of the antibiotics as prescribed!) I only wish I’d gone the first day!
Travel tip #3: when it’s raining in KL, don’t bother trying to take the free bus. Traffic comes to a standstill. Either take a train or walk — there are some really excellent covered, above street level walkways especially near the city center.
The KL tower offered good views of the city
We found a great local place serving excellent roti canai behind our hotel, near the monorail. We breakfasted there a couple of times.
The Petronas towers do look pretty at night (and it’s easier to look up at them once the rain stops).