After Breakfast we started off on the half day city tour. First stop was the King’s Palace. We were told about the government and history of Malaysia and about the present Kings and his selection. The Sovereign is separate from the Government headed by the Prime Minister. He is more like a religious Leader. He is selected from one among the Sultans of Malaysian states. Each one holds the post for about 5 years and every State’s First Family gets a chance in a round robin manner.
The King’s Palace is just his Office. He stays elsewhere and we heard there’s another palace being built somewhere. It s the First stop on every City tour and it was a crowded place. The Guards are reminiscent of those at Buckingham’s Palace and on some special pre-assigned days there will be mounted guards too. We were lucky to visit on one such day. We took our pictures and posed at all the classic ‘touristy’ positions. The Police officers were riding huge Police choppers and we got a chance to pose on them which was Cool
Next Stop was the National Monument which is in memory of the soldiers who had lost their lives for the country in Malaysia’s struggle for freedom, principally against the Japanese occupation during World War II and the Malayan Emergency , which lasted from 1948 until 1960.This was constructed in 1966. The monument is 15 meters (49.21 feet) tall, made of bronze and was designed by Austrian sculptor Felix de Weldon, who was also responsible for the famed USMC War Memorial in Virginia, United States. We Went through the gardens after the Group Photo was taken.
Our Next Stop was the National Mosque which was very beautiful. The ladies had to wear the customary Burkha to enter. Then we got back into the bus to our brief stop at Independence Square where the Flag of Malaysia flies high. Its placed around an old Cricket club ground which doesn’t seem to be used now that the colonial English are gone.
Our Next Stop was the Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom where after a brief introduction to how chocolates are made you can go crazy tasting the various chocolates and also buy some for yourselves and your friends.
After the chocolate binge while we hurried to keep our appointment with the Petronas towers we had a brief stop for a photo session at a point where we are able to catch both the highlights of the KL skyline; the KL tower and the Petronas twin towers.
Finally we made it to keep our date with the Petronas towers. Now this is not normally included in the itinerary but we had to pay 15 RM per person for our free tickets. Petronas give away a limited amount of free tickets per day but the crazy rush of tourists causes touts to come in who stock up and kinda sell them in the black so as to say. Anyways so we got our tickets and we were also watch a small documentary about the history of the towers. After that we could take the Elevator to the 41st floor. Now the bridge connecting the two towers is a two floor one connecting the 41st and the 42nd one. The 41st one is open for tourists while the 42nd one is for the businesses. We were ferried up there in one of the fastest elevators i’ve been in. It was faster than 1 floor/second. We got to spend like 10 minutes there before back down we trooped and headed to our final destination, The KL tower. Lunch awaited us at the bottom of the communication tower which stands 421 metre tall. But we decided to go up and look around before lunch. The tower also contains a revolving restaurant on one of its higher levels. We saw adverts of people getting married on top the tower. Up on the observation deck we get a 360 view of the city, KL.
Lunch was again buffet Indian food which was quite good and the restoran D’Tandoor boasted of Indian Movie stars who had visited it. That was pretty much the end of our Half day city tour. I did have a detour on my own while we waited to head back to the bus and had a quick look at a mini zoo at the entrance to the KL tower.
With the end of the sightseeing came the beginning of the shopping. Our destination was a shopping mall at Bukit Butang. We had time till 5 or so to shop. It was basically a mall area spread into 5 floors and stocking almost every brand there is. This is where i bought some mementos for some of my friends. The Petronas towers too contains a mall but you can the prices are out of this world to most of us. Here is where i bought a Shonen Jump which had the 500 chapter of Naruto out. Although written in a language undecipherable by me i still wanted to buy it. I had already read that chapter anyway but consider this as a way of contributing towards Manga literature. After a tiring shopping session during which i didn’t buy anything else we went back to our Hotel, the Grand Seasons using the Monorail! Now that was an experience. You get surprised seeing the queues maintained to get into the train and there’s minimal shoving. The ticket back to our stop cost us 1.60 RM each. Chow Kit, our stop was 5 stations away and was the last but one stop on the line. Dinner again at a Indian hotel where there were a couple more groups for dinner too. It was noisy and we were too exhausted.
Back to the hotel and a good Bath tub soak later i went to sleep. Little did i know there was so much more tiring journeys up ahead as we travelled to Singapore the next morning.