We have been trying to get to Ikea in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur basically since we arrived in Malaysia. When starting a new household there are things you need, like a silverware tray that was overlooked when packing up kitchen things to ship. With no Target in sight, we decided a trip to Ikea was in order, it also gave us a chance to explore KL a bit. Every time we have tried to go someone has gotten sick. We lost 2 separate hotel reservations because of last minute illnesses. Thinking that maybe KL was bad for our health we decided to stop trying to go, and revisit it later.
Later came weekend before last, and we had a hotel booked again, and B came down with the croup, on Thanksgiving night….seriously?!?!? So we moved our hotel reservation to this last weekend. It seemed like everyone was healthy finally so we set off on the four hour drive from Penang to KL. B came down with a stomach bug on Sunday right before we left to come back home. We had a good time, but we may not go back. I really think it is seriously hazardous for our family’s health.
On the whole Malaysia smells weird to my American nose. There are smells of incense, curry, shrimp paste, tea eggs, and lots of other things I cannot put my finger on. When we walked into Ikea, we could have been walking into our Ikea back in Austin because it smelled and of course looked like every single Ikea in the world. It really was nice to be somewhere familiar in which I knew what to expect. So much of this journey has been full of not knowing what to expect in any given situation, which can create some anxiety…familiar is quite nice occasionally. Now I will say that this is by far the largest Ikea I have ever seen, it was HUGE!!! I got all the stuff I needed and then some (because that is what happens there always) and ate some Swedish meat balls with the berry sauce.
Our hotel was basically across the street from Ikea, and attached to 2 very large malls. The shopping malls here never cease to amaze me. This is where the people of Malaysia go on the weekend. It is very hot here, and the malls are very air conditioned and have lots of food options, which is the important part to Malaysians. They are also filled with very high end shops. I have never seen so many Dior, Channel, etc. stores in my life. I digress. So after Ikea we went to the mall. One of the more exciting stores we found was the giant Ace hardware store. Which was out of stock of the thing that Nathan had been looking for to fix the leak on our water purifier (this is not at all surprising), but it was still exciting.
The next day we got up and drove into downtown KL to go see the Petronas Towers.
If you are ever in KL you should definitely put them on your list of things to see. For a few years they were the tallest buildings in the world, now they are the tallest twin towers in the world. They are impressive. They are also attached to a giant shopping mall, which means parking is easy.
Directly behind the buildings is a huge city park with a great play ground and large splash pad/wading pool.
The Towers have a limited number of tickets available each day for the sky bridge and observation deck at the top of one of the towers. We were able to get tickets so up we went. The first stop is the sky bridge that connects the 2 towers.
Then we took another elevator up to the 86th floor to the top observation deck.
After the towers we headed back to Penang. The drive between Penang and KL is quite scenic. There are beautiful mountains for most of the drive.
Now this is something you see a lot of here, because the only transportation a lot of people can afford are motorcycles. Sometimes the kids are wearing helmets, that makes me feel marginally better. Every time I see this I shudder. You see a lot of kids unrestrained in cars as well. I just have to tell myself that when we were kids things were much more relaxed than they are now. You know stuff like riding around in the storage space behind the front seats of my aunt’s 2 seater convertible with my cousin. No seat belts back there. I then usually look back and B and thank my lucky stars we have a safe car seat.
Overall we had a great weekend on our trip to KL. It was unfortunate that B got sick, but I don’t know many parents that don’t have an exploding diaper on a trip story. It was just our turn. I think we will wait a while before we plan another trip to KL though, for our health’s sake.