We felt very comfortable in Kuala Lumpur since it became our usual transit point between India, Australia and other Asian countries over the last four years. We normally stayed overnight at the Concorde Inn which is only five minutes by complimentary shuttle from the airport. This time we decided to spent a couple of days in the city at the “Hotel Royal” which was in a very convenient

location in “Bukit Bintang” and right next to the monorail station.
The infrastructure of KL had greatly improved with better access to the monorail from KL Sentral where the KLIA trains arrived from the airport, more covered walkways, and several free buses ferrying people around the city. The enormous “Pavillion” shopping centre still had some Christmas decorations displayed but their enormous tree had virtually been dismantled with only the frame remaining.

We visited the National Mosque which was a quite different design to the usual round domed mosques with a angular star shaped blue roof. It was very hot and humid with a torrential monsoonal downpour as we arrived in the city which cleared the air a bit.
We discovered an “Simple Life” vegetarian restaurant in the Isetan complex and ate their delicious laksas on both nights.

Our last day was spent going to the Petronas towers and shopping complex which we had previously enjoyed and then on to “Kelab Sultan Sulaiman” where we started our free walking tour of “Kampong Baru” instigated by the mayor of KL a year before. Our guide “Shah” was a very cheerful and informative fellow who enjoyed telling us about various customs and he showed us many aspects of village life. The vast village of nine precincts was started by the British in the early 1900’s to relocate farmers and traders out of the then growing city area.

We caught the monorail back to KL Sentral which only took us fifteen minutes and then the KLIA express to the airport taking twenty eight minutes and costing us 180ringits for a return journey for both of us. The return journey can only be bought from a ticket machine and not the ticket booth but the instructions were clear and easy to follow. Credit cards were widely accepted in the shops and restaurants around KL.

We flew to Chennai in the morning after spending the night at the Concorde Inn again which was preferable to leaving the city very early. The flight to Chennai was smooth and uneventful apart from being half an hour late. Our taxi driver “Amalraj” was there to meet us for the three hour trip down to Pondicherry. He pointed out the area which had been flooded about a month before but apart from some damaged roads there was not a lot of damage still to be seen.

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