Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur

I put an ad in Craig’s list several days ago and received four or five emails.  One guy promised to come and buy my camera on Wednesday night as he was in Pattaya, a beach town about 100 kilometers from Bangkok.  After several exchanges, he never showed. Around eleven Wednesday night I received an email from an engineering student who wanted to buy it for his girlfriend who was taking a photography class.  We agreed to meet at the hotel at nine.

He finally showed up at 10:30, inspected it and got the Nikon D5100 camera body, three lenses, a right angle viewer, four macro lens/filters, U/V filter, Circular Polarizing Filter, lens hoods and a bag I picked up in Sagada Philippines.  Used on Amazon that was about $700, I let it all go for 8,500 baht, about $275.   I just didn’t want to carry all that stuff anymore, the only thing I had used was the camera body and the 18-55 mm lens.

Off to the airport, I paid 10,000 baht in fines for overstaying my visa by 20 days.  What a dope.

A two and half hour flight with lots of knee room and I was in Kuala Lumpur.  I had booked a hotel in an area called Bukit Bintang.  The online instructions were

From the KLIA Airport, you need to get to the KL Sentral station (the airport is 60km away from KL).Then, take the monorail to the Bukit Bintang station. The fare is RM3.70 (~฿37.41)

The train was ridiculously easy to find and in short order I took a very comfortable 60 km ride to Sentral Station.  Then the fun began.

Map of  KL Transit System
Kuala Lumpur Transit Map

I waited in the queue at the token machine while a woman paid her 3.70 fee in dimes.  It took her forever to insert them and to scrounge around.  I was inclined to walk to the front of the line and just insert a couple of bills, but I remained patient.  The next person, who certainly appeared a malay stood in front of the machine for a confused five minutes before figuring out how to use it. Eventually it was my turn.  I pressed the screen over a station labeled Bukit Bintang.  There were no clear signs. I made inquiries and was told there was no way to get there.  After half an hour I decided just to take a taxi but it appeared that there were none at the central terminal. I made another inquiry and was told I would have to go to Masjid Jamek and transfer from there.  That was easy. I hopped the train, got Masjid Jamek and finally saw a transit map. From here I would have yet another transfer. I decided to go back to the Sentral Station and find the monorail.  I had bought a new phone, A Samsung Galaxy Note 3 a few days earlier and developed the habit of carrying it in a pouch over my shoulder.  In the pouch I also carry a charger that will top up the phone. I need a phone all the time.  Nearest places of interest, google maps to direct taxi drivers, yes and chatting on facebook.  As I was departing the train a girl about age five ran off the train and handed me my phone.  How the hell did that happen?  I inquired as to the location of the monorail and was told it was in the mall.  From the station I took the escalator into the mall and wandered around without any clue as to where it was.  I was finally directed to leave the mall on the far side.  I found the monorail and six token machines, all with their lights off and no way to board the train. What the hell?  Somebody else told me to take the elevator down to the ticket office.  I did so and found a couple of guys in their early twenties from Turkmenistan who were studying in Kuala Lumpur.  We joked around for a bit and then they told me that the ticket office was across the street.  Come on guys, a sign or two couldn’t hurt.  I secured a token and headed to my stop.  Broad sidewalks of granite, litter free, were populated but not crowded with a great many people.  A very short man completely covered in gold glitter did the old statue trick and posed with tourists who paid to take pictures with him.   Time to grab a taxi and get taken to the hotel.  Easier said than done.  I only found a taxi every twenty minutes and none of them knew where the hotel was even provided the address in writing from the booking confirmation.  I made my way to a McDonalds and availed myself of the wifi. The hotel didn’t have a website and none of the booking companies listed it’s phone number.  I finally found a facebook page for the hotel that listed the number and packed up.   My phone was now dead, but my Mac Air can run on batteries for 12 hours.  I found a taxi showed him the number, he called the hotel and then quoted me an outrageous fee.  I told him to use his meter, he refused. I finally got him down to 25 ringgit and he took me to the hotel.  I arrived at the hotel three hours after arriving at the airport.

I met a german lad who was on his way to Singapore. I mentioned that it was very expensive.  He knew, he was staying at a hotel at the harbor for $300 a night.  That’s way the hell out of my budget range.  He mentioned that he was going to Bali and I told him I had a couple of friends there and then showed him pictures of the bikini models I spent three weeks with in the Philippines.  I mentioned that they were from Guadalupe.  His parents winter at their house in the Canary Islands.  Few bucks in the family.  I introduced him to my friend Candice.  He seemed quite excited.  Dinner and time for bed.

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