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Golden clock tower at night Chiang Rai Thailand

Thailand 2010: Heading to Chiang Rai by bus, Wat Jedyod and Golden Clock Tower

Date:  23rd November 2010

After 4 splendid days in Chiang Mai (amid some disappointments), today I left the city to go further up north. I went to the main bus station and only managed to get a ticket for 12 noon as all others were sold out. (Don’t remember exactly how much I paid for the ticket, but it was around ฿100)

Golden dragon bus Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai
After the instructional video on bus safety, they played ‘Predators’ (in Thai)

Leaving Chiang Mai for Chiang Rai highway

Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai road north Thailand
I got a seat right in front

Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai highway road sightsHighway to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai

Bus ride from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai city is around 200kms from Chiang Mai
Highway to Chiang Rai north Thailand landscape
The journey is quite scenic

Highway to Chiang Rai ThailandEn route to Chiang Rai buddha statueHighway to Chiang Rai Thai templeThai temple wat Chiang Rai highwayEn route Chiang Rai highway north Thailand landscapeEn route to Chiang Rai passing townChiang Mai to Chiang Rai highway ThailandHighway leading to Chiang RaiFarm field outside Chiang Rai city

Welcome to Chiang Rai board highway sign
After nearly 2 1/2hours, I arrived in Chiang Rai

The bus first stopped at what looked like a new bus station. I didn’t get down here because a lot of the Thais stayed in their seats. So I assumed this was not the final stop. Unfortunately some western tourists did get down and started hailing for taxis towards their hotels.

For which there was no need for, because the very same bus started again and drove straight into the city in 5 minutes time. This bus station was according my prior research, very close to the night market.

I hired a tuk-tuk and checked into my hotel.

Hotel Raungnakorn road Chiang Rai
Raungnakorn Hotel is located on the road of the same name

The room cost ฿350 for the night and I was only going to be staying one night. My flight from Chiang Rai to Bangkok was the next day evening. I know one day isn’t much in Chiang Rai, but this was my first time here and as always with first visits, this would be more a surveillance visit than any other.

Wat Phra kaew temple Chiang Rai Thailand
It was near this temple
Evening market Chiang Rai clock tower
The hotel is close to the fresh market

Chiang Rai fresh market vendorsChiang Rai market Thailand

Road leading Chiang Rai Golden clock tower
Spotted it already haven’t you?
Golden clock tower junction Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai’s Golden Clock Tower
Golden clock tower roundabout Chiang Rai
Designed by a renowned Thai architect named Ajarn Chalermchai Khositphiphat
Chiang Rai golden clock tower
It was built in 2008 in honour of the King (as is usually the case in Thailand)

Chiang Rai Golden clock tower road golden divider

Chiang Rai bar restaurant Jedyod street
Jedyod road, you find a lot of restaurants here

Chiang Rai alley near wat jetyodChiang Rai house local Thai

Wat Jedyod temple Chiang Rai Thailand
I decided to check out this temple
Black cat in front of Buddha statue
Oh the irony of seeing a black cat at a place where people come to pray for good luck
Wat Jedyod golden buddha statue Chiang Rai Thailand
The temple is named Wat Jedyod
Gautum buddha staring eyes Wat Jedyod statue
The eyes…
Wat Jedyod Indian god paintings Chiang Rai
The hall had paintings depicting Hindu gods and some connection with India mythology
Indian gods Thai ancient wall paintings Wat Jedyod
I was very curious to know the connection, but unfortunately there weren’t any descriptions in English or a local guide in sight

Wat Jedyod Indian wall painting Wat Jedyod golden buddha statue man praying Chiang RaiWat Jedyod door painting Chiang Rai temple ThailandWat Jedyod inside black cat

Wat Jedyod temple hall Chiang Rai Thailand
I left the temple

I dropped by a few travel agents and tour operators along the way and asked them about day trips to the Golden Triangle. But because it was already late in the evening, nobody could assure me a spot as they needed few more tourists to fill up a group as tomorrow’s first group were already full.

A British guy who was behind, overheard me and told me he was in the same situation as I. So we chatted for a bit and exchanged numbers in case either of us managed to get into a group tour that was going tomorrow morning.

Korea house Chiang Rai restaurant

Sanpanard road Chiang Rai Thailand
I like their sign posts

Road to Wat Jedyod Chiang Rai Thailand

Chiang Rai night bazaar entrance
A few steps from there and I was at the entrance of Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar
Chiang Rai night market shops
But since it wasn’t night time yet, nothing was open

Chiang Rai night market food court golden chairs

Chiang Rai night market food court evening
I would be coming back here for dinner
Phaholyotin road shops Chiang Rai Thailand
I decided to go the main bus station to find out when the first bus to Mae Sai would be
Chiang Rai bus stand Thailand
I was told that there are buses every 30 minutes starting 6am
Phaholyotin road Wangcome hotel Chiang Rai Thailand
I headed back as I still wasn’t feeling too well, and it gets pretty chilly in Chiang Rai at night

Sukgatis road golden lamp posts Chiang RaiI rested for some time after applying some Vicks. I just didn’t want to fall sick. It’s the worst thing that can happen on one’s vacation. Well, one of the worst things.

I got up at around 8pm and craved to have some hot Thai soup for dinner.

Chiang Rai evening market fresh vegetables
I walked to the night bazaar
Golden clock tower at night Chiang Rai Thailand
The Golden clock tower really shines at night
Sukgatis road night golden lamp posts clock tower Chiang Rai
It also changes colour
Chiang Rai night bazaar street vendors
You have the usual wares being sold at the Night bazaar, no different from any other night market in Thailand
Chiang Rai night bazaar street stalls musician
But you do see locals and a few students trying to make some dime with their talents
Chiang Rai night bazaar food court
Quite a change of scene from earlier
Chiang Rai fried insects Thailand
This place sells you french fries…and fried insects. How nice of them!
Chiang Rai night bazaar seafood bbq
Despite being very far the sea, you still get good enough seafood in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai night bazaar stage music
Poor guitarist on stage was hardly getting any applause from the diners
Chiang Rai night bazaar dining crowd
I scanned the vendors for appetizing soup to warm my body up
Spicy Thai seafood soup Chiang Rai night bazaar
I ended up picking up this big bowl of tangy seafood soup loaded with veggies (cost ฿100)
Chiang Rai night market live stage entertainment
They had cultural dances later

Post dinner, I scanned the shops a bit. Unlike last year, when I bought 10 t-shirts from Thailand, I figured I wouldn’t need to buy much this time.

Alas, I ended buying two from a small vendor at the night bazaar after bargaining it down to ฿300 for both. Oh well, we’ll see how many t-shirts I end up buying this year.

Chiang Rai night restaurants tourists
This was right in front of the vendor I bought the t-shirts from

As I needed more rest for an early start tomorrow, I headed back. Plus, there was little else to do in Chiang Rai. There is barely any nightlife in Chiang Rai. It’s a lot quieter (and smaller) than Chiang Mai.

Chiang Rai golden clock tower at night
I took one last look at the Golden clock tower

As I was clicking this photo, I bumped into the same British guy I had met earlier at the travel office. He told me he met up with a group of people who were planning on going on a trek (Chiang Rai is famous for trekking and cycling) and asked me if I wanted to join them. I told him I was unfortunately not in the best of health and that I had to be back in  town early enough for my evening flight to Bangkok.

We wished each other well and parted ways.

I reached my room, freshened up, dabbed some more Vicks and snuggled up for a good night’s sleep.

Next posts in this series:

Thailand 2010: Golden Triangle in Mae Sai; Chiang Rai’s White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

Thailand 2010: Pattaya — Beach road, Viewpoint, Jomtien Beach, Walking Street

Thailand 2010: Back to Bangkok — Chinatown, Patpong, Platinum Mall and Chatuchak Market

Thailand 2010: Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha, Sampeng Market, JJ market (again)

Thailand 2010: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tour, Cobra show… and leaving Bangkok

Previous posts in this series:

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai Zoo (Day 4, Part 1)

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai Loi Krathong celebrations; first Grand Parade

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai cooking class; Loi Krathong celebrations in Mae Jo, Sansai

Thailand 2010: First day in Chiang Mai for Loi Krathong; driving up Doi Suthep

Thailand 2010: Arriving in Bangkok and preparing for Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

Mythology Thai creature lantern Chiang Mai Loi Krathong decorations

Thailand 2010: First day in Chiang Mai for Loi Krathong; driving up Doi Suthep

Date: 19th November 2010

I arrived in Chiang Mai bus station at around 7am and took a taxi to get to Rux Thai Guesthouse which cost ฿80 (Rs. 118/$2.6/€1.8). Rux Thai is a place I stayed last year as well. It’s located just off Loi Kroh road, which is essentially Chiang Mai’s tourist-filled area with the Thapae Gate at one-end and Ping River at the other.

Since I was going to be spending 3 to 4 nights, they gave me a room I requested on the ground floor (because they don’t have a lift) for ฿450 as supposed to the rack rate of ฿490 (Rs. 700/$16/€11) — which includes Wi-Fi. No breakfast included, but they have a restaurant on the ground floor which offers a decent menu at reasonable prices.

Rux Thai restaurant American breakfast Chiang Mai
American breakfast costs ฿90 (Rs.133/$3/€2)

After a hot shower, I took a nap as I barely got any sleep in the bus (as is the norm for me in any bus journey). I got up as it neared lunch time, unpacked and took out all the camera equipment I had bought.

Camera equipment Sirui tripod Canon lens
Credit card abuse for 2010

Though I did test out the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens and the tripod before I purchased them, I didn’t get to play around with them as much as I wanted.

Canon 7d 70-200 lens Sirui tripod ballhead test
The tripod & ball head can easily handle the weight of the Canon 7D and the lens
Rux Thai hotel lamp Chiang Mai
My first shot with the Canon 70-200

I loaded the equipment into my backpack and left the room at around 2pm.

Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre Vipa house Chiang Mai
This is Loikroh Lane 1 Road

Other budget hotels on this lane are Centerplace Guesthouse, where you get single rooms starting from 200 baht onwards. Vipa House (the one with yellow board pictured above) is right next to Centerplace and is priced about the same as Rux Thai. (Maybe I should check out Vipa next time).

Though there was a cookery class near Rux Thai, I had already booked myself into another cooking class (which was one of the things I would be doing in Chiang Mai).

I crossed Loi Kroh road and walked pointlessly through the alleyways on the other side.

Thapae Guesthouse Finlay's Cottage Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai bicycles for rent dog
Lazing in the afternoon
Chiang Mai Wat Saen Fang temple Thapae gate
Wat Saen Fang (‘wat’ is Thai for ‘temple’)

Wat Saen Fang road Chiang Mai ThailandInn house Inter bar Chiang Mai ThailandChiang Mai Thapae gate junction bikes

Dirt bike rentals Chiang Mai Thapae road
You can rent these
Kawasaki superbike for rent Chiang Mai
But the more sexy the bike looks, the more expensive they are to rent
Thapae gate road fountain Chiang Mai
I walked all the way around and got to Kotchasarn Road

I chose to eat lunch at the same cosy small eatery I ate at last year.

Chiang Mai Food & Drink restaurant Thapae road
Run by a mother and daughter duo
Chiang Mai small eatery cheap food
It’s inexpensive and the food is good
Chiang Mai rice seafood dry meal Thailand
Spicy prawns and calamari with rice, ฿40  (Rs. 60/$1.3/€1)

After lunch, I rented a moped from the travel agent in front of Vipa House and decided to go on a drive around Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Marijuana store Thailand
I highly doubt it
Chiang Mai canal Thapae gate road
I parked on the other side to click a few photos

Moon Mueang road canal Chiang Mai cityChiang Mai pigeon feeding

Yi Peng festival announcement Billboard Chiang Mai
The poster (I’m guessing) was confirming that Loy Krathong celebrations were definitely November 20th to 22nd this year

Though, I did ask around to find out when exactly the release of the hundreds of lanterns at once was going to be. From research online, I did learn that the event was something that is held at some University grounds at a place called Mae Jo, but when I asked the people at Rux Thai, they weren’t sure about anything. (Communication is a bit of an issue in Thailand, despite how touristy this country is)

Chiang Mai gate Thailand
Chiang Mai gate

Chiang Mai gate tourists

Chiang Mai Thapae gate floats
They had floats in the canals which children were riding and jumping off of

Thapae gate canal floats Loy Krathong afternoon lightsChiang Mai Thapae gate fountains

Chiang Mai city canal fountains
I got back on my bike and moved on

Chiang Mai gate gardenI planned to ride up Doi Suthep on the outskirts of the city, which wasn’t too far away. The route is quite simple really, plus I had done last year. Chiang Mai city isn’t as complex as say, Bangkok. As I got towards the road leading up to Doi Suthep hill, I stopped again to take photographs.

Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya parking Chiang Mai

Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University Chiang Mai campus
The name of this place? Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (try saying that fast)

Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya Wat Chiang MaiHuey Kaew fitness park Chiang Mai panoramaChiang Mai way to Doi Suthep hillI wanted to drive up the hill as I loved the ride last year. I wasn’t planning to drive all the way up to the temple, just up until the last view point before the temple.

Doi Suthep hill national park temple
Stopped at a small temple on the way

Doi Suthep national park temple flower shops

Chiang Mai Doi Suthep national park observation deck
There’s a small waterfall up here

Doi Suthep hill mini waterfall panorama

Doi Suthep hill pro-cycling Chiang Mai
Doi Suthep is very popular among speed cyclists
Doi Suthep hill bike riders Chiang Mai
Bikers, cars, superbikes… you’ll see everybody enjoying the ride
Honda Icon moped scooter rental Chiang Mai Thailand
This was my ride (฿200 for 24 hours)
Chiang Mai Doi Suthep cyclists
It was starting to get dark
Doi Suthep hill road corner turning panorama
Panorama comprised of 10 shots

It was at this hairpin bend that the viewpoint was located.

Chiang Mai Doi Suthep viewing point

Doi Suthep hill view Chiang Mai sunset
You can’t actually see the sun set from this side

I set up the tripod because I knew I would be pitch dark soon.

Chiang Mai Doi Suthep full moon vertical panorama
It was a full moon
Chiang Mai full moon Thailand
Shot at 200mm & cropped

Chiang Mai city at night panoramaChiang Mai Doi Suthep observation deck at nightAs it neared 7pm, I packed up and left the viewpoint. I drove back down and this time, I took my jacket with me… because last year, I froze! 🙂

Once back in the city, I parked on the side when I saw some beautiful decorations in front of Saun Dok Gate .

Saun Dok gate Chiang Mai garden lanterns

Chiang Mai Thapae gate lanterns localsMythology Thai creature lantern Chiang Mai Loi Krathong decorationsChiang Mai Thapae gate traditional lanternsMythical creatures lanterns decorations Chiang Mai Loy KrathongSaun Dok Gate Chiang Mai Yi Ping festivalMythical bird lantern Thapae gate Chiang MaiYee Peng lantern festival Thais Chiang Mai ThapaeI headed back to Loi Kroh road.

After parking the bike in front of the hotel, I stepped out again, this time choosing to go by foot.

Chiang Mai Loi Kroh road Thailand
Walked down Loi Kroh road
Le Meridien Loi kroh road Chiang Mai Thailand
If you want your 5-star fix, there is Le Meridien
Changklan road restaurants Chiang Mai Thailand
At the end of Loi Kroh is Changklan road
Changklan road traffic Chiang Mai Thailand
Plenty of restaurants, hotels and stores here

CM night bazaar hotel Chiang Mai Thailand

Night bazaar clothes Chiang Mai
I walked to Chiang Mai’s night bazaar
Anusarn market Chiang Mai seafood restaurant
Plenty of good seafood restaurants here

Anusarn grilled seafood Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai night market panorama
The night market sells the usual gamut of clothing, accessories and home decor

Chiang Mai night market light decorated treeChiang Mai night market light decorations storeI wasn’t hungry and wanted to know where all the major Yi Peng celebrations in Chiang Mai would be. I was told that the major gathering point would be along Ping River.

Chiang Mai night street lamp
I walked away from the bustling crowds near the night market
Chiang Mai full moon night sky lanterns
I could already see lanterns in the sky
Chiang Mai cathedral at night
I ended up taking a turn back to a main road
Chiang Mai night empty streets
To be frank, after 15 minutes of walking, I didn’t know where I was
Ping Nakara boutique hotel spa Chiang Mai
Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & spa
Wat Chaimongkol temple entrance Chiang Mai night
Walked towards this big temple
Wat Chaimongkol temple entrance Chiang Mai night
I was bored of walking, so I went in

Wat Chaimongkol Ping river Chiang Mai

Wat Chaimongkol Thai devotees Loi krathong Chiang Mai
Devotees were slowly trickling in to the temple to float Krathongs

Wat Chaimongkol boat Ping river Chiang Mai nightWat Chaimongkol devotees Loy Krathong Chiang MaiWat Chaimongkol temple building Chiang MaiWat Chaimongkol temple Thai goddess Chiang Mai nightWat Chaimongkol inside Chiang Mai nightAs I walked out, I saw a ‘roti’ vendor on the way out and decided to eat something as it was getting late.

Wat Chaimongkol roti vendor Chiang Mai
‘Roti’ in Thailand is commonly referred to sweet pancake batter filled with banana and other fillings

As I walked back, I realized I took a much longer route as the temple itself was not to far from the night market.

Chiang Mai food garden Anusarn market
I just needed to walk through the food court and come out the other end

Chiang Mai night alley grafitti

Chiang Mai night bridge light decorations
I walked to the bridges over Ping River

Chiang Mai Ping river University girl

Chiang Mai Loi Krathongs ping river bridge Thai boys
Loi Krathong celebrations had already begun… for some
Chiang Mai Loy Krathong firecracker Thai students
Firecrackers are very much a part of the celebrations
Chiang Mai Loi Krathong ping river bridge crowds
I went from one bridge to another
Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Ping river bridge lights
There are several bridges all along Ping River

Chiang Mai Lam Phun roadChiang Mai bridge lighting decorations Yi Peng festival
Chiang Mai Loy Krathong ping river fireworks

Chiang Mai Loi Krathong Thai youngsters
Chiang Mai’s youth were all out to enjoy the festivities
Chiang Mai Thais lining streets Loi Krathong
Lined all along the streets snacking, singing and having a few beers with their friends

Chiang Mai Yi Peng festival ping river treesChiang Mai Loi Krathong Yi Peng river bridge lit upChiang Mai Loy Krathong Ping river Thai girls celebrationsChiang Mai Loy Krathong floats designsChiang Mai Loi Krathong float designs

Chiang Mai Loy Krathong people firecrackers
The banks of Ping river saw its share of revelers too
Chiang Mai Ping river pedestrian bridge night
Moved to another bridge

Chiang Mai Loy Krathong lit up bridge touristsChiang Mai Loi Krathong Ping river bank Thais firecrackersChiang Mai Loy Krathong revelers pedestrian overbridgeChiang Mai Yi Peng festival lights decorationsChiang Mai Loy Krathong overbridge

Chiang Mai Loy Krathong ping river bridge matchbox
No surprises there

Chiang Mai Yi Peng river fireworks celebrationsChiang Mai Loy Krathong ping river bridge fireworksChiang Mai Loy Krathong ping bridge Thai couple lantern

Chiang Mai market Loi Krathong flowers on sale
Flowers, lots of flowers
Chiang Mai market Loi Krathong ping river bank
The markets were still bustling at this time
Chiang Mai market snacks for sale
Had to get down to ground level for a closer look
Chiang Mai market Lord Ganesha poster
Switched to the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 lens for the next few shots

Chiang Mai market lotus buds

Chiang Mai krathongs for sale Thailand
These are ‘krathongs’
Chiang Mai market Krathongs for sale
The base is made using a thick slice of banana plant stem

Chiang Mai market Loi Krathong flower garlandsChiang Mai market Loi Krathong flower shopsThe Frenchman in the above photo and I got talking, though I don’t remember how the conversation got started. Maybe I was wearing my ‘It’s Football, Not Soccer‘ t-shirt which has my website’s logo at the back and so he gave me his blog’s domain as well.

Chiang Mai meat market Yi Peng festival rush
That is a *lot* of slain pigs

Chiang Mai market flower shop designsChiang Mai market flower vendors Thailand

Chiang Mai paper lanterns for sale
Paper lanterns on sale (prices ranges from ฿20 to ฿60 depending on size)

Chiang Mai market Yi Peng festival flower shop ladyChiang Mai market Loi Krathong flower shopChiang Mai market flower bouquetsChiang Mai market Loi Krathong paper wrapped flowersI called it a night after this and headed back to my room.

Chiang Mai Loi Krathong Yi Peng city decorations
Can’t wait to see what the city has in store the next three days

Chiang Mai city night traffic

I had my dinner from a rather nice joint on the same lane as Rux Thai. Lovely pork spring rolls and a can of beer (came to ฿200). I hit the sack early because I needed more sleep. Tomorrow was going to be any early morning, for I had to get ready to learn how to make Thai curry!

Next posts in this series:

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai cooking class; Loi Krathong celebrations in Mae Jo, Sansai

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai Loi Krathong celebrations; first Grand Parade

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai Zoo (Day 4, Part 1)

Thailand 2010: Last day of Loi Krathong; Sunday Grand Parade (Day 4, Part 2)

Thailand 2010: Heading to Chiang Rai by bus, Wat Jedyod and Golden Clock Tower

Thailand 2010: Golden Triangle in Mae Sai; Chiang Rai’s White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

Thailand 2010: Pattaya — Beach road, Viewpoint, Jomtien Beach, Walking Street

Thailand 2010: Back to Bangkok — Chinatown, Patpong, Platinum Mall and Chatuchak Market

Thailand 2010: Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha, Sampeng Market, JJ market (again)

Previous post in this series:

Thailand 2010: Arriving in Bangkok and preparing for Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

Menara KL tower top view Public Bank Petronas buildings

Malaysia 2010: Day 9 — Kuala Lumpur (KLCC Aquaria, Merdeka Square, KL Tower observation deck)

Date: 3rd October 2010

Today was going to be our  last full day in Kuala Lumpur, so we had to make the most of it. Some of us had shopping to do, and I wanted to see a bit more of KL.

But the first thing we did in the morning was get ready to go the Petronas Towers again. And when I say “we,” I mean Ramesh and I. Loi wanted to sleep in.

The reason why we were going back to the towers were to try and a get a ticket for the sky bridge/observation deck. Why “try”? Because that’s how the system is. You go there early enough, wait in line until the ticket counters open and whoever gets the tickets, gets to up at a pre-determined time. The earlier you are in the line, the sooner you get to go up. It’s free, but an inconvenient method. (EDIT: Turns out there is a much higher observation deck at the 86th floor for which you can pay RM40 and go. I didn’t know about it until much research after coming back from this trip)

When we did our research, we saw videos of the view from the 41st & 42nd floor and after having been to the top of Burj Khalifa, the view from the Petronas Towers wasn’t astounding or anything. Which is why I was more keen on going up Menara KL (KL Tower), something I was going to do later in the day anyway.

Still, since we didn’t have a whole lot planned for the morning, myself and Ramesh thought: “What the hell, last day in KL. Might as well try and get a ticket”.

So we set out, took the monorail and got down at Bukit Nanas  station.

Malaysia Tourism Centre Kuala Lumpur
The Malaysia Tourism Centre

Petronas Towers in the morning Kuala Lumpur

We walked towards the KLCC Suria and when we finally made it to the ticketing counter…

Petronas Tower skybridge tickets sold out timing
… it was 8:55am when I took this

Sold out. Oh well.

Not that we were sorely disappointed or anything, but if you are one who is very keen to visit the Sky Bridge, be in line by at least 7:30-8:00am.

Me and Ramesh then just decided to check out the mall.

KLCC Suria mall inside six floors MalaysiaSuria mall mostly caters to high end brands and luxury designer wear, most of which are on the lower floors. We checked out a few electronics stores, Ramesh checked out the Harley Davidson store, and then we decided to find out where the Aquaria was.

Ryan Seacrest Fly FM banner Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Oh Ryan Seacrest, there is no escaping you is there?

Way to KL convention centre from Suria mallWay to Aquaria KLCC basement parking

KLCC Aquaria entrance Malaysia
It wasn’t open yet

Ramesh was keen on checking out the Aquaria, the largest aquarium in Kuala Lumpur. I, on the other hand, wanted to see more of the city, so we parted ways. I inquired on how to get to Merdeka Square while Ramesh went in to Aquaria.

Here are a few photos from inside the Aquaria, all of which are from Ramesh’s camera.

KLCC Aquaria inside directory Malaysia
Entry is RM35 (Rs. 510/$11/€8) for adults

Inside KLCC Aquaria entrance MalaysiaKLCC Aquaria Piranha feeding show MalaysiaKLCC Aquaria piranhas Malaysia

KLCC Aquaria piranha closeup Malaysia
Wonder what they feed piranhas here
KLCC Aquaria electric eel Malaysia
Well, that’s a bit harsh on the eel isn’t it?
KLCC Aquaria Matamata Malaysia
This ‘turtle+croc+weird’ looking creature is called the Matamata
KLCC Aquaria coatimundi Malaysia
This one is called a Coatimundi
KLCC Aquaria fish tree glass cylinder Malaysia
Pretty cool

KLCC Aquaria diver fish feeding Malaysia

KLCC Aquaria diver playing around with tourist
KLCC Aquaria inside underwater tunnel
The Aquaria has the obligatory underwater tunnel

KLCC Aquaria sea turtle Malaysia

KLCC Aquaria Pincecone fish ikan Malaysia
Pinecone fish

KLCC Aquaria Jellyfish MalaysiaThe above are only a few of the photos Ramesh took. He took much more. There are sharks, lion fish, water rats and all sorts of other waterborne creatures. From his account, Ramesh said the experience was “okay” — so I don’t know how it compares to a similar offering I experienced in Dubai Mall.

When Ramesh stepped out, he saw a gathering of superbikes and stalls by Yamaha on the occasion of next week’s Malaysian MotoGP.

Yamaha superbikes booth KLCC Malaysia modelsYamaha superbikes Moto GP booth Petronas KLCCYamaha Petronas superbike display KLCCKLCC Petronas superbikes display parkedThat concludes what Ramesh saw.

Now back to me 🙂

When I left the Petronas Towers, I took the monorail to Hang Tuah station. From there I transferred to the RapidKL line, for which you need to buy another ticket/pass as the monorail card won’t work on this rail service. From Hang Tuah,  I headed towards Masjid Jamek station.

Stepping out of Masjid Jamek station Citin hotel
Once you come out of the station…
Jalan Melayu shopping Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
… you are on Jalan Melayu

Jalan Melayu restoran stores Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Jalan Melayu Endhiran poster ticket offer Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Luring customers with tickets to new Rajinikant film. Works wherever Tamilians exist 🙂
Jalan Melayu street market Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Nothing special in here. The usual street market stocking the usual goods.

Jalan Melayu entrance Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaI came here to go to Merdeka Square, which is a significant landmark in Malaysia’s independence from Britain.

Mosque Merdaka Square near LRT lineKementerian Penerangan Komunikasi Dan Kebudayaan buildingWay to Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur

Merdeka Square lawn palm trees Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Merdeka Square literally means “Independence Square”
Merdeka Square film shoot Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
There was a film shoot happening
Merdeka Square film stars Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
No clue if this was a South Indian/Malay-Tamil/Sri Lankan or Bangladeshi production
Merdeka Square flag pole Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
This flag pole is nearly 312 ft high, one of the tallest in the world
Restoran Warisan Merdeka Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Merdeka Square is surrounded by old colonial buildings

Merdeka Square fountain Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka Square flag pole Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
It was here on August 31st, 1957, that the British flag was lowered and the Malaysian flag hoisted for the first time
Merdeka Sqaure old Dutch buildings lawn Kuala Lumpur
Not sure what these buildings were
Merdeka Square Sultan Abdul Samad building Malaysia
Plenty of tourist buses stop in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad building

Merdeka clock Wisma Lee Rubber headquarters Menara KL Malaysia

Merdeka Square Sultan Abdul Samad building bank headquarters Malaysia
Sultan Abdul Samad building in front, several bank HQs in the background

Merdeka Square Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaMerdeka Square Sultan Abdul Samad building clock towerDataran Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur panorama

Merdeka Square highest flag pole Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Merdeka Square is the venue for Malaysia’s annual National Day Parade

Merdeka Square flag poles Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaMerdeka Square garden Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka square filming actress Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The one on the right seems like the lead actress in this shoot; they were shooting with RED cameras (Yes, I’m a nerd, I notice these things)

It was time for me to move on.

Merdeka Square Rapid KL metro Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka Square bricked road Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Not that I knew where I was headed next
Kuala Lumpur city river stream banks
I just like to roam about and explore

Kuala Lumpur city river stream graffitiKuala Lumpur building art graffiti MalaysiaKuala Lumpur city river streamsKuala Lumpur old colonial building graffitiKuala Lumpur Medan Pasar junction ladyColourful old buildings Medan Pasar road Kuala LumpurRestoran Oriental Bowl Kuala Lumpur panoramaAfter passing by an area full of businesses serving Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, I found myself in an alley which housed what looked like a Chinese temple.

Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple entrance Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
So I went in

Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple Kuala LumpurInside Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple caretaker Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple incense sticks Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple red letter Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple worship Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya temple incense Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Ya statue temple Chinese god Kuala LumpurChinese temple lamp Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple inside Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple roof Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple door art Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Ya temple compound Kuala Lumpur

Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple parking Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
As I left the temple, I found out the name of the place
Jalan Tun Tan Cheng lock yellow building graffiti
I walked a bit further out…
Jalan Petaling street main road entrance daytime traffic
… and I soon realized I was in China Town

There was a shopping complex right opposite the entrance to Petaling Street and so I decided to check it out. I unfortunately couldn’t take any photographs inside because the security guard asked me not to. But inside were stores selling essentially the same goods I saw yesterday night in Petaling Street, but at far lower prices.

So word of advice, just because you see bags on Petaling Street with it’s street market appearance, don’t assume the prices are low. There are plenty of other places, like this not-so-fancy shopping complex right outside Petaling Street selling the same stuff at lower prices.

In fact when I called up Loi to tell him about bag prices here, he told me he found similar prices in the shops on the higher floors of Times Square shopping mall.

I had lunch from a burger joint and continued my ‘walk around town’. I asked around for where “Little India” was and was directed to walk towards KL Tower.

Institut Sal Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Mydin Wholesale Reject shop Kuala Lumpur
I stepped in but quickly found nothing worthwhile

Restoran Makanan Islam alley Kuala LumpurColonial Government building Kuala Lumpur

Brickfields Indian restoran Kuala Lumpur
Yes, to the right is a ‘chapathi house’ named Restoran Santa

Menara KL tower afternoon trees Malaysia

Brickfields Little India Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
I came across this street which looked more like “Little Chennai”

There’s a slew of silk shops, and plenty of pure-veg restaurants on this street.

Pigeons on wire KL Tower Kuala LumpurLittle India Tamil shops Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Masjid Jema' Bandaraya entrance Kuala Lumpur
I found myself back at Masjid Jemak
Masjid Jema' Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur
Masjid Jema’ (mosque)
Masjid Jemak dress code etika Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
I didn’t qualify for any of the above, so didn’t bother going in

It was time for me to head back to the room and catch up with Ramesh and Loi.

Kuala Lumpur apartments Malaysian flags outsideKuala Lumpur apartment building Malaysian flags National DayKuala Lumpur monorail line near mosque

Beauty show Berjaya Times Square KL
Some beauty show at Berjaya Times Square

Once I got back to Irsia, the three of us decided to go to Midvalley Megamall, one of Kuala Lumpur’s largest malls.

KTV lounge Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaTo get to Midvalley Megamall from Berjaya Times Square, take the monorail from Imbi to KL Sentral. Then, you need to transfer to the Komuter train line, and Midvalley has a stop by itself.

Komuter station Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Midvalley Megamall Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The mall is pretty huge

Midvalley houses a Carrefour, JUSCO, Toys ‘R’ Us, Harvey Norman and plenty of other brands. It isn’t ‘high street’ fare like KLCC Suria mall in Petronas Towers.

Midvalley Megamall Toys r Us Jusco store

Jigsaw puzzle world Midvalley Megamall KL
This store had a whole bunch of cool imports from Japan

After Loi’s shopping from Toys R Us, Ramesh’s purchases from Carrefour, we headed up to the top most floor.

Midvalley Megamall centre court Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
They have an exclusive ManU store and an 18-screen multiplex up here
Midvalley Megamall Anime Tech store
Went in here as well

Midvalley has a few nerdy joints up here, including video arcades and a store dedicated to board games. But we couldn’t hang out any longer, it was nearing 7pm. There was one last thing I wanted to do for our last day in Kuala Lumpur — head to the observation deck at KL Tower to get a view of Kuala Lumpur city at night.

To save time, we took a taxi… and got a driver with some pretty good taste in music 🙂

After an enjoyable ride, we reached Menara KL, which is perched atop a small hill called Bukit Nanas. Thus making it ‘taller’ than the Petronas Towers. Myself and Loi bought our tickets and made our way up, Ramesh stayed below to check out an F1 Zone.

Menara KL Tower elevator observation deck
Tickets cost RM38 (Rs. 550/$12/€8) for adults

I was more keen on visiting the observation deck of KL Tower than the Skybridge at Petronas Towers, simply because the viewing height at Menara KL is much higher.

View from Menara KL tower night Kuala Lumpur
And I was right…
Menara KL tower view of Kuala Lumpur city at night
… the view was great!
Menara KL tower observation deck glass reflection
But there was one annoying problem
Menara KL tower observation deck souvenir shop
The bright lights from the shops up here!

The whole experience of the view at night from up here is marred by the lights reflecting off of the glass — which also made for tricky photography. And because I didn’t have a tripod, it was tough for me to get steady shots.

Menara KL tower observation deck jewelry shop
Why on earth would you want to sell jewelry up here? ‘High’ prices?

Menara KL tower top view Public Bank Petronas buildings

Menara KL tower observation deck view city lights
We went around the observation deck
Menara KL tower World's Tallest comparison
They have a display showing you the other tall telecommunications towers around the world
Menara KL tower observation deck Petronas Towers at night
Menara KL is the fourth largest telecom tower in the world
Menara KL tower World's tallest towers comparison
The tallest is still the CN Tower in Toronto
Menara KL tower observation deck Times Square view
You can see Berjaya Times Square from up here — also ‘cos it isn’t that far 🙂
Menara KL tower observation deck view at night
I took one final shot of the Petronas Towers before heading back down
Menara KL tower observation deck restaurants
There are two ‘sky high’ restaurants at KL Tower

Menara KL tower inside lift lobby chandelier

Menara KL tower elevator lift lobby
This is the elevator lobby
Menara KL tower ticket counter
Timings are 9:30am to 9:30pm
Menara KL tower Malaysia cultural village
Your ticket also includes entry to the Cultural Village, which was closed by 8pm
Menara KL Tower F1 Simulator zone dummy cars
So we used our ticket to avail the one free ride around the (virtual) Sepang circuit
Menara KL F1 simulator zone dummy BMW car
In the small cars though, you have to pay to sit in one these life-size replica cars
Menara KL F1 simulator zone Sepang game
Ramesh paid to sit & play in the Ferrari car
Menara KL Tower F1 simulator zone Ferrari store Kuala Lumpur
There’s an F1 store here as well

Menara KL Tower R&D F1 Simulator Zone Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaMenara KL Tower pink lights underneathMenara KL tower at night pink lighting

Menara KL tower pony ride Malaysia
You can opt to use your ticket for a complimentary ride as well
Menara KL Tower free shuttle service
We waited for the free ride down to the base of the hill

Once at the base, we walked towards Bukit Nanas monorail station.

Menara KL tower lit up night
One final look
Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur bikes parked
Walked past the Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur
Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur Harley Davidson Club
Which saw a gathering of Harley Davidson owners that night
Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers surrounding buildings panorama
One final look at the beautiful twin towers
Kuala Lumpur monorail network station map Malaysia
This is the monorail network map
Inside monorail train Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The monorail trains aren’t very big

Once back in the room, we decided to enjoy our final dinner of this trip, and sit somewhere nice. There are a few cosy eateries behind Berjaya Times Square, where we were and so, we sat down at Wings musicafe.

Wings musicafe Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
They have a live stage where artists perform every night
Wings musicafe Kilkenny beer Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Had Kilkenny Irish beer for the first time

It was a relaxing dinner to end our last day of sight-seeing in Kuala Lumpur. The musicians were mostly local artists, aspiring singers who performed mellow acoustic fare. Much needed for us tired souls.

Once back in the room, we packed up. And when I mean “we,” I mean myself and Ramesh…

Loiyumba bed Irsia
… this guy was too lazy to do any packing — and he had the most luggage!

Tomorrow morning, all we had to do was check out and head to the airport in the afternoon for our after Air Asia flight back to Bangalore.

So, it’s not over yet… there’s one more post left! 🙂

Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

Singapore 2010: Day 1 – Little India, CBD, Clarke Quay, China Town… and a lot of walking

Singapore 2010: Day 2 – Orchard Road, mall-hopping… and already shopping

Singapore 2010: Day 3 – Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands; leaving Singapore for Penang

Malaysia 2010: Day 5 — Langkawi (Ferry ride from Penang, Cable car & Sky Bridge)

Malaysia 2010: Day 6 — Langkawi (Island hopping tour, Pantai Tengah beach, Night market)

Malaysia 2010: Day 7 — Kuala Lumpur (Low Yat Plaza, Petronas Towers, Jalan Alor)

Malaysia 2010: Day 8 — Kuala Lumpur (Batu Caves, Petaling Street/China Town)

Malaysia 2010: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back

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