In the previous episode: we flew 12+ hours to Kuala Lumpur, then had a few drinks in our hotel next to the main train station, before going to bed with an alarm set for 0630. Why would we do such a thing?
Well, firstly we had to have breakfast. I didn’t recall doing so deliberately, in fact maybe everyone gets it, but when checking in they’d told us we have free breakfast. It was down in Nook, the 1st floor restaurant where we ate the previous night and, holy smokes, breakfast is an incredible buffet of vast choice. There’s pastries and cereals and fruits and bread and cold meat and cheese and hot English breakfast style stuff and eggs done any way you want and Malaysian choices and just loads. We’re early enough that the place isn’t crowded. I go for a few bits of curried stuff, followed up with some unnaturally colourful doughnuts. Helen has mac & cheese with hash browns, mushrooms and rice.
In the park we then go through the edge of the planetarium, which has some outdoor displays and trails named after planets.
This sounds like a long route but it’s not far really, maybe 1.5km in total. Tell you what though, it’s hot. I’m a little bit away from Helen and she’s grateful for a short rest when I excitedly shout THERE’S A HENGE! I’M GONNA GO TAKE A PHOTO OF THE HENGE.
Turns out it’s an actual replica of Stonehenge! Hurrah!
There really are lots of peacocks.
Dunno what this fella is. He was having a drink in the water feature.
This is a giant hornbill, like a double-decker toucan. He’s in a dark cage, and regularly hopping between branches while shouting a bit.
There’s a little house with a few owls, none of whom actually seem to be attached to their branches by string or anything. They’re just happy to sit around and chill.
This one looks like the “owl does not like water” meme owl. Helen has a cracking pic of him winking at her.
THIS IS MY FAVOURITE OWL EVER. Look at him!
Can’t remember what this bird is called, nor what it looks like from the front. Only that it has a hairstyle which resembles a firework display.
Storks storks storks storks storks. They took over the path as I walked a few yards ahead of Helen.
One of the peacocks did us a favour and got scared, thus putting on the show everyone wanted.
The path through zone 1 and most of zone 2 leads us back to where we started, and the giant hornbill cage again.
There’s one on my head, and my shoulder, and 4 on my arm, and another coming in. Their claws are a bit stronger than a Finnish great tit, I’ll tell you that for nowt.
It is magnificent though. Here, you can see two of the parrots on my hand having a row. I thought they were going to properly squabble.
Unfortunately there are other people around, so we can’t just stay there for hours and hours. Boo. OK, doubling back this time we’re able to take a better look at the other types of parrot and hornbill they have.
We finish at the bird park just before midday, which is expertly timed if we say so ourselves. Since we’ve no roaming on our phones we can’t hail a cab, though there’s a rank outside. But we know the walking route and it’s not so bad, so back the way we came it is.
By ‘eck it’s hot.
We’re back at our room in Aloft by 1220 or so, meaning there’s enough time for a cold-ish shower and to change our tops. Then, re-pack everything we don’t need for the afternoon into the giant suitcase and go checkout just prior to 1pm. As we do a sweep to ensure we’ve not left anything behind, I am UTTERLY delighted by the footwear warning.
It’s still too early to actually leave, so we wheel ourselves back to W XYZ where Helen orders a preposterous coffee. Assembly required.
A couple of drinks later and it’s time for us to go get on a train, back to Kuala Lumpur airport. We’s getting on a plane! Descending down to the platform for the KLIA Ekspres, I’m confronted with signage unchanged since that 2014 visit. This is South East Asia’s fastest train, apparently.
It’s a less modern vehicle than the one we got from the airport the previous day but no slower. At the airport we head up to departures and outside so Helen can vape, then go to the Malaysia Airlines domestic check-in counter to drop off our bag. We’re handed boarding passes which have an invitation to visit the lounge printed on them, as is pointed out by the staff “because you are Emerald”. Check me out.
Through security, we consult a map and find the lounge. It’s moderately crowded but there are a few spare pairs of seats up at the end. There is no booze. What! In fact, as we discover later, there’s no booze in the entire domestic terminal. Ah well, no great loss.
Skies are clear and we have a relatively good view. A couple of plates of snacks are head, and annoyingly I’m starting to feel a bit ill. This isn’t helped by eating a disgustingly soapy little cake thing. Yuck.
Leaving just before we’re told boarding will commence, Helen goes for a vape in the smoking lounge and then we walk up to gate B9 – only to discover that our flight is now delayed by 20 minutes. Grr. With no real desire to go back to a dry lounge, but also no desire on my part to just loiter by the gate, we walk up and down the terminal slowly. Eventually that bores us too much so yes, we plonk down at B9. Lo and behold, a plane arrives and a bunch of people get off. Better yet, baggage comes off then new bags are loaded. Malaysia Airlines send me an SMS to say boarding has commenced even though it hasn’t.
When it eventually has, we’re one of the first to board, plonking ourselves down in seats 8A and 8B. They are surprisingly cramped, and I’m muchly jealous of the business class seating we walked past. Unlike European business class, short haul on Malaysia Airlines involves very different seats – ones which look, like, comfortable and stuff.
I didn’t really know what to expect of economy service, and when Helen pointed out there was no menu in the seat pocket I expected we’d get nothing. Mind you, since I felt so ropey I just wanted to sleep throughout the flight anyway. This was somewhat successful, as I dozed off repeatedly during taxi and take off and the first part of the flight. But then I was woken up with a mild elbow prod to be told that, oh, here’s the cabin crew with a choice of hot dishes, for free! I’ll have the chicken thanks.
IT’S GUINNESS TIME. No, really, it is. I quite fancy a t-shirt but I’m not sure about buying two buckets of the stuff, so I opt just for a pint. Helen has a lager. The beer arrives moderately promptly, but our change takes at least 20 minutes to turn up, such that when it does we actually ask for another round.
Said round never does turn up. We think perhaps it’s a pace of life thing, but after slowly serving a couple of other tables the two waiting staff just stop doing anything at all, and aren’t prompted into remembering we’d ordered more beer even when asked where the loo is.