The last part of February sent me on my third trip. A trip I hadn’t prepared for as much as I would’ve liked (or should’ve). A friend of mine had mentioned a couple months prior about wanting to go to Malaysia to scuba dive and swim on the beach and I asked to tag along since after that trip she would be returning to the States for an indeterminate amount of time and probably not returning to S. Korea. While I hadn’t a particular desire nor license for scuba diving or going to the beach to swim (I burn so easily) I was totally prepared to grab a book and chill under an umbrella or find a tour or class I could take while she swam or dove for, as she hoped, an entire day or two.
We were in Malaysia for less than a week with a rather unrealistic travel plan. We arrived late in the afternoon in Kuala Lumpur and had plans to leave Kuala Lumpur the following morning to catch a bus up to Cameron Highlands where we’d spend about two nights, then catch another bus up to Penang where we’d spend one night and then the next evening catch a midnight flight back to Kuala Lumpur and spend the rest of the night and the next there before an early morning flight back to Seoul.
We expected to have at least a half day in Kuala Lumpur before leaving the following morning for Cameron Highlands. But we hadn’t really taken into account how long our flight was (~7 hours) followed by the time it would take for us to get from the airport to our hostel. By the time we found our hostel and settled in the day was nearly over.
My friend had booked a hostel called Step Inn Guest House which was easier to find then we made it seem. It was a decent hostel that seemed like a good place to meet new people and stay for relatively cheap (~$15). There was a kitchen, free breakfast (toast with jam or butter, tea and coffee), a space to hang out, showers with hot water, laundry, a fan in our room, and it was a relatively short walk from Pudu Sentral (a large bus station) as well as within walking distance of Chinatown and various other things.
It was however not the best choice for wanting to spend just a quick night’s sleep before catching a bus to Cameron Highlands the following morning. The bus terminal we needed was Terminal Bersepadu, which was a 20 minute uber ride away or an hour and a half away via public transit. We also were warned to be careful before going out to dinner since another guest had been mugged that morning. This sort of set us into a hyper sense of vigilance which made our evening in Kuala Lumpur not as fun as it could’ve been. Since our hostel was down a winding street easy for us to confuse with various dead-end alleys, and we’d arrived with only enough time to pop out for dinner we were just in a constant state of unease. It didn’t help that our room seemed to be outside of the wifi bubble, making it difficult to do much planning in the comfort of our room. (Which for some reason didn’t have any blankets, but thankfully it was warm enough to deal without)
I think Step Inn Guest House would’ve been better if we’d been staying in Kuala Lumpur for a little longer. The staff working was helpful and gave us plenty of suggestions on things to do to pass our evening as well as food suggestions in the area (all of which we ended up ignoring due to a combination of time and getting a bit lost). They offered a 24 hour front desk which we learned later in our travels was not always the norm and we were utterly grateful for. They also had a list of tours written up on a wall which if we’d had more time would’ve also been appreciated.