Wednesday, February 05, 2020

The KL Monorail and Chow Kit Market

A Bit etro-SciFi-ish

Day 97 - The experience of not being able to use an app to summon a Grab rideshare did not feel right. Today, I knew we should pick up a local SIM for my phone. It has been a while since I had a Malaysian number via Celcom. A local kiosk guy near our building can only sell SIMs to locals. Foreigners needing service have to show a copy of their passport. I brought mine along today. We walked to the other side of the building. The main shopping road there has a free, pink bus that goes directly to Sentral Station.

(Actually, it was a pink bus but the red route. When one spots a bus painted pink, it shows that its a gratis goKL city loop. There are four loops indicated by the colours red, blue, green, and purple. These hit most parts of Kuala Lumpur and share a few stops so it's possible to get nearly anywhere downtown on them. Commuters as well as tourists can be found on these buses.)

The Nu Sentral shopping mall is huge and mostly posh, so it took a bit of searching to find a place selling SIM cards for the mobile provider I wanted. Of course, we had to head to the busy section where trains from the airport pull into the transportation hub.

Speaking of transportation. We figured Jay's sisters should get to ride the Monorail. They'd already been on the subway and regular rail. However, I think all tourists should see the view from the not-so-practical monorail. It is slow. It doesn't really connect well with other transportation links. It costs more, although our rides set us back less than a US$ 1 each. Despite the negatives, taking the KL Monorail seems essential for all visitors. The line seems like it was trying to say, "Take KL seriously as a modern city." It was completed in 2004, so it was not designed with a 70s vibe in mind. However, it has a sort of retro-SciFi feel in its design cues.

Riding the KL Monorail

We disembarked at Chow Kit Market. I'm sure that is not exactly the type of shopping experience Jay's sisters had in mind. It is an old, enormous fruit/vegetable/meat/fish market. It is dirty, hectic, and noisy. Did I mention it is huge? Anyway, we can say we accomplished another trusted and true 'tourist thing' in Kuala Lumpur.

Chow Kit


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