Day 4: Singapore to Kuala Lumpur

by - May 01, 2011

I am now on the train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.  It is a 7 hour journey and I am about an hour in, having just gone through the complicated immigration routine.  I am fairly sure that I haven’t entered Malaysia illegally, but I guess we shall wait and see!

Raffles Statue, Singapore
I spent the morning in the colonial district, checking off some of the last sights that I had missed so far.  I managed to get a photo in my standard pose in front of the Merlion Statue - an odd sculpture that was created as a potential symbol of Singapore.  My other stop really was a symbol of Singapore - the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles in Empress Place.  Unfortunately it was difficult to get a good picture because a stand was being set up next to it, where people could watch this evening’s Man Utd vs Arsenal match - a real fusion of modern and historical British influences in the area.

Malaysian Countryside
Moving on a few hours, I’m not in my hostel in Kuala Lumpur, having completed the train journey. Considering that I spent most of my day on the train, the fare of 16.90GBP wasn’t too bad.  I was in a second class carriage with plenty of leg room.  The only downside was that the TV wasn’t working, so they couldn’t put any movies on.  I don’t know whether it was the fact that the trip was a mere half of my total flight time, but it actually seemed to go quite quickly.  The railway line seemed to be almost dead straight and it carved a path through the dense palm groves which flanked both sides.  The train wasn’t quite the same as a second class British train - it was a bit faded and scabby, but there was plenty of leg room and it was so air conditioned that I felt quite cold in my shorts and t-shirt.  The only qualm with the whole process is that I am now without a Malaysian visa because, bizarrely, they don’t issue them on the journey.  Lonely Planet advises that this shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to leaving the country if you can provide your train ticket and immigration card, but I am slightly nervous nonetheless.

More Malaysian Countryside
Kuala Lumpur station was just as good as the Singapore equivalent and there was a good monorail link to my hostel, the International Backpackers Inn, in the Chinatown district.  It was a long way from my Singapore hostel - located up a flight of stairs in a prison like corridor, with the rooms only window being internal facing.  Unfortunately this was likely to be the “real thing” from here on in.  I had booked a single room, but I arrived to find that there were three beds in there - a stark reminder of the fact that I was a solo traveller that made me feel a little sad.  After checking my emails, I packed down for bed as it had been a deceptively tiring day.

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