The flight from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur was a short one, but we still spent the entire day traveling. We arrived at the airport before the check in was even open and the whole process was a kind of a “ free for all”. We were delayed a couple of hours due to a crazy thunderstorm, which is quite typical in this region, but once we were in the air, the flight was smooth and fast. We were greeted by Leonard, our host for the week, who guided us through the immigration process.
Our first week in Kuala Lumpur would be a layoff week. Some of the cast were going to travel to other places. We were going to enjoy our time in KL and see the sights. I knew that once we started the show, we wouldn’t have much time for anything else and I figured there was enough to see and do there.
As soon as we were driving to the hotel I knew we were going to love this city. I had a feeling of ease not having the crazy Jakarta traffic surrounding us. We had been given our room keys at the airport, so we knew there would be no confusion when we arrived at the hotel. We dropped our bags in the room and went downstairs to the lounge where we met other company members for dinner. There was good music playing and I felt a sudden rush of excitement for the couple of weeks following in KL.
I had done plenty of research to schedule our time off. I didn’t want to go crazy cramming things in. The girls can’t absorb as much as adults and although I like to run like a crazy person, I want them to remember special times. It’s hard to remember events when there’s so many. Maybe it’s my age? I was going to give them a week off of text book homeschooling. What I had planned was definitely better than learning from a book.
Our first excursion was a firefly cruise. We took a drive out of the city about an hour and stopped to see Silver Leaf Monkeys. This was the unexpected highlight of the day. Clare had one jump on her and I had one try to steal my bag. It was hysterical. I wanted to take one home. Looking into their eyes was just like looking at another person.
Back on the bus for a short drive to Kuala Selangor. We had dinner at a fishing village and then took the boat ride to see the fireflies. It was so very peaceful. The fireflies lit the side of the river. It looked like it was lined with Christmas trees. We pulled up along the side and the girls were able to cradle fireflies in their hands.
The following day we visited the Batu caves, a series of large limestone caves and a hindu shrine. There are 272 stairs to climb to the top, which in the heat is quite exhausting. No gym needed that day!
Our last trip we had planned was to trek in the rainforest. Joining us were Clare and Christina (Teen Fiona). There were a few tour companies offering this trip, but I had found Happy Yen through Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet reviews. His tour was a little different and sounded like quite an education. It was everything other reviewers had said and more! We started the day with an Indian breakfast of Poori, some delicious dipping “stuff” and ginger milk tea, before visiting a Buddhist temple. Yen gave us the history of Buddhism, showing us statues and murals. Olivia was soaking in all his knowledge, while Eliana was anxious to leave and do something more active.
Next we were heading to the rainforest. We trekked for four miles stopping at different plants for Yen to tell us about them. He used the nature to explain life lessons. It was so very interesting. We walked through rivers, stopped at a huge waterfall, fed fish while they swam around us, ate lunch by the rapids (which the girls swam in) and got rained on as we trekked back. I’ve never felt so disgustingly dirty and wonderful at the same time. An invigorating experience. On our way back we stopped at a hot spring. I love heat and hot water, but as soon as I dipped my toe in I said there was no way I could get in there. Yen assured us we would be fine getting in. He had us count while looking at him. Ten seconds later we were in (adults only). We could only stay in a minute or two, but it was an incredible feeling. This was another “best day ever”!
We had a few more days before we were back to work. We spent them relaxing by the hotel pool, which was our favorite so far. We made a quick obligatory trip to the KL Tower and the Petronas Towers. Tall buildings don’t really impress us much since we live next to NYC. We had some lovely evening meals out in the city. It’s a really enjoyable city to walk around.
The theater in Kuala Lumpur was beautiful. We had four long days there. The first day was tech and the opening night show. Then three double show days. There was no wifi at the theater which dictated what I could teach. It worked well though. Olivia finished 4th grade Math a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.
Kuala Lumpur was one of my favorite cities on this tour so far. One that I could absolutely live in. I felt completely at home. It had the right mix of old and new. Culture and food.