First Impressions Count…

by Poi on May 4, 2011

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It seemed pointless to head all the way to Kuala Lumpur for the Formula 1 and not check out a city we had never explored before, so we chose to stay a few extra days but making sure we were back in Bangkok soon enough to enjoy the last two days on Songkran.

Our planning skills suck, actually Kirsty has this job thing now so I won’t bring her into this, my planning skills suck! I hate doing it, and I’m very good at putting it off until the last minute. The problem with this lazy technique is it means you end up with the worst deals in the worst places.

Shopping Centres in Kuala Lumpur

Shoppers Paradise

Kuala Lumpur is a popular place to visit, believe it or not. Whilst trying to book somewhere to stay there really wasn’t many budget options left two days before we were meant to arrive. I kept ending back up at the same place, a cheap place with a pretty poor review but unless I wanted to pay out loads more for an up range hotel there didn’t seem like any other option. I decided to book in for just two nights while the race was on – after all we would only be sleeping there and spending all day at the track.

We arrived in KL late and made our way to the hostel in China Town, the street was empty and despite, to my joy there actually being rubbish bins on the streets, it seemed as though they hadn’t been used in quite sometime – the whole place just looked a mess to me.

From the rare glimpses I got of the area between sleeping and going to the Formula 1 I didn’t see a lot to improve my opinion of KL. Our hotel room didn’t help either, cramped, damp and without a window it wasn’t the nicest place to come home to, my fault I know for not booking sooner.

Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur

Kirstys lovely face and the Towers

After the race was over we moved to the classic inn in another part of town, a really nice hostel in a much better location and things were looking up.

We spent the remaining days wandering the streets, checking out the towers (of course) and doing a loooot of shopping.

Despite the last days being perfect my perception of the place had been ruined by the first impression, I know every city has it’s bad area’s and it won’t stop me going back or recommending it to people but something ruined it slightly for me.

It just goes to show that first impressions really do count…


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike May 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Great pic!
Mike´s last blog post ..China- First Impression


Poi May 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Thanks Mike!


Michael Churm May 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Poi, that hostel sounds unbelievably like the one we stayed in! I won’t mention the name on here obviously, but it wasn’t the best! Little box rooms, a couple of lounges on different floors, it’s above a travel agent (that’s never open)and has a little buzzer cage door entrance around the corner of the building? Not the best! But it’s all part of the experience!


Poi May 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Sounds quite similar, the only way to access our place was by a lift which took you up to the second floor, I can’t remember what was underneath it though.


Kieron May 5, 2011 at 11:37 am

First impressions really do count and I had a similar experience with KL. After spending 3 nights there in 2008, I thought I would never ever return – people weren’t friendly to us and we weren’t made to feel welcome at all.

Fast forward 3 years and I won a free trip to KL and all of my perceptions have well and truly changed! I had an amazing holiday the second time around and would definitely recommend the city as a place worth visiting now.
Kieron´s last blog post ..I heart Singapore


Poi May 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Glad to know I’m not the only one who didn’t like the place straight away. I’m glad you got the chance to go back there and enoy it properly.

I’m just eager to check out the rest of Malaysia now.


Jo Evans May 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm

As Michael said it sounds exactly like where we stayed when we were there! They had fake partitions instead of walls and we had a family staying in the room next to us who didnt understand the concept of sleeping at night when it was dark!

You forgot to mention the fact that I had my bag stolen from the Mc Donalds there! Professional theives as my bag was put on the chair beside me whilst I put my food on the table and by the time I had eaten it had disappeared!
The policemen took me to the station whilst Mike went back to our room and rang all my banks to cancel my cards! I had no phone or money and panicked after I made my statement as I couldnt get hold of Mike and had no idea where I was. He found me in the end :o)

1 think that I was impressed about was the rollar coaster in the shopping centre, Although I did have a bad experience I’d like to return – everything deserves a second chance?


Poi May 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Yeah you’re right, everywhere deserves a second chance.

Although I’m not sure many people would be to quick to return after what happened to you, sounds like you didn’t have the best of times.

Here’s to next time!


UKTravelBug May 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Maybe a cramped and damp hotel room is just part of the price to pay for checking out the towers and the Formula 1! I know a few racing nuts who would definitely have overlooked the room to get there 😉
UKTravelBug´s last blog post ..Stay- Park &amp Go – 15 days


Poi May 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm

You’re right, it was just a small price for all the fun we were having and because of the F1 we spent so little time in the room anyway.

The second hostel was much nicer.


Alex May 6, 2011 at 3:11 am

Did you go up the towers


Poi May 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm

No we didn’t I’m sorry to say, you have to get there early or book in advance and as you might have noticed we are terrible at planning ahead.


Martin. May 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Shame Man, I loved KL. Could see myself living there for a while at least. We did spend 2 weeks there though and had decent digs!


Poi May 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

The more time went in the more I began to like it so I’m sure next time I’ll love it.

Live there! You can be my next country neighbor?


James Clark May 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Looks like I just missed you guys!

KL is one of those places that has grown on me on each visit. I seems to come through here alot due to AirAsia and I have found my favourite places by now.

One thing is for sure, you need air con in any of the old concrete guesthouses as they are not well ventilated, and this is coming from a guy who prefers the fan room.


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