Kuala Lumpur

Monday, March 26, 2012

This is the 2nd time we have been Kuala Lumpur, having visited in 2010 during our last trip. Kuala Lumpur impressed us last time so we were looking forward to it especially as we had Formula 1 tickets for the Malaysian Grandprix!

We had pre-booked accommodation and it took about 1.5 hours to get from the airport. As we were walking to our hostel we thought that we had picked a better area to stay in than last time as the area was buzzing with people eating, shopping and rushing around.

We headed straight out despite being up since 3.30am, as it would be our only day of visiting tourist attractions. We got the monorail to the train station and then we got the train, which cost 20 pence, to Batu Caves which are Hindu shrines about 10km north of the city.

As we approached we could see the random giant golden statues and sculptures. We headed to the first cave where a man (that looked like a tramp) requested 1 ringgit (20p) to enter. We haven't been to many caves, but what we were treated to was not expected! There were lights and odd statues everywhere, we weren't sure what to make of it.

We left to go upto the next cave which had a large golden statue at the bottom of the 272 steps. The cave was impressive and that was about it although it is an important religious site. It was worth the trip though.

We headed back into town and tried to find somewhere to get our haircuts so we look less like travellers and more like guests at a plush wedding in Vegas! It's not like we looked up the address or even wrote directions from our hostel, but we found ourselves getting haircuts at Toni & Guy! Haha. Who else are we going to trust?!

The Grand Prix

We decided to go on the Friday despite it only being the practice day which later turned out to be a great decision. We arrived and paid extra to change our rubbish online paper ticket for a proper one. What we didn't realise was that Friday was free for anyone which begged my next question...does that mean we can sit anywhere? Yes it did! We had a quick wonder around and headed to the main grandstand opposite the pits in time for 2nd practice.

As there wasn't going to be racing it would be a good place to sit and watch the goings on. We sat opposite the McLaren garage with RedBull and Ferarri on either side.

It took about 10 seconds of cars coming down the main straight before Emma rushed out to get us ear plugs! It was so loud!

Where we were sat would have been very expensive for the race and whilst its an amazing view of the pit lane and starting grid, you just see cars just whizz by once a lap! The session lasted an hour and half, with most of the teams doing long race simulation runs and coming in occasionally to practice pit stops which was great to watch. We got some great pictures throughout the session trying different settings on the camera to capture very fast moving cars! We think they came out well! I'm now available to be photographer for other races if anyone's needs anyone! The pictures are in focus and they are going 150mph!!! We got a picture of Hamilton as he walked back from his car which we think was randomly checked by the stewards. We later sat on the back straight grandstand to watch some of the GP2 qualifying before going to find out about a pit walk.

We had read that there was a public pit walk. We weren't sure what this would entail but at the very least we could walk on the pit lane which would be cool. We queued for about an hour before starting to head towards the paddock tunnel which went under the track. To our surprise, we found that all the garages were open and they were all working on their cars! There wasn't much of a queue around the lesser teams so we got some good photos with us in at Paul de Resta and Schumachers garages. When it came to Ferrari, McLaren and Red bull it was a scrum. We were very lucky that just as we got close to the front of the McLaren garage Lewis came out and chatted to the team. He then ran in, put some shades on and came back out to sign a few autographs. Emma almost got a signature but he ignored her, although Emma says he just didn't see her!

We finished the pit walk and left for the day. It took 2 and half hours to get back as we did it the cheapest way not the express way!

As it was so late we went to a Chinese restaurant by our hostel that is always ridiculously busy at all times of the day and ate the adventurous option of sweet and sour pork and peppered pork! (we are still OFF fish!)

We decided to get the official transport to the track for qualifying and it was a lot better. The train even had free 4G WiFi. Yes free WiFi on moving transportation! We got to the circuit and had to sit on our actual seats. We were pleasantly surprised to so see our seats had a great view of over half the track and a view of cars going into the pit lane! Qualifying was good fun although the big screen right opposite us wasn't big enough! We had to use our big zoom to see the 'big' screen!

Qualifying finished early enough to allow us to head out. We planned to goto 'Traders Hotel' bar which had great views of the Petronas towers. We heard live music coming from somewhere so we followed it. It turned out to be a Formula 1 concert at the bottom of the towers. Kelis who we both like was singing so we watched that and the DJ afterwards which is how our night ended.

Race day. We headed off early to hopefully get signatures from the drivers. We arrived an hour early (11am) but that wasn't early enough! We got some more good photos especially Vettel who came to the crowd.

The only negative thing about the whole weekend was the lack of things to do while waiting around. There was really only 1 Petronas stand and then a few food stalls which ran out if food! The atmosphere was great all weekend though.

The race itself started wet but was dry towards the end. We were in a spot where a lot of cars went onto the grass and everyone went 'ooohhh' ! It got a but difficult to follow as the screen wasn't big enough and the commentary not loud enough. We could however tune into Sepang FM which did commentary in both languages but again difficult to hear through headphones.

The result was unexpected but the whole weekend was great.

On the way back we stopped in China town to get some food and bought some really cheap designer clothing! It's so much cheaper here ! ;)

We left the next day feeling that we had another great time in Kuala Lumpar but didn't have enough time to do everything. There's so much going on and things to look at. It's definitely one of our favourite cities.

So that's it for Asia again and we'd definitely go back to all of it from this trip and the last! Its now a mamouth 17 hour flight (with connection) to Los Angeles in the United States of America!

Photos (be patient theres a lot but they are good!!!)

Comments

kate
Hello you two! Sounds amazing! Can't see pics at the mo as on phone and taking ages to load. Dad would love tha am sure! X x x
Kate
Oh yeah - and great pics of Lewis! Seen now! x
Paul D
Yep Dad would love it, but mum wouldn't like sooo much noise. Looks good.
Dawn
Great photos I recognised Button, Lewis and Schumacker, Kris and Emma. Good hair cuts,Emma should have worn a welsh teeshirt to get noticed, for the signatures. ha ha.xxxx
Wattsy
Great Photo's

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