JD - FH has been really keen to get onto part 2 of her holiday post so we decided to help her - as you can see from the photo below....
Max hogs FH's lap whilst JD lets it all hang out whilst sleep punching the air with one paw! (We call this his 'Fame!' pose - he often sleeps with one paw up and one paw relaxed like this - rather like Zac from Holly and Zac!)
Max - So we're gonna hand over to FH once more - be warned, there are a LOT of photos - and NONE of them include us - gasp!! (Please click on photos to biggify if required!)
FH - Thanks lads! Right, the last holiday post I did ended with the great meal that we had with our wonderful KL blogging pals. The next day was Saturday, the day before Chinese New Year (and Valentine's Day!) and we decided to do a few touristy things. So we started the day by walking to the Petronas Towers. We could see them in the distance and we like walking so thought it would be a good idea. We did okay as it was early in the morning, but we soon realised we would have to start using taxis or melt!
Photo from the base of the Petronas Towers - they're SO high it's difficult to fit them all in....
....so we stepped back a bit to try and get a bit more of the building in the snapshot!
We wanted to view the bridge that runs along the 48th floor as we knew the views would be pretty spectacular. We naively thought we could wander in at any point but soon realised that tickets were limited. We were fortunate to be there early as we managed to get two of the last available tickets which were for 4.45 pm.
So we had a bit of time to kill. We wandered around the park that's next to the towers and made our way to the aquarium where we spent an interesting couple of hours.
The edge of the park next to the Petronas Towers - I liked the three trees!
After a light lunch - which was followed by a light dessert of fresh apple ice cream (yummy yum!) - we browsed the shopping centre that's at at the base of the towers. By this point we'd been on our feet for several hours so decided to head back to the hotel for an hour to freshen up before coming back to view the city from a different vantage point.
4.45 rolled round really quickly and we found ourselves at the towers once more. We witnessed loads of people being turned away - they'd obviously thought they could just turn up and be allowed in, like we had previously! We felt rather smug to have tickets and our group was ushered into a small cinema to watch a film about Petronas, the company that owns the towers.
It was a rather odd screening - it felt like a propaganda film extolling the virtues of the company and telling us that Petronas had changed almost everything in the world - from art to networking to world peace - for the better. Weird! I don't doubt the company does good works, I just found the whole presentation style rather unsettling. Still, it was over very quickly and we taken to the elevator that would take us to the 48th floor, where we would be able to step out onto the observation bridge - cool!
The elevator was high speed and got us there in about 30 seconds - very smooth! We all stood around nervously whilst the guide explained that the bridge is not fixed to the building, that it was the weight of it that kept it in place. Gulp! He continued that it would be best not to focus too intently on buildings outside because if you did you would be aware of the building swaying slightly, which buildings of this height did. Double gulp! I'm not actually very good with heights so I sometimes wonder why I do things like this....!
We would have 10 minutes, he said, to wander the bridge, to ask questions and take photographs - and then he stepped back to allow us on.
I knew that if I didn't step out immediately I would completely chicken out so I almost ran to the middle straight away! The sides are glass to the floor so you really do get the full effect. I admit, my initial reaction was 'I feel sick!' but I forced myself to look around and enjoy the view and gradually I started to enjoy it.
I smile for the camera - my hand is CLAMPED on to the railing, I nearly left nail marks I was so nervous to be so high, and the bridge is only half way up!
Looking down on the fountains that are at the front of the building.
The park that we had wandered around in the morning - don't the trees look small from this high up!
View from the other side - and yes, I did focus on the tall buildings and I'm convinced I felt the bridge swaying.....
Close-up of one of the tall neighbouring buildings. We're still higher than the top floor - yikes!
Me and hubby try to look calm and nonchalant, as if we traipse up tall buildings most days of the week!
Don't look doooooowwwnnnnn.......! I held the camera over the side of the observation platform, that poked out of the side of the bridge, to take this photo. I felt really queasy afterwards!!
The 10 minutes were over very quickly and before we knew it we were speeding towards the ground again in the elevator. I really enjoyed the experience but I admit I was glad to back on terra firma once more!
The evening was spent relaxing at our hotel. The next day was Chinese New Year and the day after that we would be flying out to Singapore, setting off from our hotel at 4.00 am, so we decided to take it easy and enjoy the experience of the New Year celebrations.
We had a slightly later breakfast the next day and then headed off to the shopping centre that was opposite our hotel. A few shops were open and we discovered that most of the shops were due to open in the afternoon which surprised us. We decided to go to the cinema - it's an experience we always enjoyed the few times we visited Bangkok and we wanted to see what the cinemas in KL were like.
I don't enjoy going to the cinema in the UK very much as I think other cinema goers are thoughtless, rude and indifferent to everyone else around them. They talk during the film, eat noisily and laugh at all the wrong places and I find the cinema seats cramped, grubby and full of popcorn and chocolate which melts on your clothes making you look like you've had an unfortunate accident when you've left! (Yes, I'm a HUGE snob!) In Bangkok the cinemas are clean and the cinema goers are polite and respectful. Also, the seats are wonderful - large and comfy. You can even opt to upgrade to a sofa or a recliner and all cinema goers are given a blanket, a pillow and a thick pair of socks - absolutely wonderful!
We went to see 'Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief' which was enjoyable, if a little trite. We upgraded to a recliner and were given a blanket so it was very comfortable. We had in-seat service with a drink and some popcorn being delivered half way through the film. All this made the experience very enjoyable! Sadly though, the cinema itself was not very well soundproofed and the soundtrack from 'Avatar' kept bleeding through, as well as the screams and shouts of a group of other cinema goers as they left another film mid-way through ours. Oh well, never mind. It was still FAR superior to the UK experience!
We left the cinema and decided that, as it was valentine's day, we would have a really nice meal. So we chose a Thai restaurant and settled down. As soon as were behind the table I knew we had made a mistake! It wasn't the restaurant - the restaurant was lovely and I'm sure the food would have been wonderful. It was, sadly, one of the people who was sat at the table opposite.
Now, I've mentioned above that I'm a bit of a snob. I can't help it - I have a very low tolerance to idiots, he he he! This person was a very loud American - apologies to all Americans, I know all walks of life have a myriad of 'idiot representatives', it's just in this case it happened to be an American who took up the idiot mantle in this particular case! He seemed to be under the impression that the entire restaurant wanted to hear his loudly brayed story. He was sprawled in his chair, arms behind his head and legs as widely spread as he could manage. His tone was practised, he had obviously held court on this particular story many times before. The volume in which he spoke was almost obscene - arrogant and boorish would be a polite way of describing this loathsome individual.
"Oh yes!" he guffawed, "when I was studying in Cairo all the other students were in AWE of me speaking Arabic. They asked me to make speeches to them regularly. One day the whole hall were pressing me to speak to them but I was too busy, just too busy, you know? So I stood up and addressed them in Arabic. I said to them, I said - 'I can't speak to you now, I have to go and study.' And the whole place fell silent. Well, do you know? The word for 'study' in Arabic is very similiar to the word for 'using the bathroom' (FH here - I've not put in the actual word he said here, this is a family blog!!) so I had basically announced to all these people who practically idolised me that I thought 'using the bathroom' was more important to me than speaking with them!" And with that he fell about guffawing and snorting loudly at his own 'hilarious' story.
Well, never have I wished so much that I had picked up more Arabic from my travels to Egypt. I would have loved to have strode over to him and started addressing him in Arabic, as I didn't believe a word of his story! He hadn't given anyone in his party the opportunity to comment and he was just starting on his next story when I decided I couldn't take any more! I didn't fancy spending money on a good meal if that's what I had to put up with! So I had a bit of a prima donna moment and stomped out!
We found another restaurant and had a very enjoyable meal and spent the rest of the afternoon wandering round shops. A small market had been set up in the shopping centre specific for Chinese New Year and we enjoyed looking at dragons and tigers and lanterns. In fact, I bought myself a rather nice tiger to celebrate what is now year of the tiger!
We tried to have an early night since we were going to be up so early the next day, but we both found that we were so worried about sleeping through the alarm we woke up every hour anyway! The flight to Singapore was very short and I found myself looking out of the window at all the little islands wanting to visit them too!
We had been so looking forward to visiting Singapore - sadly, it didn't start very well. We filled in the visitors card to take through customs and as we were due to be flying back that evening neither of us put a place of residence as there wouldn't be one! My husband was waved through, I wasn't. The woman behind the desk looked at the form, looked at me and then slapped it back on the desk in front of me in a rather nasty fashion.
"Where are you staying?" she snapped. "If you don't fill in a place of residence whilst you're in our country you will be put on the first plane out of here and removed." I was flabbergasted. "But I'm only here a day." I replied, "I fly back this evening which means I'm obviously not staying anywhere." She looked at me as if I was something she had trodden in. "If you don't put a place of residence you will not be allowed to stay." she said, enunciating each word slowly and carefully as if I was very, very stupid. "Now, where are you staying?" "I'm not staying anywhere - I'm going shopping." I said. "Then tell me the name of the shops you're going to." she almost shouted. I was astounded. "I don't know the names of the shops - I haven't been here before!" "And you won't get in this time if you continue like this." she went on. "Look - what do you want me to do?" I pleaded - I could see my husband waiting for me, wondering what was going on. She actually rolled her eyes and sighed loudly and dramatically before continuing. "Give me a contact name," she said, "or you won't be let in." So I wrote my name and my mobile number on the card. She looked at it, then looked at me over the top of the card before nodding me through with a curt flick of her head.
Well, I'm afraid that this experience put me in a VERY bad mood. This woman had been incredibly rude and I had been so looking forward to visiting Singapore. It meant that every little thing that went wrong from this point on really irritated me, more than it usually would have. For example, the ticket machine for the metro didn't work, there was no-one on duty (as it was Chinese New Year) and when we finally got a ticket (courtesy of a very nice member of public who helped us out) and got to where we wanted to be absolutely everything was shut! I was not impressed!
But we thought - we're here for the day, we have to enjoy ourselves. We were due to be meeting an old work colleague of mine for lunch so decided to do a bit of sight-seeing before that. Thankfully, by the time lunchtime rolled round we were a lot more relaxed and had started to enjoy ourselves.
Raffles Hotel - a very famous landmark!
I really liked this building - it used to be an old fire station and is now a gallery. (Please biggify this picture to see all the coloured shutters.)
A very pretty park - it was far too hot to sit in it though!
I was fascinated by the building in the background - three very tall structures with what looked like a ship being built across them.
A closer view of the building - you can clearly see the ship taking shape on the top.
I look out over the river - we were meeting an old work colleague at Boat Quay, what a lovely place.
I pose with some of the local statues!
As I'd got to know this old work colleague when I worked in London he suggested meeting up at the Penny Black, a replica of an old Victorian pub.
The view acoss the river from the Penny Black - that space ship building is the court house.
We had an enjoyable lunch. I'd never met this work colleague in person before - we used to speak a lot on the phone when I worked in London, he's lived in Singapore with his family for about 10 years. He gave us some helpful tips on how to find places and what to look at - it was geat to finally meet him, even though neither of us work at the place that we'd originally met up any more!
After lunch we visited a museum for a few hours and then I decided that I'd like to go on the Singapore Flyer, the Singapore version of the London Eye. However, the Singapore version is the tallest observation wheel in the World. So we set off to find it.
I like this bronze statue very much!
This building is referred to as 'The Durian' by the locals because of its prickly appearance!
You can see the Singapore Flyer in the background, so we wandered through the fun fair.
The Singapre Flyer is so tall I couldn't fit it all in the photo!
View from the Singapore Flyer - we were almost at the top when this photo was taken.
Another view from the flyer - the mouth of a very busy port.
View as we're just starting to descent from the flyer - it's that boat building again!
Don't look down!!
I hang on for dear life - I found the flyer more nerve-wracking than the Petronis Towers! At least the towers didn't revolve!!
After our turn on the Singapore Flyer it was time for us to head off to meet some other great blogging pals, Adeline and Vincent who own Cobi. For both of us this was the highlight of our visit to Singapore - they had arranged to meet us at a very popular seafood restaurant on the East Coast.
We got a taxi there and Adeline recognised me as we were hovering by the booking lecturn which was very handy as the place was extremely popular and very busy. We had a table right by the beach - the breeze was wonderful and the setting was spectacular. I admit I'm a little annoyed with myself - I hardly took any photos as the time simply flew by. Still, I console myself with the thought that this is a great excuse to go back, he he!
Vincent and Adeline were so lovely - like our other blog pals they looked after us really well, recommending great food and making sure we tried a bit of everything. The food was spectacular - the chilli crab (which was enormous!) is one of the best things I have ever tasted! There was also fried prawns with cereal, noodles, deep fried bean curd and scallops - we were in danger of exploding from sheer over indulgence!
As with our other blogging pals the conversation flowed easily - we hit it off immediately and talked about everything from our jobs to our hobbies to our dogs! A big part of the conversation was about JD and Max and Cobi, but then it because of them that we met!
Before we knew it it was time for us to head off back to the airport for our return flight to KL. We couldn't believe how quickly the whole day had gone. We exchanged gifts and Adeline and Vincent were so generous, driving us to the airport and even coming in with us to wave us off. I felt like royalty - everyone we've met through the blogosphere has been so nice and so kind, it's such a great community that I'm thrilled to be a part of!
Myself, hubby and Adeline pose in front of the restaurant sign!
Neil, me, Adeline and Vincent - we were sorry our meeting was coming to an end.
We arrived back in KL somewhat wearily and got back to our hotel at about 2.00 am in the morning. The following day was the final full day of our holiday - it had gone by in a flash! We spent our final day shopping, we even found a huge pet store and bought a few bits for the boys, although I held off buying a lot for them because most of our luggage now consisted of gifts for them from their blogging pals!
We flew back home the following day, feeling rather sad to be leaving such a wonderful place behind but looking forward to picking our boys up from the kennels! Our holiday had been superb, I would say it is the best I have ever had and the main reason for this was meeting all our pals whilst we were there. What an amazing experience - thank you so much everyone! If we could afford to come back tomorrow we would! In fact, we've already started saving for our next visit....
JD - We'd like to add our thanks to all our great blogging pals and their humans for looking after our humans so well whilst they were there.
Max - Yes, and also thanks again for all our great gifts! We've now eaten all our Cobi snacks (they were divine!) and this afternoon we opened a pack of blueberry chews - slurp!!