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Brunei - Kuala Lumpur

View South East Asia Grand Tour 2023 on Grete Howard's travel map.


We have an early start this morning: up at 05:30, breakfast at 06:30, and leave at 07:30. After a whistlestop visit, we are leaving Brunei today, heading for Kuala Lumpur.

My cold sore is still looking grotesque this morning, and feeling very sore. I am so over this now, but what can I do other than keep applying the cream?


Air Asia flight from Brunei to Kuala Lumpur

At the departure airport, Farez (our local guide) goes in to look for a wheelchair, but having no joy he comes back out again, and while he goes to park the car, David and I walk to the Priority Check-In lane at Air Asia. Farez tells me to sit down, “David will sort it”. After Farez checks up why it is taking so long, eventually, someone arrives with a wheelchair. Air Asia is the only airline where we have had to pay (ca £20) for the ‘pleasure’ of a wheelchair – an absolutely disgraceful way to treat less abled passengers!


I sleep for most of the 2½ hour flight. At Kuala Lumpur Airport, the wheelchair waiting for me is tiny, and constructed so that the wheels touch my bum when moving; so they put out a call for a larger chair, which necessitates a long wait. All the passengers and crew have left the aircraft, and when the captain passes, he stops to find out if we have a problem. A nice touch. Eventually, a larger wheelchair arrives and we are able to make our way through immigration and security quickly and easily thanks to the online visa application.


Mandarin Oriental Hotel

As we pull up in front of the hotel, I comment on all the luxury cars parked outside, and Yoga - our guide here in KL - quips “It’s the sort of hotel that not everyone can afford to stay in”.

The latest Bentley

A red Ferrari

The Reception at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel

The lobby

The large ground-floor lobby area is certainly spectacular, with some eclectic lights and lots of fresh flowers.

The lift is all silver and mirrors, with many different textures and patterns.


Before we left home, I joined the hotel's loyalty program, which meant we have been upgraded to a corner mini-suite with views of the famous Petronas Twin Towers to one side, and KLCC Park in the other direction.


We can see 1½ of the towers from our room

KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) Park


Skyscrapers beyond

There's a lot of construction work going on in the city

We chill in the room for a while, with one of the complimentary drinks, and open the ‘gift’ that was brought up with our luggage. The porter spends ages chatting with us, and offers to help us “with anything we might need”. He is very sweet.

Very refreshing apple and calamansi (a small lime) juice

This looks interesting...

What is it....?

It's a fragrant candle

The Sky Bar at Traders Hotel

I spent a long time as part of the planning stage, trying to find a place to take night shots from that offers a good view of the Petronas Twin Towers. Eventually, I discovered that Traders Hotel has a bar on the top floor which should have unobstructed views of the towers. Their website suggests that booking a table is necessary, so I do that online. I request a table in the window at 17:00 so that I can be there before nightfall to make the most of the blue hour just after sunset when the lights have come on in the buildings and the sky still has some colour in it. The fact that they are offering a Happy Hour between 17:00 and 18:00 helps me decide.

We can see Traders Hotel from our bedroom window

The Sky Bar

Getting to Traders Hotel is easy, they have a free transfer buggy for their guests, which stops at the plaza outside the Petronas Towers. The two passengers that get on after we do, are asked if they are staying in Traders Hotel, and are kicked off the buggy when they admit they are not; whereas we are not even questioned. I feel a little bit of discrimination going on there, as they look to be of local origin, and are probably in their 20s, whereas I guess we might appear to be more the sort of tourists that would stay in the hotel. I feel a little uncomfortable about that, but not enough to own up to not being residents of Traders.

The Sky Bar is on the 33rd floor of the hotel and is nothing like I imagined from the pictures on their website. The room is dominated by a pool, with a couple of people sitting on benches in the window in dressing gowns. There are some tables and chairs, but apart from one person swimming, there are no other patrons.


The barman is totally disinterested when we approach the bar, barely looking up, and looks like a huge question mark when I tell him I have a reservation. I show him my printed-out booking confirmation and he asks: “Where would you like to sit?” I notice that none of the tables have a RESERVED sign on them, so we choose one of their ‘cabanas’ in the window, which are not exactly luxurious, being just huge pouffes surrounding a central area with a table.


The view is great, though.

KLCC Park and the shopping plaza which makes up the bottom of the Petronas Towers.

Excellent view of the towers.

Ordering food and drinks is done via a QR code on the table, which means we don’t have to go to the bar, nor try to attract the disinterested barman’s attention. I like being in control!

There are QR codes on every table, plus free wifi, of course

David perusing the cocktail menu

Somersby Cider and Pina Colada

Mai Tai

Sex on the Beach and Cider (David is always excited when he finds cider on the menu when we travel)

I, meanwhile, work my way through the cocktail list: Frosty Gingher

With a few drinks under our belt, we think we’d better have something to eat.

David has Wagyu Burger, whereas I fancy Chicken Popcorn

As we wait for the light to go down, we watch the dancing fountains in the park below.


While there are windows next to the seating area to shelter diners from wind and rain, the top part of the wall is open to the elements, so I am able to take pictures without getting reflections from the glass.

No lights on in the buildings yet

It doesn't take long, however, before it is almost dark and the buildings look beautiful with all the lights on inside.


Satisfied that I have achieved what I set out to do here at Traders Hotel, we catch the buggy back to the plaza and watch the nightly light show across the water in the park, known as the Lake Symphony.


We get a good view of the light show from our room too, as well as the city by night.


And so ends our first day in Kuala Lumpur, a small part of the Grand South East Asia Tour, arranged by Undiscovered Destinations.


Posted by Grete Howard 08:48 Archived in Malaysia Tagged kuala_lumpur fountains flight light_show klcc ferrari cocktails klia brunei wheelchair petronas_twin_towers petronas_towers bentley air_asia upgrade undiscovered_destinations night_photography traders_hotel cold_sore brunei_airport mandarin_oriental_hotel the_sky_bar pool_bar dancing_fountains lake_symphony

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The Petronas Towers fascinate me. They are high on my bucket list to see.

by littlesam1

They are fascinating Larry, from afar as here, as well as from the inside. The bottom part is a HUGE shopping mall.

by Grete Howard

You really found yourself a nice place for the towers ... love the look of the cocktails!!

by Ils1976

It was perfect in every way! :)

by Grete Howard

Despite the disinterested barman you found the perfect place for those night shots - wonderful not to have reflections in the glass spoiling them!

by ToonSarah

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