Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kuala Lumpur

We just returned home from a fantastic trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Phuket, Thailand! I will do a separate post about beautiful Phuket later.

Ever heard of Kuala Lumpur? Neither had I. But Matt was really excited to go and I am always game for everything. So off we went.

Maybe you will recognize Kuala Lumpur from its most prominent landmark - the Petronas Twin Towers which are the tallest twin towers in the world.

We arrived on a Thursday afternoon and took public transportation to our hotel (we are smart like that). We checked into a Renaissance, it was super nice and we had amazing service while we were there. The girl that checked us in was even from Provo, Utah and was there on an internship for the summer. Such a small world!

The first night we headed out for dinner. We found a brand new mall, with a food court that was spectacular. All of the food looked amazing, but we settled on express Tepanyaki. So good.

Friday morning we headed over to the Lake Gardens, a beautiful park in the middle of the city. There was so much green trees and plants there. We first went to the orchid garden.

Then headed over to a butterfly pavilion. The butterflies were so amazing! They were everywhere, all different kinds. Matt decided to have a conversation with one.

Kuala Lumpur is a predominately Muslim nation, so we decided to stop by the National Mosque which was just outside of the Lake Gardens. Ever wanted to see what I would like as Muslim? Dress code was of course long sleeves, long pants, and a scarf covering hair, none of which I was wearing. So they give you clothing to dress appropriately. Behind me is the inside of the building, where the prayers are held.

Here is the mosque from the outside. It was a really beautiful building.

There were fountains all around it.

For our evening entertainment we went over to some street markets. The first one was okay, but then we found Petaling Street in China town and that is where the action was at. We picked up some good stuff - jewelry, a purse, and Matt got some shirts.

Friday morning we decided just to be lazy and go to the hotel pool. The pool area was super nice!

Of course no visit to Kuala Lumpur would be complete without a tour of the towers. The view was incredible!

This is the view of the city from the 82nd floor. Wow!

We ended Saturday with dinner in China town. Such a fun trip.

Stay tuned for pictures from our trip to Thailand!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Visitors & Chinese BBQ

This weekend Megan and 3 friends came to see us! They are teaching English in Ningbo and took a train.

We got a whole group together from the office. Three of the girls came home from work with Matt (Yimi, Selena, and Molly). To entertain them before Megan and crew came we played Mario Kart. It was a blast. I think it was the first time any of them had played.

Then we tok the BRT to go pick the girls up at the train station. Some other people from the office met up with us there also. We headed over to Zhongshan Lu for some shopping and street food. We were introduced to some sort of pita with meat in it. The meat was carved - like gyro meat. It was delicious. We also had peanut soup, which is a specialty here in Xiamen, and some ice cream (of course). The peanut soup was interesting - kind of sweet. Not my favorite though. Unfortunately the picture of us playing Mario Kart was the only picture I took that night.

We got up on Saturday met up with Christine, Cindy, and Bella from the office, and headed to Gulangyu to show our visitors. We had a lot of fun just exploring the island. Megan and crew were so excited to see the beach.

Our tour guides.

Lots of people wanted to take pictures of us - some with their kids (I enjoy being a celebrity here).

The whole crew (minus the photographer - yours truly).

Megan and crew on the ferry.

They bought this mango snowcone thing. Funny story, next to the stand, they had a guy standing there "advertising" the snowcone. He was a statue, and a crowd had gathered and was trying to crack him out of character. For example, some guy hung a shopping bag on his hand and some kid poked him. Megan's friend Nicole (the one on the left) went up and held his hand. The guy started smiling and laughing and the whole crowd clapped. It was awesome.

A piece of our lunch. On the left is some soft of seafood pizza on egg. Sounds strange but it was pretty good. On the right was some kind of crab cake. The outside is dried seaweed. Again, sounds gross but it was good.

After the island we headed over to a beach in Xiamen for a BBQ. It was a really fun atmosphere with carnival rides and such.

Just a funny area to take pictures.

I bought a ticket to ride the swings. So fun! That's me in the bright coral color shirt.

On top of one of the buildings were some picnic tables and charcoal BBQ's that can be rented. Some of the office girls had gone to Wal-Mart and bought lots of meat and veggies. We put everything on skewers, slathered it with oil and sauces (honey, BBQ, spicy). It was amazing. So good. We had chicken wings, sausage, fish, mushrooms, chinese cabbage, cucumbers, corn on the cob, rolls, and I'm sure other stuff that I've forgotten.

This was on of my favorite pictures. Nicole putting a skewer through a frozen fish. Turns out we did it wrong because the fish had to get cleaned first.

The BBQ masters.

Matt enoying corn on the cob.

More food.

Sunday we took the girls to church, took them to get Mango ice (shaved ice with fresh mango and sweetened condensed milk), amazing. We also took a walk around the neighborhood before taking them back to the train station.

Thanks girls for a great visit!