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Family Reunions and Fish Spas in Kuala Lumpur

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Last time that I ran into my parents outside of Europe, was in Ecuador few years ago, as we all happened to be traveling on that side of the world at the same time. I met them for fifteen minutes outside a bus terminal. The exchange was pretty much as follows:

“Hi, hows your trip been so far?”

“Good. Yours?”

“Yeah good. Sorry, I really have to catch my bus now. Bye”

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This time I actually managed to see them for over a week. Reason my parents also happened to be in Kuala Lumpur was not so much me, but my sister who has been studying in Kuala Lumpur for the last five months (see her blog at The Arctic Girl). Well technically she has been studying in Subang Jaya, which is not really in Kuala Lumpur, as she’s always keen to point out.

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It is the monsoon season in Malaysia right now, so it is humid and hot. I learned this immediately on the airport, as we had to walk probably half a mile from the plane to actually get into the airport terminal. I was absolutely soaked by the time I reached customs, and this was almost midnight. You have to love these new Low Cost terminals that airports have started building, but can’t complain, AirAsia is cheap and gets you where you want to go.

I am not quite sure what I think of Kuala Lumpur itself, it is a vast sprawling megapolis, but it does have a reasonable public transport network of trains, monorails and buses. But that being said, it seems very difficult to explore the city on foot. I’ll give you an example.

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We took the monorail to KL Sentral as we wanted to go see the national mosque, and that was the closest station, less than a mile away on the map, no problem. Well, that was the plan, but we walked for half an hour and were unable to get to the place where we needed to go, in the end we had to resort hailing a cab, that got us the other side of the highway.

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One thing that Kuala Lumpur is good for thou, is shopping. Be that malls, which they have a lot, or the more interesting outside markets, including the Chinese night market, where you can go get your cheap bags and other things.

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It was on one of these shopping trips with my mom and my sister (my dad had cleverly managed to stay back at the hotel with whatever excuse he had come up with) when they spotted a fish spa. Well that would take half an hour, so I decided to dip my feet in also as there was nothing else to do. Fish spas have been gaining popularity in Europe, I’ve seen a few of them in London, but here in Kuala Lumpur, they are just everywhere.

So I dipped my travel weary feet (after I washed them of course, wouldn’t want to kill the poor fish) into the glas tank in front of me and immediately they were attacked by dozens of hungry Doctor Fish. First reaction is to pull your feet out as you feel the hundreds of teeth ticking your feet, but you just keep your feet in there.

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I wouldn’t say that after a while it becomes pleasant, or that you get used to it, but it does become more manageable after a while.

After the fish had feasted on my delicious feet and I took them out, my feet felt surprisingly fresh. And I can add, that at least when I left, all the fish were still alive.

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5 Comments

  1. Ha, ha, ha! Seems it might have been a good lunch to them! Is it very expensive in comparison to other things in Kuala Lumpur? A friend of mine negotiated one in Vietnam and in the end it was quite cheap- about a dollar If I remember it right- or, well at least certainly nothing to do with the 40 euros they ask you for in Spain, which is where I am from.
    Feels like something to try at least once!
    Have you seen something else in Malaysia? Thanks for this post!

    • It’s definitely worth the try, but I doubt I’ll start doing it regularly :) I think it was about 10USD or so, so a lot cheaper than in Europe, but not as cheap as in Vietnam from the sound of it. More posts coming from Malaysia once I manage to go thru my photos :)

  2. @arcticnomad
    Thanks! I will definitely give it a try next time I travel to southeast Asia

  3. Malaysia – my favorite country along the SE Asia trail…The place has decent infrastructure for prospective tourists. Not many prefer to visit due to religion etc but we found it to be the most entertaining. Outside KL, the place offers amazing tourists spots such as Melaka, Pangkor Islands, Penang, Redang Islands etc
    There was always a sense of adventure during our travels across this land.

    • The infrastructure in Malaysia is definitely better than in some of the other countries in the area, but I didn’t really like KL that much, the islands on the other hand, those are actually pretty good!