Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Cycling in KL; O-bikes

KL is one of the many cities in the world to adopt O-bikes. A bike share service where you can pick upand drop off a bike at various bike stand locations. Unfortunately the system is flawed. Theft, vandalism and general dishonesty means a lot of the bikes are left in unauthorized locations and damaged. In any case, I became a regular user of the O-bike and besides walking,  it was my main modes of transport for the 2km or so to and from the office. In grid lock traffic its often the fastest way across town!

Register you account,wave your iphone and unlock a bike.


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cycling in KL - Batu Caves

For a fairly easy but rewarding bike ride in KL, head out to the Batu Caves. The caves and temple are located just 15km north of the city centre on Jalan Lingkaran Tengah 2. The best route to get there is via Jalan Sentul Pasar which actually becomes Jalan Batu Caves. Easy.  The road is wide, safe and relatively flat. You don't really leave the city on this ride so there is no need to carry provisions. Just stop at any 7-11 on route to refresh. The caves are great...That is; For a free attraction, or small donation they offer a great sight seeing opportunity and an excuse to climb about 1500 stairs! Bring a bike lock and leave your bike at the bottom of the stairs.
Beyond the caves is 'Raintree park' which can be easily circumnavigated on quiet streets. At the north side of the park is a rock climbing operation which has a number of climbs up the cast rock face. A great morning out and you'll be back in town before lunch!

View from the top of the stairs at the entrance of the Batu Caves

Ride right upto the caves entrance




Friday, 7 July 2017

A Runners Life in Kuala Lumpur

Finding ideal running routes in KL can be a real challenge. It is not exactly the most tourist or pedestrian friendly city. There are many positives to getting around, like the overhead LRT monorail, and the underground trains. And taxi and ride share is cheap.
On foot however, I discovered side walks are rarely continuous and pedestrian access is often poor or non-existent.  There is almost no bicycle lanes and given that KL drivers are a little aggressive and average speeds relatively high compared to some other Asian cities, riding or running on the roads is not recommended.
I eventually found a couple of nice city parks to run through and returned to them on a regular basis.
Taman Titiwangsa is located just north of the city and kampung Baru, just 1 block past Tun Rasak. Its a large park with a good path of about 3km around a lake. The views back to the city are inspiring and the park is at its best early morning or at dusk. It has lighting so can be safely navigated up to 10pm at night. The park can get a little crowded on weekends as families visit to walk or use the hire bikes.
From my apartment I would put together a 5 mile run, crossing Tun Rasak at an overhead walk way and completing 1 lap of the park.



Onee of the nicer paths along Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz

View across the lake at Titiwangsa looking back to downtown
Another run I did occaisonally was a down town circuit. Mainly through city streets and up to the famous and centrally located park space of Taman Ampang. Situated right in the middle of town, the park includes the impressive KL tower. The park does not have a path through it but you can climb the road to the base of the tower and get a view of the surrounding city.







Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Penang

I loved Penang. The food.The night life. The streets and the old world charm. It actually exceeded my expectations - and considering it was only 4 hours by train fromKL, Its an easy place toget to for even just a short 3 or 4 day trip.
Penang is a great city to explore on foot. It has a fascinating history of British colonialism which forged the beautiful the old streets of Georgetown.
It includes a large number of historic buildings, forts and endless cobblestone roads to wander. However the big attraction of the old town is the street art. Get yourself the street art map and walk from location to location to check out the interesting large scale murals.
The local shopping and food are good, with the local dishes including the famous Penang curries, Asam Laksa and massive range of Chinese dishes – all available at cool street vendors and local eateries at ridiculously cheap prices.
For a night out head to upper Penang street. It is lined with bars and cafes open until all hours, playing live music and accommodating the large turnover of tourists.
To work off all the excesses, my first and final recommendation is to walk to the top of Penang Hill. Although there is a cable car, the walk up the stairs and through the botanical gardens are far more rewarding and not too difficult.  The view from the top, looking out to the straights of Penang and back to the main land are awesome!
Also - bet ya didn't know Jimmy Choo is from here. Yep - as in the shoes!