We’d been exploring Kuala Lumpur on the hop on hop off bus for a couple if hours when the door to the bus slid open. This was our fifth stop for the day, the Kings Palace. As I got off the bus I immediately started sweating. The air was hot and humid and the sky above was completely blue. I took some photos of the Palace from a distance and started to walk towards the gatehouse and the sleeping soldier sitting on his large horse.
I’ve been told that war is long stretches of boredom interspersed with short periods of action. This definitely looked like a case of boredom. Despite the heat of the day the soldier was wearing his full dress uniform. A ceremonial sword rested heavily on his shoulder. The fan whirring slowly above his head wasn’t enough to keep his eyes from drooping. Every few minutes his chin would slump down and then jerk back up again. This seemed like punishment duty and definitely not an honour. This was the most unfortunate man I had come across all day while exploring Kuala Lumpur (to think they call it an honour guard, it reminded me of the man in Vatican City). With that thought on my mind I headed back to the air conditioned bus to rest.
The hop on hop off tour bus is quite expensive for what you get, but is a great way of exploring Kuala Lumpur. If you are not travelling by yourself I would advise against it. A ticket costs 38 Ringgit (15 dollars or there about), but with the exception of the Palace you could see everything else for a lot less if you just used public transport and taxis.
The bus tour stops all over the city, stopping at any and all of the highlights. For me some of the stops were a lot less interesting than others, but exploring Kuala Lumpur with the tour bus did allow me to visit out of the way places like the King’s Palace that would otherwise be hard to get to. However, at the same time the bus can take a while to get to the real highlights of the tour like the Petronas building or the Kuala Lumpur Tower.
While the tour bus does drop you off at all of the famous city stops, you will have to pay again to enter the attractions. If you did all of the stops on the tour you’d find yourself paying a pretty hety fee for a day exploring Kuala Lumpur. If you want to take my advice, just pay for the highlights, like going to the top of the Kuala Lumpur Tower, which gives you an awesome view of the city and miss the rest.
By the end of the tour I had got bores of the air conditioned bus filled with tourists. As the city centre being so small(unlike Barcelona), I found it easier and more enjoyable to take the small streets to the next tourist destination instead of just following the main roads. As a result I abandoned the hop on hop off bus so that I could go exploring Kuala Lumpur’s streets on my own two feet.