Day 1: Getting to Malaysia and Looking Around

That's right, I am in Malaysia.  My main reason for coming was to attend the Malaysian Dietitian's Association conference.  After I registered I ended up submitting an abstract for a poster and mine was selected.  Malaysia was not a place I had on my "bucket list" and it wasn't even anything I ever considered visiting.  But once the idea was planted, I knew I really wanted to go.  So after months of planning and planning, here I am!

Well, to get started with, there is still some time in transit before getting in to Malaysia.  I ended up with a 4 hour layover in Tokyo so I decided to enjoy a nice dinner.  As I was walking round I looked at many places, but the food displays from this place looked really good.  I'm glad I gave something different a try.

To start they served me tea and fried, sweetened soba noodles.  The noodles were awesome, but I wasn't really into the tea.
Dinner was tempura shrimp and squid over cold soba noodles.
A little closer up and you might be able to spot those noodles down below.
This was a pretty display in Haneda airport.  Tokyo has 2 airports and Haneda does more of the domestic and Asian locations, quite of bit of Europe, but not a lot to the US.  Narita is bigger, but when I can use Haneda I like too.  From our base we can only fly into Haneda, so if the flight after that is from Narita, we have to take an hour bus ride to switch airports.
More fun displays in the airport.
Before I knew it, it was time to head to Bangkok.  I have always wanted to visit Thailand, so stay tuned for more on that topic.
As always, I ordered a vegetarian meal.  The first meal was a snack.
I had a couple little sandwiches and fruit.
Interesting is all I can say for this.
And I had some wine!  I think this helped me fall asleep for a few hours.
Next thing I knew I was being woken up by the lights turning on and it was time for a meal.  This one was horrible.  I rarely say that, but it was.  I only managed to take a few bites.  I think the issue was that I was woken up, so I was not entirely hungry, and the towel they gave me to wipe my hands and face may have had something in it that I am allergic too.  Plus, I think the dish everyone else was eating was fish and at that hour the stench was too much for me.  I was really nauseous.
But that's ok with me because I had a few hour layover in Thailand and my plan was to get some pad Thai for breakfast.  First I found a Starbucks since coffee was very important to me at that time.  Then I found some food.  I started off with a pineapple juice.  It said fresh juice but I never trust it, so I asked and the server confirmed they make it fresh right there.  He was right!  This was the best pineapple juice I have ever had.
Can't say the same for the pad Thai, but it was good, I have just had better.  I've also had worse.  I also may not have been 100% hungry (which is why I didn't eat it all) but I was not going to pass on the one goal I had for the airport and layover.
Here are some displays from the Bangkok airport.

Then again,  before I knew it, it was time to board for Kuala Lumpur.
Now this meal was fantastic.  I was on Thai Airways for this flight and the breakfast was perfect.  It's an omelet with veggies an potatoes, some fruit and a pastry.  I definitely did not eat it all, but I did eat my veggies and fruit plus about 2/3 of the omelet.  
Welcome to Malaysia!  Couldn't believe I was finally there.  I think I have been planning this trip for 6 months.  I am here now and looking forward to all the fun stuff I have planned for the next few days before the conference.
I decided to spend the first few days at the Shangri-La hotel closer to the downtown area and then I will move to the conference venue for that.  This hotel had a lot of good reviews and this is a chain, so I like that because I am huge point and rewards collector.  Well, there's that and the fact that they are consistently top ranked.
My room is perfect.  It is hard to see from this picture, but I have an end room and my window is curved.  It gives the room a fun feel and the window space is awesome.
Not a bad view.
The bathroom is a good size too.
They provided me with some fruit.
Plus these waters were complimentary.  
This fountain is behind the hotel.  Seems very peaceful out there.
This is the lobby.
Once I was showered and a little rested, I headed out to find the Hop on Hop off bus.  It was recommended to me and I thought that was a great way to get a feel for the city.  I wish the top was open so I could have gotten better pictures, but they didn't seem to turn out too bad through the window.  
Lots of fancy shops.
Some older, more traditional looking buildings.  Little shops and restaurants.


Street food vendors.  I saw a lot of them when were very not directly in the downtown area.





The only place I hopped off and back on at was Little India.  I love Indian food so I thought this would be the perfect stop for a snack.  

Lots of produce for sale on the streets.

Then I spotted this place and I knew I needed to try something from here.
The guy at the counter insisted I also buy this donut thing, but what I really wanted is that samosa buried under there.  It was probably the best samosa I have ever had.  Too bad I forgot the water!  I was spicy!
Funny sign I spotted when we were stopped.
Worst angle ever!  Sorry!  But it is a cool sculpture.
Then we went through the green area and there was definitely a lot of green left in Kuala Lumpur.

Cute flower cut outs on lamp posts.
More green!  This is actually a bird park.  It's the largest covered bird park in the world.
More with the netting.
I assume this is a TV studio.
I was on the bus and heard some yelling.  I looked down, and this is what I spotted.  How many kids can fit through one sun roof?!?!?!
I believe this is one building that now serves as a museum.


I was loving the architecture.  Old mixed with new.  The old stuff was especially fun to look at.

Then the Petronas Twin Towers came into view.  For a while these were the tallest towers in the world.  
This was the last stop I got off at.  I wanted to check out the towers.  See that bridge in the middle?  I am seriously thinking about going to check it out.  You can buy a ticket and walk out there.  I really want to do it.
This is the fountain area outside.
Inside this section is a 6 story mall.  Fun!
It looks very futuristic.  It's actually the elevators.
On the way back to my hotel I passed through this park with fun chairs.  Unfortunately that was also around the same time I lost my fitbit one.  Oops!

Yes, I did go to the Hard Rock.  I thought it would cheer me up after I lost my fit bit.  The Hard Rock was across from my hotel so I didn't have to go out of my way.
I contemplated going out for dinner but I was so tired and my feet hurt (from back tracking 3 times to look for my fit bit) so I ended up eating at the buffet in the hotel.  I had a few paneer dishes (Indian), some smoked salmon and some veggies.
Here are some pictures of other foods they had.  This buffet was huge, but at least this gives you an idea.





This is not just a trend in the US!



I picked up a few desserts, but only took 1-2 bites of each.

After all that I am just ready for bed.  Good night!

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever presented a poster at a conference?  Have you ever been to Malaysia?

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