Our trip to
At the same time, I have always been fascinated by old Indian architecture and the photos of wonderful pink stone buildings with ornate carvings. And more recently, I have been intrigued by accounts of the country’s growing financial significance, as described by Thomas Friedman in ‘The World is Flat’ and daily articles in the business pages.
Throughout our trip, we have generally enjoyed organizing our travels one or two days in advance. This way, if we like a place we can stay longer, and if we don’t we can leave. We have also preferred booking hotels, planes and trains ourselves, rather than leaving it to an agent. We have avoided packaged tours, preferring less organized travel. As a result, I was on the verge of booking a couple of nights in the Ashoka Hotel, when I started to have second thoughts.
My cautiousness was in part due to warnings from other travelers, and the rising temperatures in
Upon arriving in Kuala Lampur, we went to the lounge and checked the email. There was no response. We decided to try and phone the agent on Skype and got through right away. He chuckled at our last minute planning but assured us he could arrange everything. At Sally’s urging, I sought clarification on his relationship with the government. “We are the government” he replied, and this gave us some comfort. He arranged to have a driver at the airport, and proposed a 4 star hotel for the first two nights near
Upon arrival at
What to do? I decided to go outside and discuss the situation with the person who was here to greet us. Sure enough, a good looking young man was standing amidst the hundreds of other greeters holding up a card with our name. His sign read “Voyageur Travel”. “You’re not from the government tourism office, are you?” I asked. He didn’t reply.
Eventually he sheepishly confirmed that he was not with Tourism
We got into a tiny Ambassador, the Indian car that has been manufactured since the 50’s without any body style change, and set off for the city. We immediately disliked the driver, a somewhat rough and crude individual. He told us how much he was looking forward to driving us around his incredible country for the next 10 days! We knew we had made the right decision not to proceed with this company, although we weren’t quite sure what would happen next.
The drive in seemed like a mélange of so many other rides we had taken. It was a bit of
The Connaught Hotel is one of the best hotels in